If you want to learn how to make some of your favorite California Pizza Kitchen recipes, it's really easy. Some of the recipes are a bit elaborate, but others can be whipped up in your own kitchen in a matter of minutes. While nothing compares to having someone else do all of the cooking, it's not always practical to eat out. Learning how to prepare California Pizza Kitchen recipes at home can save you a good bit of cash. Read on for all the juicy, delicious details about making your own California Pizza Kitchen pizzas, pastas and salads!
What are CPK recipes? Take a look here and see how you can make your own versions of California Pizza Kitchen's trademark dishes.
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Making the Pizza DoughPhoto: flickr / CC0
Before you can whip up all of the tasty California Pizza Kitchen pizzas, you'll first need to learn how to make the pizza dough. First, dissolve one teaspoon of yeast into 1/2 cup of warm water (not hot, just warm, around 110F) and allow the mixture to stand for about 10 minutes. In a separate large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups of bread flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons each of sugar and extra virgin olive oil. Add the yeast mixture and, using either your hands or a spoon, combine the ingredients thoroughly. As you do so, you'll notice that the mixture is becoming a "ball." Knead this ball of dough for about five minutes or so, until it's smooth. Be sure to coat the dough with olive oil before storing it in an airtight container at room temperature for about two hours. Don't refrigerate right off - the dough needs time to rise properly, and room temp is the way to help the process along.If you aren't making your pizza right away, you can store the dough. Remove the container lid, mash the dough down (back into a ball) and then recover and store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to make the pizzas, take the dough out and again, "deflate" it and separate the dough into two equal portions. Now roll each portion into a ball, roll them out and sprinkle with a little flour. Now you're ready to add your toppings - voila! And no, you don't have to roll the dough and toss it into the air - though you could if you wanted to, just for effect.
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California Pizza Kitchen Thai Crunch SaladPhoto: flickr / CC0
To make a salad that's very, very similar to California Pizza Kitchen's Thai Crunch salad, you'll need to make two different dressings: lime-cilantro and Thai peanut. But first, here's how to make the actual bulk of the salad: Combine one head of Napa cabbage (cut into 1/4 inch strips), one small head of chopped red cabbage, two large julienned carrots, two bunches of thinly sliced scallions and one large, julienned cucumber in a large mixing bowl. Add approximately one large, chopped bunch of cilantro and two cups of cooked, shelled edamame and toss everything together.
Next, add approximately four (cooked) chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes. To give extra flavor, marinade the chicken in a mixture of six tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of chopped garlic, one tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Grill the chicken, if possible - but if not, bake for 30 minutes at 350F.
To make the lime-cilantro dressing, combine 1/4 of a small red pepper (cut into small pieces), one small bunch of cilantro, one tablespoon and two teaspoons each of honey and white vinegar, one tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of lime juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of light corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoons each of Asian sesame oil, kosher salt, two teaspoons of Dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoons each of minced, fresh ginger and black pepper. To combine, add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until everything is smooth (about 30 seconds, give or take). Slowly add in 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Next, add the mixture to the salad.Finally, you'll want to add a zesty Thai peanut dressing to your Thai crunch salad. Begin by whisking together two tablespoons of peanut butter (creamy), one tablespoon each of honey and rice vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons each of soy sauce and water. Slowly add in one tablespoon of sugar, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Next, add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Note: IF you want a slightly spicier dressing, you can opt to go heavier on the red pepper and/or the cayenne, but be careful not to overdo or you'll overpower your delicious salad! Whisk together all of the ingredients and add one tablespoon of canola oil. When everything is thoroughly combined, add the Thai peanut dressing to your salad and serve! Yum!
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Sedona White Corn Tortilla SoupPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
California Pizza Kitchen offers much more than pizza on it's menu. The soups, for example, are scrumptious! To make the restaurant's Sedona white corn tortilla soup, begin by frying 1 1/2 small corn tortillas (cut into one-inch squares) in approximately three tablespoons of olive oil. When the tortilla squares get crisp, add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic, two tablespoons of minced onion and 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced jalapeno peppers (you can add more if you want a spicier taste to your soup). Cook all ingredients for about two minutes, then add about one cup of white corn kernels, 1 1/2 pounds of chopped tomatoes, 1/3 cup of tomato paste, 2 1/2 teaspoons of (ground) cumin, 1/8 teaspoon of ground white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 1/2 cups of water and one quart of chicken stock. Slowly bring the soup to a low boil - this should take about five minutes or so.Next, remove the soup from the heat and puree using a hand-held propeller blade processor. You can do this in batches and, if you don't own a hand-held processor, you can also use a blender. Put the soup back on the heat and then add the remaining corn (about one cup). When you've brought the soup to a low boil again, remove from heat and garnish with two cups of shredded, sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro and some yummy blue corn tortilla chips.
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California Pizza Kitchen Chopped SaladVideo: YouTube
Want a fairly quick and easy, delicious salad to serve for dinner? How about a California Pizza Kitchen chopped salad? The key here is the salad dressing: Once you master how to make the dressing, you're all set.
For the dressing, whisk together one teaspoon of minced garlic, two teaspoons each of minced shallots and dried parsley, two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (ground), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar, 1 1/3 cups of olive oil and three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, refrigerate for about one hour.To make the actual salad, toss together 1/2 head each of romaine and iceberg lettuce (cut the lettuce into 1/8 wide strips or smaller/larger, depending on your preference), 12 leaves of chopped basil, three cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, four cups of seeded, diced tomatoes, three cups of diced turkey breast, one cup of garbanzo beans and 1/2 cup of salami. As with the lettuce, cut the salami into semi-thin strips. Finally, add two tablespoons of chopped scallions. Now it's serving time: When you are ready to serve, add the salad dressing and toss everything well. All set!