Guest Post by JoAnn Reno Wray
When fall comes with its cooler weather, football games, yellow mums, and marching bands, I hark back to eighth grade.
My girlfriend, Sandy, and I begged our parents to have a pre-game party. After much wheedling and countless promises to do housework, clean our rooms, and get better grades, they said yes. We immediately invited about twelve friends.
Sandy's mom and mine were in a dither about what to prepare that wouldn't break the bank with so many hungry teenagers.
Then my mother found a recipe in a magazine, modified it, tried it out on our guinea pig family of seven, and we had a winner. We dubbed it "All American Pizza." I can hardly believe that I've been making this recipe since 1965 and always to rave reviews.
If you like cheesy burgers and crusty bread, you'll love this. It's easy, inexpensive, fast, and serves a crowd. To round out the meal, just add fresh baby carrots and celery on the side, a salad, or our favorite, tangy Cole slaw, and your favorite chips, and you are good to go! And you can always add a big dish of baked beans, too. This will feed a party in no time.
All American Pizza
Preheat Oven to 375°
Cooking Time: 25 min. + 5 min.
NEEDS: Mixing Bowl, Stirring spoons, rubber spatula, measuring cups and spoons, aluminum foil, cookie or baking sheet, knife, chopping board, hot pads, oven mitts.
1 loaf French Bread
1 to 1.25 lb. Lean Ground Beef (more for thicker meat)
2 Jumbo Eggs
4 oz. Evaporated Milk
¼ Cup Catsup
1 Tablespoon Mustard (yellow, brown, your choice)
3 slices bread made into crumbs in food processor
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
1½ tsp. Mrs. Dash
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 small or ½ medium onion-diced
1 tsp. Dried Cilantro (optional)
¼ tsp. Pepper (or more if preferred)
½ tsp. Italian Seasoning
Mushrooms (Optional: add to top after Parmesan)
1 Cup finely shredded Mozzarella
1 Cup finely shredded Cheddar
1.) Cut French Bread in half lengthwise. Wrap bottom half of each with aluminum foil so the bread sits in it cut side up. Place on cookie sheets, side by side.
2.) In Bowl mix ingredients for meat mixture in order, blending well.
3.) Using rubber Spatula, spread meat mixture on cut halves of French bread, evenly dividing it.
4.) Generously sprinkle top of meat with Parmesan. (Add mushrooms here, if desired.)
5.) Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Slide pizza out of oven onto heat safe surface or hot pads.
6.) Top evenly with mozzarella and cheddar.
7.) Bake 5 minutes more until cheese melts.
8.) Cool for about 10 minutes.
9.) Fold back sides of foil and slice into 1" wide slices for serving.
I've also made this and added a layer of fresh, thinly sliced tomatoes to the top of the meat mixture about 15 minutes after putting it in the oven then added more Parmesan on top of those and topping with the other cheeses as listed. Yum!
When I have any left over (rare), after it is cooled, I put a layer of waxed paper on top, then wrap it in two layers of regular foil or one layer of heavy duty foil and freeze.
Allow to stand at room temperature after taking it from the freezer for at least 30 minutes. It can be reheated in an oven on a cookie sheet at 350° for about 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil from the top during the last 10 minutes. It will keep in the refrigerator wrapped in foil for several days.
Happy eating! Now pardon me while I go start on my Christmas cookie baking. I usually make between 200 and 400 dozen of 25 different kinds each year. My husband, Roger, our children, and grands are all eagerly waiting to be taste testers again.