Some have commented as to absolutely how OCD I was about contest entering and that it must have been so time consuming.
Well, yes it was.
I would spend at least all Saturday morning perusing through contest sites and then spend that afternoon and Sunday coming up with recipes.
Notice I said “coming up with recipes,” not necessarily testing recipes. It was not uncommon for me, for example, to find a particular contest (let’s say a cobbler or pie contest) and simply sit at the computer and type recipe after recipe. I would start with one of my basic pies and then just go nuts.
Cherry pie—let’s just add amaretto to that. Then let’s try some bourbon. What about some Campari? (Do you see a theme here?)
Pizza contest? What possibilities my mind came up with. I have at least forty recipes in my “Pizza Recipe Contest” file. I was inspired by sandwiches, dip, the garden, sports teams, etc. When I look in that file, I see recipes for Muffaletta Pizza, Artichoke-Spinach Pizza, BBQ Pizza with Raw Onions, Carnitas Pizza with Avocado Sauce and Cilantro Creme. The possibilities were endless.
Did I sit down and make everyone of these pizzas? Absolutely not. I just created at the keyboard. Could that be the reason I didn’t win every single pizza contest out there?
I will share with you one favorite recipe that I did test, but alas, it was not a contest winner. This is a copycat recipe inspired from one of our favorite pizza joints, Joe Mama’s.
Cheeseburger Pizza with the Works
1 lb. ground sirloin
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 T. steak sauce (like A-1)
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. real mayonnaise
3 T. prepared mustard
1 prepared 12” pizza crust (Homemade is always best.)
6 slices pepper bacon, cooked crisp
1/2 c. dill pickle chips
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 ½ c. shredded American/Cheddar Jack blend
1/8 c. ketchup (optional)
½ c. shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet, brown and crumble ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Add steak sauce and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until all beef is seasoned with sauce. Set aside when done.
Stir together mayonnaise and mustard. Spread mixture on pizza crust.
(If using raw dough, place crust in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and then add toppings and return to oven.) Evenly spread a layer of ground beef. Crumble bacon and sprinkle over beef. Add a layer of dill pickles, red onion slices, Roma tomato slices.
Top with cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. (You may want to drizzle ketchup over the pizza and/or top with shredded iceberg lettuce before serving.)
Tip: Soak the onions in ice water. It will take some of the bite out of ‘em.
I made this for our Super Bowl festivities along with a hot wing chicken pizza.
The hot wing pizza is super simple:
Spread a bit of Alfredo sauce on the pizza dough, sprinkle on some “hot-winged” chicken (for mine I roasted some chicken tenders in the oven, slathered with hot wing sauce and pepper), sprinkle on some blue cheese, bake, and then drizzle with more hot sauce.
This pizza used to be on the menu at another favorite pizza spot, Andolini’s. Alas, it is no longer so I have to make my own.