Monday, May 6, 2013

Easy French Bread Pizza

I think we've all had this happen.....

You walk in the door after a long day and the first thing you hear is "What's for dinner?". And you...

 wait for it...

draw a blank.

It doesn't happen often to me, drawing the blank, I mean, but I am no different than anyone else, sometimes your best made plans just don't happen. 

Plus, I don't have the convenience of take-out, living in a small rural community, it's either gas station pizza, the local greasy spoon (no thanks) or ramen. 

Not an appealing meal to any of us. 

Thank goodness I do stock up on things, such as sourdough french bread (no really, I'm serious, I freeze all my bread) and I always have jarred or my own frozen marinara. 
Okay, ask my family, I was a Y2K prepper. And at that time I had a family of 6 living at home. So....I have a hard time not having an extensive pantry. 

Hey, it pays off in times like this. Especially when you have people in your house coming home "starving", and they open the frig and say, "there's nothing here". 

Happens to me every time with the teens in my house, especially the youngest one, she is ravenous at every waking hour. And no, it doesn't always look like this, but I'd say generally, 75% of the time it does. If it doesn't jump out at her as being ready to eat though, she'll say, "there's nothing to eat".

*Sigh* I need to take her to a third world country I'm thinking...


So, to save the day, and halt the ravenous looks from my family, I can always whip up a great pizza, with or without meat.





This nice thing about this meal is it's ease of preparation and the versatility of ingredients that can be used. 

In this case I used a sliced ham from the deli counter and fresh spinach (yep! I snuck it in again!). But the options are endless. 
What ever you have in your frig and where your imagination takes you. Vegetarian, you bet. Leftover chicken, pork or beef, go for it. Pickled Giardiniera, yum!

I pull the bread straight out of the freezer, throw it in a preheated 400F oven for 8-10 minutes, and then split it. 

So easy and so good. 



Ingredients:
1 loaf french bread-sourdough preferred in my house, split
1/4 cup softened butter
1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane or minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups marinara-you might need less, don't drown it
2 cups cut up meat
1 cup baby spinach
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or any cheese

Optionally: add sliced mushrooms, green onions, olives, peppers, pineapple, bacon, pepperoncini, diced tomatoes, and on and on. 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F, place a frozen loaf directly on a middle rack for 8-10 minutes, remove and split lengthwise. If fresh, don't preheat, just split.
  2. Mix the butter with the grated or minced garlic and spread over the cut sides of the split loaf and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 
  3. Place loaves on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven 7-8 minutes. 
  4. Take out and spread 1 cup of marinara on each side.
  5. Spread you favorite toppings over each side. In this case the spinach and deli ham, and then sprinkle with shredded cheese. 
  6. Bake an additional 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melty and the bread is slightly toasted. 

Enjoy!


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