Hello and welcome to Pizza and a Movie! This week I have been sharing recipes perfect for your Memorial Day or summertime cookouts, barbecues and get-togethers. Today we are keeping with that theme for Pizza and a Movie, with Cheeseburger Pizza. A fun combination of cheeseburger flavors on a pizza. Our movie today, isn’t technically a movie; it’s a miniseries on HBO called Mare of Easttown. The series wraps up this Sunday, and with all the previous episodes available to watch, it’s a great movie night option. Let’s get to the Pizza!
We are going to use a few of our tried and true techniques (remember Tacos Dorados?) for cooking the ground beef. First, make a baking soda slurry for the raw ground beef, and toss the ground beef with the slurry and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of grapeseed or vegetable oil in a skillet and when it’s shimmering, add the ground the beef. Season with Salt and pepper to taste. Cook, breaking up the ground beef with a spatula until the beef is browned and cooked through.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ground beef to a mixing bowl and add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix the cheese and ground beef together until the cheese is melted and well incorporated in the beef. You can make this early in the day and refrigerate it until you’re ready to make the pizza.
Wood Fired Pizza!
The weather is gorgeous today, so we are back outside to cook this pizza in the wood fired oven. If you’re cooking your pizza in the kitchen oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and set up your pizza making station with your ingredients.
A classic American cheeseburger typically has the bun, burger, cheddar (or American) cheese, tomato slices, onion slices, dill pickles and a lettuce leaf. Our pizza will slightly replicate this with crushed San Marzano tomatoes as the base. Combining the cheese with the cooked ground beef gives us the cheddar cheese and burger flavors. So, then we have mozzarella cheese, red onion slices and pickled peppers, instead of traditional dill pickles.
The flavors missing are the condiments: ketchup and mustard. I chose pickled peppers because they have the tart pickle flavor and the brightness that you’d get from mustard. And for the ketchup…we won’t really miss it! If you want to do this as a pan pizza in the oven, it would be great that way too.
Ready for the Oven
This pizza is going into the wood fired oven. The surface (or deck) of the oven is at 725 degrees. This pizza will cook for about 90 seconds. In your kitchen oven, bake the pizza for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
The cheese we mixed with the cooked ground beef gets re-melted and melds with ground beef, bringing that cheddar flavor. Because we used the baking soda slurry, the hamburger meat is tender and juicy. All the flavors work really well with this Cheeseburger Pizza. It’s a delicious combination, reminiscent of a classic American Cheeseburger.
Movie Night: Mare of Easttown
Pizza is ready, let’s get to the movie (or miniseries :). As I mentioned at the top, Mare of Easttown is a 7-episode miniseries. This is a compelling crime drama, each episode leaving you wanting to watch the next one. HBO released each new episode on Sundays, with the final episode this Sunday, which is great because you can catch up on the whole series in time for the finale. In this era of binge-watching, it is kinda refreshing to have to wait a week to see a new episode; like old times! This could have been a movie, but it works so well in miniseries format. The long format gives you plenty of time to get to know Mare and her family and feel the struggles of the town and its people.
Kate Winslet plays the title role of Mare Sheehan, a police detective in a small Pennsylvania town. I have loved Kate Winslet, since Beautiful Creatures and I have to say this might be my favorite role of hers. She is Mare Sheehan in this show. Jean Smart plays her mother, and their dynamic is wonderful to watch and feel. This show has really surprised me so far, just when you think you’ve got it figured out, it cleverly unwinds your perception and throws you a curveball, but isn’t cloying or over-the-top. I am eagerly awaiting Sunday’s finale, and I hope you give this show a watch!
Ground beef gets browned and mixed with cheddar cheese to top a pizza with tomatoes, onions and pickled peppers. It's a delicious combination, reminiscent of a classic American Cheeseburger.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tbsp. Water
- 1 tbsp. Grapeseed or Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
- 1/4 cup Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes, with their juices
- 1/2 16-oz. Package of Sliced Fresh Mozzarella, torn into pieces
- 1/4 Medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
- Several Pepperoncini Peppers, stemmed and halved
Ground Beef Prep/Cheeseburger Mixture
Make a baking soda slurry with the water and toss the ground beef with the slurry and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of grapeseed or vegetable oil in a skillet and when it's shimmering, add the ground the beef.
Season with Kosher salt and pepper.
Cook, breaking up the ground beef with a spatula until the beef is browned and cooked through. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ground beef to a mixing bowl and add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Mix the cheese and ground beef together until the cheese is melted and well incorporated in the beef. You can make this early in the day and refrigerate it until you're ready to make the pizza.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
On a floured pizza peel, dust the dough with flour and create a crust around the perimeter of the dough and flatten down the center.
Stretch it out on the backs of your hands, left hand over right hand, until the dough is roughly 12-inches around.
Add more flour evenly on the peel and lay the dough on the peel.
Spoon and spread tomatoes over the dough.
Evenly distribute the mozzarella cheese over the sauce and add the prepared cheeseburger mixture evenly over the mozzarella.
Top the ground beef with the sliced onions and the pickled peppers.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Mop the wet areas with a paper towel, slice and serve.