Cheese Steak Pizza with Habanero Pesto Sauce

Cheese Steak Pizza

Cheese Steak Pizza

Yes, this is simply a pizza, but with a couple new ideas:

  • Mix minced habanero pepper into the sauce for an exciting bite!
  • Cook the pizza atop baking parchment, so you don’t need oil or cornmeal.

Note that I didn’t say this “Philly” Cheese Steak because I’m not getting into the whole Cheeze Whiz debate, nor am I putting that stuff on my pizza. I’m also aware that an Italian may want me crucified for adulterating basil pesto with habanero pepper. :)

This pizza was prepared with a crust from Trader Joe’s fresh white pizza dough topped with the following:

  • basil pesto (I used store-bought Trader Joe’s)
  • one fresh habanero pepper, seeded, deveined, and finely minced and mixed into pesto
  • swiss cheese
  • round steak, cooked in advance (with salt and pepper), cut into small, thin pieces
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • white button mushroom, sliced
  • sweet onion, cut into strips
  • green pepper, coarsely diced
  • pecorino romano cheese
  • dried oregano

This was baked in a 375-400° F oven for about 25 minutes.

Cheese Steak Pizza

Cheese Steak Pizza

I was pleased that I managed to make the crust rounder than my usual efforts. :)

Shrimp Calzone with Hoisin Sauce

Shrimp Calzone with Hoisin Sauce

Having bought pizza dough for two pizzas, my housemate and I decided to make one pizza and two calzones.

We divided one Trader Joe’s pizza dough into two equally-sized balls and stretched them out into somewhat round pieces on a lightly floured surface.

For this asian-fusion calzone, I used the following ingredients:

  • onion, small strips, lightly sautéed in olive oil
  • carrot, julienne or matchstick, lightly sautéed
  • Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • cooked shrimp, e.g., lightly sautéed, from raw, frozen
  • edamame beans, cooked, shelled (e.g., ready-to-eat from TJ’s)
  • garlic, finely sliced
  • hoisin sauce (optional inside)
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, finely shredded
  • olive oil

Place the filling ingredients atop the flattened dough, e.g., in the order above, then fold the crust over and pinch the edges to close.  (Use the hoisin sauce sparingly inside; it’s quite strongly flavored and typically you do not put sauce inside a calzone anyway.)

Brush the top lightly with olive oil, and top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

For an accompanying dipping sauce, simply mix the following to desired consistency and taste:

Bake calzones on parchment paper on a baking sheet, ~25 minutes at 425° F, until crust is golden brown, like the edges of a nice pizza crust.

Calzones made with Trader Joe’s pizza dough.

Making calzones was a nice alternative to pizza, and pretty convenient for lunch the next day.


Sourdough Bread Pizza and Acorn Squash with Swiss Chard

Sourdough Bread Pizza and Acorn Squash with Swiss Chard

Thanks to a visit to my friend’s community garden plot, I got some great veggies! Here I used the fresh oregano and sun gold tomatoes to make a sauce for the pizza topped with fresh basil; green swiss chard is mixed with the squash that had been on my countertop for at least 6 months!


Pita Pizza

Pita Pizzas

I’m temporarily drinking fake (non-alcoholic) beer, so perhaps some ersatz pizzas are in order!  These two were prepared in a toaster oven on pita bread brushed with olive oil:

  • BBQ sauce, garlic, swiss and Gruyère cheeses, applewood smoked bacon, white button mushroom, red onion, and jalapeno.
  • Kyopoolu (sauce), swiss and Gruyère, bacon, mushrooms, red onion, oregano, and fennel seed.
Which was better?  Hmm, both were awesome, it’s a tie.
An aside: I find Clausthaler Golden Amber and O’Doul’s Amber to be the most palatable of non-alcholic beers that are widely available in the states.