Few things are more exciting than build-your-own bars – taco bars, Bloody Mary bars, ice cream sundae bars, omelette stations…basically, you name it and chances are that I am excited about it.
Unfortunately, such a smorgasbord of options is generally impractical to do at home. Particularly when cooking for a whopping two people.
Thankfully, we recently had the good fortune to be guests the most epic pizza making party I’ve ever been to. (Okay, okay. The only pizza making party I’ve ever been to.) The hosts provided crusts, red sauce, ricotta, and mozz, and the other guests provided a variety of toppings. From the flurry of emails pre-party, it soon became clear that I was a novice in the pizza-making game. (And I even had a summer stint as a “professional” pizza maker…)
What to bring when you’re normally a pepperoni pizza person and need to provide something innovative for a pizza making party?
We went with 2 options:
- Recreate a classic restaurant option – Pop’s in Durham, NC, was a long-standing favorite for high quality, reasonably priced Italian food. Michael’s favorite pizza? Apple and brie.
- Turn a favorite non-pizza recipe into a pizza. My sister made me this smokey chicken with spicy goat cheese queso, and we wanted to put the queso on everything. So, why not pizza? Tacos and pizza aren’t that far apart, so in true CPK fashion we invented a pizza.
The general construction of each is below. Your pizza crust size will determine how much you need of the toppings and how long you need to bake it – experiment and have fun!
Apple and Brie Pizza
- Pizza dough
- ricotta cheese
- Brie (sliced thinly into rectangles)
- Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
- mozzarella cheese, shredded
- truffle oil (~1 t.)
Spread ricotta over the dough and then layer the Brie and Granny Smith apple slices evenly across the pizza. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake until crust is cooked through and cheese is fully melted and slightly bubbly/browned.
After removing from oven, use a spoon to drizzle a small amount of truffle oil on top of the pizza.
Spicy Goat Cheese & Smokey Chicken Pizza
- Pizza dough
- 1 recipe of Smokey Roasted Chicken & Spicy Goat Cheese Queso
- Bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Mozzarella cheese
- Chorizo (optional – we had the flat slices and rolled it up and very thinly sliced it)
Spread the spicy goat cheese queso on the pizza dough. Top with shredded chicken, bacon, and chorizo. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake until crust is cooked through and cheese is fully melted.
Depending on the size of the pizza you are making, you’ll probably have leftover chicken and goat cheese. But never fear! You could make tacos, nachos, or, riff on the recipe yet again and make enchiladas.
Leftovers: Smokey Roasted Chicken & Spicy Goat Cheese Queso Enchiladas
- Leftover roasted chicken and spicy goat cheese queso
- Enchilada sauce (store bought or get wild and make your own. I didn’t)
- Shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
- Corn tortillas
And, just in case you want the play-by-play
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix together leftover roasted chicken and spicy goat cheese queso.
- Pour a little of the enchilada sauce into the baking dish you are going to use. Pour some more of the enchilada sauce onto a plate or dish. Dip a tortilla in the enchilada sauce until both sides are lightly coated and then spoon some of the chicken/queso mixture into it. Fold the tortilla’s ends together and place, seam side down, into the dish. Repeat until all your fillings are gone!
- Spread some more enchilada sauce over your tortillas once they are all in the baking dish. Top with cheese and bake about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and dish is completely warmed through.