Cornmeal Pizza with Wild Mushrooms
Perhaps no dish has come of age as part of new American cuisine as much as pizza. That staple Italian street food has been elevated with exotic toppings on menus from coast to coast. The cornmeal crust and spicy topping make this version a spectacular cross between pizza and an enchilada.
- Active Dry Yeast - 3 packages (3 tablespoons)
- Warm Water - 1-1/2 cups (85 F)
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Unbleached All-purpose flour - 2-1/4 cups
- Semolina - 1/2 cup
- Yellow Cornmeal - 3/4 cup
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Cracked black pepper - 1 tablespoon
- Garlic Clove - 1, peeled and minced
- Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
- Tomatillos - 1/4 cup, peeled and diced (1 large tomatillo)
- Fresh Cilantro - 2 tablespoons, coarsely chopped
- Fresh Oregano - 1 tablespoon, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Garlic Clove - 1 large, peeled
- Red Onion - 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Assorted Wild Mushrooms - 1/2 pound, such as chanterelles and shiitakes, cleaned and sliced
- Red Onion - 1/4 cup, sliced
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Dry Sherry - 3 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Green Chilies - 2 mild, such as poblano or Anaheim, roasted, peeled, seeded, and sliced
- Cherry Tomatoes - 1 cup, sliced
- Mexican cheese - 1 cup, grated
- Cilantro Leaves - roughly chopped
To make the dough: Mix the yeast with the warm water and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and let stand in a warm place until foamy. Using the dough hook of a mixer, add the remaining ingredients and knead with the mixer for about 10 minutes, or until it is elastic and forms a ball. Roll into a ball, dust lightly with flour, and place in a greased mixing bowl. Turn the dough to coat with grease and cover with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in bulk, approximately 1 hour. Punch the dough down, roll it out on a floured board, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
At this point, divide the dough into quarters or in half, depending on the size of the pizzas to be made. Roll the sections into rounds, using your hands to stretch the dough, and place on pizza pans or pizza stones that have been dusted with cornmeal.
While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce and topping.
To make the sauce: Heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil in a saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tomatillos, cilantro, oregano, garlic, and onion. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then place the mixture in a blender or food processor. Puree, then add the egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and remaining olive oil Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the topping: Heat the olive oil in a saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to high, deglaze with the sherry, and reduce until only 1 tablespoon of the liquid remains. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 500 F. Paint the dough with sauce, leaving a narrow rim, and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Divide the cooked mushroom mixture among the pizzas, spreading it over the sauce. Arrange slices of green chili, cherry tomato, and Mexican cheese over the mushrooms. Top with fresh cilantro leaves. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, and serve piping hot.