Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 02/2010

You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Tomato-Basil Pita Pizza: My Favorite Snack Meal ~

IMG_0789Yesterday, a reader sent me an e-mail containing a comment and a cooking question, both of which "made my day".  I thought about using the question for my occasional ~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too ~, which is Category 23 on this blog.  This is the place where, occasionally (always on a Friday), I feature and answer two or three questions I was asked that week.  Yesterday's comment is one that every food blogger looks forward to receiving, and, the question... it made me laugh out loud because:   while reading the e-mail, I was eating the answer!  Right then and there, I decided it deserved its own Kitchen Encounters blog post:

6a0120a8551282970b0147e17039a3970b-800wiC.  Mike says:  I am 46, single, and tired of eating in restaurants and take-out.  I decided that if I was going to attempt cooking for myself, I was going to try to eat more vegetables and cut down on bread too.  Several weeks ago, I was looking on the internet for an easy recipe for chicken soup and that is how I found your blog.  I made a pot of GrandMa Ann's chicken soup and I loved it.  I made a second pot and froze some (just like you said to do).  I want you to know I subscribed to your blog, look forward to all of your posts and so do a few of my co-workers (at an autobody shop).

(Note:  My recipe for ~ Grandma Ann's Easy Chicken Vegetable Soup ~ can be found in Categories 2, 20 & 22.) 

Q.  Mike asks:  When I get home from work, its often late, 6:30PM, and I am usually starving, as well as tired. Can you recommend something, anything, that can be made very quickly, that will fill me up, to keep me from impulse eating a bag of chips?  Also, because I have no scheduled lunch break (the time changes on a daily basis), I almost always take a sandwich to work or order one.  Deli-meat is the last thing I want to eat at the end of the day.  Thanks for your help!

A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Mike this is your lucky day.  I'm going to show you how to make my all-time favorite snack meal.  It's what I eat at least three times a week.  One will stave off hunger for several hours, two are a meal, and, they can be assembled and baked in less than 10 minutes. And, as if that's not enough good news, they're made using fresh tomatoes and less bread too!

Mel's Tomato-Basil Pita Pizza:

IMG_0750~ Step 1.  Using a pair of kitchen shears, carefully cut around the top of and remove the tops from 1-2 pita pocket breads, to form a crust. If there are any small rips or tears in the bottom of the bread, use a small piece of the top to "patch it up" or "plug the hole".

IMG_0756~ Step 2.  I like to use grated provolone or smoked provolone cheese because of its flavor and its "stringy" consistency after it melts. Too tired to grate the cheese yourself?  A slice or two of provolone will do too!

IMG_0763~ Step 3.  Distribute a chiffonade of fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced basil) over the top.  I've used 4 large fresh basil leaves today. Don't have fresh basil on hand?  A sprinkling of dried basil leaves will do just fine!

IMG_0767~ Step 4.  Any kind of sliced tomato will do (store-bought too), as long as they're fresh... all tomatoes are great out of the oven.  

~ Step 5.  Top with a sprinkling of grated asiago or Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese and a light sprinkling of red pepper flakes:


IMG_0773~ Step 6.  Place 1-2 pita pizza(s) directly on the rack of the toaster oven.  Do not use a pan.




~ Step 7.  Toast, do not bake, until cheese is bubbly, about 6-7 minutes.

Remove from oven, drizzle with some EVOO, cool slightly and eat (sliced or whole) ASAP:


IMG_0742Tomato-Basil Pita Pizza:  My Favorite Snack Meal:  Recipe yields instructions to make as many pita pizzas as you want.

6a0120a8551282970b0133f4a0e82c970b-800wiSpecial Equipment List:  kitchen shears; cheese grater; toaster oven

Cook's Note:  To read my grandson's version of this pizzalicious snack ~ David's Penn State Pita Pizza ~ click into Categories 2, 14, 17 or 20!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference ~ Tomato-Basil Pita Pizza: My Favorite Snack Meal ~:


Thanks Mel!
I knew you would know just what to do!
I'll get going on it..

Marilyn! This is such a great question -- I'm probably going to do a "how to" blog post about it, but in the meantime:

1) Scrub the skillet with a soft brush using dish detergent & hot water.
2) Follow up with a steel wool soap pad to remove any and all stubborn spots.
3) Rinse & dry thoroughly. Check for even a speck of remaining rust. Repeat above steps if you find any.
4) Using a paper towel, very lightly coat dry skillet with vegetable oil.
5) Place skillet upside down on rack of preheated 300 degree oven for 1 hour.
6) Turn heat off. Crack door and allow to cool to room temperature.
8) Skillet is ready to use. Continue to clean with hot water and a soft brush (no detergent).

~ Mel.

Mel, I have a question about kitchen equipment. My cast iron skillet has rust spots on it. My friend washed it last weekend. Can I re-season it? Will it be safe to use now, or should I toss it. I use it for a pineapple upside down cake. My son is coming home this weekend for his birthday, and I would like to make this favorite cake for him. Many thanks!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment