Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cheeseburger French Bread

What kind of pizza person are you?  Are you a plain ol' pepperoni and cheese type?  Supreme? Sausage? Or do you get a little more adventurous with your toppings from time to time?  I'll tell you, there are times where I crave just a plain jane pepperoni pizza, but there are other times where my tastebuds will venture out and I'll crave a cheeseburger pizza, or even something like this prosciutto, goat cheese, and jalapeno pizza.  Toppings that are a bit different and that some wouldn't even dream of putting on a pizza.  But sometimes those random, "out there" toppings end up making the best pizzas! 
Do you ever find yourself craving a pizza but you just don't have the time (and/or desire) to make the dough and go through all those motions?  I know I've been there several times.  The other day, I was in the mood for pizza, it was getting late and I just didn't have the time to make the dough and wait for it to rise.  So, I took a step back in time and did what my parents did for me countless times when I was young.  Whenever I was younger and I was craving a pizza and either we A) didn't have the time to wait for it to bake or call it in or B) I was the only one craving pizza my parents would make me my very own pizza bread.  They would get a hot dog bun or cut a loaf of bread in half, spread some sauce, toppings and cheese on it and pop it in the oven to melt the cheese and heat everything through.  Even though it wasn't a traditional pizza it was so sooo good and hit the spot every. single. time!  After having these a few times I got to where I craved these more than I craved pizza.  They were easy to throw together and I started getting involved in the preparation process; helping shred the cheese, layering in the toppings and so on.  I had so much fun trying new toppings and helping my parents make my food.
Fast forward several years and the famous pizza bread made an appearance in my life again.  For some reason I had gone years without making the stuff and I'm not quite sure why that happened.  One day, my little man was craving pizza but I didn't have any dough already made and he was beyond hungry.  So what's a mom to do when her little boy's hungry and there's no time to spare?  Make lemonade out of lemons...or in this case, pizza out of french bread! 
I already had a loaf of french bread, some browned ground beef and all the other toppings so I decided to make a cheeseburger french bread.  Something easy, delicious and satisfying, a sinch to throw together.  Tucker loves to help in the kitchen and he was eager to help when I was making his "special bread pizza", so he pulled up a chair and helped spread the sauce, place the meat and sprinkle the cheese.  I think more cheese made it in his mouth than on the actual bread, but there is something to be said for quality control!  After we topped the bread, we popped it in the oven and let it bake a few minutes.  The end result was a tasty bread that was full of flavor and that my entire family enjoyed! 
This concept is so easy and so versatile.  You can layer just about anything to suite the tastes of even the pickiest eaters.  This is also perfect for gatherings, as you can make several different varieties so everyone can have their choice.  This bread is also perfect for those quick, week night meals for those busy families and families on the go.  You can have a satisfying and filling meal on the table in about 20-25 minutes.  Throw a green or pasta salad together and call it good!

Cheeseburger French Bread

1 Loaf french bread
1/4-1/2 Cup honey mustard(depending on how much sauce you like), recipe follows (or use store bought)
1/4 Cup pickles, chopped- home made or your favorite kind
1 Small tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 Cup white onion, finely chopped
1 Cup ground beef, browned and drained
1-1 1/4 Cups sharp cheddard, shredded


Preheat oven to 350.

Cut bread in half, lengthwise, and place on baking sheet.  Place the bread in the preheated oven and toast until lightly crisp, about 5 minutes. 

Remove bread from oven.  Spread half of the honey mustard on one half of the bread, and the remaining on the other half.  Top with a little over half of the ground beef, followed by 2 1/2 tablespoons of pickles, 2 1/2 tablespoons of onion, chopped tomato and shredded cheese.  Top with remaining ground beef, pickles and onions and more cheese, if desired.  Return to oven and bake about 10-15 minutes, until cheese has melted.  Remove from oven, allow to set for 5 minutes then serve.

For the honey mustard-
2Tbsp yellow mustard
2 Tbsp brown mustard
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3-4 Tbsp honey

Mix all ingredients to combine.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

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