By Michelle Cox
March Madness has arrived and I’ve got a unique recipe you can serve during the next round of tournament games. My friend, Sandy Brownlee, suggested the possibility of a chili dog pizza during a recent conversation about food.
The more I thought about it, the more sense it made, so I decided to experiment a bit. The final result comes with the husband seal of approval.
Individual frozen dinner rolls (I used the Rhodes brand)
Hot dog chili (I used the Wolf brand chili)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Hot dogs (I used Oscar Meyer)
*The amounts will depend on how many mini pizzas you are making. These are about five inches in diameter so you will probably want to plan on a minimum of two per person.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spray with Pam. Place the frozen roll dough on the cookie sheet/wax paper leaving room between them for the dough to rise. Pull off enough wax paper to cover the rolls. Spray it with Pam and put the sprayed side on top of the rolls.
Place the dough in a warm place to rise. This will take about three hours. (To give the dough a jump-start, I usually turn my oven on and let it heat to 170° while I’m putting the dough on the cookie sheet. Then I turn the oven off right before I put the baking pan in the oven. After about an hour the oven will start to cool so I place a large plastic bowl of very warm water on the rack under the baking pan.)
Once the dough has risen (it will look puffy), remove the baking pan from the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° while you assemble the pizzas. (Oh yeah, be sure to remove the plastic bowl of water before turning on the oven. I’m not going to tell you how I know this, but let’s just say that melting plastic smells like candles burning and it forms fascinating streams of molten plastic that aren’t fun to clean out of the oven.)
Okay, back to assembling the chili dog pizzas. Place the baking pan on the counter and gently pull both sheets of wax paper and dough off the pan and onto the counter. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on the pan and swirl it around to lightly cover the surface. Then take each mound of dough and flatten it into a round shape. Continue until all the rolls are flattened and shaped.
Place a heaping tablespoon of hot dog chili on each pizza crust and spread it to cover the surface. Cover with mozzarella cheese and then add some cheddar cheese. Cut the hot dogs (about half a hot dog for each pizza) into slices and then quarter each slice. Put the hot dog pieces on tin foil and place them in the oven for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the pieces on top of the cheese.
Place the pizzas into the oven and bake for 9-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the pizzas are lightly browned. Cut into quarters and serve.
You can also serve an assortment of toppings such as chopped onions, mustard, or relish that your guests can add as desired.
*I originally found the idea for using Rhodes rolls to make traditional mini pizzas on Pinterest.
Michelle Cox is a delightful author, a magnificent chef and my friend. Each week she will be sharing a special recipe from her collection of amazing creations! She and her husband, Paul, live near Asheville, North Carolina. Be sure to visit her website – Michelle Cox Inspirations.