Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mr. Hawthorne Makes Pizza.

Mr. Hawthorne is making pizza tonight and you're invited to watch.
Here's his finished product.
It's a super thin crust pizza. As in a tortilla for the crust. We've enjoyed making and eating these lately. They're the perfect size for 2 people. We can finish off the entire pizza and not have any leftovers. If you do ever have pizza leftovers, here's a great idea I got from Vic Vegas, AKA Mama's Boy, on The Next Food Network Star. Vic took leftover lasagna, wrapped it in a tortilla, deep-fried it like a chimichanga and made la-changa! Hey, Vic! Don't you remember Pauler Deen has already made deep-fried lasagna? So I'm gonna put a Rosie twist on any future leftover pizza I have and wrap it in puff pastry and deep-fry it. I'll let you know. Back to Mr. Hawthorne's pizza. Refrigerator to table in under one hour. Note: These ingredients are readily substitutable. Mr. Hawthorne is making a pizza with what we have on hand. Pantries vary so use what you have.
We happened to have this sausage which Mr. Hawthorne peeled the casing off of, sliced thinly, and browned. No sausage? You could use sliced ham. I'd saute it first to get out the moisture. Prosciutto. Pancetta. Pepperoni. All viable substitutions. Note: If you use pepperoni, slice it thinly, spread on paper towels, and nuke for about 22 seconds. This gets rid of a lot of the grease in the pepperoni, which would otherwise seep into the pizza. Also notice the nice chemical orange color of the grease transferred on to the paper towels.
Mr. Hawthorne started out with a layer of Monterey Jack cheese on top of the tortilla. The tortilla is on a pizza paddle which has been sprinkled with cornmeal so the pizza will slide off easily onto our 500 degree pizza stone in the oven.
This is Mr. Hawthorne's homemade Salsa Ranchero. It's good hot, warm, or cold. It's a wonderful sauce for a pizza or for Mexican dishes, say enchiladas or quesadillas, or for an omelet. And yes, we've done them all.
Mr. Hawthorne put small spoonfuls of his salsa over the pizza. Don't bother to spread it out.
Sausage goes on.
Mr. Hawthorne applies canned mushrooms. Shudder.
Black olives.
Mr. Hawthorne is slicing a tomato in the background.
Shaky shaky oregano.
Chopping green peppers.
I like the view through the olive on the left.
Sliced onions on.
Mozzarella on top.
Now we wait. The oven has preheated to 500 degrees.
But we're waiting an additional 10-15 minutes for the pizza stone to heat through.
Bake at 500 degrees for 15 minutes.
The freshly made Salsa Ranchero is light, delightful, and summery. It's a pleasant change from a doctored canned tomato sauce. Fresh peppers and tomatoes from the garden. A little meat from the sausage. It's all good. Nicely balanced.
Now go make a pizza. Please.

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