Superhero Pita Pizzas Make Afterschool Snacking a Breeze

By Tom Liddy on January 28, 2013 9:09am 

NEW YORK CITY — Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Well, not quite, but it's still delicious.

If you're a parent on the go and looking for a fun, quick snack for your kids after school, try on this superhero twist on the classic pita pizza.

The sauces can be made ahead of time so that fun snacks can be assembled and cooked in a matter of minutes.

I chose the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight because their graphic symbols are recognized by kids (and adults) the world over, but feel free to experiment with others.

For the Superman pizza, a quick, fresh and flavorful homemade sauce joins shredded mozzarella and Parmesan reggiano for a taste as classic as the superhero.

Top it off with pepperoni to make the character's iconic "S."

Like the perpetually dark Gotham City, Batman's pizza relies on a smoky barbecue sauce base mixed with BBQ chicken.  Shredded sharp cheddar cheese forms the yellow portion of the shield.

Kids will have fun helping you decorate the pizzas and even more fun snacking on them.

INGREDIENTS:

Pack of pita bread (whole wheat is better)

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

1 cup barbecue sauce

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 small package of sliced pepperoni

2 tbs. tomato paste

4 cloves garlic, minced and divided in two portions

1 tbs. chopped fresh basil

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 onion (red or white), diced

1 tps. oregano (dried or fresh)

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 package thinly cut chicken breasts (about 3/4 pound)

1 cup shredded cheddar

Salt and pepper

2 tbs. olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

For the tomato sauce:

1. Heat a medium saucepan over a medium flame. Add the garlic and onions and sautee for about 3 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

2. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. When the sauce begins to bubble, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning.

3. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container if not using immediately.

For the barbecue mixture:

1. Preheat a seasoned cast iron grill or griddle pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Do the same with a regular grill if you have one.

2. Place the chicken in a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the cayenne, chili powder and chopped garlic and mix.

4. Grill chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side and set aside to cool.

5. Mix the chicken with the barbecue sauce and set aside. If not using immediately, put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

For the Superman Pizza:

1. Preheat the oven to 500° and put a greased baking sheet inside to heat up.

2. Trim the pita to the diamond shape of Superman's shield, leaving the corners intact if possible. Spread a layer of sauce on top (about 3/4 cup depending on the size of the pita).

3. Sprinkle enough parmesan and mozzarella to cover.

4. Cut pepperoni slices in half and arrange in the shape of an "S."

For the Batman Pizza:

1. Spread a thin layer of the BBQ chicken on the pita.

2. Arrange shredded cheddar so that it forms the outline of the bat symbol.

3. Carefully place the pizzas on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and pita is crisp.

4. Holy deliciousness Batman, dig in!

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