Pizza Party Sub

dsc_0247RECIPE #428, DAY #598

FOUR STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Pizza,” from Food Network Magazine‘s 50 Party Subs*

TIMING: 30 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy

TOOLS: Foil, baking sheet, skillet, bread knife, small pan and whisk

COOK TYPE: Oven and stovetop

HEALTH: As terrible for you as a Super Bowl pizza party sub sounds, it wasn’t really that bad. I served it with a green salad, so although it was a little over the top in the meat and dairy department, it really wasn’t that bad. Relatively speaking.

dsc_0248EXPERIENCE: Super Bowl time, and my mom and step-dad (with the giant TV and cable) were out of town. Usually, I show up there with some food, but this time the onus was on me. My step-brother and his girlfriend were going to be out for the afternoon anyways, so I said, “Just stay. It’s about time they figured out streaming Super Bowl.”

Alas, I was right. I managed to get the Super Bowl to stream to the Roku and–despite having a sinus infection which had been making my face hurt for weeks–I whipped up a few things. Wings. A bowl of Canadian loaded chips. Warm black bean dip. A green salad. Brownies. And a pizza party sub. I said, “Bring your own drinks.”

Normally, I might even add chili and another, layered dip instead of the potato chips, a composed side or two like potato salad and macaroni salad, and a veggie tray. Fancier, thematic dessert. Plus some sort of special drinks. But this was more than enough for the 5 of us (including 2 kids).

Everyone loved the pizza subs. The only reason I do not give them a 5 is–like usual–it lacked that wow factor. But most of us went back for seconds. Yum.

NOTES: This sandwich is not the size of, say, a Subway party sub. It will be the size of your baguette. I would say it could serve 4-6 for dinner.

As with any warm and greasy sub, I would not object to a salad of shredded iceberg lettuce tossed with a mayonnaise dressing heaped on top before closing. My husband always likes hot peppers on his subs.

Feel free to add basil chiffonade after the sub comes out of the oven.

You could also use a bulk Italian sausage in place of the hamburger. I used hamburger because my favorite sub at my local sandwich shop, growing up, was a greasy Pizza Burger sub. You can also use pizza sauce instead of the marinara.

***

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a small pan over medium-low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2-4 cloves pressed garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a hefty pinch of black pepper.
  3. Split open a long, nice, crunchy baguette so that it will make a party sub. On the cut sides, evenly spread the garlic butter. Close the bread on itself and wrap complete in foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, brown 1 pound ground beef in a skillet until browned thoroughly. Salt and pepper and remove from the pan. Using about 1 tablespoon of the fat still in the pan, saute 1 sliced red bell pepper with 1/2 cup sliced onion until beginning to brown around the edges. Salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. Lay the 2 halves of the garlic bread out, split side up. On 1 half, spread about 1 cup marinara sauce, then the ground beef, then the pepper and onion, then 1/4-1/2 pound slices of mozzarella. On the other half, layer 1/4 pound sliced pepperoni and 1/3 cup grated asiago.
  6. Bake the sandwich, open-faced, for about 12 minutes. Close, cut, and serve.

***

Serve with a vegetable antipasto salad and a beer.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: My husband ate the last bit cold out of the fridge the next day. He said it was good. Your aim, though, is to eat it all while still warm and crispy and gooey, straight from the oven.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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