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50 States 50 Recipes Illinois

Our next stop on the 50 states, 50 recipes tour is;

Illinois: http://www.50states.com/illinois.htm

State capital: Springfield

Largest City: Chicago

Admission to the Union: December 3, 1818 the 21st state to join the Union


Illinois’ major agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products, and wheat. In most years, Illinois is either the first or second state for the highest production of soybeans, with a harvest of 427.7 million bushels (11.64 million metric tons) in 2008, after Iowa’s production of 444.82 million bushels (12.11 million metric tons). Illinois ranks second in U.S. corn production with more than 1.5 billion bushels produced annually. Illinois also produces wine, and the state is home to two American viticultural areas. Illinois’ universities are actively researching alternative agricultural products as alternative crops. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois)

Illinois is the home of many great historical sites, including the birth place of Abraham Lincoln.  If ya’ll visit be sure to check out these sites for tourism;




Illinois is close enough to my home state of Missouri ya’ll that I am familiar with many of it’s well known and not so well known places.  Of course there is Chicago- the New York of the mid-west complete with it’s own style of pizza, which we’ll be making.  Chicago is also home to Oprah Winfrey and the Chicago Cubs.  One is the most talked about TV talk-show host while the other has not won a World Series in 50 years- both have die-hard fans.  Galena Illinois is not as well known as has the best antique stores in the mid-west.  Niles, Illinois has it’s own Leaning Tower of Piazza, so if you can’t get yourself to Italy ya’ll- got to Niles and fool everyone you know by tellin’ them you’ve been to Italy!  Chicago is famous for some of it’s Italian mobsters, but it’s pizza is very unique!  So here’s the recipe!


Chicago Style Pizza;


1 Package active dry yeast

2 teas. Sugar

1 1/4 cups Warm water

2 3/4 cups All−purpose flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tbls. Olive oil

1 teas. Salt


1 cup Pizza sauce

12 oz. Shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 lb. Ground beef, crumbled, cooked

1/4 lb. Italian Sausage, crumbled, cooked

1/4 lb. Pork Sausage, crumbled, cooked

1/2 cup Pepperoni, diced

1/2 cup Canadian bacon, diced

1/2 cup Ham, diced

1/4 lb. Mushrooms, sliced

1 small Onion, sliced

1 Green bell pepper, seeded, sliced

2 oz. Grated Parmesan cheese


Step by Step Procedure


For dough, sprinkle yeast and sugar into warm water in small bowl; allow stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Mix flour, cornmeal, oil and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center and add yeast mixture.

Stir to form a soft dough, adding more flour if necessary.

Turn onto a floured board and knead until dough is supple and elastic, 7 to 10 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl, cover and let rise in a warm spot until dough has doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 13-inch circle.

Transfer to an oiled 12−inch pizza pan, folding the excess over to make a small rim.

Spread with pizza sauce; sprinkle with all but a handful of the mozzarella cheese.

Sprinkle with meats and vegetables.

Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Let rise in a warm spot about 25 minutes.

Heat oven to 475 degrees.

Bake pizza until crust is golden, about 25 minutes.

Let stand 5 minutes before slicing


ingredients for Chicago Style Pizza
add dry ingredients with olive oil for pizza dough
let yeast rise in sugar water for 5 minutes or until frothy
add yeast to dry ingredients to form dough
knead dough until elastic
brown meat with spices (I added garlic, basil and oregano)
heat tomato sauce on low, I add extra tomatoes and fresh garlic
after dough has risen roll out into circles large enough for pizza pan
add cheese (Chicago style the cheese goes on the bottom)
add cooked meat
add sauce (for true Chicago style top with grated parmesan only)
(for non-Chicago style add shredded Mozzarella) let dough rise for few minutes
cook until golden brown and cheese is melted


I have to say that if I’m gonna choose between the deep dish of Chicago or the thin crust of New York- I’m gonna choose Chicago every time!  I chose ya’ll not to put so many toppings on my pizza, a simple sausage, cheese and sauce toppin’ was enough for me!  I would suggest toppings that appeal to you and your family… pepperoni works well too!  Be aware this crust has to rise for an hour or more- so plan your dinner accordingly!


One of the great things about cooking somethin’ new each week is that I got a lot in the cupboard!  The corn meal I used for a few of our past recipes was still good so I didn’t have to shop for much.  Pizza sauce is easy enough to make, and we always have sausage on hand.  I did use Buffalo mozzarella along with the shredded stuff, but you can use any cheese you like!


For a traditional Chicago style pizza the cheese is on the bottom while the sauce is on the top. I put the Buffalo mozzarella on the bottom, added the cooked sausage, poured the sauce over it all, and topped it with Parmesan cheese.  But knowin’ that might make some non-Chicago pizza eaters nervous (like my son Maverick) I did add the shredded mozzarella to the top as well.   Extra cheese never hurt no one ya’ll!


Review: scale of 1-5 stars; the more stars the better

Ease of preparation: *** the dough takes some time and patience, but it’s worth it in the end ya’ll

Cost of ingredients: ***** had everything in the cupboard and if it wasn’t it wasn’t too expensive

Taste: ***** I love a good deep dish pizza ya’ll and this was very good!

Nutrition: **** for those on a low carb diet, this isn’t the best, but with all natural ingredients it’s probably better than the frozen pizzas from the store-


I live with a Chicago Cubs fan ya’ll- and unless you know someone who is, it’s a hard thing to describe.  Cubs fans are some of the best people in the world- they live with the eternal hope that their team will go to the World Series someday, despite 50 years of disappointment they keep hoping for the best.  They’re just as passionate about their pizza.  So when ya’ll head to Chicago, find a good pizza place and know that you’ll be eatin’ something made with love!  So until next week when we head to Mississippi, May all your journeys be safe and your eats be good!



2 thoughts on “50 States 50 Recipes Illinois”

  1. I have to agree with Erika- growing up in the midwest, Chicago style is much better than NYC! Yummy!

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