Project Food Blog 2010: Pizza, remixed

Oh my, we’re halfway through!  Thank you so much for voting me this far in Project Food Blog. I am so grateful to you all for reading and voting, because I wouldn’t be here without you!  So, onto Challenge 5 – We had to put our own spin on Pizza.  Foodbuzz said: “How you do it is up to you. Will you try out some molecular gastronomy techniques? Share a super-secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? For the purpose of this contest and challenge, we are defining pizza as having a solid base, a sauce and at least one topping.”

I have to admit, this challenge stumped me a little. I mean, I made a mean “Pesto deconstructed” pizza for Bertolli which I live demoed in the Tasting Pavilion at the Foodbuzz Festival last year. But for this one, I wanted to do something a little special, whilst still remaining accessible for the average reader/ home cook.  Lately, my meals have have been inspired by what we have on hand, what’s in season right now and what I am cooking for the blog (remember, we organised our Thanksgiving meal around what dishes I needed to cook for my blog?).  This post is therefore brought to you by leftovers and the contents of our organic box delivery which was a surprise this week – generally I go in and modify it a little before it’s delivered, but this week I forgot, so it was pure luck that I ended up with some of the ingredients I ended up using.

First up, Mini-Thanksgiving Bites: A base of sweet potato chips topped with cranberry sauce, turkey and brie.

I had bought sweet potatoes last weekend, intending to make a side of sweet potato soufflé.  Then Neil came home with the 14lb turkey which took up all of the oven. I even had to go next door to cook the cake for dessert (luckily our neighbours were coming over to eat so they didn’t mind!).  So I was left with four large sweet potatoes.  Whilst they are sometimes challenging to cook properly, especially if you like your potatoes crispy, these worked out pretty well.  I par-boiled them first, then fried them in a couple of inches of oil, though if you have an oven you trust, you could slice them thinly and oven bake them too.

I used frozen brie that I have in the freezer sometimes – I find to grate it from frozen, it melts better under the broiler/grill.  These are actually better not piping hot as they firm up a little more as they cool down and are easier to handle (well, pop in your mouth!) – so they’re perfect for entertaining and for using up those Thanksgiving leftovers creatively.

Next up, No Butter Chicken Turkey Pizza on Naan.

I posted recently about this easy butter chicken recipe and the other night, I was craving something more exotic than, you guessed it, a turkey sandwich!  This recipe literally took 15 minutes to prepare and also used the leftover turkey breast meat (yes, we had a 14lb turkey, did I mention that? And only three of us eating it…).  I cooked up a big old pot of it…

and after dinner, there was still some left so I took the remaining naan bread the following day to create this super easy twist on butter chicken.  The turkey was shredded so it sat nicely on the naan which I toasted to crisp up a bit.  I made mini-sized ones and topped them with a dollop of plain yoghurt but I could see a personal-sized one working very well too. It would be a knife and fork job though!

And finally, in our organic fruit and veg delivery this week, I found corn and tomatillos.

A long time ago (when I used to use flash to photograph my food!), I made a fabulous chicken and tomatillo stew, based on one from Simply Recipes and I figured I could work with my leftover turkey (it just keeps on keeping on) and create some kind of pizza with that as my topping.  When I saw the corn, I immediately knew that I wanted to create a base of corn cakes, similar to the corn and zucchini fritters we had enjoyed at Zazu Farm and Restaurant in Santa Rosa this summer.  It’s the second time I have made these, changing the recipe slightly and I will post the recipe soon. It’s a keeper!

I was happy to have received a corn husker in my IFBC swag bag…

And I love the texture of these little cakes – with both cornmeal and corn kernels, there’s crunch and chew.

I cut them into bite-sized rounds and topped them with the tomatillo salsa, some turkey and some grated mild cheddar.  Someone thought they looked pretty good.

And voilà, without a big old cat head in the way…

Spicy and sweet and crunchy and chewey – these were a fabulous success. I had two for breakfast this morning.

So there you have it. If you just celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend and still have leftover turkey, you can make three very different twists on pizza AND use up your leftovers.  If you’re celebrating next month, bookmark this and come back to it. You will be glad you did because after all, there are only so many turkey sandwiches one can eat, right?

If you liked my remixed pizzas, I would love your vote to move on to Round 6 of Project Food Blog, where we have to create a delicious meal that will travel well. As luck would have it, I am travelling to Niagara Falls to speak at a conference next weekend with one of my best friends and I have the *best* idea for our picnic overlooking the Falls….  Voting will be open at 6AM Pacific Time on Monday, October 18th until 6PM Pacific Time on Thursday October 21st.  I will post a link when voting is live.  Many thanks for your continued support.

Disclosure: The gorgeous bamboo disposable serving dish for the Thanksgiving mini-pizza bite was provided at no cost by RestaurantWare.com.  If you would like to order your own bamboo tableware with 10%  off, use the code eatlivetravelwrite at checkout.

62 Responses to Project Food Blog 2010: Pizza, remixed

  1. Paula October 16, 2010 at 10:33 #

    Wow! How to put a new spin on pizza. You are the Spin Doctor! Love what you did. So very original and creative and they all look amazing. Love the photographs.

  2. sippitysup October 16, 2010 at 10:38 #

    It is difficult to choose a favorite. So I won’t, but I will say they are all super creative, And I admire your organizational skills. I am just waking up on Sat and trying to decide what pizza to make today. Should be a fun day. GREG

  3. Becki D. October 16, 2010 at 10:43 #

    You are so creative!!

    I absolutely LOVE the Mini Thanksgiving Bites. YUMYUM!

  4. Lauren October 16, 2010 at 10:44 #

    What a great spin on pizza! I can’t wait to try the Thanksgiving bites. Yum!!

  5. Liz October 16, 2010 at 10:45 #

    Love the look and sound of the sweet potato cranberry pizza…and of course I love the cat head!

  6. Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 16, 2010 at 10:52 #

    You’re too clever for your own good sometimes. Actually, that’s a stupid use of that saying, as this cleverness is clearly for your own good, as surely people cannot help but vote for you after reading this. “You’re clever for your own good” just sounds wrong though.

    It’s kinda late and I’m overdosing on chocolate, can you tell?

    Excellent Christmassy recipe (eek, the C word again!), fabulous disguising of leftovers with the naan pizza, and I can’t help but agree with Miss Cleo for the third and am hanging out for that corn cake recipe.

    You totally deserve to keep on this roll (pizza?). No kissing of babies necessary just yet.

  7. Dan Clapson October 16, 2010 at 10:53 #

    Those Thanksgiving bites look. so. good!!!! It’s only 9AM here and you’re making me hungry for dinner! I’m going to try and make those this weekend! Great post, as always! You know you have my vote!

  8. Daydreamer Desserts October 16, 2010 at 11:20 #

    Fantastic job Mardi, I loved all three of them. Absolutely brilliant… you better get ready for Challenge #6.

  9. Katie October 16, 2010 at 11:28 #

    The Indian pizza looks so delicious! I might have to try it. That is if I don’t eat all the topping before they make it on the pizza. Good luck!

  10. Lauren October 16, 2010 at 14:19 #

    I would love to try the one with corn!! Fun post!

  11. Ethan October 16, 2010 at 15:42 #

    Tres bien fait Mardi !
    And as an added bonus, all the Americans will learn that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October:)

  12. Rachel October 16, 2010 at 16:21 #

    I love the creative use of leftovers! The sweet potato pizzas look especially good.
    Good luck in round 6 – you have my vote!

  13. Jackie October 16, 2010 at 17:59 #

    These are awesome! See, these are pizzas I could definitely get behind 😉 Great job!

    Jax x

  14. Charmaine @ Speakeasy Kitchen October 16, 2010 at 18:38 #

    Great way to use your leftover turkey. I just got through making turkey empanadas. Great minds think sort of alike, but not alike at all. 🙂

  15. Brie October 16, 2010 at 19:09 #

    great take on pizza! they all look amazing! i think the one with brie would have to be my favorite though. 😉 good luck!

  16. Liren October 16, 2010 at 21:12 #

    Wow, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but right now, it might be the Mini Thanksgiving Bites! My mom used to make sweet potato chips, maybe that’s why! Wishing you lots of luck!!!

  17. Marisa October 17, 2010 at 02:58 #

    Must say those sweet potato bites look heavenly! Of course, I’m a cheeseslut, so that might explain it…

  18. Lori Lynn October 17, 2010 at 03:58 #

    Great ideas Mardi! I will definitely be remembering these little pizzas next month!
    Good luck, as always!

  19. LimeCake October 17, 2010 at 04:01 #

    all those flavours are too darn yummy! good luck!

  20. Lora October 17, 2010 at 07:29 #

    Terrific ideas and flavors. I love the sweet potato twist and the corn cakes with tomatillo. Wow!

  21. penny aka jeroxie October 17, 2010 at 07:47 #

    Hooray and onwards! You worked in some great flavours!

  22. Casey Angelova October 17, 2010 at 09:15 #

    I love your re-mix. You will have my vote!

  23. Belinda @zomppa October 17, 2010 at 09:41 #

    Love these. Will have to remember them, and so delighted you’re still in the competition!!

  24. Jenn October 17, 2010 at 09:53 #

    Mardi, I love these. They are so creative and innovative, and I want to eat every single one!! Beautiful job on the challenge!

  25. Mr. Neil October 17, 2010 at 10:56 #

    Of course, my favourite is Cleo’s choice…

  26. Brian @ A Thought For Food October 17, 2010 at 11:30 #

    Those pizzas would make wonderful appetizers for a dinner party! In fact, I may make the sweet potato ones for Thanksgiving. Great post and of course you have my vote!

  27. Mindy October 17, 2010 at 11:43 #

    Mardi, I’m super impressed by your creativity here. Thanks for the terrific ideas. You definitely deserve to move on in PFB.

  28. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans October 17, 2010 at 12:09 #

    Mardi, that is absolutely the most clever use of Thanksgiving left-overs going and I am SO going to try the Sweet Potato, Turkey, Cranberry and Brie! OMG, that is making my mouth water!! Beautiful job!

  29. Asha@FSK October 17, 2010 at 12:18 #

    thot I left a comment but it seems to have not registered.. Anyway, was just saying that I love these mini pies and even more the ethos behind them for cooking from the pantry! :)) Awesome entry. Will vote for you!

  30. Winnie October 17, 2010 at 12:48 #

    So lovely Mardi. I want to try each one! Great job on this challenge …no surprise there!

  31. diva October 17, 2010 at 13:19 #

    such creative ideas here! thanks for sharing those mini-thanksgiving bites. I think I’d impress the family using those as starters come Christmas!

  32. K A B L O O E Y October 17, 2010 at 13:46 #

    They all do look delicious, but I too find the third most compelling. But maybe it’s your description that sold me. So on second thought, I’ll take a tasting platter of all three, please.

  33. saltyseattle October 17, 2010 at 14:59 #

    i took some time to think about what to say about this post, and my ultimate response is that you need a cooking tv show. the world needs to absorb your finesse, talent, and perfect way of explaining why it is you do what you do.

  34. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle October 17, 2010 at 15:55 #

    Very creative and tasty looking bites; though certainly removed from what we expect from ‘pizza’ I find that most of my forays into the world of pizza lately consist of anything but dough, red sauce and rounds of sausage.. and think these look wonderful

  35. Kristen October 17, 2010 at 22:58 #

    I continue to be so amazed and in awe of your creativity. Those Thanksgiving bites? Brilliant!!

  36. Alisa October 18, 2010 at 00:55 #

    This is wonderful. I love your pizza 🙂

  37. Anna Johnston October 18, 2010 at 02:39 #

    They all look so wonderful, I want them all – I like the tasting platter concept.

  38. Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) October 18, 2010 at 09:02 #

    Brilliant is all I can say Mardi 🙂 You’ve hit on what most home cooks have the hardest time with – making use of all the leftovers. These all look simply divine . My favorite is the sweet potato/cranberry/brie pizza . Good Luck!

  39. Megan October 18, 2010 at 10:49 #

    I think the Thanksgiving pizzas are perfect. I knew as soon as you told me your idea it would work out brilliantly! Good luck 🙂

  40. Amelia from Z Tasty Life October 18, 2010 at 11:22 #

    the “naan-za” is definitively my favorite!

  41. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction October 18, 2010 at 11:27 #

    Love all of these new twists on pizza! I will definitely have to save them to try with some of my Thanksgiving leftovers.

  42. Chez Us October 18, 2010 at 13:39 #

    Mardi, let me say this first, OF course you have made it this far your dedication shows through all of your posts!

    I love these twists for pizza. I especially like the Thanksgiving Bites – may have to try them out on my picky family!

  43. Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen October 18, 2010 at 14:38 #

    I love this entry! Your pizzas are so creative, and all look wonderful! Good luck! 🙂

  44. Lawyer Loves Lunch October 18, 2010 at 18:05 #

    Spectacular once again, my friend! I’m so glad you posted the recipe for the corn fritters. I’m going to attempt these soon because I like to live dangerously with frying corn 🙂

  45. Delishhh October 19, 2010 at 01:16 #

    SOOOO creative. I am going to do a spin on the sweet potato pizza. That would be AMAZING for appetizers. Great idea! You got my vote.

  46. Joan Nova October 19, 2010 at 08:42 #

    Nice job, Mardi. You managed to incorporate some of my favorite foods…Thanksgiving dinner and pizza!

  47. Sues October 19, 2010 at 09:04 #

    These are so cute! I especially love the sweet potato one… But I’m a big fan of ANYTHING on homemade naan. YUM! Good luck 🙂 🙂

  48. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz October 19, 2010 at 11:36 #

    I love all your recipes, they are so creative. I wish I could vote for your 3 times!

  49. Amy October 19, 2010 at 17:36 #

    I love the idea of sweet potato rounds as pizza crusts! It all looks so delicious, voted!

  50. Noelle October 19, 2010 at 19:48 #

    I love the one with the cat in the way, SO cute! Great post!

  51. cat October 19, 2010 at 21:49 #

    wow, these look good, especially the sweet potato and brie rounds! great examples of how to creatively use things that are already in the fridge/pantry. oh, and loved the big old cat head in the way photo!

  52. Quay Po Cooks October 20, 2010 at 07:12 #

    How clever! Love all your creations! I got my vote!

  53. Dana October 20, 2010 at 13:53 #

    So creative… these all sound great. No wonder your cat was interested!

  54. Chaya October 20, 2010 at 20:18 #

    I went to your blog, I think, for the first time. I am totally impressed with these pizzas and off I went to vote.

    They are creative and the flavors are to swoon over.

  55. The Duo Dishes October 21, 2010 at 12:12 #

    The third corn pizza is the one! Looks so good. Good luck Mardi! You’re definitely moving on to the next one.

  56. Savory Sweeet Living October 21, 2010 at 15:55 #

    I love your resourcefulness by using leftover and ingredients you have available to create these original pizzas. Great job and you’ve got my vote!

  57. Jen H October 21, 2010 at 17:29 #

    Wish I had seen this post earlier it would have been great to use up my turkey. I especially love the corn cake pizzas!

  58. Alison October 21, 2010 at 22:35 #

    They all look delicious, but the corn fritter has my mouth watering!!


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