When you hear Mexican Pizza do you think of pizza piled high with ground beef, and smothered with cheddar cheese and sour cream? Well this ain’t that pizza! For me cheddar cheese has no business being on a pizza and don’t even get me started on the sour cream and pizza that is piled high with toppings gives me the willies! I admit it, I am a pizza snob!
Pizza has to have the right toppings to crust ratio, if there are too many toppings the crust will get soggy and then you have no choice but to eat it with a knife and fork…half of the fun of pizza is that you get to eat it with your hands!
While homemade crust is superior to any other, one can still make a pretty good pizza using store bought pizza shells. Having said that, this cornmeal pizza dough creates a crust that is soft in the middle, crisp on the bottom, and cornmeal gives it just a little crunch and just a hint of corn flavor, and if you have the time, you should definitely make it!
Sweet corn and mildly spicy poblano peppers are meant to be, they go perfectly with spicy and slightly sweet chorizo sausage, and together they are the stars of this Mexican Pizza.
I am a great cheese lover so I will never, ever use low-fat or fat-free cheese, never ever! What I will do to cut the fat is to use a little of a stronger flavored cheese, such as Cotija or Ricotta salata, and then use less mozzarella; this way there is still lots of cheesy flavor but I don’t feel like I’m getting missing out. If you happen to like low-fat cheese, you go ahead and use it, cuz I’m not the boss of you!
Speaking of being the boss, I do hope that I don’t sound like I’m being bossy about your pizza. I guess I’m more passionate about pizza than I realized! Pizza should be fun, so do whatever the heck you like. If you wanna use store bought pizza shells, go ahead, if you want 3 pounds of cheese on your pizza, knock yourself out; but you should definitely make this pizza…you’ll be glad you did!
Here’s what you do.
|In a large bowl combine only 2 cups of the bread flour, cornmeal, sugar, yeast and salt.|
|Stir in some warm water and olive oil.|
|This dough is still too sticky.|
|If that happens mix in more flour 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.|
|Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it's smooth and elastic.|
|Put the dough into a bowl that's been coated in olive oil and cover it with plastic wrap.|
|Allow the dough to rise until it's doubled in size, which takes about an hour.|
It's not necessary, but making the dough the night before and letting it rise in the refrigerator overnight, or even for a few hours, allows the yeast to ferment and creates a more flavorful dough. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 45 minutes to an hour before you want to use it.
I use a pizza stone to bake my pizza, so I need a peel to transfer the pizza to and from the pizza stone.
The peel must be generously covered with cornmeal.
|Cut that risen dough in half for two large pizzas, or quarters for individual pizzas.|
|Working one at a time, coat the dough in olive oil.|
|Putting the mozzarella cheese on the bottom helps to keep the crust from being soggy.|
Distribute the toppings evenly over the mozzarella.
This pizza has the chorizo sausage only on one half cuz that's how we roll in my house.
Top with Ricotta Salata or Cotija cheese.
By using flavorful cheeses I can use less cheese over all and not feel like I'm missing out on anything.
Bake until the crust is deep brown on the edges and the cheese is melted; and then get ready for the party that's about to happen in your mouth!
Makes 2 large pizzas
½ lb. Chorizo sausage, removed from its casing (about 2 links)
1 Poblano pepper which has been coated with ½ tsp of olive oil, medium dice
8 oz. Grated Mozzarella cheese
¾ cup Corn kernels, fresh or frozen corn which has been thawed
1 cup Zucchini, medium dice (that has been roasted, sautéed or grilled)
1 cup Onion, medium diced (I used roasted onions, but raw is also fine)
¼ cup Cilantro leaves
1 cup Grated Cotija or Ricotta Salata cheese
Pizza dough for 2 pizzas
1. To preheat oven: if using fresh pizza dough and a pizza stone heat the stone according to the directions that came with your stone (mine is 450 degrees). If using a sheet pan (be sure to grease that pan) heat the oven to 425. If using packaged dough, heat according to the package directions.
2. Break the sausage up into bite sized pieces and add it to a medium skillet; cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, cooking the sausage only about half way through, this will render out most of the fat. Remove the sausage to a plate which has been lined with paper towel.
3. Drizzle olive oil over the pizza dough (which has been rolled out or shaped), just enough to coat the entire crust. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese over the dough, and then layer on the chorizo sausage, corn, poblano pepper, zucchini, onion, and cilantro. Sprinkle the Cotija or Ricotta Salata cheese over the top.
4. Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese has melted.
Notes: *I prefer pizza without a lot of cheese, but if you like it cheesy you will need to double the amount of mozzarella.
**Purchasing grilled veggies from the salad bar at your grocery store makes for light work!
Cornmeal Pizza Dough gives the dough a bit of crunch and a slight corn taste which is delicious for Mexican Pizza.
CORNMEAL PIZZA DOUGH
Makes 2 large, or 4 individual pizzas
2 to 3 cups Bread flour
1 cup Cornmeal, medium grind
1 tsp. Sugar
1 packet Yeast
2 tsp. Salt
1 ½ cups Warm water (from the tap is fine)
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
1. Combine 2 cups of the bread flour, cornmeal, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and olive oil and stir until combined. If the dough is sticking to the bowl, add more flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
2. Turn the dough out on to a surface which has been generously dusted with flour (a wooden surface works best) and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic (you could also use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and let the machine do all the work). Place the dough in a bowl which has been greased with olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
3. Divide the dough into the desired portion size, stretch or roll it out, top it and bake it!
Notes: *You may use all-purpose flour in place of the bread flour, it will still be good, it will just change the texture.