Blue Ribbon Pizza, a great treat and easy as . . . “pie”

I had a lot of ham left over from the Easter season. We had decided that those beautiful, honey-soaked pre-sliced supermarket hams had failed their tests in our household . . . so the ham leftover was just plain ham (butt half). I could do anything I wanted to with it.

I found four half-price, “sell-by-tomorrow,” boneless, skinless chicken breasts (well, you know, half-breasts) which I’d cooked by my favorite method for those delicacies: bring water to a full boil, submerge the half-breasts, bring the water back to a full boil, turn off the heat, and pull the cooked, moist meat out in about 20 minutes. They are ready to finish in any way, in any quantity up to four, to high praise.

I always have platter-sliced bacon on hand, for seasoning in lots of dishes as well as for its intended uses.

The fridge cheese drawer had plenty of pepper jack, but no swiss. Which meant I really shouldn’t make chicken cordon bleu, which uses no bacon and in which gruyere/swiss is a must.

And . . . there was a Boboli pizza round staring me in the face. (We buy packs of two of those in the “used” or “second-hand” outlets: they’re better, aged!)

I figured I could do a Blue-ribbon Pizza (well, what did you think “cordon bleu” means??). But what to do for a sauce? White, surely.

I mixed low-fat mayonnaise, bottled pesto, garlic granules (not powder), dried thyme, and a Sonoma County olive and lemon mustard (google sonoma mustard olive lemon for a source). Liberally spread, it proved to be wonderful.

Cubes of chicken breast and ham, cut three to the inch, distributed over the pizza and topped with fresh wide-julienned basil and one-third cup of fried, finely-chopped bacon, were ready for a 450-degree convection oven and were worth a 15-minute wait plus another ten minutes of cooling and settling. This was a great creation which can be modified any number of ways.

Bob Cramer, The Fearless Taster.