It continues to be ridiculously hot here in New York. The temperature has been in the high 90’s all week with high humidity, making things quite unbearable and making me feel miserable and not much like cooking. We ate late night the last 2 nights just so it would be a little bit cooler when I cooked and I did turn the oven on. Here is one of the recipes I decided to try, just using leftovers and things we had in the pantry as my energy level was low. We had some leftover baguettes from dinner earlier in the week and I found this great recipe at Serious Eats for some French Bread Pizza.
French Bread Pizza
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or basil leaves, or a mix
1 large loaf French or Italian bread, split in half lengthwise
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
2 ounces Parmigiano-reggiano
Adjust the oven rack to the upper position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the butter and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in half of the parsley/basil and a big pinch of salt. Remove from the heat.
Place the bread cut-side up on a clean work surface. Using a rimmed baking sheet, press down on the bread evenly until it is compressed to about 2/3 of its original height. Place the bread on top of the rimmed baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush half of the garlic mixture evenly over the cut surfaces of the bread, making sure to get plenty of bits of garlic and aromatics on the bread. Set aside.
Add the tomatoes to the remaining garlic mixture in the saucepan, stir to combine, increase the heat to medium. bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is rich and reduced, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
While the sauce cooks, spread 1/4 of the mozzarella evenly over the surface of the bread and transfer the bread to the oven. Cook until the cheese is barely melted, about 8 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and set it aside until the sauce is cooked.
Spread the cooked sauce evenly over the bread, then spread the remaining mozzarella on top of the sauce.Transfer the bread to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and is just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately sprinkle it with the Parmigiano-reggiano, the remaining parsley/basil and the remaining tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Allow the pizza to cool slightly before serving.
These pizzas are better than anything you will remember having as a kid out of your freezer. You do want to make sure you let them cool slightly before you eat them so as not to burn the rook of your mouth off on the hot cheese. I loved the taste of what is basically garlic bread serving as the base for your pizza. I used some sautéed shallots along with some leftover Italian sausage we had on most of the pizzas and then I used some leftover diced chicken with some Buffalo wing sauce to make a couple of buffalo chicken varieties. Of course, you can top the pizzas with whatever you would like. The nice things is that they do not take long to cook so you won’t have a lot of heat in the kitchen. You can serve this with a simple side salad and you are all set for dinner.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time to see what else comes along. I do still have a few new recipes to post that you will want to check out. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day, stay cool and enjoy your meal!