If you ask anyone who knows me, they will confirm for you that I love Trader Joe’s. In 2007 I moved to Charlotte, NC and had my first encounter. We didn’t have much in terms of specialty grocery stores here in Sarasota (that has since changed), and to find an affordable store with 20 different olive oils, burratta cheese, and frozen food from the heavens was a small town foodie’s dream come true. I’ve probably eaten every single item in the frozen food section, and I’ve definitely eaten every variety of cheese. I stock up during the holidays on all of the seasonal items so that I can enjoy them all year, it’s not my most generous holiday tradition. There is one item that I always have in my freezer, it’s my favorite item sold in the store. Maitre Pierre’s Tart d’Alsace.
The crust is thin and almost buttery, and it has my two favorite pizza toppings: ham and onion. In college it kept me from starvation (I was never much of a packaged ramen noodle girl) and therefore holds a special place in my heart. Nowadays, I don’t love stocking my freezer with quick fixes like I once did especially as my recipe development obsession continues to grow. Valuable space in the freezer holds homemade stocks, carcasses waiting to become stocks and citrus and wine ice cubes, ingredients for future dishes. So, it was time to learn how to make my own version of my favorite Trader Joe’s snacks.
I knew I wasn’t going to recreate the pizza dough, even I have my limits, so I popped into my local Trader Joe’s and picked up some pre-made pizza dough. If you have a pizza dough recipe that you love to use, by all means! I haven’t gotten there yet.
- Raw Pizza Dough (I used half of a Trader Joe’s fresh dough for this recipe)
- 1/2 Large Onion
- 1/4 c Diced Ham (more if you would like, it’s your world)
- Red Pepper Flakes (shake shake shake)
- 1/4-1/2 c My Riccota Mistake (You can substitute fresh ricotta with similar results)
- 1 Ovoline Mozzarella broken into bite sized pieces, I use my hands to tear it up.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- Melt a small pat of butter and add ham, onion and red pepper flakes. Saute over medium low heat until lightly caramelized.
- While the ham and onion are sauteeing, plop the pizza dough onto a floured surface and roll it out as thin as you can. Transfer to your desired pizza baking sheet.
- Add “My Ricotta Mistake” to raw dough and spread out with a rubber spatula, this is your base sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella over top in an even layer and finish with the sauteed ham and onion.
- Place the pizza in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing it up.
This one is a HIT! It tastes almost identical to TJ’s version, and perhaps I am biased but I like it better. The crust is chewier, it’s a bit more filling and I get to put as much ham on it as I want. I’ll likely still pop TJ’s version in the oven when I’m burning the midnight oil, but when I have a moment to breathe, this version edges out the competition.