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"Hot" Sauce vs Frozen Pizza
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subego
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Dec 31, 2014, 07:46 AM
 
I'm looking for something to kick-up, say, a shitty frozen pizza.

I'm okay with the Tabasco range of heat, but would prefer a step (even two) lower. I just don't enjoy it the way I used to.

Suggestions?
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 31, 2014, 07:53 AM
 
Also, this is the kind of thing people like to opine about in general, so feel free not to limit yourself to my specific question.
     
ghporter
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Dec 31, 2014, 08:15 AM
 
I'd try salsa. Use a medium salsa on top of the frozen pizza about half way through baking, and it will work its way into the toppings and sauce.

If you were starting with a frozen crust, or a basic frozen cheese pizza, add the salsa on top of the crust or cheese, then add your own toppings. Back in our "gotta go cheap all the time" period, my wife and I would basically use the store brand frozen pizza and add better sauce, veggies, and more (and more!) cheese. Just adding a 1/4 cup of a good spaghetti sauce on top of a cheapo frozen pizza makes a huge difference.

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Dec 31, 2014, 11:51 AM
 
There is also mild tabasco, but I read your question as »how can I improve the taste of frozen pizza« rather than »I like to add spice to it.« The first and easiest step is to add decent cheese, because many frozen foods contain what is known as cheese analog. Depending on how you like your pizza (most Americans like deep dish pizza for reasons that are beyond me), I wouldn't add too much other stuff. Instead, you can look for pizza dough and make a pizza yourself. It only takes a few minutes if you don't have to make the dough yourself.
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turtle777
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Dec 31, 2014, 12:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm looking for something to kick-up, say, a shitty frozen pizza.

I'm okay with the Tabasco range of heat, but would prefer a step (even two) lower. I just don't enjoy it the way I used to.

Suggestions?
Which Tabasco ?

I swear by Green Tabasco for frozen pizza. Much more flavor and less heat than the regular Tabasco.

-t
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 31, 2014, 12:23 PM
 
doctoring up frozen pizza can only go so far. If you're adding your own cheese and toppings, why not just get a boboli or premade crust and go to town. I used to love doing that.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Dec 31, 2014, 01:07 PM
 
Just use Tabasco sparingly. It's not very hot from the get-go and will mellow a little as it's baked in.
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Chongo
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Dec 31, 2014, 01:25 PM
 
Definitely Green Tabasco, stay away from this, although I use it on pizza. (and eggrolls, tacos, tostadas, ....)
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Dec 31, 2014, 01:38 PM
 
I am literally eating red sriracha-soaked rice right now
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Dec 31, 2014, 01:56 PM
 
Try the Tabasco garlic hot sauce, it's a really good pizza topper and a couple steps down from their regular sauce.
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Dec 31, 2014, 01:56 PM
 
Do they make green Sriracha?

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mattyb
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Dec 31, 2014, 02:18 PM
 
Yeah the Thai or other South East Asian hot sauce is my preferred method for spicing something up. Tabasco just burns instead of adding taste - IMHO.

Do you have access to Chorizo? Some pizza places put in on after cooking the pizza, but I like it cooked.
     
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Dec 31, 2014, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Definitely Green Tabasco, stay away from this, although I use it on pizza. (and eggrolls, tacos, tostadas, ....)


OAW
     
And.reg
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Dec 31, 2014, 05:00 PM
 
Banana peppers.
     
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Dec 31, 2014, 06:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Try the Tabasco garlic hot sauce, it's a really good pizza topper and a couple steps down from their regular sauce.
Seconded.
     
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Dec 31, 2014, 06:20 PM
 
Sriracha is overrated hipster crap.
     
reader50
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Dec 31, 2014, 06:33 PM
 
Ketchup with about 5% Tapatío hot sauce, and about 1% red cayenne pepper sauce.

     
Chongo
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Dec 31, 2014, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Ketchup with about 5% Tapatío hot sauce, and about 1% red cayenne pepper sauce.

We have a fish place here in AZ called Pete's Fish and Chips. The meals come with "Pete's Special Sauce" My nephew saw cans of Heinz Ketchup and El Pato sauce stacked together and we figure it a mixture of the two with a little water. I don't know if they add anything else. It's real good and they now sell it by the gallon.



I haven't tried it on pizza though. Now I'm going to have to.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 31, 2014, 10:42 PM
 
Most people are thinking along the lines of improving the pizza. I'm going for more of a "mask the pizza" type thing.
     
Chongo
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Dec 31, 2014, 11:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Most people are thinking along the lines of improving the pizza. I'm going for more of a "mask the pizza" type thing.
I go with a little extra mozzarella and/or Munster and Italian seasoning.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 31, 2014, 11:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Ketchup with about 5% Tapatío hot sauce, and about 1% red cayenne pepper sauce.

This is more what I'm talking about. Ketchup is your go-to for masking what it's put on, especially if you add some pepper.

I find ketchup to be unbearably sweet, though. I substitute BBQ sauce whenever possible.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 31, 2014, 11:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
I go with a little extra mozzarella and/or Munster and Italian seasoning.
Maybe I need to try it again. I've had very poor experience adding ingredients to frozen pizza. Same with mac and cheese in a box.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 31, 2014, 11:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Sriracha is overrated hipster crap.
I liked it when it wasn't cool.

I know that sounds like a joke, but it isn't. This was long enough ago people unironically called it "red hot cock sauce".
     
SSharon
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Jan 1, 2015, 12:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Most people are thinking along the lines of improving the pizza. I'm going for more of a "mask the pizza" type thing.
So I guess it doesn't address this directly, but after so many poor experiences with frozen pizza I just overbuy fresh pizza from my local establishments and freeze the extras. My local businesses make a few extra dollars and when heated properly the pizza tastes great (with Frank's hot sauce for me).
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subego  (op)
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Jan 1, 2015, 01:13 AM
 
Hmm... and you're in Jersey, too.

First off, I want to make clear to everyone, with few exceptions, the pizza you associate with Chicago is shit. If you like it, either you've been brainwashed or there's something wrong with you. Even if it's done right, I'd still rather have what would be called "New York Style" pizza.

This has a certain "soggy" aspect to it which you either experience fresh or forget it. Reheated it becomes something else, and there are usually better options than that thing.

For all their faults, at least frozen pizzas are designed to be frozen.
     
SSharon
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Jan 1, 2015, 01:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Hmm... and you're in Jersey, too.
Yea, it's a sore subject. I grew up outside Chicago, but my wife is from NJ and so here I am.
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subego  (op)
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Jan 1, 2015, 01:37 AM
 
Good man.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 1, 2015, 09:01 AM
 
Is anyone else experiencing "phantom hot sauce" while reading this thread?
     
turtle777
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Jan 1, 2015, 01:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
First off, I want to make clear to everyone, with few exceptions, the pizza you associate with Chicago is shit. If you like it, either you've been brainwashed or there's something wrong with you. Even if it's done right, I'd still rather have what would be called "New York Style" pizza.
.
This. I don't understand why they are even allowed to call it pizza.
It's a bread casserole.

-t
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jan 1, 2015, 01:50 PM
 
Seriously, try the garlic hot sauce
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Jan 1, 2015, 02:16 PM
 
How about you not eat shitty frozen pizza?

Just sayin'
     
turtle777
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Jan 1, 2015, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Seriously, try the garlic hot sauce
I, for one, will definitely try that. I love garlic.

-t
     
turtle777
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Jan 1, 2015, 02:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
How about you not eat shitty frozen pizza?

Just sayin'
I'm not sure what that means. Not all frozen pizza is shit, and not all fresh pizza is good.

Besides, I'd use green Tabasco on fresh pizza if the restaurant offered it.
Heck, I was starting to look for a small bottle to carry around green Tabasco.

-t
     
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Jan 1, 2015, 02:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm not sure what that means. Not all frozen pizza is shit, and not all fresh pizza is good.

Besides, I'd use green Tabasco on fresh pizza if the restaurant offered it.
Heck, I was starting to look for a small bottle to carry around green Tabasco.

-t
I like frozen pizza just fine, that was HIS term.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm looking for something to kick-up, say, a shitty frozen pizza.

I'm okay with the Tabasco range of heat, but would prefer a step (even two) lower. I just don't enjoy it the way I used to.

Suggestions?
     
turtle777
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Jan 1, 2015, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
I like frozen pizza just fine, that was HIS term.
Oh, right. In that case, yes, you have a point.

-t
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 1, 2015, 10:01 PM
 
Despite "Chicago Style Pizza" being garbage, you can get excellent pizza in Chicago.

A frozen pizza is edible only in the context of good places being closed.
     
mindwaves
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Jan 2, 2015, 02:34 AM
 
I love frozen pizza. Jeno's $0.99 option is very good.
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ghporter
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Jan 2, 2015, 08:25 AM
 
So if "masking" is what you are after, get the cheapest frozen kind you can, and add lots of really good stuff like extra cheese. I like a bunch of veggies too. All of that can be quite inexpensive, especially the veggies. And to cover the lame "sauce" on the frozen pizza, use more tomato paste - spread it on top of the frozen pizza, then throw on your added toppings, then your extra cheese. Instead of a $2 lameo frozen pizza, you can do all of that for $5 and enjoy the result.

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Jan 2, 2015, 10:10 AM
 
Gotta disagree with that. Many many years of university experimentation led me to conclude that anything, other than an appropriate kind of cheese (depending on the pizza) and hot sauce, generally does frozen pizza no favours. If you're going to be chopping up fresh veggies and adding tomato paste, then you're literally on the same timeline as a far more delicious fresh pizza (given the much shorter time to actually cook a fresh pizza). At that point, why bother with frozen? Hell, just buy frozen dough and make it fresh from scratch.

It's the opposite with something like Hamburger Helper. Use ground bird instead of beef and add a pile of fresh chopped peppers/mushrooms/carrots/onions/tomatoes/etc. - and bam you have a surprisingly delicious supper, and far more nutritious too (except for the sodium content - or you can just use your own spices to avoid this, but then you might as well also start from scratch).
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BadKosh
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Jan 2, 2015, 11:11 AM
 
You can 'fix' many frozen pizza's with a tiny bit of sugar which makes the tomato sauce seem lighter.

I go to the local grocery store and get salad stuff from the salad bar (onions, black olives, green peppers, cheese, and maybe pepperoni)
2 bucks of crap dumped on a 'family size' pizza can really help that nasty flavorless frozen job.
( Last edited by BadKosh; Jan 2, 2015 at 12:00 PM. )
     
mindwaves
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Jan 2, 2015, 04:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post

It's the opposite with something like Hamburger Helper. Use ground bird instead of beef and add a pile of fresh chopped peppers/mushrooms...
Ok. I'm willing to give it a try. Where can I buy this ground bird?
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ShortcutToMoncton
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Jan 2, 2015, 05:13 PM
 
Ground chicken or turkey....at your local grocery store.
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subego  (op)
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Jan 2, 2015, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Gotta disagree with that. Many many years of university experimentation led me to conclude that anything, other than an appropriate kind of cheese (depending on the pizza) and hot sauce, generally does frozen pizza no favours. If you're going to be chopping up fresh veggies and adding tomato paste, then you're literally on the same timeline as a far more delicious fresh pizza (given the much shorter time to actually cook a fresh pizza). At that point, why bother with frozen? Hell, just buy frozen dough and make it fresh from scratch.

It's the opposite with something like Hamburger Helper. Use ground bird instead of beef and add a pile of fresh chopped peppers/mushrooms/carrots/onions/tomatoes/etc. - and bam you have a surprisingly delicious supper, and far more nutritious too (except for the sodium content - or you can just use your own spices to avoid this, but then you might as well also start from scratch).
This.

The key problem is your new ingredients aren't frozen. If you compensate by trying to time it properly, I argue it's contrary to the point of a frozen pizza, which is fire and forget.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 2, 2015, 08:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Seriously, try the garlic hot sauce
I'm on it!
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 2, 2015, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
I love frozen pizza. Jeno's $0.99 option is very good.
Tostino's is more available here, but it's in the same vein.

I like this the same way I like a McDonalds hamburger. It's good, but is only nominally a hamburger. It's more like a dessert burger. Jeno's/Tostino's are in the same way IMO.
     
turtle777
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Jan 2, 2015, 09:35 PM
 
Btw, subego, since you are from Chicago.

Ever been to Canta Napoli in Mount Prospect ?
One of my favorites around here.

CANTA NAPOLI PIZZA MOUNT PROSPECT | ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN MOUNT PROSPECT ILLINOIS

-t
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 2, 2015, 10:06 PM
 
I live in the city proper, so I don't go to the burbs, they come to me.

Near the cluster where Clark, Broadway, and Diversey collide is Cafe Luigi. They nail the New York Style to the wall.

Within 50 feet you can also get Hawaiian plate lunch (Aloha Grill) Korean poutine (Del Seoul), and some pretty badass empanadas (Lita's).
     
FireWire
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Jan 3, 2015, 07:57 AM
 
fresh garlic and cilantro can enhance most pizza or you can buy better brands. Costco have a very good chicken fajitas pizza
     
ghporter
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Jan 3, 2015, 08:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Gotta disagree with that. Many many years of university experimentation led me to conclude that anything, other than an appropriate kind of cheese (depending on the pizza) and hot sauce, generally does frozen pizza no favours. If you're going to be chopping up fresh veggies and adding tomato paste, then you're literally on the same timeline as a far more delicious fresh pizza (given the much shorter time to actually cook a fresh pizza). At that point, why bother with frozen? Hell, just buy frozen dough and make it fresh from scratch.

It's the opposite with something like Hamburger Helper. Use ground bird instead of beef and add a pile of fresh chopped peppers/mushrooms/carrots/onions/tomatoes/etc. - and bam you have a surprisingly delicious supper, and far more nutritious too (except for the sodium content - or you can just use your own spices to avoid this, but then you might as well also start from scratch).
Good points. We would use canned mushrooms, sliced olives, and lots of mozzarella cheese, and yes it wasn't stellar. Fresh chopped anything was sort of outside the envelope we were working with at that time.

There's a brand of partly-baked crusts available here called Bobboli, that basically takes the hard part out of creating a fresh pizza. Start with a crust, throw on your choice of everything, including the sauce, and you have a fresh pizza in less time than making one with a scratch-made crust. The only downside of these is that they are perishable, so you can't stock up on them the way you can with those cheap frozen pizzas.

But since there's really no way to make one of those cheap ones "good," I have to say that many suggestions here have pointed up ways to make them a lot "less horrible."

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Jan 3, 2015, 10:25 AM
 
You can prepare and cook the pizza crusts and freeze them for a month or 2. Then all you have to do is use high broiler and put the pizza 3" from the broiler heat for 4-7 minutes using fresh toppings from the grocery store and some Ragu home style sauce with a little sugar and more Italian spices.
     
 
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