Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Foodie Files

I made a fabulously healthy lunch the other day for a beautiful friend who happens to be on a very strict (and- thankfully- very temporary) diet.  No flour or sugar allowed- talk about a challenge!  At my Mom’s suggestion, I decided to make a homemade chicken and vegetable soup.  The good news is it ended up being as tasty as it was healthy.  The bad news is I sort of threw it together on the fly and don’t actually know what all went in it…which is pretty typical for my cooking, actually.  For me, the really great thing about The Foodie Files has been that it forces me to write down recipes that otherwise existed only in my head (at best).  So, even though I didn't quite catch that delicious and nutritious soup recipe, there's certainly hope that it'll make it on The Foodie Files one day after all (I'll give it another try soon- promise).  For now, I hope you enjoy this non-healthy but equally scrumptious original recipe for a trio of inside out bite sized "pizzas".  They're a variation of my Nonnie's world famous pizza frita, which has been one of my very favorite treats since I can remember.

I started by deciding to make three different pizza-esque bites.  Even though I was trying to replicate a pizza-like taste, I made an executive decision to forgo the tomato sauce in an effort to keep the mess level down to a minimum.  After tasting the final product, I think I made the right call.

The first thing I did was decide what I wanted my "filler" ingredients to be.  Again, based on what I found in my fridge, I narrowed things down to a pepperoni and mozzarella cheese bite, a spinach, artichoke and feta cheese bite and a sage and sun dried tomato goat cheese bite.  


Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lb. Pizza Dough (I cheated and bought mine fresh from Trader Joe's)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Finely Chopped Garlic
Fresh Baby Spinach
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Goat Cheese
Sun Dried Tomatoes

To prepare your fillers, brown a little chopped garlic then saute a very full handful of Spinach.  Mix in some segmented artichoke hearts (which should also be cut up) and set it aside.  Next tackle the goat cheese.  I cut up about ten medium-sized sage leaves and four large sections of sun dried tomatoes into small pieces then mixed about 3oz of goat cheese right in.  The pepperoni doesn't require any prep at all.

Next, start the filling process.  I used portions of dough about the size of one pepperoni and about half-an-inch thick.  Getting the right amount of dough requires a slight bit of a trial and error, but the objective is to have enough to encase your ingredients without much excess.  Cover two pepperoni with mozzarella cheese and place them on top of your piece of dough, then mold the dough over the filling.  Repeat this process with your portioned spinach, artichoke and Feta cheese and with your goat cheese mixture.  If your finished pieces have too much dough, just remove a bit from the outside...conversely, if lack of dough caused any holes, grab a pinch of dough from elsewhere and create a patch.

Cover the bottom of a saute pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and set heat at just above medium.  Continue flipping these delicious little bites until both sides are a lovely golden brown.  I tried to keep the three fillings separated so that when I served them to my roommates, they knew what they were biting into.

I served three to a person with a side salad and the response was overwhelmingly positive.  I ended up having extra dough and filler, so I let everyone pick their very favorite (spinach got the most votes, for the record) and made them each one more.  Everyone seemed to be full, but if you've got a particularly hungry crew, these might work best as a side item.  Now- mangia, mangia!


Anonymous said...

Nonnie would be proud!

Anonymous said...

These look incredible! I'm not sure I should have read this post while super-hungry!

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