Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wood-Fired Mexican Pizza

Can you flippin believe today is August 1?  That it's only 32, count 'em THIRTY-TWO, days until COLLEGE FOOTBALL begins!!  And that it's been 2,444 days since Michigan last defeated Ohio State in football.  Bwahahahaha.

But it also means that I have to endure the ridiculous month of August in Alabama and 30 more days of the heat index being 1,000 degrees.  That's what it was here yesterday.  1,000 degrees.  Brutal.  So I thought the best thing to do was to make hubs fire up the pizza oven.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Building a fire in an oven that's outside where it's 1,000 degrees?  He thought so too.  

This is about the seventh or eighth time, I guess, that I've cooked in the oven but I'm still not quite organized enough to make the pizza, cook the pizza and serve the pizza all while taking amazing pictures!  I think that because there are always at least six people sitting at the bar watching me and drooling (not at the pizza) so I feel a little pressured to feed them.....quickly!  But I promise I'll get better.

Because the oven bakes the pizza at temps of between 750-900 degrees F, in order to get that nice thin, crispy crust associated with wood fired oven pizza, I make my own dough with "00" flour, or Italian Flour.  With the recipe I use, I can get four (roughly shaped) 12" pies.  I almost always make the first one a traditional margherita pizza mainly because it's the easiest (and will get them to stop pounding their forks on the bar) and the second one with some kind of meat  -  pepperoni, sausage, proscuitto  -  because men want meat!  The other two I like to experiment with.  I've made  caramelized onion and goat cheese a few times, a shaved asparagus pizza with  truffle oil, and a dessert pizza with chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.  All of them were fabulous and I have absolutely no pictures to prove it!!

This time I tried a Mexican version and it was equally fabulous and really simple.  I spread refried beans (from a can, but if you're ambitious you can certainly make your own) directly on top of the dough to within an inch of the edge, sprinkled on some cheddar cheese/chopped scallions/chopped tomatoes/browned Italian spicy sausage/a little more cheddar and popped it into the oven.  When it came out (about 3 minutes later!) I sprinkled it with some chopped cilantro and served it with sour cream.  So delicious.

You certainly don't need a wood fired oven to make this.  This would be just as good grilled.  And you don't even have to make your own dough.  I've walked into my local pizza shop on several occasions and just purchased a ball of dough.  Try it.  

And if you're a Buckeye fan, check this out.  If only!  GO BUCKS!!

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