This month we have been working diligently to plan out our weekly lunch and dinner meals. We’ve been doing it for a variety of reasons: it gives our week some structure – no more wondering “what’s for dinner?” It helps with our grocery budget, and creating a shopping list. It helps us eat the food we already have on hand – we’re still working on some of the food stashed in the freezer that I made during my huge stock-the-freezer-before-the-baby-arrives cooking spree.
Today’s lunch was “grilled cheese & fruit” and dinner is “baked macaroni, broccoli & salad” (the baked mac is leftover from my pre-P cooking spree, it made enough for 10 so I divided it out into 4 portions of just over 2 1/2).
“Grilled cheese & fruit” sounded rather dull, so I decided to do something a little different: grilled pizza sandwiches.
In a recent pantry-clean-out I found several packs of pre-made pizza sauce. I’ve made pizza before, but it is too hot outside for me to want to crank up our oven to 450-500*F. So, how to make pizza in the middle of the summer without heating up the whole house?
I’ve made english muffin mini-pizzas before, but the english muffins always end up slightly soggy and the end result doesn’t taste all that great. I thought about making pizza quesadillas, but when I ran that idea past Gavin he vetoed it – apparently he’d tried back in Boston and found that flour tortillas don’t make good crust. So much for that idea.
So I looked around our kitchen to see what we had on hand: an untouched loaf of sourdough. Sourdough makes nice grilled cheese sandwiches, it holds up well and has good flavor, I decided to give it a try.
I liberally butted the bread, and then slathered on the pizza sauce. Freshly grated mozzarella and mini-pepperoni made up the filling, and it was all grilled to perfection in our cast iron skillet.
The end result was “very good” so good in fact I can “make it again!”
I’ve included a self-created recipe with approximate measurements and hopefully followable directions. It is a bit tricky to heft this sandwich into the skillet as stuff falls out, but it is well worth the effort and slightly buttery fingers.
Grilled Pizza Sandwiches
- 2 slices of bread (something sturdy, like sourdough)
- pizza sauce (2 tablespoons)
- mozzarella (1/2 a cup)
- pizza toppings
- Preheat skillet over medium heat.
- Generously butter one side of both slices of bread. Place both pieces of bread butter side down on cutting board, liberally spread both with 1 tablespoon pizza sauce.
- Top one piece of bread with 1/2 the mozzarella, add pizza toppings, add the rest of the mozzarella
- Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add 1 slice of cheese. Put the other piece of bread butter-side-up on top of sandwich.
- Grill until lightly browned, and the cheese has melted enough to hold the slices and toppings together. Flip over; continue grilling until bread is browned and cheese is melted to your satisfaction.
Please note, I did not use these precise measurements, I simply eyeballed it (and probably used more). We used freshly grated mozzarella and mini-pepperoni for our toppings. I also used a cast iron skillet and sandwich press.
And, yes, I know this probably won’t win any healthy eating awards, but it is quick, tasty, and probably better for you (and your budget) than ordering out or frozen convenience pizzas. You can also eat it with one hand on the go, which is useful with a baby & toddler around.