Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I love pizza. I could eat it every day. In fact, I've made a good run at that before — much to the chagrin of those around me. It would definitely be my last supper. And I'd choose pizza from Napoli's in Panama City (Panama not Florida), which I know seems like an odd choice. But I remember having my inaugural slice when I was probably 6 years old. It blew my socks off. It was the first time I realized food could be transformative. I had it again as an adult and am glad to report it's still as life-changing as I remembered. The PC is planning a reunion visit to Panama in 2012, and my mouth is already watering in anticipation of my Napoli's fix.
Anyway, I love the accessibility and versatility of pizza. There are limitless possibilities when it comes to toppings, but I personally draw the line at seafood. I'm sorry, but shrimp does not belong on a pizza. Maybe on a bruschetta, which I realize is like a mini pizza, but I'm holding my position.
For the record, I am open to non-traditional pizzas. When I saw a recipe for a Spanish pizza, I immediately perked up because Spain is my favorite country and I think the flavor profiles of Spanish cuisine are incredible. However, when you think of Spain you certainly don't think of pizza. Maybe jamon, paella, marcona almonds . . . . But this pizza did include a short list of ingredients I love so I thought I'd give it the old college try (although I can assure you I was drinking much better red wine than I was in college).
The result: it's like if Italy knocked up Spain and made a Catalonian pizza love child. It has all the classic flavors of the Costa Brava (chorizo, manchego cheese, tomatoes and olive oil) masquerading as a lovely pizza pie. It looked familiar but each bite burst with a unique combination of surprising ingredients.
Kind of like those cool mash-ups you hear which combines the Beatles and Ke$ha, which sounds bizarre but once you listen to it you realize it's genius. That's kind of the best way to describe this pizza.
1 store-bought pizza dough
Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
4 small Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 cups manchego cheese, shredded
1/2 lb bulk fresh chorizo sausage
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a pizza stone in oven and preheat to at least 500 degrees . Ideally, the stone should heat for at least 1 hour to get the ideal pizza crust. While heating, in a medium saute pan cook the chorizo over medium heat. Break up with a wooden spoon and stir until browned slightly and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Place pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. I recommend a mixture of flour and corn meal. Carefully stretch the dough with your hands into a large circle about 1/8-in thick. If possible, work on a pizza peel as it makes transferring it to the oven a piece of cake.
Brush olive oil over the dough saving about 1/2-in from edge. Sprinkle cheese over the dough, then layer with tomato slices and the chorizo. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Bake pizza until golden brown approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Cut and serve.
Posted by SB in SB at 6:47 PM