Saturday, March 5, 2011

Personal-sized Pizzas

I love making personal pizzas using something like a tortilla, pita, or wrap as the base. They're easy, fast, and delicious! I got some "focaccia" flavored whole wheat wraps at Sprouts a while ago that I used to make that flat bread pizza for "appetizer night". These wraps are similar to Flat Out wraps and are from the company Damascus Bakeries. They have a bunch of flavors (even rye!) but I have only seen the granola and focaccia ones.
Although personal pizzas are simple, there is a strategy to making them. First, you want to set your oven or toaster oven to a really high heat. I'll sometimes but on broil or I might put it on 450. While it's preheating, pop your base (tortilla, wrap, pita, etc) into the oven right on the rack to toast up.
Now to prep the ingredients.
Go with whatever you want but keep in mind that wet ingredients and sauces can cause your ending pizza to be on the floppy side. I go sparingly on the base sauce, and pat wet things (like sliced tomatoes) with a paper towel to get rid of the excess moisture.
After all your ingredients are ready, take the base out of the oven and assemble. Place your pizza back in the oven on the rack (when I use the toaster oven) or on a cookie sheet (if I use the real oven).
If I have the patients, I'll turn the heat down to 350 and let it go a little longer so the cheese browns a bit on the top while the base crisps up (I hate floppy bases!). If I'm feeling a bit on the impatient side, I'll pop it under the broiler and let everything brown and melt really fast. Although this way is faster, the crust won't have time to crisp up as much on the bottom before it starts burning on the top. When I'm using the toaster oven and the pizza looks nice and browned on top and the sides start burning a little, I'll turn off the oven and let it sit in there for a couple minutes just to crisp up even more.

Okay, so not that simple, but its so worth it. (:

Besides that flat bread pizza, I've made a more traditional pizza with these wraps-
This one was on a school day, and since I didn't have a lot of time to make it I used the broil method. Crisp on the top, but not crisp enough on the bottom! Anyways, the toppings were:
-red pepper tomato sauce as the base
-2 leftover chicken italian meatballs from Costco, cut into quarters
-canned artichokes
-canned sliced black olives
-red bell pepper slices
-onion slices
-chopped pickled jalapeno slices (so good)
-steamed mushroom slices (faster than saute) 
-fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
SO YUMMY! The meatballs and jalapeno slices totally made this pizza. I really need to recreate this as a real pizza for dinner sometime!
I definitely had to blow my nose after this one.. the red pepper sauce, spicy meatballs, and jalapeno slices really added quite a kick!

Another pizza I enjoyed using these focaccia wraps was the classic "buffalo chicken" pizza!
I had more time making this one so I cooked it low and slow(ish). The crust was so crunchy and absolutely perfect! I also used a lot less cheese than the other one, and I liked it much better. Less cheese let the other flavors shine through and it wasn't as chewy.
Toppings were-
-a light coating of barbeque sauce as the base
-leftover roasted chicken pieces tossed in aforementioned barbeque sauce
-red onion slices
-tomato slices
-fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
-cilantro as garnish
  I don't think tomato slices are on the traditional buffalo chicken-style pizza, but they made a great addition to this one! All the flavors were so fresh and worked so well together!
My favorite personal pizza to date! And I've made some pretty dang good personal pizzas...
And now I'm sad because all of my focaccia wraps are gone ): Still got pitas and tortillas, though!

Speaking of tortillas, here's a really great tip that I found a long time ago from Tina's blog-
Tortillas make great pie crusts!
This is the same large, 100-calorie whole wheat tortillas that I used for my homemade Chipotle burritos. They fit perfectly into a 9-inch pie plate and are great for when you're making a quiche.
Depending on how "soggy" your filling will be (fillings with a lot of vegetables will probably excrete a lot of moisture) you might have to pre-bake your "crust" for a couple of minutes in the oven. Also, its a good idea to spray your pie dish with oil spray before laying your tortilla in there. If you don't have a large tortilla like this one, you can use a couple normal sized tortillas and just overlap them or cut them to form a crust.
This is a much healthier alternative to the fat-heavy crusts you typically see and is the easiest crust I have ever used. Much easier than store bought roll out crusts, even!

What's your favorite pizza combination?

No comments:

Post a Comment