Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baked Potato Pizza

If that last recipe was the picture of health, then this one is its polar opposite. It's...I hesitate to type it...Baked Potato Pizza. Is it horrible that we had these two meals back to back in two nights? Now that I think of it, had I been on top of things, this would have been great to serve at a Super Bowl party. Inspired by a pizza we had at the wonderful Fong’s Pizza, it’s basically pizza crust + sour cream + cheese + potatoes + more cheese + butter + bacon, which = more calories than I'm willing to count. But we devoured it. The addition of a tomato and green onions is hardly redeeming, is it? And that whole wheat pizza crust? It’s there less for its health benefits than it is as a way to get all those delicious things into your mouth. To be honest, I think it could have used more tomato, but what I'm going to share with you is not a recipe, but more of a general idea of toppings with suggestions based on what I did, because I think we all know how to make pizza. I think that's how I'll go about it when it comes to pizza recipes, of which I have at least a few more in mind to share with you at some point. They're like this one, what Sam likes to call, "unique pizzas,” that is, they involve things like butternut squash, or arugula, or grapes, or cilantro, things you wouldn't normally find on top of a pizza crust. Sooner or later, you’ll probably figure out that I sometimes use pizza to get healthy things into my family that they wouldn't eat otherwise. But sometimes, I use it as an excuse to eat more bacon. This is obviously the latter.

Baked Potato Pizza

Serves 4-6

  • Pizza crust (I used a loaf of frozen bread dough—whole wheat [like it makes any difference], thawed, risen, and then pressed into an oiled cookie sheet—this makes a pretty big, thick-crust pan pizza, which is great for the hefty toppings. If you use a ready-made crust like Boboli, the amounts for the rest of the ingredients would probably make two pizzas.)
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) sour cream (I used Ranch & Dill, but Chive would also be good)
  • 8 oz. (about 2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz. (about 2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4-5 Small Russet potatoes, baked (I baked mine in the microwave—washed but not pricked, placed on a plate, HIGH for 3 minutes at a time, turning them over until tender all the way through)
  • Roma tomato, seeded if you like, and chopped (I used one, recommend 2 or more)
  • Garlic butter (I almost forgot, I used a container of Papa John’s garlic sauce we had leftover. It doesn’t really make sense to order a pizza just to get an ingredient to make a pizza, so you’ll probably have to make your own garlic butter by melting some butter and adding garlic powder/minced garlic and salt to taste.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bacon
  • Green onions or chives, chopped

Prepare whatever crust you’re using, spread it with sour cream, then sprinkle on about half the cheese. Slice the potatoes onto the pizza; don’t worry if they crumble, just get a pretty even layer of carb-y goodness. Add the tomato, then the rest of the cheese (yes, that’s two whole bags of shredded cheese total…it’s Baked Potato Pizza, you were expecting restraint?), and drizzle with garlic butter. Sprinkle with a little salt and plenty of black pepper. Into the oven it goes; while it bakes you can make the bacon. I don’t remember how much bacon I used, but I venture to say that if you make a whole package, it will not go uneaten. When I make homemade bacon bits, I like to chop up the bacon before I cook it. It’s so much simpler than fussing with individual strips you’re just going to crumble anyway. Just be sure to have a paper towel-lined plate ready, as the little pieces can go from perfectly crisp to burned in a moment if you’re not quick with the slotted spoon. When the pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with the bacon and some chopped green onions or chives, and don’t skimp on either of them. Slice and serve!

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