Friday, September 18, 2009

Pizza Spagnola

Crib Note Recipes #4; Pizza Spagnola

This recipe begins with a pipérade. It’s a not so distant cousin of ratatouille. It contains at least two types of peppers, flame roasted and peeled, seeded and sautéed with sliced onion and garlic in olive oil with a couple of pinches of Spanish pimenton.

You will also need pizza dough, which is easy to make at home and which also freezes well. Or perhaps purchase some from a pizzeria nearby. Other ingredients are good melting cheese and some Spanish olives.

For the pipérade roast peppers over an oven burner. Choose a combination of colors, with at least one green type. As I’ve noted before, I prefer pasilla and poblano peppers to green bell peppers. The roasted skin peels off more easily, and they are easy to peel, seed and scrape. And I think they deliver a richer flavor.

Once you’ve roasted the peppers place them in a paper bag and roll closed. Or put them in a large bowl and cover it tightly with cling wrap. They’ll need about 20 minutes to rest before they are ready. To continue your mise slice a sweet onion as thinly as you can. Thinly slice two garlic cloves. Coarsely chop a couple of nice tomatoes.

Heat some olive oil to the point that it shimmers and add the peppers, onion, tomatoes and garlic and begin to sweat them down. Season with sea salt and the pimenton . The onions should be caramelized and soft and the tomatoes almost melted.

At this point your pipérade is ready to use at once or to hold for several days.

For the pizza, roll out your dough and shape in a pan. Cover with a towel to allow a second rise (the second after its first fermenting rise).

Crank up your oven to its highest temp. I’ve found through the use of a laser thermometer that the floor of mine attains about 600°F.

Meanwhile thinly slice your pizza cheese. For this I use a Basque Idiazabal, and I use a swivel peeler to get almost paper thin slices. Brush the bottom of the dough with olive oil and then cover with the cheese. Top that with your pipérade and brush the edges of the crust with more oil. Top with a handful of olives and place on the middle rack of your oven. Depending on the heat and your dough it should take about 18 minutes to finish. Let cool and then slice.

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