January 11 kicks off National Pizza Week and celebrates one of America’s favorite guilty pleasures. Pizza is a very personal food, everyone likes theirs a certain way and from a certain pizzeria, but one thing we can all agree on is there is nothing quite like a hot piece of crusty dough bubbling with cheese right out of the oven.
If you’re like me, you tend to keep it simple and go with plain cheese because it’s predictable and almost always delicious. But isn’t it time we shook up our pizza and turned it into something spicy and exciting!
After having taco’s one night I came up with a recipe using leftover ingredients for what I call Tostada Pizza. It incorporates traditional Mexican flavors on top of what could be the most perfect homemade pizza dough crust. I have tried a few different recipes and the one listed below from pizza guru Wolfgang Puck stands out among the rest thanks to the addition of honey to the yeast in place of traditional sugar.
If you have never made homemade pizza dough you will be surprised to find out that it is a lot easier than you think (not to mention budget friendly). This recipe calls for the pizza dough to rise over a period of about two hours but hands on time is only 10 minutes. Make this in advance and you can keep it in the fridge for up to two days and have ready made dough for a quick weeknight meal.
If you are short on time or simply not interested in making your own dough you can do one of two things: purchase dough in the bakery section of Publix for about $2.50, or, call your favorite pizzeria and ask if you can buy some from them directly. If that seems like too much work, I highly recommend the Mamma Mia brand of pre-made pizza crusts that can be found in the bakery section at Publix.
Makes two, 12 inch pizzas (or one large)
- Pizza dough (try Wolfgang Puck’s recipe below)
- Black Bean Spread (you can use store bought or try my recipe below)
- 2 grilled chicken breasts
- Salsa (fresh, store bought, any kind will do)
- Frozen corn kernels
- Shredded cheese (cheddar and pepper jack recommended)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cornmeal for dusting
Pre-heat oven to 485 degrees
Oil a sheet pan/pizza pan and dust with cornmeal. Roll out the pizza dough onto the pan to about 12 inches in size. Coat the dough with EVOO. Evenly spread the black bean spread onto the dough just like you would pizza sauce. Slice the chicken breast into thin strips and lay on top the beans. Sprinkle on the corn kernels, salsa, salt and pepper, and cheese (feel free to be as generous or liberal as you like with the toppings). Place the pizza in the oven and cook for 11-13 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Top with some fresh chopped cilantro and enjoy!
Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza Dough
- 1 package active dry or fresh yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and process until the mixture forms a ball. (The pizza dough can also be made in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until the mixture comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the dough hook).
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a cool spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled).
Divide the dough into 2 balls, about 12 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Black Bean Spread
Inspired by recipe from Cooking Light Magazine
Makes 2 1/2 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, undrained
- Salt to taste
Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, turn on and drop garlic and jalapeños through food chute; process until minced. Add the next 5 ingredients (through undrained beans), and process until smooth. Add salt to taste. Enjoy!