Friday, August 23, 2013

Puebloan “Three Sisters” Deep Dish Skillet Pizza

It's been a bad week, y'all.

Truly, bad really doesn't even begin to describe it, but for lack of a better word, bad.

There are some people in my life who are struggling with some really hard stuff.  And I love these people with all my heart.  And if they hurt, I hurt.

So a bunch of us are hurting.

And we are asking questions.  Questions that we don't have answers to and that there are no easy answers to.

And we know that things look one way to others, but we know another side.

And it's been made abundantly clear to me this week about how important it is to extend mercy to people.  To not judge them by what you see.  

And it's not that I don't extend mercy to people.  I do.  Except when I don't.  Because I am human.  I get caught up in being judgmental and calling things like I see them.


But I am on the flip side this time.  I am needing mercy and compassion and to not be judged.  My loved ones are needing these things too.  Desperately.

Everyone needs that.  All of us.

I want to be a person who grants that to others.  Always.  

Lord, help me to be merciful and compassionate.  Always. 

Sometimes, when things are hard and tough and stressful, cooking can help me unwind.  And it did this week.  (A little.)  I was able to get in the kitchen and cook some yummy things.  And this pizza was one of them.  It was kind of therapeutic to make my own pizza dough from scratch.  And if I can do it, you can.

This pizza was inspired by my trip out west this summer.   When we were at Mesa Verde National Park and learning about the Pueblo Indian cliff dwellers, I was mentally taking notes about their diets while the tour guide was educating us.  Because some of that stuff sounded really good.

Some of the main food staples of the Pueblo Indians were what they called the "three sisters" which were squash, corn and beans.  They also grew peppers and ate pine nuts from the forest.  And that's my pizza.

I made it yesterday and my daughter kind of raved over it.  That made me feel good.

Here are my notes:

-I'm not saying this is the best pizza crust ever, but it's a good, easy, basic recipe, especially for beginners or people who are slightly intimidated by working with yeast.  (Like me.)

-This made a really thick crust in my 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet.  You would actually be able to divide the dough into 4 parts to get a thinner crust.  But I like it thick.  The picture below will show you how thick it is.

-Just pat it in the skillet.  Easy.  I think it's easier than stretching it out on a stone.

-Pine nuts burn quickly.  Like *super* fast.  See:

It's probably better to toast them up in a dry nonstick skillet until light golden brown than to put them a baking sheet in the oven.

Puebloan “Three Sisters” Deep Dish Skillet Pizza

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board
1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups ice-cold water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl
1 medium ear corn, shucked and cleaned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup zucchini squash cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup jarred roasted salsa verde 
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained 
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Place the 4 cups flour, the yeast, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in the bowl of a electric stand mixer; beat at low speed using the paddle attachment until blended. Switch to the dough hook, and slowly add water and oil in a steady stream.  Beat at low speed about 3 minutes, then beat at high speed for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a large bowl that has been wiped with olive oil.  Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and cover dough with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until almost doubled in bulk.  Dough will be springy when lightly touched. Punch dough down, and turn out onto a cutting board that has been dusted with flour.  Shape into a large ball; cut dough into 3 equal pieces, shaping each piece of dough into a ball.  Cover two of the balls with plastic wrap and place in fridge for another use.
Place 1 dough ball on a lightly greased baking sheet, and dust with flour. Cover with a damp towel. Let stand in a cool place 1 hour.
Meanwhile, cut the corn off the cob.  Heat a 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then add corn.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring several times, then add the onion and zucchini.  Cook until vegetables are crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, the black pepper, chile powder, and cumin and stir to evenly coat.  Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.  Let skillet cool, then wipe clean with a rag or paper towels.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  When pizza dough is ready, spray the skillet with cooking spray, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon cornmeal evenly in the bottom.  Press the dough in the skillet evenly all the way to edges.  Spread the salsa verde on pizza leaving about a 1/4 inch space around perimeter.  Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.  Spread the corn mixture on top of the cheese evenly, then sprinkle with the black beans.  Add the remaining cheese in a single layer on top.  Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is light golden brown.   (Place under broiler for a minute if necessary to get cheese golden brown on the top.) When pizza comes out of oven, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.  

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  1. I hope this difficult time passes quickly for you and yours. I have cooked myself through many tense and sad times and the act of creating has brought me great consolation. Well done recipe Lorie, it looks wonderful.

  2. Lori
    I like thick crusted pizza too. My grandmother and mother always made their crust thick. That's just how we roll!!!
    Look ahead and know that things will work themselves out. Positive thoughts are headed your way.