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  If you would like to order your own bamboo tableware with 10%  off, use the code eatlivetravelwrite at checkout.

62 thoughts on “Project Food Blog 2010: Pizza, remixed”

  1. 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. 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. 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.

  4. 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!

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

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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. 🙂

  10. 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!!!

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

  12. 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!

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. Pingback: pizza fridays | No Fast Food Friday

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