OAXACA RANCHERO PIZZA
PIZZA CRUST INGREDIENTS (Or buy at store.)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
no-stick cooking spray (Don’t forget this.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound chicken breast
1 serrano chile
1 jalapeno pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
½ tablespoon oregano
½ tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ cup cilantro
1 cup crumbled Oaxaca, or queso quesadilla, cheese
1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
A good list so you don’t have to go to the store multiple times.
PREPARATION OF PIZZA DOUGH
Measure out the flour and set aside. Pour the water into the bread maker. If you measure the water before the flour, the flour will stick to the sides of the measuring cup.
Add oil, sugar, salt, and yeast to the bread maker. (You can remember these ingredients by the following anagram, “ossy.” Oh sure, you can use “syso,” but that’s silly.) Do not put the yeast directly on top of the salt. Salt is bad for yeast and yeast makes the dough rise.
Set the timer or the menu on the bread maker to “Dough.” Wait the required time, probably a bit more than an hour. In the meantime liberally spray the pizza pan with no-stick spray. This will prevent the crust from forming a glue-like bond with the pan.
Take the dough and roll it out until the dough covers the pizza pan. If you do not possess a rolling pin, any food can will do as long as it is at least 6 inches tall. It is best to coat the can with a thin layer of flour before spreading the dough.
Put pizza dough on pizza pan already coated with no-stick spray. Sprinkle flour on rolling pin and roll out dough until it covers the pizza pan. After rolling, let the dough sit in a warm place and rise for 30-to-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
PREPARATION OF TOPPING
While pizza dough is forming in the bread maker, (If it’s foaming in the bread maker, then you’ve probably bought yeast that is really an alien life form bent on taking over the world. With yeast, it really pays to buy name brands.) or while it’s sitting for 30-to-60 minutes, preheat oven to 400 degrees, remove the seeds from the serrano chile, jalapeno pepper, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper. Dice the chicken breast, serrano chile, jalapeno pepper, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, and onion.
Pour the vegetable oil and peanut oil into a no-stick frying pan and cook at medium-high heat. Add in diced chicken breast, the chiles, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, cloves, onion, diced tomatoes (drained), oregano, cumin, chile powder, and cayenne pepper. Sauté on medium high for about 6 minutes, or until vegetables soften and the chicken is no longer pink. Add in chicken broth and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens. (If it’s too liquidy, it will run off the pizza dough and possibly through the holes, or off the side of pizza pan, and onto the oven itself where it will hiss, burn, and become a small, grayish brick that will take hours to remove. Avoid this hardship and the run-on sentence it engendered by heeding this advice.)
While the above chicken/peppers/tomatoes/spice mixture is cooking, remove the avocado’s skin and take out its pit. Dice the yummy part that is left.
Ladle out the topping mixture and smooth until it is even. Sprinkle the cilantro and three cheeses on top of the mixture.
Put in preheated oven to cook at 400 degrees. Cook for 10 to 18 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown. (Ovens differ wildly in the time needed to cook dishes, especially pizzas. So, check every few minutes after the minimum of 10 until it is done to your satisfaction.)
Remove pizza and sprinkle avocado bits over the pizza.
1) Tomatoes were originally cultivated by the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru.
2) Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztecs and Incas in the 15th century.
3) The Aztecs and Incas also had lots of gold.
4) So did these conquests occur because of gold or tomatoes?
5) Tomatoes were transported back to Europe in the 15th century and quickly adopted by the Mediterranean countries.
6) The Protestant English, however, considered the tomato to be poisonous. Catholic Spain tried to invade England in 1588. Was it because of a dispute over tomatoes?
7) Americans felt the same way until the mid-19th century.
8) Why did our attitude change?
9) Probably from watching immigrants eat tomatoes for 300 years without ill effect.
10) The tomato is a fruit. However, in 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it to be a vegetable, so it could be taxed.
11) Why would vegetables be taxable and not fruit?
12) In the 1980s, the Reagan administration also declared the tomato to be a vegetable, so school lunches would have the necessary vegetable component by including ketchup.
13) “Ma, I ate vegetables at school.”
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.