Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pizza & Pies to Cross Your Eyes

I am on a constant search for easy meals with undeniably great flavor but really, what modern meal maker isn't? In my particular case, I work days and my boyfriend Pete works nights. Some times I make meals he heats up when he gets in after midnight, but sometimes I like to throw something together nice and hot for him on the spot (he deserves it)! While I am on the lookout for new 'quick-n-easys', having a few go-to dishes you know like the back of your hand such as cheesy chorizo and rice with cilantro or my famous original Philly cheeses teaks, or the meal one featured in this post:
Boboli Pizza Creations

Boboli Pizza Creations started with my dad's own Mexican pizza. It's so simple it's astonishingly and delicious! First, preheat to 350. Take a schmear (that's a technical term) of cream cheese and spread it around. Go light or generous, but not too generous. Too much cheese makes a moist crust and that is a total bummer. Next, take about 2-3 tblsp. Hormel Chili No Beans (or with beans if you don't mind) and spread it on top of the cream cheese.

Mexican Pizza
My twist on the fam favorite is halving fresh jalapeno slices and tossing those around on the chili no beans before spreading any cheddar-jack cheese you got. In this picture, I only had mozzarella which works just fine too. The second real key to great pizza is sprinkling the cheese all the way to the edge. When the cheese melts, it binds all the toppings to the crust just like in the sausage and double cheese below:

Sausage & Double Cheese Pizza w/side of sausage & onions
Bake these beautiful pies at 350 for 25-35 minutes until you've got a nice crispy brown. There we have it! Two small Boboli pizzas will most definitely feed two young professionals late night, but wait-see that lil' bugger back there? What is in that small, orange cup fabu thrift store find are the leftovers from the sausages I fried up with extra virgin olive oil and onions for the pizza topping. Pete is like me, half-Irish and half-Italian and I know that even his sausage double cheese pizza as well as some of my Mexican pizza aren't going to fill him up, so why not make a side out of a pizza topping? This idea can really work with any veggie or protein pizza topping of your choice, hot or cold, and makes sure to fill up even the hungriest of eater.

Switching gears from 'quick-n-easys' to involved and intimate, I bring you artichoke pie!!! I ate my first artichoke pie, I'm sorry to be correct, Uncle Louie's Artichoke Pie when Mr. T (Pete's Dad) prepared it for one of weekly meals recently. I was dumbstruck when I devoured two slices instantly. Fluffy and light yet so rich in flavor, it's complexity was as moving as symphony. Shortly following that life changing event, my very last graduate class decided to end the semester with a pie party. "Let them have pie!" my professor often shouted, and we did. My classmates brought in lots of amazing sweet pies. That night as I tried my first buttermilk pie as well as strawberry rhubarb so it's not like education wasn't achieved that evening. Whiel all the sweet pies were t-a-s-t-y tasty, I dared to be different and brought the only savory pie; my first attempt at the glorious artichoke pie.

Artichoke Pie

In the words of the Borat, "Great success!" All my classmates really enjoyed it and most had never had or heard of artichoke pie. The only folly of this dish was an Islam classmate of my mine took a few bites before realizing that prosciutto is Italian ham and she doesn't eat pork. Doh!


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