Remember my Saucy Breasts? Didn't think those would be hanging around long, did ya? (NOTE TO SELF: Never use the words "my breasts hanging around long" on the same line. Ouch!) Well, you KNOW I love leftovers more than anything. I really do think it's fun to come up with creative ways to re-invent food. It's my concept of Food Recycling, you know? So, I took those Saucy Chicken Breasts, shredded the meat really well and.....well, let me start at the beginning.
You see, there was this tornado. Yeah, that's right, I said tornado. We were sitting around watching "Gone With The Wind" for like the umpteenth time and pulling for General Lee (we ARE Southerners, after all), when suddenly, the lights flashed and a loud wind whipped up. Next thing you know, we were in the middle of "The Wizard Of Oz." It was freaky y'all.
So, next came cleanup time. And the question begged: what does one SERVE at a tornado cleanup event? The answer: Saucy Chicken Breast Pizza or Leftover Pizza (if you don't have Saucy Breasts hanging around). Why? Because we had the ingredients and it was really easy to fix in between picking up branches, broken bits of my car and a foreign patio umbrella that floated over our fence. I did two versions: one with sundried tomatoes and one without. Here's the basic recipe. It's so easy, your cat could do it (if she had opposable thumbs).
Leftover protein (I had chicken but use whatever you've got)
Pre-made pizza crust (in a tube or shrink-wrapped from the store)
Sauce (you can use pizza sauce, pesto, sundried tomatoes etc.)
Veggies (watcha got?)
Cheese - lots!
OK, I used the crust in a tube variety. Rolled them out into two 9 x 12 greased pans. On the first crust, I spread pesto and sprinkled chopped sundried tomatoes and mushrooms all about. On the second crust, just pesto. (Guess which one is for the kids??) Then I shredded the saucy chicken evenly over the raw crusts. On the 'grownup' pizza, I sprinkled grated, fresh Parmesan cheese. On the 'kids' pizza, loads and load of cheddar (because that's what they like). Into a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes and voila! I added a tossed salad and some baby carrots for fun.
Of course, you can do the same with whatever you've got hanging around. How about Alfredo sauce with chopped shrimp and sprinkled with Mozzarella? Or red pepper puree with shredded pork, caramelized onions and covered with Montery Jack? Or maybe black beans with grilled chicken strips, smothered in cheddar and finished with chopped fresh cilantro and sour cream? Fun, huh? That should be the point!
You know, ever since they were tiny, I've always tried to teach my kids to do the "right" (read: grownup) thing. "Sit up straight." "Brush your teeth." "Don't play with your food." And they've learned well to be responsible young citizens. But, when the wind kicked up the other night, I saw three scared little kids heading for our 'safe room' with blankies and lovies clasped tightly in hand. For a minute, it was Katrina all over again and all I wanted to do was scoop up my three frightened babies and make it all better.
And so, on this night of cleaning up the damage (physical and emotional), I said, "Please, play with your food!" And they DID!
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