3/13/06 | Ghetto Pizza
[ Currently Eating: Plain Bagel ]
Warning – extremely Cheap Eats up ahead. You may want to look away if you’re adverse to main meal recipes with only three ingredients.
If you were ever a hungry latch-key kid coming home from school, chances are you’ve made an afternoon snack like this before. I call it Ghetto Pizza, although maybe it should be called “Starving College Kid Pizza”. I happen to think this is quite good for lunchtime meals as well (as long as you eat other stuff with it, veggies would be nice!).
I actually wasn’t a latch-key kid until high school, but I still found occasion to make these every so often. The recipe is stupidly simple, has endless modifications, generally tastes “good” and can be fairly cheap as long as you don’t go putting any gourmet toppings on top.
We haven’t had a recipe on Cheap Eats in awhile, and I know that this doesn’t really count, but hey it’s cheap isn’t it? Here are the basics:
2 tbsp spaghetti sauce from a 26 oz. $2 jar — $0.07
1 slice of white bread — $0.10
1 slice cheese (mozzarella, swiss, etc.) — $0.15
optional pepper, dried oregano — negligible
If you can’t figure out how to make this, then I don’t know what to say. Put the sauce on the bread and cover with the cheese. Optional dried oregano and pepper on top. Put it in the toaster oven and toast it until the cheese is bubbly. That’s it.
You probably want to make a couple of these to fill you up. You couch potato guys, I’m talking to you…
Although this is pretty dumb and lame-easy to make, here are a few tips to making your Ghetto Pizza experience truly worthwhile.
Varying the type of bread can do wonders. I particularly like to use English Muffins as the base, because they are round like a mini-pizza, they have nooks and crannies where sauce can get into and because they have that extra crunch that normal toast doesn’t have. Another favorite is the Ghetto Pizza Bagels.
By the way, I know they have all these “mini-pizza” things you can buy in the frozen food section. I try and avoid those, because these are so easy to make.
If you’re REALLY hard up for sauce, well you can try using Ketchup. I can’t particularly stand Ketchup Ghetto Pizza though, there is just too strong of a taste to the sauce. I’ve tried mixing tomato sauce, tomato paste, and some herbs but it’s rather bland. The best sauce (other than making your own for cheaper) is the ready-made kind in a jar, about 26 ounces for $2 is the going rate. Probably cheaper on sale, and if generic.
The good thing is that you can store the jar in the fridge for a long time, and then just take a few scoops out for Ghetto Pizza as you need it. I like to get the sauces that have stuff in them, like Garlic and Mushrooms… that one works pretty well.
The cheese is probably the most expensive part of this equation. But you can easily get away with American Cheese on top, or even canned grated parm cheese. In the photos here, I had procurred a load of Swiss Cheese from the inlaws so that’s what I used. Mozzarella is of course the favored one, but I actually find it tends to pull off the bread easily since it’s so stretchy.
I find it tastes better to sprinkle some dried herbs and pepper on top. Use your imagination for other toppings… whatever you have leftover in the fridge will do.
A tip for putting this in the toaster. You may want to cover the grille with aluminum foil before making these, especially if the cheese is larger than the bread. Burnt cheese on the bottom of the toaster is kinda bad. Also, I like to use the “oven” setting because I find I need a longer toasting period on my crappy toaster to get the cheese nicely melted. Just don’t forget about it in the toaster or you’ll have a nice burnt mess.
For me Ghetto Pizza ranks right up there with the best Cheap Eats for people living at home… it is extremely cheap, uses readily available ingredients, can be used as hors d’oeuvres in a pinch, and doesn’t get boring if you vary the toppings. Why not make a few today in your toaster today? End Ghetto Pizza Commercial here…
Cheap Eats Score: 9/10