Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pizza Pot Pie

Recently we were watching a show ranking the top restaurants in the US when it came to cheese dishes.  Ranked #1 was a pizza pot pie invented by Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinders.  You can find a picture of the pizza pot pie on their website; it looks delicious!

One Sunday afternoon I decided to try my hand at homemade pizza pot pies and they turned out wonderfully.  I told myself the next time I made them I would write about it here, so you too can change up your pizza night sometime.  Our pizza and movie night are Fridays and I've been getting creative lately.  Last week we had Cornbread Pizza from here.  I'll warn you though; only go there when you have time because if you're anything like me you will be there for a very long time looking through the many recipes.

Pizza Pot Pie

4 cups flour (I used 1/2 all purpose flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour)
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp. instant dry yeast

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt (I only used 1/2 tsp. because we are trying to reduce sodium intake around here)

Mix all these ingredients into a bowl and stir them together until a sticky dough is formed.  Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm area for about 30 minutes. (I actually moved mine to another, slightly oiled bowl.)
Turn the dough out onto a floured area and knead with your hands about 5 to 10 times.  Divide the dough into 2-3 inch balls and roll the dough to about one half inch thick to make a circle slightly bigger than the bowl you'll be using.  You only need to make the number of portions you will be serving (plus maybe a couple extra for leftovers!).  You will have quite a bit of dough left over; I roll it out and spread with olive oil, garlic and cheese for cheesy breadsticks.

Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy Center
Cheese (last time I used sliced mozarella, this time I had shredded on hand.  I would have preferred the sliced cheese again but I was too lazy to go to the store.)

Your choice of pizza toppings.  We used:
olives, mushroom, pepperoni and leftover beef meatballs
pizza sauce

The source of the pizza sauce is up to you.  You can buy a jar of pre-made sauce, make some quick homemade sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic and spices or make full fledged homemade sauce with fresh tomatoes.  I did the full fledged homemade sauce earlier in the week when we had meatball hoagies so I used the leftover sauce from that as well as the cut-up meatballs for pizza toppings.  (The first time I made this I used turkey sausage flavored with italian seasoning instead of the ground beef.)

While you wait for the crust to rise, assemble the ingredients you'll use in your pizza pot pie.  Cook any ingredients that need to be, such as the meat and warm up the sauce.  Using a well greased bowl that can go into the oven layer the ingredients from bottom to top:

Make sure the rim of your bowl is greased, then lay your rolled pizza crust over the top.  Make sure you fully cover the rim of the bowl and then pinch up the bottom so it isn't touching the pan, otherwise that will burn.  Transfer your bowls to a baking sheet and place in a preheated 400 degree oven.  Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden.  Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes.

Now the fun part.

Flip your bowl upside down so the crust is now on the plate, run a thin knife around rim of bowl and carefully lift off.  

Results with this version- The first time I made it I used a homemade yeast roll recipe for the crust instead of a traditional pizza crust recipe.  I personally liked the roll crust better but most of the family liked the pizza crust version better.  

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