Recipe: Chorizo, Mushroom, and Cheese Pizza

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I keep ready-made pizza crusts (such as Boboli) in my refrigerator or freezer in case people show up unexpectedly for drinks. I also stock sausages in my freezer and cheese in my refrigerator to use as toppings. These pizzas can also be made with tortillas, which require only about 10 minutes to cook, and with different toppings, among them sliced tomato, Gruyère cheese, and zucchini—whatever you have on hand. I like assertive cheeses on my pizza, so I often combine some leftover blue with Camembert and/or Brie, Reblochon, or St. Albray. Serve with a green salad.

4 servings

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the bottom of the pizza crust with a little of the oil. Place the crust on a cookie sheet, sprinkle the onion on top, and evenly distribute the chorizo, mushrooms, bell pepper, and sliced garlic on the crust. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and top with the cheese. Sprinkle on the remaining oil.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until well browned and crisp. Cut into wedges and serve.

Episode 224: Pop Over Anytime

Pantry staples and convenience foods take the stress out of visitors popping in! Jacques begins with a handy, pre-made pizza shell for his Chorizo, Mushroom and Cheese Pizza. With a box of pasta and can of tuna from the cupboard, he creates Orecchiette with Fennel and Tuna. Lastly, a couple of eggs combined with the pantry staples of flour and sugar are whipped up into a kid-friendly dessert: Popover with Apricot Jam.

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Minute Recipe: Spanish Tomato Bread and Serrano Ham or Prosciutto

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I first enjoyed a dish similar to this at the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry in Bilbao, Spain. A Rioja red wine is best with this appetizer.

Rub 4 well-toasted slices of crusty, country-style bread with a large garlic clove. Halve a very ripe tomato and press out the seeds and juice. Rub the halved tomato vigorously on the toasted bread slices to coat the bread with the "pureed" tomato flesh. (Do not make these more than 1 hour ahead, or the tomato will make the toast soggy.) Sprinkle on a little of your best olive oil and a dash of coarse salt, like fleur de sel. Serve the toasts with a couple of slices of serrano ham, prosciutto, or chorizo sausage.

4 servings