Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Geek Eats: Easy Pizza

This weekend, with Matt and Bryan over, we decided to try a new Mediterranean restaurant nearby. I scanned the menu, but being addicted to a specific Mediterranean restaurant below my office, I didn't want to compete with my "usual," which was closed on Sundays. So as I scanned the menu, trying to find something that appealed to me, something in the "appetizer" menu caught my eye. It read: 7" Pita Pizza. My major Mediterranean addiction is pita bread; I like pizza. Jackpot.

We arrive home, I open my pizza, and it's perfect: pepperoni, finely diced onions and thick, gooey mozzarella cheese, if there's any tomato sauce at all it's very, very light handed. Considering this place is right next to a local pizza parlor, I didn't know what to expect, but I'm in love! And it gave me a great idea for future dinners, too. DM and I love pizza, but we usually get it frozen. In fact, I've got a frozen flatbread right next to me for lunch (and I'm wishing it were another from the Mediterranean place). When you find recipes to make your own, they usually involve a several-hour-long process to make the dough, directions for the sauce, basically telling you how to make everything but the meats from scratch. As a working woman, when I get home, the last thing I usually want to do is dig into dough and process some tomatoes. But you know, it made me realize, there are actually a lot of things you can use as a base to replace the dough and make an easy pizza, and because of their sizes, you can often personalize them to your guests and players!

- Bagels and english muffins have the benefit of being small enough you can use a toaster oven to make these versus heating up a full-size oven and you get two servings for each bagel or muffin.
- Pita bread's practically a pre-made flatbread or personal pan pizza dough. Use a very light hand with tomato sauce or even go with a garlic sauce (butter or cream) for a white pizza versus tomato based and just melt the cheese to crisp up the pita for a soft but not soggy pizza.
- Crescent roll dough (see Pizza Roll-ups)
- Tortillas make an amazing Mexican pizza. Fry 2 tortillas in a pan with oil until crisp. Top one tortilla with seasoned beef and refried beans, then cover them with the other tortilla. Spread cheese on top of the second tortilla, pop in the oven for a few minutes until the beans are warmed up and the cheese melted. Top with lettuce, salsa, sour cream, or any other desired cold toppings and serve.

While the Mexican pizza is best for small parties or a regular dinner, the other four options give you quick and easy alternatives to ordering pizza or pulling a frozen one out of the fridge when you've got a group to serve. If you've got an easy alternative single-serving pizza crust that I didn't mention (specifically easy because I've seen a potato crust pizza, but that's not quick or easy in the least), feel free to let me know in the comments. Otherwise, enjoy! 

Happy rolling

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