Friday, January 4, 2013

Those Pesky Things . . . .

    Leftovers - In many cases the epitome of frustration when you are trying to figure out what to make for supper and find that, not only does your pantry seem unnaturally bare, but the only thing you have in the fridge are random containers that hold tiny little blobs of this and that, barely large enough for a snack, let alone an entire meal!
We all have them . . .or, I suppose I'm assuming we all have them. If you don't I would love to hear your secret!

For those of us who suffer from Leftover-ism:
Have no fear! Most of those leftovers (barring soup, that is) can be made into one incredibly yummy baked goodness. This particular form of food seems to be very forgiving; accepting anything from leftover stir-fry to thick beef stew, or simply a bit of cheese topped with that leftover salad that wouldn’t stretch far enough to feed your entire family.
What is this wonderful food?

We eat quite a lot of pizza in our house, as it is a favorite of everyone. We each have our favorite kinds and usually stick to just a couple different variations.
However, on those nights when we really want pizza, or supper time has rolled around with nothing planned on, we will often turn to the fridge, rooting around in the various containers to see what sort of leftovers we have. Depending on what they are they will either be turned into a) An Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Casserole, or b) An Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Pizza!

Last night happened to be the latter.
We wanted pizza, but didn't particularly feel like making one of our standby recipes. Besides, our fridge was currently holding some leftover beef roast and roasted potatoes. Sounded like a pretty good start to a yummy pizza, and everything was already cooked so, other than the crust, it wouldn't take as long to prepare as it would have if I wanted Steak Pizza and had to start with raw beef.

First things first, pizza dough needed to be mixed up and set to rising. Over the past couple of years we have gathered a couple pizza dough recipes that we like. I have begun to realize that pizza dough is just one of those recipes that takes a long, long time to find the Perfect one. We've gotten close, and enjoy the ones we have, but so far I don't know that we've found the absolute perfect pizza dough recipe.
However, turning to my lovely, shiny new cookbook that I received for Christmas, I mixed up the dough that we had tried once before and enjoyed.
The thing I particularly like about this recipe is that the author of the book provided two; the Quicky Method, and the Leisurely Method. While the Leisurely is one of those In-the-fridge-overnight type of recipes, the Quicky takes about 45 minutes to go from mixing to raised and ready to use.
I love quick dough recipes.

    While the dough was rising I asked Chickadee to mix up a batch of barbecue sauce. . . . which I might have shared with you, if it weren't for the fact that my life would be in extreme peril if I dared such a thing.
She started mixing up her Special Recipe of sauce while I began shredding the beef (which is just a fancier term for what was basically tearing it up because that was easier than trying to use a knife and fork), cubing the potatoes, and slicing up onions.

The attempt of caramelized onions didn’t work very well. . . . probably because I don’t know how to do them and was already halfway through and couldn't look it up. So what I ended up with would most likely be described as, for lack of a better description, toasted onions.

    Once everything was chopped, sliced, torn, and mixed up it was all dumped together and mixed up to create the topping for our pizza.

Topping ready it was now time to fetch the pizza dough.
 The dough for this recipe is really nice and soft. 
 I don't think I added enough water to this particular batch, because it was a bit stiff and didn't create as puffy a crust as it did last time. So I guess if you want a thin, crunchy crust, you can get that really easily by using dough that is just a tad drier than it normally should be.
We're almost done!
Because I wasn't sure the meat mixture had gotten enough sauce I spread out a thin layer of barbecue over the crust, then dumped the topping on and spread it out. 
After a generous sprinkling of cheese it was all ready for the oven!
It took longer to cook than anticipated, so next time I think I will up the oven temperature and see what that does to it.
   And there you have it! A Barbecued Beef pizza made of leftovers! Or, you know, almost entirely leftovers. It tastes yummy, stretches food you already have in your fridge, and frees up space all at the same time!

We would love to hear how you all like to use or 'reconstitute' your leftovers!

P.S. I didn't even include the other pizza we made because . . . well, it was somewhat of a flop.
We have discovered that when you mix powdered ranch dressing with some mayonnaise it makes really, really yummy base when spread over your pizza crust before the toppings get put on.
Normally it turns out great. Last night, however, we somehow didn't manage to put enough Ranch in the mayonnaise . . . which meant it ended up tasting like a whole lot of hot mayo . . .

1 comment:

  1. Miriam made leftover pizza last week. I didn't try it. She included some leftover rice, fajitas (okay if she would've stopped here), but then she spread some gravy on top. Uh, it disappeared but not my style. Fun to hear that some other house makes leftovers pizzas too! Yours looks really good!