COMPANY’s COMING! Or in this case, company came yesterday. My oldest nephew from Minnesota was visiting his baby brother who stayed in Maryland after finishing college. They came for lunch yesterday with baby brother’s girlfriend. The crazy cooking extravaganza started very early!
Normally when I have out of town guests, especially the midwestern variety, I make Crab Cakes a la Paula. I couldn’t do that yesterday because 43% of those I was feeding have a shellfish allergy. Miss Manners would have personally come to my house to smack me with a cast iron pan.
Instead, I decided to make Cheeseburger Pizza. Those of you who also attended Glen Lake Elementary School, or perhaps other schools in District 270 in Hennepin County, MN may remember the hamburger bun pizzas we got for lunch on occasion. They were hamburger buns with meat sauce and cheese. They are the only school lunch I remember. I loved them. I have recreated them from time to time for my kids. Serving them gives me an opportunity to share a memory from my childhood with them.
Prepared Pizza Dough – I used the King Arthur Flour Pizza Dough. You will need to double this.
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
Garlic to taste
Italian seasoning – I used about 1 tsp
half an onion, chopped
2 cups pizza sauce
small can of tomato paste
1 cup parmesan
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar
1. Start your dough if you’re making it yourself. You will want to do the three rise method. One rise in the bowl. Punch it down. Rise again. Roll it out and put it in the pan. Top. Rise. Bake. More on this later.
2. After you’ve set your dough to rise, brown the ground beef.
3. Add the garlic, onion and seasoning and cook until the onion is translucent.
4. Add the pizza sauce and tomato paste. Stir. Heat until warm.
5. Stir in the parmesan.
6. Roll out your dough so it is a large rectangle that will fit in a quarter sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed around the edge with cooking spray.
7. Flop that dough in the pan and stretch it to meet all four sides.
8. Spoon on the sauce.
9. Top with the cheese.
10. Let rise for another 20 minutes or so.
11. Bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes until the crust and cheese are golden brown.
Eleven steps. Fussy, I know. And that doesn’t even include preparing the dough. Please believe me when I tell you it was worth every step. And no picture of the final cooked product. With all the excitement, I forgot to get one after I took it out of the oven!
We had a wonderful lunch, and it was fun to talk about the origins of this pizza and hear some of my nephews’ childhood memories. You never know. You may be seeing Webster Magnet School Italian Dunkers in this space sometime soon!