Saturday, October 10, 2009


That was interesting! I had our pizza post all ready to go after dinner last night... but when I went to hit publish, I looked down to see our cable modem was out! It just came back a few minutes ago, so I apologize for the tardy pizza!

However, it does give me a second to show you what we woke up to...

Get ready, winter is coming early! Actually, it wasn't much more than a dusting, but it is darn cold out here!

With inspiration from south of the border, we needed to do a little extra work to get last night's Friday Night Pizza on the table. Instead of buying prepared chorizo for this Mexi-Pizza, we went ahead and tried our hand at a quick homemade version!

I went with this pizza mainly because I had a scant pound of pork I needed to get used up - you can use already-ground pork if you like, but I cubed what I had on hand and whirled it in the food processor to grind it down. When you grind meat like this, you want the cubes to be cold and on the smaller side, about 1/4" to 1/2" or so in size. Using the pulse button is best as it goes pretty quick and you want some control on how ground it ends up - you are not looking to make meat paste after all! When the blade had diced the meat into fine pieces, we added the seasonings - three cloves of minced garlic (which can be dropped in the food processor first... let it do the work!), an ample amount of paprika (smoked - for not only is robust color, but depth), cumin, oregano, crushed red pepper for heat and a tiny pinch of cinnamon.

While we let that hang out for a few minutes to mingle, we took a few poblano peppers and set them under the broiler until they were well-charred all over. We don't have a gas stove, but if you do, you could blister them on top using a burner - just note that the peppers will be crisper and not as "cooked-through" as they get when you roast them in the oven. Done to make the skins slip off the peppers, this also gives them a bit more character with a slightly sweeter, smokier aspect. When you pull them out of the oven, stick them in a heat-proof bowl and cover them with plastic wrap (tossing them in a heavy zip-loc bag works too) - this traps in the moisture, creating a warm steam bath to make the skins practically fall off. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to pull off each and every dark bit - if it comes off, great, if some are stubborn, C'est la vie. Just don't run them under water - you'll be washing your work down the drain!

Cooked in a hot skillet to crumble the chorizo, we scattered the meat over our favorite whole-wheat pizza dough, partially-baked, giving us a solid platform for this pizza. Finely chopped red onion went on next, followed by shredded Monterey Jack cheese and the roasted poblanos that we chopped. Jeff can be funny about peppers, so slice the peppers how you like - if they are left in strips, he's more likely to just pick them off... so chopped it was! Baked to melt the cheese and finish crisping the crust, when we pulled the pie out of the oven, we gave the pizza a more cheesy note by throwing on little pebbles of queso fresco! If you've never had this type of fresh, snowy-white Mexican cheese before, it is a little salty, a touch tangy and very crumbly - great for salads and quesadillas as well! If you can't find this, a firm, block-style ricotta salata could be used instead.

Dandy as is, we still had one more ingredient to use on this pizza - fresh lime juice! It fits with the theme and all I guess, but you don't often see it used on pizza, that's for sure! The juice cut through some of the richness in the cheese and chorizo, while adding a delightful zip that was refreshing and clean. We used the twelve ounce version of our dough recipe, which gave us a crust that was fairly thin and crispy - if you wanted a base that was thicker with a bit more chew, try using a pound of dough instead.



  1. It was SO cold out this morning...I was shocked to go outside and actually have to SCRAPE my car off of both ice and snow! What?! Is it December already in MN?! Sheesh.

    I hope you and Jeff stayed warm today :-)


  2. We still have nice weather in BC. Homemade chorizo. That must be so good.

  3. 2 things:

    1. Poblanos rock! Love them.

    2. Snow? Yay! Bring on Christmas!

  4. where did you find queso fresco? yum!

  5. Courtney - I'm thankful for our garage!

    Helene - Must be nice! Send some our way!

    Peter - Jeff is already threatening to haul out the decorations!

    Jen - I find it in any of our local markets (Lunds & Byerly's, Cub, Rainbow, Kolwaski's). If you can't find it there, try an ethnic store.

  6. we got more than a dusting... there's about 5 inches of white stuff out there today...acckkk!! The leaves on lots of trees haven't turned colour or dropped off yet... the sprinklers are not blown out... way too early for this even here....

    a friend gave us some of the honey crisp apples brought home from the U.S. as a gift this year...yummy...