Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Meatball Pie Saves Day

Meatball Pie

Have a herd of hungry hooligans to feed? How about a carload of college kids? Or maybe the World Cup is on the tele and the lads are in your flat, ready to mutiny if there isn’t some real food. Regardless, with a little advanced prep work, this easy recipe can solve all of the above problems. Or at least get you off to a good start.

What you need for the meatballs:

6 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped into bits

1 onion, diced and sauteed

2 pounds / 1 kilo of ground chuck

1 pound / .5 kilo  of ground pork

1 Tablespoon of garlic

1 Tablespoon of black pepper

Making the meatballs:

In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients.

Form the meatballs by hand, making each the size of a golf ball or slightly smaller. My batch made 30 meatballs.

Place meatballs on a broiler pan (this will help drain the rendered fat) and place in the center rack of your oven.

Bake at 350 degrees F. (gas mark 4, for those who need it) for approximately 25 minutes or until done. The meatballs will be slightly brown. Internal temperature should be in excess of 165 degrees.

When done, let cool. You can even store these in the refrigerator a few days until you need them.

What you need – Making ONE Meatball Pie

Pizza Dough – make your own or, as I did – buy the canned dough you can just roll out.

6 oz / 170 grams Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

6 oz / 170 grams  Longhorn Colby Cheese, shredded

1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce

15 of those meatballs you made earlier

Making the Meatball Pie

Using a 9 inch glass pie plate, spread the pizza dough evenly throughout, making sure the dough comes up to the top of the plate’s rim. This is just like making a pie, except you are using pizza dough.

Sprinkle about half the Mozzarella onto the dough, making a cheesy bed for the next ingredient.

On top of the cheese, place your 15 meatballs. It will be a tight fight but that’s okay. If you can only squeeze in a dozen, that works, too. As long as the pie is full of meatballs.

Now spoon a dollop of your marinara sauce on each meatball. You don’t want to “over sauce” this pie. That would overpower the flavor of the meatball, which, well, you just don’t want to do!

Top with the Longhorn Colby cheese, and then sprinkle the last of your mozzarella on top as the final layer.

Bake in the oven, at 350 degrees F., for about 30 minutes or until the cheese on top has melted and has started to turn brown. I’d start checking the pie at about 20 minutes. No one likes burned cheese.

Once done, remove from oven at let stand for about 10 minutes. It will stay hot, trust me!

What to do with the other 15 meatballs?

Repeat the above recipe and make a second Meatball Pie, of course!

Each pie makes 8 good sized slices. I’m a big guy and I ate two. A third piece looked tempting but I just couldn’t do it. I was full. At least I  know what is for lunch tomorrow!

Meatball Pie – you will have no complaints on this one. Try it and see!

A Slice of Meatball Pie – Heaven on a Plate

Mashed Potato Pizza

Mashed Potato Pizza

There are many recipes for mashed potato pizza, most of them involving spreading the mashed potatoes all over the crust, in place of the usual red sauce. To me, that is taking the carbs just a bit too far. As it is, my Adkins diet went sailing through the window with this one!

But this pizza has cheese AND bacon. Need I say more? (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!)

Give it a go and see what you think.

Ingredients

Pizza crust, thin – I used a pre-baked one. You can make your own if you wish. Just bake it first.

Cheddar cheese, shredded – 8 oz. or more. I always go for “more.”

Mozzarella cheese, shredded – 4 oz

Red onion, finely chopped – 1/4 cup

Cooked Bacon, rough chopped – 3 slices

Garlic, minced – a pinch, maybe two

Mashed Potatoes – enough for 8 – 10 melon ball sized globs (glob is a technical term, sorry)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place your pre-baked pizza crust on a pizza pan.

Sprinkle enough cheddar cheese on top of the crust, covering the entire surface. Try to save some cheese, you will need it later. If you use all of it – get more cheese!

Add the mozzarella cheese next, followed by the red onions, making sure everything is evenly distributed.

Carefully place the chopped bacon on top. You will be tempted to eat some. DON’T DO IT. Okay, maybe just one piece. But not two.

Okay, maybe two. But definitely not three.

Add a pinch of minced garlic, just for good measure.

Now the fun part-

Take a melon baller (a very, very small ice cream scoop) and scoop out 8 – 10 little mashed potato “meatballs” and place them on the pizza. Spread them around so that every slice will get at least one.

Cover with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes. This will heat everything up and make the crust extra crispy.

When done, take out of the oven and carefully (remember, it’s hot!) slice into 6 – 8 slices.

Pairs well with any good table wine, as well as Dr Pepper on ice.  A&W Root Beer is a good option, as well.

Mashed Potato Pizza

 

 

 

 

Chicken Pesto Pizza

chicken pesto pizza

This was awesome!

Thank goodness I live on a street that looks dreadful enough at night that wayward Halloween characters always stay away.  Keeps the puppies from going crazy, which in turn keeps me from going crazy. Man, that’s a benefit that Carlos the Realtor never mentioned, so I guess I should buy him a coffee the next time I see him.  (Hmmm…maybe I should let him remind me of this post; it’ll show that someone actually reads this blog.)

But enough about me, let’s talk chicken pesto pizza.

I use a pizza dough recipe from Wolfgang Puck. Makes 4 small, 2 medium, or 1 big pizza.

3 C. Flour

1 tsp salt

1 TBspn honey

2 TBspn Olive Oil

3/4 C. cool water

1 package dry yeast

1/4 C. warm water (100 – 110 degrees)

1.  Combine salt, honey, olive oil, 3/4 cup cool water in a small bowl. Mix well.

2.  Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Use a thermometer to ensure temp is no higher than 110. Let sit for 10 minutes.

3.  Put the 3 cups of flour into a large bowl or on a large counter or cutting board.  Create the classic volcano, complete with crater.  This will come in handy.

4.  Pour the yeast into the other liquid ingredients. Mix gently.

5.  Pour the liquid into the crater and start mixing.  If it’s too sticky, add a touch of flour, but not too much.

6.  Once the dough has started to become a single mass, turn it out onto a flour-dusted counter or cutting board and start kneading.

7. With the dough ball now smooth, put it into a buttered bowl, Cover with a towel and let rest 30 minutes.

8.  Punch down, roll into a tight ball.  Divide into smaller balls if making small or medium pizzas. Lightly dust with some cooking spray and cover with film (Saran Wrap.)

9.  Refrigerate dough until one hour prior to use. Let dough raise to room temperature.

10.  Using whatever technique you dare, shape into pizza. Being of German descent, I lack “tossing skills” so I put the dough ball on a pizza pan and used my French rolling pin to spread the dough out.

11.  No matter how you did it, if your dough is in the shape of a pizza, you have almost succeeded. You must now “dock” the crust. Take a fork and stab the pizza, creating little holes all over the disk.  This will help steam escape during baking.  Makes for a much better crust.

Back at the ranch…

1/2 to 1 baked chicken breast, chopped up into small peices.

3 – 6 TBsp pesto (amount depends on how much chicken you use)

Mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Artichoke hearts (get the stuff already prepared and marinated in oil; sold in little jars)

1/2 red onion, sliced

2 – 3 TBSpn Olive oil

2 cloves garlic

So here’s how it all works:

Take 2 cloves of garlic.  Press them, putting the meat into a small glass bowl.  Add 2 – 3 TBspn Olive Oil.  Let steep while prepping everything else.

Shred enough mozzarella to cover the size pizza you have chosen. Shred about 1/4 of that amount of Parmesan.

Coat the chicken with the pesto.

Assembly time:

Cover the dough with the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Evenly distribute the pesto-chicken and red onion.

Add artichoke hearts to taste.

Drizzle the garlic-olive oil over the entire disk.

Add a bit more cheese if you want.  You really can’t have too much, in my opinion.

Bake on a stone or a circular pizza pan at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust done and cheese melted.

Serve with a good glass of wine.  I always recommend the Merlot from the Williamsburg Winery in Virginia.

Enjoy!

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