Sometimes you just gotta make do with what you have. I’m all for making pizza the old fashioned way – kneading dough, firing up the wood-burning pizza oven (yeah, right!), homemade pizza sauce, etc. But let’s get real here. Sometimes, all you can handle is firing up the oven and throwing in a frozen pie. Dirty confession. Sometimes I have a mad craving for 5-for-$1Totinos frozen pizza it’s something about the buttery, crackery crust and sweetish tomato sauce. It’s so far from what real pizza is that it’s not even the same thing. It’s not pizza. I don’t eat Totinos because I crave pizza. I eat Totinos because I crave Totinos. Thus making it completely acceptable in my mind.

Proscuitto and balsamic "flatbread"
Proscuitto and balsamic “flatbread”

But this post is not about Totinos. This is about “gourmet” frozen pizza. In today’s case, frozen California Pizza Kitchen. Unlike Totinos, frozen CPK resembles real pizza a little too closely, but not closely enough. Every bite reminds you that you are not eating real pizza. But it only takes a few gourmet additions elevate “frozen pizza” to  fancy pants flatbread.

Cheater Gourmet Pizza/Flatbread

1 frozen CPK Thin-crust White Pizza (mozzarella, romano, asiago and parmesan cheeses, spinach and garlic with a crème fraiche sauce)

Proscuitto, torn

Chives, chopped

Aged balsamic (fake it, see below)

Extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff)

Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the pizza according to heating instructions. Remove from oven and top with prosciutto and chives. Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper.

Instantly Aged Balsamic Vinegar

(from America’s Test Kitchen)

1 cup good quality every-day balsamic vinegar [the Whole Foods 365 store brand is a good one]

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon port wine

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and port wine. Over very low heat, reduce the vinegar to half its original volume. As it cools, it will continue to thicken. Store in a dark, glass container. Awesome drizzled on steaks, grilled salmon, roasted root vegetables, drizzled over vanilla ice cream (awesome! try it!)