Though I sure don’t miss the extreme winters that Chicago has, also now known as “Chiberia”, I sure do miss all of their wonderful food! From Polish festivals, to Irish Pubs, exotic China Town, incredible hotdogs, deep-dish pizzas, and Italian Beef sandwiches!
While my hubby was away on business, I decided to actually “cook” for myself. Something I’m terribly irresponsible about doing when he’s not at home. I hate cooking for one! Well, only when it’s for me, anyways.
But we had a dab of leftover French Dip beef in the freezer, and I got to thinking about what I could do with it to stretch it out. I’m good at doctoring up a frozen pizza when he’s away, so I thought, why not? Some of the elements were already partially built-in already! And this was something that I was willing to “cook” for myself. 😉
The “basic” Chicago Italian beef sandwich usually had lots of oregano and I always add pepperoncinis to mine, too. The “deluxe” version has “red sauce” (pizza sauce usually), and melted mozzarella. You can also pile your sandwich with “the works” which includes sautéed mushrooms, onions and bell peppers!
This sounded like it could easily be done on a pizza! Right? 😀
So that was the master plan. 😉
I pulled a few homegrown peppers from last summer out of the freezer. A small green bell, a mild sweet banana pepper, and another pepper that had just a little bit of heat.
Diced them up along with some onion and fresh sliced mushrooms, butter and some oregano!
Looks like a great start!! 😀
Since this was just going to be for me, and I didn’t feel like fussing with anything, I used a store-bought frozen pizza. Plain with lots of cheeses!
I piled the pizza with the sautéed veggies, then topped them with the leftover French Dip!
It still needed a blanket of cheese on top to keep everything from drying out of course, so I used a nice blend of mozzarella and provolone.
I only had two pepperoncinis left, so I sliced them up and simply added them on top, too, along with more oregano, basil, and a little garlic salt to season the cheese.
Look how gorgeous it turned out! Not too shabby for leftovers, freezer stash, and a frozen pizza!
Look at all that yummy cheeeeeeeeese!!!
Letting this cool down so that the volcanic filling doesn’t incinerate the roof of my mouth….
Ready for a slice? 😀
And there we have it! (You can add the pepperoncinis before or after baking. When baked, they have a very featherly-light and delicate crunch and are so good! But either way would be just fine.) If I had had more, I would’ve tripled the amount and added half on before and half after baking!
This pizza fed me for three days! And BOY was it ever tasty! So if you end up with a dab of French Dip or italian beef left that’s not enough for one last sandwich, this is a super fun way to use it up! I had a little bit of au jus left from the beef, and it was AWESOME dipping the pizza slices into! It honestly really did resemble a Chicago-Style Italian Beef sandwich! 😀 I was really pleased with this easy no-brainer, and it sure brought a smile to my face! 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this simple to prepare, DELICIOUS, weeknight meal idea! Take care all, and THINK SPRING!! 😀 ~Kelly
Please click here for my French Dip recipe. *If you don’t have any cooked beef on hand, and want to keep it very simple, simply cook a small chuck roast in the pressure cooker (browning both sides in oil first) with some oregano, salt, pepper, and one can of beef consommé. Pull into chunks. (Skim fat from juice and save for dunking.)
French Dip beef, or tender cooked chunks of chuck roast (