Hey, remember that Super Hot Chipotle Sauce we made the other day?
Oh, and remember that pizza crust we made and then only used half of the day before yesterday?
Let’s make a chipotle beef pizza!!!
Now, if you are like me and your parents raise their own beef, and one day you went up for a visit and your mom handed you a chunk of tenderloin filet that she “just didn’t know what to do with,” well, you are just about the luckiest person on the planet, aren’t you?
Yes. I am.
If not just buy yourself a decent (but not too expensive) hunk of steak that won’t require hours of cooking to get tender.
What cut, you ask?
I’m not sure. A butcher I am not. Ask the guy behind the counter though, he’ll know! Tenderloin, sirloin, flanksteak…one of ’em will work! It’s all in the way you slice it. And cook it. And for this I have very specific instructions!
I decided to make my pizza more deep dish style this time, so I went ahead and lightly oiled a 14″ cast iron pan and stuck it in a cold oven. Then I turned the oven on and let it start heating up to 500º. For pizza your oven should be screaming hot!
Then I got to work on the toppings.
You are going to want:
Thinly sliced red onion and peppers (I wanted to use poblanos for their rich but mild flavor, but all I could find were Anaheims. And you know what? It still worked! I just love it when that happens…), Super Hot Chipotle Sauce, and some lime juice. You are also going to want about 1/2 lb of steak, thinly sliced against the grain.
And a can of tomatoes with chilis, drained (but save the juice).
I used mild (for once!) because that chipotle sauce is just so darn hot. I like to be able to taste my pizza! Imagine that.
You are also going to need an enormous pile of shredded mozzarella cheese, which you don’t have a picture of because I got distracted and didn’t take one.
Meanwhile, hopefully you have been slowly heating a skillet to very high heat.
When your skillet is unbelievably hot, pour in some peanut oil. Olive oil will burn and taste terrible, so use something with a very high smoking point. Peanut oil is awesome for this kind of thing. Get some. You won’t regret it!
Toss in your veggies.
In about a minute they will browned, a little blistered, and still very crunchy! Take ’em out of the pan and squeeze a little lime juice over them. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Now, turn the heat off under your skillet, but don’t walk away! Throw that beef into the still sizzling skillet, making sure it is all spread out in a single layer. Then don’t touch it for 30 seconds! While it is sitting, mix a little of the juice from your tomatoes with peppers into a couple of tablespoons of Super Hot Chipotle Sauce. Pour it over the beef.
Don’t be fooled by the photo there. I only used about half of what was in that bowl. It’s not that I’m deceitful by nature, really. I just find that my original plan often changes in the middle of things!
Now it’s ok to give it a little stir. One side of the beef should be caramelized and flavorful, while the other is still completely raw. This way it won’t overcook while the pizza is baking–if you played your cards right all these thin little slivers of meat will come out cooked just about medium in the finished pizza!
Just a note here: don’t eat all the beef straight out of the pan even though it’s tender and smells delicious and looks divine. If you eat it all right now, when you serve the pizza everyone will ask “where’s the beef?!?”
Here’s the pizza dough from Wednesday. Ain’t it purty?
Go ahead and roll, or stretch and shape (and tear and patch) it into a roughly 16″ circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to fit into the pan.
Clear a good space on your counter and throw several hot pads or layers of dry towels down on it to protect it.
Now, very carefully, take your smokin’ hot cast iron skillet out of the smokin’ hot oven and close the oven door immediately so none of the heat gets out.
Sprinkle a little cornmeal over the bottom of the skillet. I didn’t have cornmeal, but I did have some semolina flour leftover from making ravioli. If you don’t have cornmeal, but you have semolina, use semolina!
Or you could just skip that part and use nothing, but I like the crunch that little sprinkling adds…and cornmeal gets really toasty and flavorful and crunchy on the bottom of the pan.
Darn it. Now I wish I’d used cornmeal!
Try to center your circle o’ dough over the skillet. You’ll really only get one shot at this part. Drop the dough in carefully (I draped the dough over the backs of both my hands, then started at the edge closest to me and sort of rolled it off my fists to the other edge…does that make sense? If it doesn’t, come on over and I’ll show you!) and gently form it into the corners and up the sides. But please don’t touch the skillet! If you touch the skillet, you’ll get burned.
Then you’ll have to go to the Emergency Department.
Then I’ll see you there.
Then you’ll tell me you burned yourself while making my recipe.
Then I’ll cry.
Then I’ll tell you it’s a long ways from your heart!
Then I’ll cry some more.
So please, don’t touch the skillet!
As you can see my crust came out far from perfect shape wise, but in a hundred years it won’t matter.
Sprinkle some cheese in the bottom of the crust and pop it back in the oven for a couple of minutes…just long enough for the cheese to melt a little.
Mix a little more of the Super Hot Chipotle Sauce into the drained tomatoes and spread that over the cheese. Top that with the beef, peppers and onions, and the rest of the cheese.
Drizzle on a little more Chipotle sauce, if the Spirit so moves you…
Or if you have an excess of it and you just don’t know what else to do with it…
Or you just want things extra hot!!
Now bake on the top rack of your oven for 20 minutes or so, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese and fillings are roughly the temperature of molten lava.
Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before diving in!
Or don’t, but please don’t burn your mouth. You’ll blister up and be in agony and have to check into the Emergency Department!
And I really will cry!
While your pizza is cooling a bit, distract yourself by making some Cool Avocado Cream.
It is creamy, luscious and a perfect cooling compliment to the super spicy pizza!
Begin with two avocados, peeled and pitted. Add lime juice, garlic, and salt and mash it all up until mostly smooth.
Now add in an 8 oz carton of sour cream, and mix until smooth.
If you live in the sort of house where everyone loves cilantro, mince some up and stir that in too!
If you live in a house where the main cook hates cilantro, but her hubby digs it, mince some up and serve it separately.
Top a slice of pizza with some Cool Avocado Cream and cilantro and dig in! Beer is an especially fine accompaniment to this meal.
Itza hefty pizza, so it should serve about eight. Or, it makes eight servings, but feeds about six. Or makes two very hefty servings with leftovers.
I’m no judge of serving sizes. I just wanted to make you feel better about all that cheese.
Eat and be happy!
CHIPOTLE BEEF PIZZA
1/2 recipe pizza crust (http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/main-courses/basic-pizza-crust/)
1/2 lb steak, sliced thinly against the grain
2 poblano or anaheim chilis, seeded and sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 can tomatoes with peppers (mild or hot, depending on your taste preferences)
Super Hot Chipotle Sauce (http://phobicfoodie.com/2011/05/18/spicy-chipotle-black-bean-soup/)
16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
cornmeal or semolina flour
Lightly oil a 14″ cast iron skillet with peanut oil (or some other oil with a very high smoking point). Position you oven rack on the highest level. Place the skillet in the cold oven, then begin preheating the oven to 500º. Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes for best results!
Open the can of tomatoes with peppers and set over a bowl to drain, reserving the juice. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of Spicy Chipotle Sauce into the tomatoes and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to high heat. When it is very hot add a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil and immediately add the peppers and onions. Stir and toss for about 1 minute, or until the veggies are blistered and browned but still very crunchy. Remove from the pan and squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lime over it. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Turn the heat off under the skillet and add the beef in a single layer. Let sit without disturbing while you mix a few tablespoons of Super Hot Chipotle Sauce with a couple of tablespoons of the liquid from the tomatoes. Use about equal parts of each. Pour this mixture over the beef in the pan, then give a little stir and set aside. The beef should still be mostly raw.
Stretch your pizza dough into a roughly 16″ circle.
Clear a large space on your counter and protect the surface with hot pads or several layers of towels. Set the cast iron skillet on top of the hot pads and sprinkle a little bit of cornmeal or semolina flour over the bottom of it. Drape the circle of pizza dough over the backs of your hands and, beginning at the edge nearest you roll the dough away from you onto the skillet. Let the dough settle into the corners and up the sides, using your fingers or a wooden spoon to help it form.
Sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of the crust and bake for 2 or 3 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. This step will help your crust stay crispy and protects it from the moisture of the fillings!
Remove the crust from the oven and layer on the tomato mixture, the beef, the peppers and onions, and top with cheese. Drizzle with a little more Spicy Chipotle Sauce if desired.
Stick the whole thing back onto the top rack of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, the cheese is melted and toasty, and all the fillings are hot.
Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
Top with Cool Avocado Cream and cilantro if you like it.
Eat and be happy!
COOL AVOCADO CREAM
2 avocados, mashed
juice from 1 lime
8 oz. sour cream
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons minced cilantro, if desired
Mash and mix all ingredients thoroughly until smooth.