Wednesday, April 17, 2013

the favorite eating spot (recipe: Cashew Chicken Ranch Pizza)

My husband and I have always had our favorite eating spots.  You know the ones, small, dark, maybe a little dingy, never crowded but oh. so. good.  In college it was a tiny house on the east side of Nacogdoches called Aubrey's.  They cooked like any treasured southern grandma, served heaping portions to starving college students for a price of next-to-nothing.  Sundays were smothered chicken and dressing, Fridays they served beef tips and rice, Wednesday was chicken and dumplin's (yes, dumplin's).  It's been 14 years ago since I sat at their table and I still remember their specials.

In College Station, well, there were so many favorites.  Hot Dogs Etc. is a tiny, spotless restaurant at the wrong end of Bryan-they serve the best chili dog ever.  Pepe's always looked dirty and dingy but for poor college kids it was the answer to homemade fast Mexican food served in a Taco Bell atmosphere.  Their salsa though, I could drink a vat of it.  Hebert's Cajun Food was our ultimate favorite.  They served their spicy fare from a small drive-thru kiosk.  My husband picked up jambalaya so often they knew his name and exactly what he was going to order.  It is THE best jambalaya the pair of us had ever tasted.

When we moved to Pocatello, well, the food scene was quite bleak.  Almost terrible.  But we found a few diamonds in the rough.  Breakfast or morning sickness curing comfort could be found at Butterburr's. Taqueria La Costa gave these displaced Texans a taste of home, and Dough Boyz served our all time favorite slice of pizza-Cashew Chicken Ranch.

Since those days in that desert mountain town, Dough Boyz closed it's doors and we made the move back to Texas.  And every once in a while we recreate our favorite pizza at home and think of the red booth seats and snowy sidewalks that lined that pizzeria.

Cashew Chicken Ranch Pizza
serves 4-6

12 oz. or 1/2 recipe of Quick Beer Pizza Dough
Bottled Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup Cashews
3/4 cup  cooked chicken, cubed (*great way to use leftovers)
12 oz. Mozzarella, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Flatten dough into a 10" round on a pizza stone or baking sheet.  Par-bake the dough for five minutes and remove from the oven.
  2. Spread a thin layer of ranch dressing evenly over the par-baked pizza crust.
  3. Place cashews and chicken evenly on top of the ranch covered pizza and cover with cheese.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese has bubbled and melted.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes, slice and enjoy.

1 comment:

BCS Makeup by Kristen said...

OMG... Hot Dog's Etc. Best Chili Cheese Dog in Bryan/College Station! This Cashew Chicken Ranch Pizza looks yummy! I will be trying this soon!