Steakhouse Flatbread Pizzas

I was wanting to make his & hers pizzas. I don’t eat beef and Mr. J isn’t into mushrooms so this was the perfect time for individual pizzas. I was really into the idea of buttery mushrooms with a really good cheese. Being pregnant means only pasteurized cheeses and I had envisioned fontina but couldn’t find one labeled as such. I figure they are, but I’m not taking any chances. I found some asiago (labeled as pasteurized) and thought that would be good.

Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
I had some naan pieces from Trader Joe’s which made really great individual pizzas.

Ingredients:

Pizza dough/flatbread/pita bread
1/4 red onion, chopped
3 tbs cream cheese
2 tbs milk
1 tbs garlic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 oz shiitake or portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup mozzarella
1 cup asiago

Directions:

Saute chopped onions in olive oil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until soft and lightly browned.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
Mix up the cream cheese, milk, garlic, garlic powder, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat until it starts to foam. Add in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
Spread the flatbreads with the cream cheese sauce, then mozzarella and asiago.
Add onions and mushrooms on top.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
Sprinkle remaining asiago on top.
Bake 5-10 minutes at 350-degrees until toasted and the cheese melts.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
Enjoy!

I loved this one. The mushrooms were buttery and paired perfectly with the asiago.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
Mr. J grilled some marinated steak tips and sliced it for the pizza. His started with the same flatbread, cream cheese sauce, mozzarella and asiago cheese mixture, onions, then topped with sliced steak.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
These individual pizzas were topped with what we each like. These are a great to really customize for separate preferences but would also be a great way to use small amounts of leftovers.

Chicken Ranchero Pizza

A family favorite from our town “house of pizza” is the Chicken Ranchero. It is almost hard to order anything else from there. After 2.5 years of eating this favorite pizza, I decided to recreate it at home.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Ranchero Pizza
Ingredients:
pizza dough
2 chicken breasts or chicken thighs
3 tbs ranch dressing mix
4 strips of bacon
3 tbs ranch dressing
6 oz shredded mozzarella

Directions:
Preheat the oven and a pizza stone, if using one, to 400-degrees.
Pan fry the chicken until cooked through, then remove from the pan and shred. Return to the pan and reduce heat to low. Add ranch dressing mix and a drip of water.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Ranchero Pizza
Roll out the pizza dough until 1/4 inch thick. Spread it onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Poke a few holes with a fork.
Bake for 5 minutes until lightly cooked.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Ranchero Pizza
While the dough is cooking, chop each bacon slice into 1/4 inch strips and pan fry until crisp, but until 75% cooked (it crisps more in the oven.
Top the pizza dough with ranch dressing, then cheese, then add the chicken.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Ranchero Pizza
Top with bacon, then another sprinkle of ranch mix is optional, lastly a last sprinkle of cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Ranchero Pizza
Bake 10 minutes until crust is crisp and cheese melts.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Ranchero Pizza
This was a great one. Bacon on any pizza is a winner, but this has some great tried and true flavors that are beautifully uncomplicated. I’m glad I didn’t junk it all up trying to add too many things to it.

I used chicken thighs mostly because it was what I could find in the house, but I think it was a good choice because it didn’t get too dried out. Rotisserie chicken would also stay moist and would speed up the cooking time.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Ranchero Pizza

Breakfast Flatbread with Everything Bagel Spices

I was still on the quest for a great breakfast pizza. This time, I decided to hard boil the egg and feature the sausage and cheese with the seasoning of an everything bagel. Bagel pizzas would actually be great for this!

The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Flatbread

I’ve made a few breakfast pizzas, but today’s might be the best. I made this one way back when with eggs dropped on top. I made this one with a hashbrown crust. I made this one with scrambled eggs.

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough
3 tbs cream cheese with chives
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
6 breakfast sausage links
3 eggs, hardboiled
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp dried onion

Directions:

Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400-degrees.
Pan fry the sausage links until cooked through. Drain, then slice into 3-4 pieces per link.
Roll out pizza dough with a little flour until 1/4 inch thick.
Spread cream cheese on top.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Flatbread
In a dry, flat pan, toast the spices over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Flatbread
Top with cheese, sausage, chopped hard boiled eggs, and toasted spices.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Flatbread
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the thin crust is crisp.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Flatbread
Top with chopped chives or green onions.

I loved this one. I hadn’t done a crust this thin before but this was thanks to Mr. J to roll it out while I prepped the toppings. It was nice to have the cracker thin crunch to keep it a bit lighter. I used half the dough I normally use. Instead of sauce I used just a touch of cream cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Flatbread

What I Ate: Taco Pizza

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Add one to the successful pizza-dough alternatives! Making pizza on a tortilla is super easy and is like instant pizza. This is suuuuch a fast pizza and was a great use for a few small leftovers. I had a very small amount of ground chicken in the freezer and a few tortillas hanging around. It had tacos written all over it, but then I figured open faced tacos are taco pizza! This could adapt pretty easily to quesadilla pizza as a stacked tortilla: cheese: tortilla: cheese: toppings. I went lighter (and easier).

The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza

It was a hit and definitely didn’t seem like the burrito ingredients that had been dinner before.

Ingredients:

1/4 pound ground chicken/pork/turkey/beef
1 tbs taco seasoning (or a mix of dried garlic, chili powder, cumin & black pepper)
1 cup refried beans
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 8″ tortillas
1 tomato
1-2 sprigs of green onion
salsa

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Heat a flat pan to medium heat.
Brown the ground meat, drain, and add taco seasoning.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
While the meat is cooking, bake the tortillas on a baking sheet for 2 minutes on each side just to get a tiny bit crunchy so the toppings don’t make it soggy.
Then spread on the refried beans and a sprinkle of taco seasoning.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
Add the cheese, ground meat, chopped tomatoes.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the tortilla gets crunchy.
Sprinkle with green onions and salsa. Slice, and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
The beans on here absolutely take it from basic quesadilla to the next level. This taco pizza is a super quick dinner and uses such a small amount of ground meat. This is leftover central at it’s finest. The remaining refried beans can easily freeze until the next burrito/taco pizza time. The crispy tortilla is great and it fulfilled my “need” for Mexican.

You could top this with any cheese you had around (Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, mozzarella, a mixture) , any veggies you have around (like corn, green peppers, green chili, etc), and top with any taco fillers you choose (like sour cream, black beans, avocado, guacamole, etc). The possibilities are endless and are an easy build-your-own.

This is dinner in 30 minutes, without running around like Rachael Ray.

I have made taco pizza as a regular pizza which was awesome, but this was a bit easier.
taco_crust_slice_590_390

Other dough-less pizzas I’ve made:
Bacon & Pear Flatbreads on Pita Bread
French Bread Pizza
Bubble Up BBQ Pizza
Bruschetta Pizza on Naan

What I Ate: Bacon & Pear Flatbread

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

This pizza-ish flatbread was inspired by a spur-of-the-moment trip to Sky to share some flatbreads. This is proof that pizza isn’t rocket science and you can make it yourself easily. I know dough can be a pain for some people so I’ve been making sure some of my pizzas use an alternative base. These were really quick and I rarely use other cheeses but the cheddar was a fun flavor for this one.

I used pita pocket-y things. They’re puffier than Mediterranean pitas and are a great quick pizza option. They are easier than dough annnnnd it is perfectly portion controlled.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pear Flatbread

Ingredients:

2 flatbread pita pockets
1 pear
2 slices of bacon
1 cup cheddar, shredded

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Pan fry the bacon until crisp.
Top the pitas with cheese, chopped pear, and bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pear Flatbread

Bake 10-15 minutes, until cheese melts and pita gets gently toasted.
Top with chopped green onions.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pear Flatbread
These were great. They are how to make dinner quickly…like 30-minutes quick. The cheddar with the pear, with the bacon is so great.

Some of my other pizza-dough alternatives are:
French Bread Pizza
Bubble Up BBQ Pizza
Bruschetta Pizza on Naan

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

So, you know how the 70s are back in full force via fondue? Well, I had a fondue party errr. maybe it was a party where we ate fondue. Then I made some up again since the party was a “girls gathering” and Mr. J didn’t get any. So 2nd time around, I had leftovers. It seemed like something I should keep and use wisely since it is ohh so delicious (and the price of fancy cheese isn’t going down anytime soon). I split the leftovers into 2 containers and froze it.

Then it got to come alive again. I was thinking how it could be used again, and duhh. I had leftover steamed broccoli and leftover cheese fondue in the freezer. Pizza!

Ingredients:

pizza dough
1 1/2 cups broccoli (steamed, roasted, or raw, as you like it)
1 cup cheese fondue (or cheese sauce, or alfredo sauce) warmed slightly.
3 chicken tenders
8 oz shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Cook the chicken and broccoli, if needed.
Spread the pizza dough onto at hot pan or pizza stone before poking a few holes into it.
Bake 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule
Spread or spoon the fondue onto the crust.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Then sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
Next add broccoli florets and pieces of chicken.
Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Remove from the oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
This was so good. I used breaded chicken tenders because they’re so quick and easy. They could cook while the pizza stone was preheating. The fondue acting as my “alfredo” sauce, and broccoli both were rescued & frozen after fondue.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
The touch of mustard from the fondue is really great here. The flavors are subtle, but decadently cheese, plus the juicy chicken, and the broccoli freshness…ahhh! It’s all you need.

Fondue is fun and the price of the cheeses definitely made me want to use the leftovers. This could have easily become pasta, or calzone (like I made eons ago), or into lasagna, or become cheesy garlic bread. The possibilities are endless for cheese sauce. I have one more leftover use ahead. Stay tuned! Have leftovers “left” you inspired to make something else lately?

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza

I love all veggies roasted. Seriously, roasting is the best. all. the. time. I made pizza last year with butternut squash, bacon, and gouda but this time I kept the roasted squash in chunks and I used ricotta as “sauce”. While I haven’t seen it in person, the menu at Otto has a pizza with butternut squash, ricotta, and cranberry. I wonder how theirs is so I started with just those ingredients….somewhat. It was so good.

The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash Cranberry Pizza

I really loved the slightly rehydrated dried berries. I was trying with contain myself and not go overboard (umm unlike when I made this salad) actually wished I had more! I also unearthed a million partial bags of dried cranberries. I guess I need to use them more often. I used dried cranberries that were infused with blueberry juice. They taste like blueberries but are actually cranberries. Whatever. They’re cranberries pretending to be blueberries.
The Three Bite Rule - Roasted Butternut Squash Cranberry Pizza

Ingredients:

Pizza dough
1 1/2 cup ricotta
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1/3 cup dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins, cherries
2 tbs butter
1 tsp garlic, minced

Directions:

Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Roast the butternut squash drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping once while cooking the dough.
The Three Bite Rule - Roasted Butternut Squash Cranberry Pizza
Spread the pizza dough out and poke a few holes into the dough.
Cook the dough for 10-15 minutes until lightly cooked.
Remove from the oven and spread ricotta onto the dough. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash and Cranberry Pizza
Spoon roasted squash onto the pizza.
Return to the oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the crust browns a bit.
In a small pot, melt butter and garlic over medium heat.
When it starts to gently bubble, add in the dried berries. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash and Cranberry Pizza

Once the pizza is cooked, remove from the oven and spoon the butter/garlic/berry sauce over the top.
Let sit about 2 minutes before slicing.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash Cranberry PizzaEnjoy!

I loved this. I think the garlicky, buttery, and fruity flavors were perfectly contrasted against the nutty and salty squash.
The Three Bite Rule - Roasted Butternut Squash Cranberry Pizza
This pizza would be great if you were making a few pizzas. It might not be everyone’s first choice for pizzas but I swear, try the garlic/butter/rehydrated berries on the pizza before you knock it.

Suggested adaptations:
roasted butternut squash pizza + caramelized onions + toasted walnuts = super topped pizza
roasted butternut squash pizza – ricotta + other cheeses (fontina, gouda, swiss) – dried berries = more flavor if dried fruit isn’t your thing
roasted butternut squash pizza + sliced chicken sausage or chopped prosciutto = non-vegetarian pizza

What I Ate: Pizza Grilled Cheese

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I love grilled cheeses packed with all sorts of crazy stuff in ‘em. Enter: pizza stuffed grilled cheese. I had a few extra ingredients to a basic grilled cheese with some marinara for dipping. It was a super fast dinner without any leftovers clogging up the fridge. I appreciated the use of some ingredients getting put to good use.

The Three Bite Rule - Pizza Grilled Cheese
Pizza fillings:
american cheese
mozzarella cheese
chopped basil
sliced pepperoni

So good. Many of these items were lasagna leftovers (post coming soon!). Saving even small bits of something comes in handy, especially for instances such as this! This was super comforting with great flavor.

suggested adaptations:
grilled cheese + tomato slices + basil leaves/pesto spread = caprese grilled cheese
grilled cheese + ricotta schmered in there + tomato sauce spread inside = lasagna grilled cheese
grilled cheese + pepperjack + avocado slices + salsa to dip = nacho grilled cheese
seriously, the possibilities are endless.

Some other grilled cheeses I’ve loved:
Grilled cheese with balsamic onions
Grilled cheese with bacon and peach compote
Grilled cheese with breaded eggplant and pesto

Neapolitan Margherita Pizza & Pizza Tips

I figure you need some non-Thanksgiving-y foods this week. Did ya miss me? I took Black Friday off from blogging…not for shopping, but Thanksgiving week is suuuuper busy at work and my poor puppy Windsor had a lot of seizures on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

I wanted to talk pizza today. I make it all the time but figured I was due to share some tips. I fell further in love with pizza on a stop in Italy to Naples on my honeymoon. I really didn’t love Naples but the pizza made it all worth it.

honeymoon_nap_pizza_390_590

Seriously. Look at that! Doesn’t get much better. I don’t pretend that this can be exactly replicated but it is such a good one to make at home. Try this tomato “sauce” and you’ll love it. I never make pizza without it.

Ingredients:

ball of refrigerated pizza dough
1 1/2 cups Pastene kitchen ready crushed tomatoes
8 oz fresh mozzarella
8 basil leaves

Directions:

Preheat oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400 degrees.
Gently start working the pizza dough in your hands, flattening it out. Slowly, with patience, it will grow in size as your hands warm it. Carefully work the edges to make it bigger and to avoid getting holes or too-thin crust in the middle.
Place the flattened dough onto the pizza stone, or hot pizza pan. Reshape if needed. The bottom will cook a bit keeping it from shrinking right in front of you.
The Three Bite Rule - Margherita Pizza
Poke a few holes with a fork into the crust. It stops it from bubbling up too much.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. It should be slightly cooked and not sticky to the touch.
Top with tomato sauce spreading it evenly and far enough to the edges to leave some room for the crust to hold it in. Then add slices of mozzarella.
marg_pizza_topped2_590_390
Brush the crust with some olive oil for a shiny brown crisp look (optional).
Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Set a timer and look at the pizza to decide when it is cooked enough for your liking. The pre-cook step helps it be cooked through by the end.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with basil.
The Three Bite Rule - Margherita Pizza
Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

I love margherita pizza. The mozzarella and basil make it just so amazing. I was so happy to make this simple pizza and pair it with some pinot noir. Love.
The Three Bite Rule - Margherita Pizza
I’ve found that the fresh mozzarella sold in the diary case, by the cream cheese & ricotta, works so much better than the wetter mozzarella balls sold in the produce or cheese cases. These dairy section blocks of mozzarella are drier, easier to slice, and hold up better to the oven than the softer mozzarella from the produce or cheese area that I would prefer to use for caprese salads. If that’s confusing just grab both and look at them in the store. This will all make a lot more sense in-person.

Top 5 Pizza Tips:

1) If you make pizza regularly, get a pizza stone. The first time the crust might stick but it has been fool-proof ever since.
2) Pre-cook the crust without any toppings to get it started with a 10-ish minute head start. This keeps it doughy and slightly crisp without being raw. This also helps avoid the toppings getting overcooked.
3) Try using fewer ingredients, but better quality ingredients. (insert: Pastene Kitchen Ready tomatoes)
4) Get the oven really hot, like 400-degrees hot.
5) Don’t try to assemble then move the pizza. Assemble & top it on the pizza stone/pizza pan you are baking on. Pizza from the floor does not taste as good.

Pizza with Eggplant Spread and Zucchini

I was thinking about pizza with tapenade but happened upon a Mediterranean eggplant spread.  I thought it would be a great spread on pizza or as a sauce. Pre-made jarred sauces are great pizza toppings.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant & Zucchini Pizza

Ingredients:

1 ball pizza dough
1 cup eggplant and garlic spread (or tapanade, or roasted red pepper spread)
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 small zucchini
1 tbs garlic, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400 degrees.
Spread pizza dough out onto a pan/stone poking a few holes with a fork.
Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned and not fully cooked.
eggplant_sauce_dough_590_390
Spread eggplant spread onto the dough.
The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant & Zucchini Pizza
In a large skillet, saute zucchini and garlic over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes and then remove from the heat.
Sprinkle pizza crust with mozzarella, and spoonfuls of ricotta.

eggplant_sauce_toppings_590_390
Spoon zucchini onto the pizza as well.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant & Zucchini Pizza
Bake for 10-15 more minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini still has some texture.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant & Zucchini Pizza
Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant & Zucchini Pizza
It was really good and had some different flavors. I loooove ricotta on pizza or in calzones. It’s such a light cheese with some creaminess.

Tapenade, or pesto, blended roasted red peppers, or spreads are great for pizzas. I used some zucchini but eggplant or butternut squash would be good too. If pizza dough isn’t your thing then make this on naan, pitas, or flatbread.

What else would be a good fall pizza?