Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marvelous Makeover: A Chicago Favorite

One of the few drawbacks to living alone is that one cannot cook foods with days and days worth of leftovers, unless one is prone to eating mold. Ick. An example of this type of food is pizza.

I adore pizza. I've tried all variations. The convenient single-serving English muffin pizza. The pita pizza. The tortilla pizza. One day, I'll try a Japanese version of a pizza made with a cabbage crust.

None of these comes even close to the fluffy, buttery, sauce-laden Chicago deep dish pizza. While some die-hard Neopolitan pizza lovers swear by the thin, brick oven baked crust as being the most important component of a pizza, I think that somedays, you want sauce. You want cheese. You want chewy, moist crust, not something thin and dry and slightly charred. You want deep dish.

I brought up my desire for deep dish deliciousness to a community of health-conscious folks, and I was pointed to this recipe from The Pampered Chef. Called Bubble Up Pizza, I instantly recognized this as a close parallel to that Chicago favorite I craved. However, I ran into that same problem of having leftovers for ages if I made this in its casserole form. Then, in a flash of creativity akin to Priori Incantatem, I realized what to do!

I hope you really enjoy this recipe. It's one of my favorites! Feel free to switch things up with some pesto sauce with parmesan, a salsa-based sauce with cheddar, and I even think for Thanksgiving flare, a mashed potato-and turkey filling with cranberry topping could be wonderful.

10 servings



10 count refrigerated biscuit dough

15 oz. canned tomato sauce
6 oz. canned tomato paste
2 tbsp beet pesto
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
oregano, to taste
basil, to taste
crushed black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
Whatever you wanna add; I used 1 cup of chopped mushrooms but you could easily add a non-vegetarian item
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil

1 cup low fat mozzarella, shredded
Whatever else you want! Turkey pepperoni and roasted zucchini are examples


1. Preheat oven to 350* F
2. Oil spray 10 muffin tins.
3. Press an individual refrigerated biscuit into the shape of the muffin tin. It will be approximate; just make certain that the sides of the muffin tin are covered with dough.
4. Bake biscuit dough pizza crusts for 3-5 minutes; remove and let cool.
5. While the pizza crusts are cooling, add 2 tsp olive oil to a pot over medium heat.
6. Once the oil is hot, add onion, garlic, basil, and oregano.
7. Saute onion mixture until transparent.
8. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms shrink in size.
9. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and beet pesto.
10. Let simmer for 10 minutes; stir occasionally.
11. Fill each biscuit dough pizza crust with sauce.
12. Top pizzas with 1-2 tbsp cheese and pizza toppings.
13. Bake pizzas at temperature stated biscuit dough package for 10-12 minutes.
14. Broil pizzas until cheese is brown.
15. Enjoy! Pairs well with green salad.

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