We're starting with this one for two reasons … one, it's simple and two, my oldest son's eyes rolled back in his head when he ate it. In his words, "Anything dipped in pizza sauce has to be good." I'm not sure he would feel that way about brussels sprouts, but point taken.
Here's what we need:
Sliced mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Now we go to Kroger to find these items. What? Too basic for you, sons? OK, I'll sit in the car while you shop. I'll just listen to some music while you're gone … maybe the oldies station …. (cell phone rings) "Yes, son? Pepperoni? It's at the end of the aisle by frozen foods." Scoobie doobie doo …. (cell phone rings) "Yes, son? Go to the chips aisle …. can I come in now?"
Let's start at the beginning.
You can find the produce, I'm sure. You'll see piles of apples and bananas. Find the tomatoes and pick a nice big one that is slightly soft which means it is ripe. These tomatoes were $ 1.99 a pound so one big logo could cost $ 1, but I do not make the highway robbery rules here. You do not have to weigh it … just take one of those little plastic bags and put it in there.
This recipe calls for Italian bread. You could use that awful white bread you already bought, the stuff I always told you not to buy, cause it's like eating paste although the paste is better for you, and this Italian bread probably is not much better, but … let's just get this over with. You could buy the expensive fancy Italian bread in the bakery section and it will taste heavenly if you do, but it will set you back about $ 2.99 a loaf. And since you only make $ 8.50 an hour, this does not seem wise. This Italian bread is hidden right in there with the other mass produced loaves of bread. It was on sale for $ 1.49.
Now you need a small jar of pizza sauce. It's hidden in the spaghetti aisle, right above the Boboli pizza crises which are really awful, by the way. Buy two jars if you like. The Kroger brand was on sale for $ .89 and you can always use pizza sauce.
Garlic salt is in that aisle with spices, sugar, baking stuff like flour and sugar. The Kroger brand was on sale for $ 1 and this jar will last forever. We will use it again, I promise.
Now we're in the dairy section looking for sliced mozzarella. You could buy a big hunk for $ 5.99 and slice it yourself, which is a possible danger, or just opt for the already sliced variety which was on sale for $ 1.79. You can get 4 or 5 sandwiches out of this.
Moving down the dairy aisle, we're going to buy some butter. Do not get those tubs or margarine. Get the real butter in those rectangular boxes that have 4 sticks in them. There's nothing better than the real thing and your arms are not going to clog unless you're eating the sticks like a Popsicle. The Kroger salted butter was $ 3.29 and the value butter was $ 2.98.
The grated Parmesan is hiding. It's over by the chips, above the cheese whiz and Velveeta and next to the popcorn. The Kroger brand was $ 2.99. Get some popcorn while you're there and use it as a tasty topping.
I took a picture of the pepperoni and it disappeared, but it is usually hiding at the end of the frozen food aisle. It's hanging there in little packages with summer sausage down below. I am sure there are no redeeming qualities to pepperoni, but this is a pizza sandwich, so who am I to judge? You'll have tons left over but I do not think it ever spoils. You do keep it in the refrigerator after you open it, you know.
Now we're ready to construct and cook.
We need a frying pan, this one is Teflon coated, a knife to cut the tomato, a cutting board, a spatula and a little glass dish to heat the pizza sauce in.
Here's the skilled part. Wash off the tomato and then cut out the stem area with a sharp knife. Then, you just slice the tomato in rather thin slices for your sandwich. I find that a knife with serrated edges works the best on tomatoes, but just do the best you can. It's not about beauty after all. Just hack it up so that you can put it on your sandwich.
See? Sliced and ready to go. No blood, no fingers … another successful day in the kitchen. I have ended up in the emergency room after a cooking frenzy, but that's a story for another day.
Now it's time to build our sandwich. We'll be licking pizza sauce off our elbows in about 5 minutes. I promise.
First, lay down two pieces of the bread.
Top each with a slice of mozzarella.
Top each with a tomato slice.
Sprinkle Parmesan on on each (Just shake it! There's no right amount!)
Sprinkle each stack with garlic salt.
Finally, stack some pepperoni on there … 5, 6, 20 slices, I do not care. Put another piece of mozzarella on each one and top with a slice of bread. It hath been built. Now we cook.
We're not "spreading" butter on the bread before we put it in the skillet. Only sissies do that. Just cut off a slab of butter and throw it in the pan. Put the heat on low, melt the butter and then put your lovely creations in the pan, on top of the butter.
At this point, you can turn the heat up a little, but never more than medium. This is a loving, slow process.
You should lift the sandwich up just a little with your spatula to see if the bread is getting toasty. When it gets nice and brown … not smoking burnt … turn it over. This can get tricky, so have the spatula in one hand and you can use your other hand to kind of hold on to it a little. Develop your own style.
You do not want the heat too high because you want the cheese to melt and if the heat is high, the bread gets toasted too fast and the cheese is still solid and …. get the idea? Oh yes, you can always add more butter when you flip the sandwich if you want. Just move your sandwiches around until they soap up so more of it.
If you're happy with the state of your sandwiches, turn off the heat and dump the pizza sauce in your dish and microwave it for 90 seconds. Listen up, cause this is an important life lesson. Do not microwave pizza sauce without a top on it. Do not microwave any liquid without a top on it. I know you've done it because I've seen your microwaves. They are encrypted with mystery liquids …. layers of them …. like you did not learn the first, second or 20th time that liquids explode and fly all over the inside of the microwave and they never get cleaned … enough preaching.
So here you go! Toasty, gooey, yummy pizza sandwiches that you can dip into the pizza sauce until you are bloated and unable to move from your couch … when you can afford one, that is.
Oh yes. Make your mother happy and throw some grapes or carrots on this plate. Maybe both. Let me live in a fantasy world that you are eating balanced meals. Sigh.