6 Super Simple Meals for New College Cooks Part II: Personalized Pizza Bagels, & Korean Beef
In case you missed Part I, I explained in yesterday’s update that I’ll be posting six easy recipes for college-bound cooks: two recipes a day for three days.
All of the recipes are quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive. I’m also providing step-by-step-by-endless-step photos of how to produce these gems. If you can use a mouse to scroll down a page, you can pretty much make these recipes.
I remember my junior year at college when I moved into a brand-new townhouse that just happened to be down the road a piece from my husband’s brand-new matching townhouse. I lived with five girls, and he lived with five guys.
At that stage in my life, I was a clueless culinarian. Determining how much water to use to boil hotdogs was done on a wing and a prayer. Thankfully, my husband, Jame, had grown up helping out in his parent’s coffee shop in Edgebrook, Illinois, and at least knew the basics of how to fry a hamburger, make a mean taco, and grill a steak. It was wonderful to be able to bop on down to his place for dinner after a long day of classes and work. Come to think of it though, there was that one incident of his leaving the packaging on the bottom of the frozen pizza that incinerated the cardboard, which tripped the smoke alarm, and stunk up his place for the better part of a week. But we’ll consider that an anomaly, and move on.
We’re all novice cooks at some point. If you know of someone who fits that bill, or know of someone who just likes to make simple dishes, send these easy-peasy yet tasty recipes on over to them.
I imagine they’ll be glad to get them.
Personalized Pizza Bagels
The unnerving part of making your own dinner is often not the actual cooking part, but considering what to shop for and pull together for each meal of the week. If you have a handy list of easy go-to meals with many of the items stocked in your pantry, you’re a step ahead of the game. It’s even better if you and your roommates take turns cooking throughout the week.
By the way, PB&J’s don’t count.
When you think of pizza bagels, you’re probably conjuring up a ready-made, frozen little plug that you pull out of a box or bag and toss in a microwave. But, personally, I think those products taste the way I imagine taking a bite out of a flip flop would: tough, chewy, and completely devoid of flavor. You’ll soon find that anytime you can use fresher ingredients, the flavors come alive, and the textures improve immensely.
The idea with these personalized faux pizzas is to layer on whatever ingredients make you happy.
Here are the pizza bagel basics.
A bag of bagels
1 small can of pizza sauce
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella per bagel
And then add whatever else you’d like:
Small pouch of pepperoni (optional)
1 bell pepper (optional)
1 slice of onion (optional)
1/8 cup of sliced black olives (optional)
1 tablespoon of shredded parmesan (optional)
a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
a pinch of oregano (optional)
a dash of salt and pepper (optional)
* Line a sheet pan with foil for easier clean up.
* Cut the bagel in half if it isn’t already, and toast it in your toaster, if it fits, or under the broiler for a couple of minutes, if it doesn’t. Don’t skip this step. If you skip it, your pizza base will be soft and chewy instead of crisp and crunchy. Toast them light, toast them dark. It doesn’t matter.
* Spread on the pizza sauce.
* Then start layering whatever toppings you prefer. Personally, I like my pizza loaded up with plenty of goodness.
If you aren’t looking for crispy pepperoni, lay it down under the cheese. If you want it crispy, leave it for last. It’s totally up to you. This is your kitchen now. You make the pizza-topping-layering rules. The good thing about pepperoni is that it’s dried, cured and ready to eat. No E. coli worries to be had if you don’t cook it as much as you had intended to. Cooking it merely renders out some of the fat and makes it more delectable.
Once you have your pizza bagels all nicely arranged on your cookie sheet, pop them in a 400º degree oven for 10 -15 minutes, or until the cheese is a nice golden brown.
I ask you, how delicious does that look?
And you know how we talked about this being your kitchen now? Well, that also means that you get all the yummy little treats left in the pan that my mom would call “schnibbles”. I don’t know why she calls them that, exactly. But I do know that there are certain questions best left unasked.
See the ring of browned mozzarella lusciousness below that secretly lives under the center each bagel?
To the victor go the schnibbles . . . or something like that.
Here’s the printable version.
Personalized Pizza Bagels
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||15 minutes|
|Total time||25 minutes|
- Store bought bagels
- 1 Small can of pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella per bagel
|Slice bagels and toast them either in a toaster, or under the broiler until golden brown.|
|Spread desired amount of pizza sauce on the bagel.|
|Layer on toppings of choice: pepperoni, thinly sliced onion, green pepper, mushrooms, black olives, and shredded cheese.|
|Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.|
Next up . . . Korean Beef
This is a recipe I posted a few months ago, but for those of you who are newcomers and haven’t yet tried it, you’ll be so happy once you do.
It’s really easy and packs a lot of punch. As simple as it is, it’s actually one of the top five most popular recipes on this site. I think that’s because it introduces us to new flavor combinations, and is super fast to make at the end of a long day. It’s savory, sweet, and spicy all in a single bite.
Basically, you’re browning the beef, adding in flavorings and spices, and then plating it over a hot bed of rice.
How simple is that?
You can find the full recipe HERE.
Give it a try. I’m sure you’ll be a fan soon as well!
If any of you have made this Korean Beef dish before and can help me vouch for it, just leave a message in the comments. Thanks!