For other recipes using Hatch Chiles, please see my Hatch Chile Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. This is a resource for folks like me eating seasonally from the farm share, farmer's market, or garden abundance.
There really is a pizza recipe in this post. It's Friday, and you're at Farm Fresh Feasts, right?
I've always liked to play with my food and try new things, I guess my daughter gets it from me. A while ago we got part of a cow, including the tongue and tail. I made beef tongue tacos with the tongue and, while they were interesting, the real star of that meal was the salsa verde.
Oh salsa verde, [I lamented] where were you when I was cluelessly trying to coax something edible out of my CSA farm share tomatillos?? Ah well, at least now I knew what to do with the tomatillos! Sorry, food bank, I'm keeping them this time--have a jar of peanut butter and a couple cans of tuna instead.Last season I had the happy coincidence of my local grocery store roasting fresh Hatch chilies at the same time that the farm share blessed us with tomatillos (something Aubrey of Homegrown & Healthy commented on--produce that is in season at the same time generally pairs well together). I quickly canned a batch of salsa verde using the Ball canning book recipe. I wasn't quite sure what all I would make with it--we really didn't want to experience tongue again, though I wish cattle had 4 tails each because ox tail rocks. Try Elise's Oxtail Stew recipe, and you'll see what I mean.
When I thought about the idea of taking some leftover pork steak home from my in-laws, I lay awake dreaming up this pizza. I figured the pork would go nicely with the salsa verde. I just wasn't sure what type of cheese would be best. So the pork sat in the freezer and the salsa verde sat in the pantry and both patiently waited until this week. My family has recently become enamored of fresh mozzarella on pizza, like this or this or this. I love to get perfectly edible food marked down, so I've added a pass by the fancy cheese area when I'm making
It was during one such pass that the marked down sticker on this cheese caught my eye. It wasn't quite shaped like mozzarella, but it looked and felt similar. I whooped(!) because I felt like I'd scored getting mozzarella marked down. The cheese monger (a brilliant lady--she can even pronounce the name of this cheese without sounding like Ben Stiller's character trying to say Brett Favre's name in the movie There's Something About Mary or Ellen Degeneres' character reading in Finding Nemo) told me that the cheese I was whooping about was in fact not mozzarella and started to describe it's characteristics to me. Here's what the Murray's Cheese Oaxaca label says:
"Resembles mozzarella in terms of style and make process, but flavor-wise, Oaxaca cheese deserves its own dance floor. Of Mexican heritage but made in Waterloo, Wisconsin by our friends The Crave Brothers, it's pure white and semi-hard, with sting cheesy texture and a salty milky zing. It's best used for the melted implementation in its country of origin: nachos, tacos, or quesadillas, or as a substitute for queso blanco in cooking."We agreed this pizza would go perfectly with this cheese. If you don't have access to Oaxaca and are too shy to ask for it because you're afraid you'll mispronounce it, I think queso blanco, shredded Mexican blend, or fresh mozzarella would do fine.
The last comment I need to make before getting to the recipe is this: next time I won't make this pizza the way I did. I'll make it the way I wrote it up here. I think it would be better to toss the cooked meat on at the end, like in this pizza, not in the beginning. What can I say? I was making 4 different pizzas, 2 to deliver to a friend, and I was way distracted. On Friday nights I put the 'as it's happening' pizzas up on my Facebook page so you can see how crazed I
|Pretend you don't see the pork under the cheese! Follow the directions!|
Salsa Verde, Pork Steak, and Oaxaca Cheese Pizza
1 pound whole wheat pizza dough
1 clove roasted garlic--mine was obnoxiously large due to the 4 crusts it would cover
1/4 cup olive oil, warmed (used over many crusts, about 2 Tablespoons per pizza)
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons salsa verde (I make mine with Hatch chiles and farm share tomatillos)
1/2 pound sliced Oaxaca cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked pork steak, cubed
1 cup cooked pork steak, cubed
For general pizza making directions, hints, and tips, please refer to my collage-filled Pizza Primer here.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and don't forget your pizza stone. Smush garlic and stir into the olive oil. Set aside. In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons salsa verde with cubed pork, set aside. On an oiled piece of parchment, stretch the dough into a square shape if your spouse now prefers to eat his pizza in thin strips instead of wedges. Brush some garlic oil across the crust. Spread the 1/3 cup of salsa verde on top of the oil. Place cheeses on top. Bake on a preheated pizza stone (or cookie sheet) for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is puffed. Remove from oven, top with pork cubes, and return to the oven, baking 3-5 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly. Cool on a rack a few minutes, slice and serve.
This pizza is playing with the other kids at the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You, the Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick, What's Cookin' Wednesday at Buns In My Oven, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks, Taste and Tell Thursdays, and since it's kinda strange and quite good, it's liked up with Laura's Strange But Good party at Sprint 2 The Table, and Food on Friday: Sauces.