Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A few Pizzas for Fine Cooking's Pizza Contest, including "A Taste of Santa Fe" Grilled Pizza

We just received a 20 lb. box of fresh, roasted, New Mexico Hatch Green Chiles, so I snapped up the opportunity to create this pizza for Fine Cooking's Create Your Own Grilled Pizza contest. You can still enter, until Friday 9/18.

These chiles will be so wonderful for some of those comforting foods I crave when the weather turns crisp and cool, like Pork & Green Chile Stew!  Crisp and cool, that's all we get in Southern CA!

As a side note, Santa Fe is such a wonderful getaway for a long weekend, if you are so inclined. You can stay in a charming B & B, dine in restaurants with amazing food, browse through the art galleries, visit  Georgia O'Keefe's house/studio, and take a drive to Taos for an extra night.  If you're familiar with Georgia O'Keefe's paintings, you might appreciate my very sensual photo of a Dapple Dandy Pluot for Challenge Farmer's Market.  Gheez, it's just a beautiful piece of fruit!

Moving right along...

With the arrival of our Hatch chiles, I was inspired to create this "Santa Fe Grilled Pizza." I used roast chicken (you can roast your own or pick up one at the market), our fire-roasted Hatch green chiles (you can substitute any roasted chile, and I've also seen roasted Hatch chiles in the can), Fontina Cheese, and pine nuts. I made my own pizza dough before leaving for work this morning. I sauteed a some crushed garlic in extra virgin olive oil and then brushed the olive oil over the crust. I then added pieces of roasted chicken, strips of Hatch chiles, grated Fontina cheese, and a sprinkling of pine nuts. I grilled the pizza on a pizza stone, with the grill closed for about 10 minutes. You can also bake in the oven, at 500 degrees F, for about 12-15 mintues.

Before the grill....

And after grilling...

Excellent flavors!

Master Pizza Dough
From Saveur, first published in Saveur, #7
(Makes two 12" Pizzas)

Saveur said it developed this recipe by watching a real Neapolitan pizzaiuoli (pizza maker) at work in a New York pizzeria.  The use of cake flour is interesting, and makes the crust more cracker-like.  One of the comments indicate you can add a little olive oil to the dough if you want more "foldable" pizza.

1 7-gram packet active dry yeast
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup cornmeal

1. Dissolve yeast in 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water in a large bowl. Set aside until yeast begins to activate (it will foam a little), about 10 minutes. Combine flours and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture to yeast and stir well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Mix in 1⁄2 cup water, then add another cup flour mixture and continue to stir. Add remaining 1 cup flour mixture, then gradually stir in about 1⁄4 cup water and mix well. The dough should be fairly soft, but not too wet.

3. Turn out dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead with the heels of your palms until it has a smooth, uniform texture, about 10–12 minutes. Divide dough into 2 even balls. Coat the insides of two medium bowls with 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil each. Place dough in bowls, cover bowls with damp cloths or plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 1⁄2–3 hours.

4. Place pizza stone or unglazed tile in oven and preheat at highest setting (not broil). Sprinkle a baker's peel or inverted baking sheet with cornmeal. Punch down dough from one bowl, make a ball, and flatten it on the pan. Taking care not to overwork dough, stretch it into a thin 12" circle with a slightly raised edge. Add Margherita or Marinara toppings and slide onto hot pizza stone.

5. Bake until crust is golden brown and crisp, about 12–15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare second pizza. Remove first pizza from oven and bake the second on the same stone. Drizzle a little olive oil on each and serve.

Addendum:  Here's two additional pizzas I created for Fine Cooking's Pizza Contest:  The Antipasto

The inspiration came from a few leftover ingredients after making Timpano, including Genoa Salami, Provolone Cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Italian Parsley. I added chewy sun-dried tomatoes and sweet cherry peppers. Prior to putting on the toppings, I brushed the dough with rosemary-infused olive oil. After grilling, I sprinkled the pizza with some crushed red pepper, the parsley, and a fresh grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and served it with a little bowl of spicy garlic olives. It was great!

Garlic Sausage, Purple Cauliflower & Green Bean Grilled Pizza

This pizza was inspired by the beautiful purple cauliflower and fresh garlic sausage from one of our favorite gourmet markets, Bristol Farms in La Jolla. We also had a few leftover ingredients from our Saturday night pasta: French green beans, toasted pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese. Because it's a weeknight, I made a quick stop at the store for Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough, mozzarella, and a bottle of wine.

I gently stretched and reshaped the dough into a rustic, round shape (just can't have a rectangular pizza!) and placed it on a pizza stone, which was lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. I drizzed some olive oil on the dough and then added about 1 cup of grated Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmigiano and 1/2 cup Pecorino. Next, I added the toppings: 2 Garlic Sausages (grilled and sliced diagonally about 1/4 inch thick), 1 head of purple cauliflower (separated into flowers, drizzled with olive oil, and roasted in a 450 degree oven for about 12 mintues), about 10 French green beans (cut in half and blanched in salt water for 6 minutes), and the remaining 1 cup Mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmigiano and 1/2 cup Pecorino. I grilled the pizza, on the pizza stone, covered, for about 12 minutes. For garnish, I added about 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts and 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh oregano.


Rose said...

MMmmmm! Looks like a great pizza! The weather has been nice :) Such a break from the heat! We can pretend it's fall, can't we? Where did you get your chilis from?

Denise said...

Hi Rose!
Yes, I'm glad our CA weather is taking a slow turn toward cooler temperatures. Can't wait to enjoy a bowl of soup in front of a crackling fire. Bristol Farms ordered the case of chiles for me, but I can't recall the name on the box ;-)