Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Terra's Living Seasonally - Bacon and Sweet Corn Pizza

When I have nothing planned for dinner, I have a few go-to options that work with pretty much any meat and veggie that’s in the house. These include fried rice, frittata and pizza. Pizza is especially great when you’re down to almost nothing in the pantry because it doesn’t demand a lot of toppings. A few sliced tomatoes, some cheese and basil and I’m happy. Here is a version that makes use of seasonal sweet corn and pantry staples (at least in our house!) of bacon and onions.

You can buy pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joe’s sells it for $.99 in the refrigerator case), a pre-made pizza crust like Boboli, or, if you have an extra hour, make your own. I use the recipe from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything. This is our most frequently used reference book in the kitchen. I highly recommend it.

Mark Bittman’s Pizza Dough
  • 1 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup water (plus more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
Combine yeast, flour and salt in a food processor. Turn on and add 1 cup water and 2 tbsp oil through the tube. Process about 30 seconds, adding a bit more water at a time if needed, until it forms a ball.

Turn onto floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round ball. Grease a bowl with the remaining teaspoon of oil and put the dough in it and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm part of the kitchen until the dough doubles in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

When dough is ready, knead it lightly on a floured surface, form a ball and divide into two if you are making a small (10-inch) pizza and saving half in the fridge for later, or leave in a single ball for a family size pizza. Allow the dough to rise another 20 minutes on the work surface, covered with plastic wrap.

Making the Pizza

Form the dough into the shape you want. (If it was refrigerated, you need to let it come to room temperature first, about 20 minutes). I use my hands to form a round, but you can also use a rolling pin. Try to ensure it’s an even thickness everywhere – about ¼ inch - but the crust edges can be a little thicker.

The following should be enough for a family style pizza using the whole batch of dough. I’m roughly doubling how much I used to make a 10-inch pizza to share with my girls. That’s about all the three of us can eat, and I save the other half of the dough in the fridge for another day.
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 ears corn, cut off of the cob
  • 4-6 slices of bacon
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup shredded swiss, gruyere or fontina, or some combination (or more mozz if that’s all you have). I use a packaged shredded swiss-gruyere mix from Trader Joe's

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the bacon down the middle lengthwise and then into ½ inch slices. Cook, stirring often, in a nonstick skillet until just cooked, don’t let it get crispy because it will cook more in the oven.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Or pour it all off and add a tablespoon of olive oil if you want to be healthy and boring. Return the heat to medium and cook the onions a couple minutes until they start to soften. Add salt and pepper and the corn kernels to the onions, cooking for another 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the corn is bright and sweet.

If you have some, sprinkle a little (less than a tsp) of cornmeal on the pizza pan, then lay the pizza dough round on top of it. If you don’t have cornmeal, skip it. It just helps give it some texture and prevent sticking.

Top with the shredded cheese, the onion and corn mixture, and the bacon. You could also add tomato slices, fresh basil and salt and pepper at this stage, but I didn’t.

Cook for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the bottom crust is done.



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  2. That looks delicious, the corn is a great idea!


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