Southwest-Style Pizza

July 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

E: This is a pizza I’ve been waiting for months to try. It came to me one time when I was thinking about how just about anything food-wise could be put on pizza and would be tasty:  one of the wild ideas I thought anyone else might actually want to eat was a southwest-inspired pizza with taco-style toppings. It is pretty quick and easy (assuming you’ve got pizza dough lined up) and my goodness is it tasty. This was the best pizza we’d had in a while.

But before we start, some annoying news from my side. My Mac has died its second death now (the infamous 8600M graphics board failure) so I’ve got to get that to Apple and see if they will cover it (it is a pretty old machine now, but I can’t remember exactly when I bought it). For now I’m on my old XP machine, which takes some getting used to. My monitor here also isn’t calibrated as well, so if these pictures seem a bit off, it’s not you. I’ve also got the photos for one post (the one I was going to do instead of this one) stuck on that hard drive for the moment, so you are getting this post slightly early.

curious, unique, delicious

In any case, and all technical issues aside, let’s get working on some pizza.

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough: (enough for 2 pizzas)

4 C. bread flour
4 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 C. lukewarm water

Sauce: (enough for several pizzas actually)

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 leaves fresh pineapple sage (optional)
3 chipotle chilies, chopped
Adobo sauce, to taste
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt/pepper to taste

Toppings: (makes a little extra)

1 can (~14 oz) black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 to 1/2 an onion
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 C.  sharp cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 C. Asiago cheese
Blue-corn tortilla chips (optional, but recommended)

Get some dough started well beforehand. The recipe we use almost all the time, and have found very successful, is a slightly modified version of Alton Brown’s. It is the one we got from this Macheesmo post (we promise we’ll put together some detailed instructions some day, but for now use that post as a reference, or make your favorite pizza dough). Before you do other things, roll it out into a large circle/oval/rectangle and let it rest; or if you have two people, one person can do that while the other does the sauce. Also, preheat your oven to 500F.

it starts with a sauce

So, sauce it is. We used a chipotle marinara sauce, much like ones that have been referenced on this blog before. This time we used dried basil and added a little sage, just for fun. I couldn’t taste it through the chipotles and the pungent cheese, but you could experiment with different ingredients here. Just toss everything in a blender and blend. It is that easy. Taste and see if it needs more heat or more salt. If you really don’t like things spicy, cut back on the number of chipotles you add.

slice up some toppings

Slice up your fresh toppings. We diced some onion and I sliced a jalapeno (just for my half of the pizza). Get a little water boiling in a small pot (just enough to cover the bottom) and toss in the frozen corn, just for 2 minutes.

start filling it up

Drain your beans and strain your corn. Disperse generously across the pizza. (Note that we folded up and crimped the edges to give the dough a larger crust on the edges and to keep sauce from running off the pizza and getting everywhere.) Then grate your cheeses. We put down a solid layer of cheddar first, and then added a little Asiago on top, for some extra flavor.

top with the cheese

Now this is ready to bake. If your oven is heated up, pop it in. If you are using a pizza stone you should have it in the oven heating. If, like us, you don’t have a pizza stone, just build your pizza on a baking sheet. In either case, slide your pizza in and set a timer for about 10 minutes. Rotate and make sure your crust is nice and golden before removing the pizza.

top with crushed chips

Remove from the oven, and let the pizza cool for a minute or two. Cut into slices and top with crushed tortilla chips (this was Joanna’s brilliant idea, it really makes this pizza if you ask me:  you get southwestern flavors and a nice satisfying crunch—but be warned, they will get soggy so you want to add them right before serving).

and there you have it

Garnish with tortilla chips and some decorative greenery (we used some leaves of pineapple sage from Joanna’s sister’s garden—feel free to use some salad greens or whatever you’ve got). Enjoy!

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