As with many food ideas, this one sprang from good old leftovers. In this case it was left over meat sauce from a spaghetti dinner we had. We didn't want spaghetti again right away and it seemed a good idea to use our tasty meat sauce (we use ground venison and ground beef in ours) in another dish. So I created the "pizza boat". They're great little boats and many have been ship wrecked by sailing right into my mouth - the "straits of Clawmute". Served with a green salad. It's boarding house diner's rules - one foot on the floor at all times!
Every time I prepare these I am surprised at the simplicity and small amount of time that goes into them. Mainly I'm surprised at how tasty and filling they are. We just had them a couple of nights ago and I frequently take one to work for lunch & heat it up in the microwave.
These are so popular and tasty around our house that now we make up a batch of meat sauce especially for the pizza boats.
Things You'll Need
- Several whole wheat "boat" bolillio rolls(as I have dubbed them) There are the same or similar to the hoagie rolls excepting for the shape. I pick these up at a local Wal-Mart, but they are pretty com
- Spaghetti meat sauce cooked for the occasion or leftover. (note: Chili, sloppy joe mix, chopped barbeque all work for this recipe.
- Grated cheese of your choice. Sharp cheddar, Swiss, American - whatever you have or like is fine.
- Toaster oven or conventional oven.
- Optional adders - chopped onion, chopped bell peppers, jalepeno, black olives, shrimp or just about anything your little ol' heart desires.
First hollow out your boats. I cut around the bottom (flat part) with a serrated knife, then scoop out the inside bread with a fork. Leave enough bread in the bottom so that your filling doesn't start to leak through when you spoon it in. If you can't find the pointed end "bolillio" rolls then the blunt ended hoagie roll type is fine, as long as they are thick enough to be hollowed out and have room for a filling.
Next lightly toast these hollowed out pizza boats to firm them up a little. Just barely brown is OK. Now cover the inside bottom of your boats with grated cheese and put them back in the oven toaster just long enough to melt the cheese a little. If you want, sprinkle the cheese with red pepper if you like it spicy.
Use leftover meat sauce or prepare from scratch meat sauce exactly like you do for spaghetti, with maybe a little more meat. We made up this batch especially for pizza boats just a couple of days before I wrote this article, and I am eating one as I type this!
Now ladle in your filling of well pre-heated pizza meat sauce, adding chopped onion, bell pepper and/or any other goodies. Top the filled boat with more shredded cheese and pop back in the oven for another ten minutes or so at about 375-425deg. or until the shredded cheese has melted and the bread is beginning to brown. Remember, the sauce needs to be pre-warmed so that you won't have to heat the filled boats until the filling is warm.
Let your completed pizza boats cool a little and then serve with a green salad and beverage of your liking. These will hit the spot. They stay hot for a long time so don't dig in too fast! These pizza boats sail straight from the shipyard onto your plate, but they won't be afloat for long.
Tips & Warnings
- These boats can also be filled with a mixture of stir fry vegetables, rice and shredded wok chicken, a very good and tasty way to use Chinese prepared dishes in a different manner. Pizza boats, chili boats, chicken boats - whatever you call them they're just good!
- Make extras and pop them in the fridge to be eaten later, or to take for lunch on a work or school day. They can even be frozen.
- Set your pizza boats out of the fridge an hour or so before you reheat them. It will cut down on the amount of time they have to be reheated.
- Try one of these made with a filling of crisp fried bacon and sliced tomatoes and then covered with shredded cheese.
- A sausage and egg filling makes a great and tasty breakfast.
- Be sure and prepare extra. You'll be amazed at how fast these go!
- Photo Credit Photos & images by F.L. Jennings - aka Clawmute
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