Well, this week I’m back at it. “It” being the work leading up to the looming school year. We have professional development all this week, signifying the virtual end of summer. Sigh. Though the past few days have been inspiring working with my bilingual colleagues, it’s been such a beautiful month off that I can’t help but feel sad.
I do have to say I am looking forward to getting back into my routine. I find it’s much easier for me to eat really well and workout consistently during the school year. Some might find this odd – yes, teachers really are that busy and work a lot of extra hours! How can it possibly be easier?
During this time, I refuse to waste time at the grocery, prompting me to meticulously meal plan and shop 1-2 times a week. I am exhausted after work, and, knowing myself, always pack a gym bag and schedule in workouts to make sure I get them in. What’s funny is it sometimes takes every ounce of energy and determination to get myself to the gym, but at the end of my workout, I feel energized and happy and … clear, if that adjective makes any sense. What do you do to make sure your healthy lifestyle doesn’t get lost in the hustle of your day today? The little things you do – packing bags before, meal planning, scheduling- are everything. A healthy lifestyle is imperative to happiness. It is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
Not that if I had a choice I would choose school routine over summer break. Let’s be real. Especially because of all the delicious summer produce in season right now! I was craving something similar to the Mexican breakfast pizza I concocted a few months ago. The sauce is very similar, and seriously one of my favorite things ever. The summer produce on top, combined with a crispy thin crust and avocado dipping sauce – perfection!
This meal comes together in an hour. Prepare the quick pizza dough, prepare the sauce, chop up all the toppings, and then oven time. Boom. Party in the mouth.
The crust is a very nice, simple, thin crust. This will be my go-to thin crust recipe from now on. The sauce requires some dried ancho chilis, like these (which are WAY more expensive then the brand I find in the “Hispanic foods” aisle of my grocery), of which you should not be afraid. Working with dried peppers is easy, and it gives your food an amazing flavor. Basically, you bring water to a boil then immerse the peppers inside, covering and turning off the heat. After they’ve soaked, you put them in a blender with some of the soaking liquid and whatever spices you’d like. This forms what I call “the paste”. Once you’ve got “the paste” you are good to go. Saute it in the pan before adding the rest of your sauce ingredients, or the rest of your soup ingredients, and you will be so thrilled with the depth of flavor it brings.
This pizza is so right on so many levels. Smokey, spicy, sweet, and beautiful paired with the avocado sauce. We devoured the 2 pizzas immediately! One thing I might suggest is using the broiler at the end of the cooking time – I’d love for the pineapple to be caramelized more that it was for me.
Ancho Chili Chorizo & Pineapple PizzaPrint Recipe
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups AP flour
- 2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 3 dried ancho chilis, stems removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tap cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
- 1/2 - 1 lb chorizo, wrapping removed
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 ear of corn
- 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado
- 1 - 2 tbsp lime juice, depending on your taste
- 1/2 - 1 cup water, depending on desired thickness
- Salt and pepper to taste
First, prepare the pizza dough. In a medium bowl, combine the lukewarm water, sugar and yeast. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 10 minutes until frothy. Add the flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt and mix until shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 6 minutes. You know the dough is ready when you poke it lightly with your finger and it bounces back. Cut dough into 2 equal parts. Form into a ball and coat lightly with olive oil. Place both in a bowl together, and cover with a towel. Allow to sit while you prepare your sauce.
Prepare the sauce. Bring a small pot of water (maybe 4 cups) to a boil. Add dried peppers, cover, remove from heat, and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
In a blender, place the garlic, italian seasoning, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, 1 tsp salt and the pepper into a food processer or blender. When you have 5 minutes remaining on the dried peppers, Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Saute and brown the chorizo in the pan, breaking it into smaller pieces. While the chorizo is browning, add the 3 chilis to the blender along with 2/3 cup of the soaking liquid. Blend into a paste. Add the paste to the pan with the chorizo. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and mix. Bring to a simmer, simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
Preheat at oven to 475F. Grease 2 baking sheets. On each sheet, toss each 1/2 of the pizza dough and stretch and roll out to a 12-14 inch pizza. Brush edges with olive oil. Bake one sheet in oven for 5 minutes, remove to add sauce and toppings, and place second sheet in for 5 minutes while doing this (1 pizza in oven at time to make pizza crispier).
Spread sauce on pizza, top with zucchini, corn, onion, pineapple and cotija cheese. Place back in oven for an additional 5-7 minutes or until crust is nicely brown.
Allow pizza to cool for 5 minutes. Prepare avocado dipping sauce by blending avocado, lime juice, water, salt and pepper together, adding more water as you go to reach your desired thickness. Taste as you go, you may need to add more salt, pepper or lime depending on how much water you add.
Once pizzas have cooled, top with more cheese, fresh cilantro. Eat with avocado dipping sauce!