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Amazing Pizza Casserole with a Popover Top
popover-pizza

With two daughters -- a pre-teen and a teen -- family time is often in competition with friends time. My husband and I wanted to find a way to let the kids have fun with their friends without always having them out at the movies or the mall. We invented "Friday Friends Night." Each kid gets to invite one or two friends, and we bring the whole bunch home after school. Dinner is part of the fun, so it needs to be a crowd pleaser. I decided on Pizza Popover for our first friends night, knowing its pizza flavors and popover crust make it both exciting and irresistible. And, since I've made it before, I also know how easy it is!

Start by getting the ground beef, peppers and onion ready to brown in your skillet.

ready-to-brown-beef

As the mixture begins to cook, you might notice that the onions and peppers add a little water. I just let this boil off so that the ground beef can brown nicely.

Now is a good time to take your 2 eggs and 1 cup milk out of the fridge so they're room temperature when you need them in about 10-15 minutes.

beef-browned

The recipe calls for draining the fat, but the hamburger I buy is more than 90% lean and doesn't usually need draining. If anything, I sometimes blot extra fat with a paper towel or two. Once the beef is browned, you're done sautéeing!

Now mix in the sauce, sliced mushrooms (which you can buy sliced to save time), and black olives (also available pre-sliced). I like to add 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne or some red pepper flakes, too, for a little spicy kick if my sauce is a basic marinara.

sauce-ingreds-added

When you put the mixture into your baking pan, make sure to use a 9" x 13" pan with straight sides. This is important because the amount of popover batter is the perfect amount for a 9" x 13" area. Too big or too small and your popover might not turn out right. Straight sides make it easier for serving this particular casserole.

I like to smooth the mixture with the back of a spoon to get it nice and flat -- a good surface for the popover batter.

making-it-level

Then sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, covering the surface evenly.

cheese-in-layer

Now just pop the pan into the oven and get out your mixer to make the popover batter. First, beat your eggs about 1 1/2 minutes until light and lemon-colored.

light-and-lemon-colored

Then beat in the oil and milk.

beating-in-oil

For the next step, mix in the flour and salt by hand, whisking until the batter is nice and smooth.

mixed-smooth

Now, pull your pan out of the oven and simply pour the batter slowly and evenly over the melted cheese layer.

pour-on-popover-batter

As a final step, sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and put the pan back into the oven.

sprinkle-parmesan

As the recipe says -- NO peeking! -- the popover might collapse if you open the oven. So just relax, and take the time to clean up any dishes. It's a good time to set the table, too, as the popover should be eaten right away.

When 25 minutes have passed, peek in at the popover. It should be all puffed and golden. Every time I make this, it's like a unique science experiment -- who knows what mountain peaks and craters will surface on the top of the Pizza Popover. As always, I call the kids and they come running to see what amazing things happened this time!

fresh-from-the-oven

So on Friday Friends Night, there were four kids rushing over to check out what smelled so good! This delicious casserole serves up nicely into squares, all gooey underneath the delicious popover crust.

on-the-plate

Once the kids were served, they wasted no time digging in. Like fresh pizza, it's so good that a burned tongue is inevitable if you don't use a little restraint. Well, we tried...

digging-in

This recipe is one of our favorites -- the kids never tire of it. Zoey's friend Rowan called it "uber amazing!" We plan to make it again for a Halloween party in a few days. I highly recommend you give Pizza Popover a try, and let me know what you think.  Also, remember to rate and review this recipe.

Stop back in a few days when Amanda shares about a flavorful soup she makes in a slow cooker.

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I really enjoyed this recipe just as it is written. I am going to try substituting plain Montery Jack Cheese (not the kind with peppers) for the Mozzarella. It has a sharp flavor that goes well in my lasagna. It should add well to this recipe. I loved the popover topping. It is a most unusual crust, and I think my family and friends will really enjoy having it for many occasions, I'm thinking of Pot lucks (where I can use the oven to allow for the popover crust), "tailgaiting".following the Bowl games on TV, Halloween, Birthdays, any occasion that require a gathering of a good sized group and that you must feed a substantial meal to. With this I will serve a green salad and Italian Beans. Dessert will depend upon the occasion we are gathered for. It could be a variety of cookies or any number of cake recipes I have in my Recipe Box. You have given us the basics for a new traditional feast.
Thank you very much.. .

Posted Nov 12 2011 by Jean C.

Sounds great,but no amounts of ingredients are given. Do I just guess and rely on cooking experience?
Shirley Doherty

Posted Aug 07 2011 by Shirley
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Test Kitchen Comment
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Cindy

Shirley - Click on the underlined recipe name at either the beginning or end of the blog itself to get the exact ingredient amounts. You will then click to the recipe and be able to print or save it to your recipe box if you have one. Hope you try this recipe!
Posted August 08, 2011

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