Last weekend, while up on Lopez, my husband thought it would be nice to take a picnic to the beach. I stopped in to a little prepared food store to get some things for us to eat. It’s called Vita’s and it’s in the most adorable building I have ever seen. We have bought wine there, but never food. I got Randy a sandwich and got myself a hummus box and was appalled by the size of the offerings (tiny) and the prices (huge). Clearly, this place exists for the tourists.
Miffed, we walked back across the street to get something from Holly B’s for the boys and there it was on the bakery counter. The Mexican Pizza. I had totally forgotten that Holly makes pizza and I had also forgotten the sheer deliciousness that is Holly’s Mexican pizza. I couldn’t bring myself to shell out another $6 for lunch food (yes, the bakery is expensive too but it is worth every penny) so I went without the pizza. But I did not stop thinking about it as I ate my stale pita bread and I have not stopped thinking about it since.
I have the Holly B’s cookbook and it includes the Mexican pizza recipe. But when I went to look at it, I realized that it is kind of a gut bomb. I mean, it’s totally and completely delicious but it’s pretty rich and filling. Refried beans are slathered over pizza dough, canned tomatoes and chiles are thrown over the top, and the whole thing is drowned with a heavy dose of cheddar cheese. I decided to make one from Annie Sommerville’s Everyday Greens instead.
This is no pizza “lite” but the ingredients are fresher and a little less heavy-handed. It is still very topping heavy, but the toppings include chipotle purée spread over the dough, fresh corn and tomatillos and a scattering of black beans. I opted to use a cotija cheese rather than the cheddar and Monterey jack called for in the recipe and that lightened it up just a bit more. I also added avocado slices because it just seemed right.
A few notes about this recipe. You will need chipotle puree which is simply canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. You should be able to find these in any grocery store on the aisle where Mexican food is. You will just need to whiz up the contents in a blender or food processor (a mini food processor is perfect for this). Whatever you don’t use can live in your refrigerator, covered, for up to a month. If you like that smoky spicy flavor, you can add a bit to soups, rice, beans, etc. Also, I streamlined a few steps here because Sommerville has a tendency to make you work harder and create more dirty dishes than is necessary in my humble opinion. I forgive her everything because all the food in her books is incredible.
One Year Ago: Deviled Eggs
Mexican Pizza with Corn, Tomatillos, and Chipotle Chiles
Adapted from Everyday Greens
By all means, make your own pizza dough if you have the time. Yesterday I didn’t have the time so I used a good store bought dough. I used a full 2 tablespoons of the chipotle purée and it was spicy. We like things with heat here so it was fine for us, but if you are sensitive to spice, just use a bit of the purée. Substitute 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of Monterey jack cheese mixed together for the Cotija if you prefer. You can make this pizza with a pizza pan or even a cookie sheet instead of a stone.
One recipe Pizza Dough
1 1/2 tbsp. Chipotle Puree
1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper
1/4 pound tomatillos, husked, and chopped into small pieces
2 ears of corn, shaved, about 2 cups of kernels
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained
Fine cornmeal for dusting
1 1/2 cups crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 a large avocado, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat it to 500°F. Make sure it heats for at least 30 minutes.
Season the tomatillos with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and add the onions. Cook until tender and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan followed by the corn. Season the corn with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Roll out the pizza dough and place it on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough. Spoon a little (or a lot!) of purée over the dough followed by a thin layer of cheese. Next add the corn, onions, tomatillos, black beans, and the remaining cheese.
Bake the pizza in the oven until the crust is golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove it from the oven, lay the avocado slices on top and sprinkle with cilantro.