I’ve blogged before about some of my favorite kitchen staples. Like most folks, certain items can be found in my fridge or freezer, no matter what the season.
Which brings me to one of my favorite quickie meals – pizza. And I’m not referring to 1-800-dominoes, or the kind you stick in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 450°. I’m talking about honest-to-goodness, homemade pizza, the quick and easy way.
A great start is to get in the habit of buying the mini, pre-made pizza crusts from your grocery store. I always have a package in my bread box — most brands package them in pairs. I also keep a jar of pizza sauce in the pantry (and usually also have an opened jar in the door of the refrigerator). Homemade pizza dough and marinara cooked from scratch would obviously be the finer choices, but with two kids under age five and a husband who is currently deployed out of the country, I’m not exactly in a homemade marinara kind of place right now. The store-bought variety of both are perfectly acceptable.
But that doesn’t mean my creation can’t take a walk on the gourmet side of life. Sure, my kindergartner likes to load up his pizza with mozzarella and mini pepperoni slices, and there’s nothing wrong with traditional pizza fare. But I prefer to be a bit more creative with my ingredients.
Other constant staples in my cocina are a wedge of Parmigiana Reggiano, a box of frozen spinach, a bag of frozen shrimp (of which I’ve previously sang the praises), frozen, cooked chicken fajita strips, mozzarella, and my trusty basil plant out in the back yard.
It’s a good idea to first brush your crust with a thin layer of olive oil. Then simply layer your ingredients as desired, and voila! Instant pizza. No need to rummage around under the couch cushions for spare tip change, and no need to pry apart frozen pepperoni pieces glued to mushrooms and onions with old freezer burned ice crystals.
But the best part is dining on delicious fresh pizza, made to order, on a busy night. It’s so under-appreciated, yet so easy to throw together.
Glass of wine or cold beer required.