Tricked Out Take & Bake Pizzas

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    Mar 05, 2015 7:49 PM GMT
    I'm talking about those 14"+ monsters you find in the deli or refrigerated case at the supermarket or club stores. I like to buy a cheese one, bring it home and top it w/ fresh veggies of my, not some franchise marketer's, choosing. Recent combos have been asparagus, red pepper, leeks, and canned mushrooms; and turkey pepperoni, green peppers, onions, canned sliced olives, and 'shrooms, both spiced w/ garlic, Italian seasonings, and fresh-ground black pepper. Sliced zucchini and radishes also work well.

    These are the perfect meal when friends come over to watch hoops and have a few beers, as is starting to happen again, and everybody likes to get in on preparing them. Anyone else into this and how do you doll yours up?
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    Mar 05, 2015 8:19 PM GMT
    MGINSD saidI'm talking about those 14"+ monsters you find in the deli or refrigerated case at the supermarket or club stores. I like to buy a cheese one, bring it home and top it w/ fresh veggies of my, not some franchise marketer's, choosing. Recent combos have been asparagus, red pepper, leeks, and canned mushrooms; and turkey pepperoni, green peppers, onions, canned sliced olives, and 'shrooms, both spiced w/ garlic, Italian seasonings, and fresh-ground black pepper. Sliced zucchini and radishes also work well.

    These are the perfect meal when friends come over to watch hoops and have a few beers, as is starting to happen again, and everybody likes to get in on preparing them. Anyone else into this and how do you doll yours up?


    I have a 14" monster

    icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_redface.gificon_wink.gificon_wink.gificon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gificon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gificon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 06, 2015 4:47 AM GMT
    MGINSD saidI'm talking about those 14"+ monsters you find in the deli or refrigerated case at the supermarket or club stores. I like to buy a cheese one, bring it home and top it w/ fresh veggies of my, not some franchise marketer's, choosing.

    I'm so provincial. I keep forgetting that not everybody lives in New York.
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    Mar 06, 2015 5:45 AM GMT
    Do you ever put pineapple on your pizzas?

    Yesterday I went to a Cal baseball game and on the way to the stadium there's a pizza place that sells pizza by the slice but the only choice is "today's" pizza which is different each day (if you get a pie you can get whatever you want). Wednesday it was a meatless pizza with fresh pineapple and then it had arugula sprinkled on top that had a lemon spritzed dressing. Well, it's Berkeley, so what can I say. And "fresh" pineapple, as if it could be any worse with canned pineapple.
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    Mar 06, 2015 5:49 AM GMT
    I'll start with a plain frozen pizza, not necessarily a monster size, and I put some anchovies on it, including the oil in the can. And I may add some additional olive oil, as well. Then I cover the anchovies with shredded mozzarella cheese before baking.

    When I buy a take-home pizza from a shop it's a place I've previously chosen because it makes pizza just as I like, no need for enhancement. Not quite the New York City pizzas I love, can't find those here, but at least one Florida place comes very close.
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    Mar 06, 2015 6:06 AM GMT
    There's a place near me that sells frozen pizza dough from Brooklyn. I let it rise, put the cheeses on first and then the sauce.

    Mmmmmmm.....
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    Mar 06, 2015 6:22 AM GMT
    bon_pan saidThere's a place near me that sells frozen pizza dough from Brooklyn. I let it rise, put the cheeses on first and then the sauce.

    Mmmmmmm.....

    It's interesting how in the US we often each prefer the pizza from the place where we were raised. Guys from Chicago only like that style of pizza, and guys from Boston want that kind, and me the ones from New York City, etc.

    Not that one is intrinsically better versus another, that's subjective, just what we first learned to like I suppose.

    And BTW, the reason I like anchovies on a pizza is because I was raised Catholic. In those days Fridays were still meatless, but fish was allowed. You didn't want a plain cheese pizza for supper, and nobody had yet imagined perversions like "Hawaiian" pizzas or such.

    And that was the only night my Father's supermarkets were open late. Not like today, when some are open virtually 24/7. So he'd come home around 9:30.

    Since Friday wasn't a school night my sister & I could stay up late and wait for him. And sometimes he'd have ordered a take-out pizza, that he'd get on the way home. Plus he'd have bags & bags of groceries from his store (all brown paper), maybe 5 or 6, with all kinds of treats for us in them.

    So we could hardly wait to hear him at the door, and would go running to greet him like he was Santa Claus, as I'd yell "Dad's home!" I suppose that must have pleased him very much.

    And our Father would seriously say, to make us realize the value of food and not be wasteful with it, that he had spent around $20 on all that. "Wow, Dad, really?" Good memories, from 60 years ago. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 06, 2015 5:32 PM GMT
    I used to do that, but something about those take&bake things (the no-yeast crust maybe?) gives me killer acid reflux at about two a.m.
    Plus, you know, might want abs for summer...
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    Mar 06, 2015 5:55 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidDo you ever put pineapple on your pizzas?

    Yesterday I went to a Cal baseball game and on the way to the stadium there's a pizza place that sells pizza by the slice but the only choice is "today's" pizza which is different each day (if you get a pie you can get whatever you want). Wednesday it was a meatless pizza with fresh pineapple and then it had arugula sprinkled on top that had a lemon spritzed dressing. Well, it's Berkeley, so what can I say. And "fresh" pineapple, as if it could be any worse with canned pineapple.


    Pineapple, red onion, and bacon a/o ham is a good combo and often called an "Hawaiian." Pesto's another good base, especially w/ garlic and clams, another combo popular in the SF Bay Area. As for NY, my favorite is "Patsy's," and I've followed her technique of using whole basil leaves on top. And though I was raised in "Chicagoland," I've never really liked deep dish; to me, it's just another one of those pile-ons where taste takes second seat to mass. Plus, I can remember when it was first making its foray into the local pizza scene, and thought it a bit pretentious and overpriced. There's a lot of good pizza in the Midwest - Detroit and St. Louis do a good job, too - but Chicago deep dish isn't my idea of it.
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    Mar 06, 2015 6:32 PM GMT
    Back in my meat-eating, socializing days I used to do make your own pizza parties. I'd make the dough and the sauces and get all the toppings ready, everything from artichoke hearts to lobster tail to pepperoni and then guests made up their own pizzas having fun with that and I'd pop them onto the pizza stones already heating in the oven.

    And part of making the fresh pies was to enclose a ring of ingredients in the crust, which I did for my guests way before stuffed pizza came out commercially.

    Once I brought in premade cheese pies when I thought I had too many people to handle and let them custom top those but my fresh ones were way better. And even for that one I drove about 45 minutes one way just to bring in some decent pizza. Good pizza is manna but most pizza is crap.

    I can't imagine eating those supermarket pizza's though. I've tried a number of different brands over the years and they're almost all uneatable. The only decent one I've found is Amy's organic margherita, and even that I'll only buy a few times a year when desperate for pizza.

    I've got one place in NYC I go to when in town that is unfuckingbelievably good. Found it just by roaming one of my favorite areas and happened to catch it wafting into the streets. I knew immediately that was going to be great pizza and I've been going back ever since.

    And as it turned out when I got home that first time and googled the place, turns out it did have about the best reputation in NYC for pizza.

    But, um, frozen pizza? Yikes. I'd rather wait for a slice until the following year when I get back up to New York.
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    Mar 06, 2015 7:01 PM GMT
    Yes, home made pizza from scratch is always going to be the best, but this isn't about frozen pizzas; it's about the fresh take & bake ones that, properly "supplemented," aren't bad at all. As far as frozen ones go, Amy's ain't bad, and Freschetta will do in a pinch, but I still give 'em all a healthy does of seasonings before I bake 'em.
  • monet

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    Mar 07, 2015 9:12 AM GMT
    Pizza dough is easy to make, especially if you have an electric mixer with a dough hook. I make large batches of pizza dough in my stand mixer with a blend of white and whole wheat flour and then freeze the dough in individual portions. Easy and economical.
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    Mar 08, 2015 5:29 PM GMT
    We have Papa Murphy's, which is a take and bake yourself pizza place. They are the best and have been rated the best again and again every year. Their dough and you can have any ingredients you want customly put on it and everything is fresh. Just take it home and bake it. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm The family size is 16". They also have deep dish, pan, chicago style, and thin crust delite.
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    Mar 08, 2015 6:08 PM GMT
    monet saidPizza dough is easy to make, especially if you have an electric mixer with a dough hook. I make large batches of pizza dough in my stand mixer with a blend of white and whole wheat flour and then freeze the dough in individual portions. Easy and economical.

    True. And if you don't want to or have the time to do the kneading and such you can use this refrigeration method where you don't do any kneading and let it rise and ferment in the refrigerator. They say the dough can stay in the refrigerator for up to 14 days; I don't remember if you can freeze it if you know you won't be using it before then.

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    Mar 08, 2015 6:11 PM GMT
    MGINSD saidPineapple, red onion, and bacon a/o ham is a good combo and often called an "Hawaiian."

    Yuck. Sorry, but in my book putting fruit on a pizza is just plain wrong.
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    Mar 08, 2015 7:06 PM GMT
    My ex-wife used to work in a pizza shop when she attended college. So she learned to make an excellent pizza, from scratch.

    At home she'd make the dough, which would have to rise for a while (I bought her a powerful KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook), and she altered the ingredients a bit to match my description of a New York-style pizza. She succeeded very well, and right at home.
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    Mar 08, 2015 7:11 PM GMT
    I've never made a pizza myself, except to enhance a frozen one, as I wrote in a post above. We've got a shop that comes very close to a New York pizza in Fort Lauderdale, called "Luigi's" on Las Olas Blvd.

    One of those "coal fired" places that has become the recent fad. We never had coal when I was a kid, and the pizzas were still great.

    Nevertheless this place is very good, coal or not. And I recommend it if you find yourself in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area. Small, unremarkable inside, often the mark of a secret treasure.
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    Mar 10, 2015 5:16 AM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    MGINSD saidPineapple, red onion, and bacon a/o ham is a good combo and often called an "Hawaiian."

    Yuck. Sorry, but in my book putting fruit on a pizza is just plain wrong.


    The local place (...currently for sale. Please someone buy it and reopen it and the adjacent pub...) used to have a number with (local) pear slices, apple-smoked bacon, bleu cheese, and cilantro. To die for. Also one with local black cherries and sausage. icon_razz.gif

    The trend around here is all for (cherry) wood-fired ovens in the center of the restaurant. Everything is baking in cast-iron dishes that the staff fishes out with six-foot long spatulas.

    As it happens, I have a lot of old cherry trees to get rid of...
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    Mar 10, 2015 4:56 PM GMT
    mindgarden said
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    MGINSD saidPineapple, red onion, and bacon a/o ham is a good combo and often called an "Hawaiian."

    Yuck. Sorry, but in my book putting fruit on a pizza is just plain wrong.


    The local place (...currently for sale. Please someone buy it and reopen it and the adjacent pub...) used to have a number with (local) pear slices, apple-smoked bacon, bleu cheese, and cilantro. To die for. Also one with local black cherries and sausage. icon_razz.gif

    The trend around here is all for (cherry) wood-fired ovens in the center of the restaurant. Everything is baking in cast-iron dishes that the staff fishes out with six-foot long spatulas.

    As it happens, I have a lot of old cherry trees to get rid of...


    Cherry anything sounds great to me! And that pear-bacon combo sounds interesting, too. But, you'll never find pineapple on pizza in my place!
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    Mar 10, 2015 9:51 PM GMT
    You guys are making me barf with these fruit-on-pizza recipes!   icon_twisted.gif