Is it just me, or do you find yourself a little more creative when you are preparing a dish to pass? My husband automatically knows when he walks in and sees something like this pizza that it’s not for us! Lol!! Or his question ten times a day is “Did you get a picture yet?” Ha! Ha! Recently I saw a commercial for one of the big chain pizza places and was intrigued by their “Cheesy Bites Pizza”. Besides donating a dish every week to the local community lunch in town, I share food with some elderly friends that don’t cook alot. I think it’s just nice to treat them to some fun foods now and then. Foods that they may not try otherwise. Nothing over the top, just foods and flavors that I really enjoy myself. And one dish that I know they really love is pizza. I prepare pizza almost once a week and the stuffed crust pizza’s are fun to prepare and fun to eat! For today’s blog post, I prepared my version of the “Cheesy Bites Pizza”. It is meatless, but not lacking in flavor by any means. I literally pulled all of the ingredients out of my refrigerator. Leftover marinara sauce from the local Italian restaurant, homemade chimichurri sauce, sweet peppers from my friends garden and alot of mozzarella. They were so excited to see the pizza I prepared for them, I don’t even think they noticed that one of the cheese bites was missing, lol!! Quality control.
Cheese Bites Deep Dish Pizza
10 inch cast iron skillet
pizza dough (see recipe on link) you will only use half of the pizza doug recipe for one pizza or you could bake two pizzas
3 mozzarella cheese sticks, slice each into 4 pieces
Mozzarella, sliced or shredded
Red sauce or fresh tomato slices (I used a store bought marinara)
Chimichurri sauce, optional (see recipe on link)
Thinly sliced sweet onions
Thinly sliced red bell pepper
Dried Italian herb mix
Coarse sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
How to prepare fresh pizza dough. Click onto picture to see full recipe on site.
How to prepare chimichurri sauce. Click onto picture to se full recipe.
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil on bottom of 10 inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle on some cornmeal. Take pizza dough ball and press dough out to cover surface and slightly up the sides of pan.
2. Place the pieces of string cheese around the edges. Space out evenly. Take a sharp knife and score/cut in between the cheese bites. It should look like a flower. Pull the dough over to cover cheese bites and pinch to seal on each side. Repeat until done.
3. Drizzle a little olive oil on bottom, add cheese, a little red sauce(or tomatoes), chimichurri(if using), onions, more chimichurri, cheese, red sauce, bell peppers, Italian herbs, granulated garlic, crushed red pepper flakes.
4. I also like to drizzle a little oil over the crust(cheese bites) then season with garlic, herbs, pepper, salt and cornmeal.
5. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. Place under broiler until brown and bubbly. Let cool slightly.