Ibérico Chorizo Pizza
Pizza is my favourite food group, what is yours?
I am actually a little flabbergasted that I have not yet included a pizza post on this blog. I mean, when I say pizza is my favourite food group that is not hyperbole, I actually mean it. If I were on death row a Margherita pizza and glass (oh, who am I kidding) a bottle of Chianti would be my final meal.
Pizza is imbued with good memories, from pizza day at school to an after the bar slice, pizza is made for good times.
I am guilty of eating pizza up to four times a week and am damn unapologetic about it. My biggest problem with pizza is I tend to like it all. From doughy and donut-like to paper thin and charred, if it has dough, sauce and cheese, count me in.
Last year I started making pizza at home in earnest, and it has quickly become my favourite iteration. You have so much more control over your ingredients, toppings and crust, that most take out pales in comparison. Pizza scalding hot straight out of the oven is an experience like no other.
Making pizza from scratch is not as daunting as it sounds. Once you have the dough part down pat, you can execute it in as little as five minutes. The only downside is waiting for the dough to proof, which can take upwards of an hour, but well worth it.
An essential tool for a great home pizza is a pizza stone. They are relatively inexpensive but help to give the bottom of the pizza sturdiness and seriously reduces cooking time. If you don’t already have one, I recommend this kitchen investment.
For my first instalment of which I anticipate will be a regular series of this blog, this pizza is super simple, letting the minimal (but high quality) ingredients shine.
My friends over at Lola and Miguel shared one of their newest offerings: Fermin Ibérico Chorizo Grilling Sausages. Made entirely from the legendary Ibérico pork this grilling sausage is flavoured like its cured counterpart. This tender, semi-cured sausage imparts a robust, smoky flavour, and its delectable fat content renders incredible flavour to whichever dish you add it. Great grilled on its own or as a part of a larger flavour profile.
I am obsessed with raw garlic on pizza, hence why included the raw garlic oil, but if you are not a huge garlic fan, consider omitting it.
I have topped this pizza with some watercress leaves for contrast and freshness, but if you don’t have watercress on hand consider substituting arugula or another small leaved bitter green.
Ibérico Chorizo Pizza
(adapted from Bobby Flay’s recipe found here. I have halved the ingredients as I found the original produced way too much dough)
1 ¾ Cups of bread flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon of white sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/8 teaspoon of instant dry yeast
¾ cups of water warmed to 110F
1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus more for greasing (use the best quality of olive oil you have on hand)
1 tablespoon of corn meal, divided
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast and using the dough hook attachment stir to combine
Slowly incorporate the water and mix on medium setting for about 5 minutes until a smooth ball is formed
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about a minute and form into a ball
Grease the inside of a large glass bowl with some olive oil and place the dough ball in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap
Let proof in a warm area for one hour
After one hour has elapsed, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and split into two balls, gently knead the balls smooth and let proof for another 10 minutes, covered with a clean cloth, until ready to use
1 – 398 ml can of cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ cup of white onion, finely diced
½ teaspoon of fennel seed, ground
½ teaspoon of dried oregano
Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil, onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes, and then add the fennel and oregano and sauté another minute
Add the entire can of cherry tomatoes and the liquid and simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes has elapsed, use a wooden spoon to crush the tomatoes into the sauce
Remove from heat and allow to fully cool before using
2 cups of mozzarella (sliced or grated, your preference)
2 Ibérico Chorizo grilling sausages
½ cup of watercress leaves
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic in olive oil
Remove each of the Ibérico chorizo grilling sausages from their casings and break into small pieces
Finely chop 2 garlic cloves and place in a small ramekin and cover with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500F
Once you are ready to make the pizza dust your working area with some flour and 1 tablespoon of corn meal and gently manipulate the dough to a flat round circle. At this point, the dough may be pliable enough to make the shape of a pizza, but if it is still a little springy, feel free to gently (I mean gently) use a rolling pin to achieve an even crust
Sprinkle a rimless baking sheet with a bit more cornmeal and place the crust on the sheet. This makes it easy to slide the finished pizza onto the hot pizza stone
Top with the pizza sauce (as much as you like), half of the mozzarella, half of the grilling chorizo Iberico and one tablespoon of the garlic in olive oil
Carefully slide the assembled pizza onto the heated pizza stone and cook for 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye, as it cooks fast!
While the first pizza is cooking, assemble the second pizza
Remove from the first pizza oven and top with half of the watercress
Repeat the above steps for the second pizza