Father’s Day is More than Just Backyard Barbecues

Happy Father’s Day! I know what you are thinking, we should be talking about barbecues and steaks and hot dogs. We should be baking Dad’s favorite Chocolate Cake. So why aren’t we?

A few years back, before the world completely lost its mind, we attended what had to be one of the most fun Father’s Day gatherings around. It’s held in Columbia, California – the Father’s Day Fly In. People fly in from all around the world in their planes. Some are vintage, others just fun toys. The pilots and their families fly into the tiny community and spend Father’s Day Weekend camping out, swapping stories and best of all putting on a show.

Those that don’t fly in sometimes drive in with beautifully restored vintage cars.

There are even plane rides for those brave souls willing to fork over a pretty penny for the thrill of flying in a WWII plane. It goes to a good cause – to restore planes and educate the public through hands on experiences about the past.

For the first time in two years, the Father’s Day Fly In is happening once again. Who could resist? So no barbecues. It’s going to be a day of fun in the sun in at the Columbia Airport. Oh yeah!

But you know me, I still want to make Father’s Day extra special. One dish that is sure to please is pizza. Not frozen, not delivery. Oh no, for Father’s Day our pizza should be completely from scratch, made with that special ingredient – love.

Detroit-Style Sausage-Mushroom Pizza
Pizza Dough
Olive Oil for bowl
2-1/4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Rapid-rise Yeast
1 teaspoon Sugar

Lightly oil a bowl for the dough to rest in while proofing. Set aside in a warm place. (A warm oven works well)

Measure the flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a food processor with a metal blade attachment. Pulse to combine. Add 1 cup warm water, continue to process until a ball forms, about 30 seconds

Note: if a ball does not form, add a bit more flour.

Once ball forms, process dough for another 30 seconds, then roll into a tight ball. Place dough ball in the prepared bowl. Proof in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 90 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, make the pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce
2 (14 oz) cans Italian Stewed Tomatoes
3 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Red Wine as desired

Place tomatoes in a blender fitted with a blade. Pulse until crushed. Set aside.

Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

In a saucepot over medium heat, heat oil. Add the Italian seasoning, minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant; about 30 second. Do not let the garlic burn.

Add the crushed tomatoes to the seasoned garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring pizza sauce to a simmer. Let sauce simmer until concentrated, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

If desired, add a little red wine to the sauce as it cools.

Sausage Mushroom Toppings
4 oz Brown Mushrooms
8 oz block Mozzarella Cheese
16 oz Italian Sausage
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Parmesan Cheese Shaker as desired
Red Pepper Flakes to taste

Position an oven rack in the bottom of the oven and heat oven to the highest temperature setting, 500 to 550 degrees.

Stem mushroom, dice and set aside. Cut Mozzarella cheese into small cubes. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage, breaking apart as it cooks. Add mushrooms to the sausage, cook until mushrooms release their juices, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool slightly.

To Assemble and Bake
Pour the oil in a large, square metal cake pan (or, ideally, an authentic Detroit-style pizza pan). Put the Pizza Dough in the pan and gently stretch it out to fit so the dough reaches the corners.

Note: If the dough is being temperamental, set it aside for another 10 minutes to relax and try again. Dough that is slightly warm will stretch easier.

Layer the sausage mixture over the dough. Then lay the cheese cubes all over, especially around the perimeter up to the edge of the pan (this creates the coveted crispy cheese crust). Dollop the pizza sauce over the top.

Bake in the ultra-hot oven until bubbly; golden, about 10 minutes or so. Remove pizza from oven. Sprinkle top with Monterey Jack. Switch oven to broil. Slip pizza under the broiler until the cheese is lightly golden.

Using a fish spatula, loosen the edges and place on a cutting board. Slice into squares. Serve with Parmesan Cheese (the stuff in the green can) and Red Pepper Flakes to add as desired. Enjoy!

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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