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The next big thing in little food

<p>Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Diva Patti is big on cleaning out the fridge and crisper to make mini pizzas.</p>

Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Diva Patti is big on cleaning out the fridge and crisper to make mini pizzas.

I’m a Foodie with a capital F. Actually all the letters should be capitalized but then it would read like I was shouting “FOODIE” at you, which I am not. That would be rude. But in my food obsession I love to watch the trends.

I find it fascinating to see what’s new and what’s next, particularly food for entertaining. Well, the trend spotters have spoken. When they said cake wasn’t cool, we embraced the cupcake. They said burgers were blasé, we made hundreds of diminutive sliders. We’ve followed every pesto laden, sundried tomato saturated, and arugula strewn path upon which they’ve led us.

Now the next trend is reported to be … drum roll please … Little Tiny Pizzas. Yup. I was prepared to roll my eyes and turn the global community cookbook page but wait, this actually sounds good. Creative, inexpensive, stylish and really yummy. Very Diva!

Can you imagine the possibilities? One bite pizzas. Four bite pizzas. Rustic looking thick crust pizzas with roasted garlic and chunky Italian sausage. Elegant party fare made by thinly rolling the dough and using a round cutter to form the crust then topped with white sauce, sautéed chicken and shaved parmesan.

These pizzas can be any “flavor” you can imagine like Alfredo, curry or BBQ. Add veggies, shrimp, chorizo, thin sliced roast beef or buffalo chicken! Ricotta and cranberries for Thanksgiving. I’m getting excited now! This is the little black dress of appetizers, and it’s cheap!

One lazy Sunday evening, I decided on an informal experiment. I say informal because my family didn’t know they were being experimented upon.

I popped open a tube of refrigerated pizza dough and formed a bunch of randomly shaped little pizza “blanks” then asked them to help me make a snack. I emptied the contents of my crisper drawer and got all the little bits and pieces left over from the week along with a bunch of cheese. We created assorted edible works of art and then devoured them. I’m totally sold on the little pizza thing.

For maximum savings and bragging rights, make your own pizza dough. It’s easier than you might think. If you would like a well tested recipe, I have one on my website under the heading “Food” follow the drop down menus to “Cheap Eats” and then “Flour Power.” The recipe yields enough dough for two large pizzas so you can make lots of mini pizzas and freeze any dough you don’t use for future pizzas.

To make mini pizzas with fresh dough: divide the dough into small, roughly 1 oz. portions. Form them by hand and top them with sauce, cooked toppings of your choice. Transfer the mini pizzas to parchment lined or lightly oiled baking sheets and bake in a preheated oven at 450. Remove from the oven when the cheese is bubbling and the crust is browned, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.

Not in the position to make fresh dough, try one of these alternatives. Take a cookie cutter to ready-made pizza crusts or tortillas, top as desired and bake at 375 for 10 to 15 min. until toppings are bubbly and delish.

To use refrigerated biscuit dough, roll the dough to desired thickness and size and bake mini pizzas at 375° for 10 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are deep golden brown and cheese is bubbly. English muffins or baguette slices are further options.

For a fresh alternative, use roasted veggies like mushroom caps, slices of zucchini or eggplant as the base for your mini pizzas.

Any of these various options can be used to prepare creative, inexpensive, stylish and really yummy little tiny pizzas for family fun or great entertaining.