Monday, May 12, 2008

Personal Pizzas....or, Have it Your Way!

Dinner at our house tonight was a marriage of two things I love: Costco and Cooks Country Magazine.

One thing I always look forward to in Cooks Country is the recipe card insert they have every month. There are eight cards with a simple but delicious recipe on one side, and a photo of said recipe on the back. I've made many of these recipes over the past year or so and for simple recipes, most of them have been pretty good.

A DamFam favorite is the French Bread Pizza recipe. I've made it many times, but never posted about it because I think of it as sort of a no-brainer -- I mean, who needs instructions to make French Bread Pizzas? But since I'm all about kid friendly (and the few people who read this blog are too), I decided to tell you about it. Also, there's an interesting little twist you'll see when you read the recipe.
Perfect for personal pizzas are these delicious ciabatta sandwich rolls (squares!) that I love to buy at Costco. If I time my shopping trip right, I'll find a bag that's still warm and toasty from the oven. I slice the tops off and freeze them for another day; usually I grind them up in my Cuisinart and use their crumbs for meatloaf or meatballs. The bottoms are of course the 'crust' for our pizzas.
Since the five of us cannot agree on much of anything with regard to food, these pizzas are a perfect option. I made tomato, basil, and mozzarella for myself and my husband, plain sausage for one, sausage and pepperoni for another, sausage and olives (ONLY GIVE ME SEVEN OLIVES, MOM!) for another. The rest I just got creative with, and there are enough leftovers for R to take for lunch tomorrow. Whipped up a big garden salad, and voila....dinner was on the table and no one was whining....not even me!

French Bread Pizzas
Serves: 5-6
Source: Cooks Country Magazine

1/4 c. olive oil
4 T. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large French baguette (or 8 Costco ciabatta sandwich rolls), halved lengthwise
3/4 c. (or so) Parmesan
1 c. tomato sauce (they recommend Contadina, which I like too)
An assortment of toppings - browned Italian sausage, pepperoni, olives, diced bell pepper, diced red onion, quartered grape tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella
Shredded mozzarella
Additional basil for garnish if desired

Preheat the oven to 475. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil. 2 T. fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds. Place bread (cut sides up) on a cookie sheet. Brush bread with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake bread for 3-4 minutes, or until Parmesan is starting to turn golden. Remove from oven.
Combine any remaining olive oil mixture with the tomato sauce. Divide the sauce mixture over the bread, spreading evenly. Top with the shredded mozzarella, and then with your toppings of choice. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pizzas are hot throughout. Remove to a platter and serve.


RecipeGirl said...

What a great idea! I'm thinking that I'll take that idea with me on our family vacation this summer:) It's hard to please everyone.

Kitchen Goddess said...

What a fabulous idea, so delicious looking. Yum!

Peter M said...

Leah, it's a wonderful idea...everyone gets what they want and the kids get to have fun in helping make the pizza!

This is also a great party idea.

Prudy said...

How fun! I know my kids would love to make these this weekend. Me too.

Krysta said...

oh yes! i love the 'only give me seven olives on my pizza please' i seriously look at my kids like are effing with me? we had pizza last night also.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

I love ciabatta...I use it for my paninis all the time. These look so tasty. I so miss Costco. I haven't had one since we lived in CA back in 2003. They were building one when we left Omaha in 2007 and we don't have one in Little Rock. Costco is da'bomb. My Maxwell's favorite number is he would only want 5 black olives. He loves black olives.

Patsyk said...

I love those pizzas! Everyone can be satisfied without having to listen to complaining that I won't make them something different from the rest of the family. Gotta love that!

Vicarious Foodie said...

These look really great! I love the idea of making individual ones so that everyone can have exactly what they want.

Abby said...

Fab idea! I'll need kid-friendly meals in my near future, and we're big on Costco. I've never seen that bread around here, but I'm going to look closer next time I'm there!

Abby said...

Thanks for the note, Leah!

My dad's side of the family is from Union, S.C. and Columbia, S.C., so I'm familiar with your "home"! My grandmother, great aunt and some cousins went to Winthrop (but I strayed from the flock to become a Tarheel!)

We're excited about our little boy. My sister had a girl in February, and she was the first grandchild for my parents, but my mom is thrilled to have one of each to play with!

Renaedujour said...

I love Costco TOO! Yay!

EAT! said...

I love those ciabatta rolls - great idea for the pizzas. i usually use long loaves of bread, but yours look more fun!!

Aggie said...

Looks delish!

Just discovered your blog, its great!

Janna said...

Great idea and great for a party too! Perfect little on the fly dinner menu!

eBeautyBlog said...

Hi, I found your blog while searching for cooking blogs. I love this idea. I'm going to try it soon. thanks