English muffins transformed into personal pizzas

DINNER TONIGHT

April 19, 2006|By RENEE ENNA | RENEE ENNA,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Got a few English muffins in the pantry? That means you've got the foundation for personal-size pizzas. They're easy to make and kid-friendly.

Inspired by a suggestion from cookbook author Jim Romanoff (Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook from Eating Well magazine), we used red-pepper paste instead of pizza sauce. The Mediterranean paste, which typically blends roasted red peppers with roasted eggplant, is sold at many specialty and ethnic markets, including Trader Joe's. (If you can't find it, not to worry: Pizza sauce can be substituted.)

We sauteed the onions to caramelize them, which draws out their natural sweetness.

Renee Enna writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe and analysis.

Red-Pepper `Muffizzas'

Serves 4 -- Total time: 24 minutes

We lightly toasted the English muffins, to firm up the bottoms, before broiling. For vegetarians, substitute mushrooms for the pepperoni.

2 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)

1 tablespoon butter

1 sweet onion, sliced

4 English muffins, split open

1 cup red-pepper spread or pizza sauce

1/2 cup each: sliced or chopped pepperoni, sliced black olives

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese or combination

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the butter. After butter melts, add the onion slices. Cook, stirring to break up, until soft, fragrant and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

Heat the broiler. Toast the English muffins in a toaster on the light setting; brush the muffins with remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread 2 tablespoons of the red-pepper paste on each of the muffin halves. Top each with pepperoni, olives and onion slices. Top with the cheese.

Place muffins under the broiler. Cook until cheese has melted and ingredients are warmed, about 2 minutes.

Per serving: 363 calories, 20 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 35 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams protein, 857 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber

Menu suggestion

Bread sticks and marinated olives

Minestrone

Red-Pepper "Muffizzas"

Leftover jelly beans

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