Dinner on a budget

One of the greatest challenges we face with me staying home is sticking to a tight budget. At first I thought I would feel a void in my clothes shopping or just random spending. However, the line item that revealed itself to be the toughest to trim down, is food shopping. In case you haven't noticed, we love to eat and we love to eat well. Going out to eat is one of our biggest vices and I have always loved keeping our pantry and fridge stocked to a somewhat swollen state.

For so long, my favorite weekend activity was watching The Food Network, seeing a recipe I had to try, then going out to buy the ingredients no matter what they were. What was that Ina? Saffron threads? No problem. Oh, how those days are gone. I still love to experiment in the kitchen, but now I am enjoying the process of finding ways to make delicious meals with a little more frugality. That also involves bringing what we love to eat out, in.

If you are ever in the Lexington, Louisville, Bloomington or Indianapolis area, I highly recommend that you try Puccini's Smiling Teeth restaurant. They make some of the best pizza I have ever tasted with really different and interesting flavors. In the spirit of trying to save a few dollars, I attempted to recreate one of their recipes at home with pretty favorable results. It worked out to be around half the cost, but I was able to load up more on the toppings. All in all, not bad for a tasty pizza under $10.

One package store bought pizza crust (in the refrigerated section)
1/2 - 3/4 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
One lb. chorizo sausage
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
3/4 cup chopped yellow pepper
3 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Cook the pizza crust according to package instructions. I like to bake it for about 8 minutes before I put any topings on to make sure it is cooked all the way through. Also, be sure to sprinkle the bottom of your pan with corn meal to absorb any excess moisture and keep the crust from sticking.
In the meantime, brown the sausage in a pan, separating into chunks with the back of your spoon.
On the partially cooked pizza dough, layer the sauce, 3/4 of the cheese, sausage, peppers, then the rest of the cheese.
Sprinkle the top with the fresh cilantro and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


LeTonia said...

Looks soooooooo good!

sara said...

I have some more chorizo in the freezer. You coming over may be just the excuse to make this one again!