Roasted Poblano and Charred Corn Pizza
In my eyes, my most prolific recipe in 2019 was a green chili and charred corn queso. I made that queso many times throughout the year after it became a hit at a Super Bowl party. This kept that flavor combo pretty constantly top of mind, and when I hosted a pizza party at the end of last summer, it quickly became something I felt like I needed to try out on a pizza. Fruity and spicy chilis and grilled sweet corn continued to deliver the hits in pie form with this roast poblano and charred corn pizza.
My first inclination for this pie was to go sauceless, then I got to wondering...does pizza sauce really need to be tomato or nothing? I've certainly had some cream sauce-based pies that worked really well before and started rolling with that idea, but with a Mexican-influence, and ended up devising a tomatillo cream sauce that I thought would complement the topping combo really well.
After roasting some tomatillos until charred and softened under the broiler, I transferred them to the jar of a blender and added in sour cream, garlic, and cilantro and gave it a whirl. I then seasoned the tart and creamy sauce with sugar, salt, and pepper and thought I had one very different, but also very tasty, pizza sauce on my hands.
Next I utilized my grill to cook the three primary toppings I had in mind. Poblanos were first up, which I cooked until completely charred all over using a blazing hot fire. Once they were done, I transferred them to a bowl, covered, and let them rest until cool enough to handle. Then, to get them into topping form, I peeled away the charred skins, stemmed and deseeded, and cut the soft flesh until long, skinny strips.
While grilling the peppers, I also put some slices of red onion over the fire as well. When cooking onions in this manner, I always skewer the slices horizontally so they stay together while cooking. I grilled the onion slices until they were charred and crisp-tender, which took about five minutes per side. When they were done, I removed the skewers and roughly chopped up the rings.
Finally we have the corn, which was also grilled at the same time and also took roughly ten minutes total to cook. I used to wrap corn in foil and do longer cooks on the grill, but in recent years I've ditched that method and embraced the full on charring of sweet corn over a very hot fire, which both cooks it faster and also gives the corm an enhanced grilled flavor. When the ears were done cooking and cooled slightly, I cut the kernels from the cob for use as a pizza topping.
With the sauce and toppings ready to go, I grabbed my Neapolitan-style dough that I had made four days prior and was slowly fermenting in the fridge since then. While advance planning is needed, this is an insanely easy and consistently tasty recipe from Kenji over at Serious Eats—I've been using the same recipe for years and have been left with no good reason to try anything else.
After loading up the dough with the sauce, toppings, and mozzarella, it was baking time. I forgot to get a pizza baking action shot for this pie, but I used my KettlePizza to cook it super quickly and with restaurant-quality results.
My fire was dying down a bit, and the dough didn't turn out as perfect as other pies I made that day, but it was still excellent. While I could go on about the crisp, chewy, and tangy dough, it was the toppings that really made this pizza stand out. The poblanos were front and center with their fruitiness and light spiciness that was contrasted by bursts of sweet corn. The red onion furthered the grill-roasted flavor while also adding a welcomed soft crunch. A little cilantro added a fresh boost and melded well with that tangy sauce that was very at home with the rest of the ingredients. I have never had a pizza quite like this one, which is a bold statement given the amount of pizzas I've eaten in my many years on earth so far. While the inspirational queso that led me to this pie was something I've seen and eaten at many different places, this just goes to show that new things can be born from the usual, and I'm glad it eventually led me to this delicious pizza.
Roasted Poblano and Charred Corn Pizza
- Yield 4 servings
- Prep 40 Minutes
- Inactive 3 Days
- Cook 13 Minutes
- Total 3 Days 53 Minutes
- For the Dough
- 20 ounces (about 4 cups) bread flour, preferably Italian-style "OO"
- .4 ounces kosher salt (about 4 teaspoons)
- .3 ounces (about 2 teaspoons) instant yeast
- 13 ounces water
- For the Sauce
- 1lb tomatillos, husked and halved
- 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, plus more to taste
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the Pizza
- 3 poblano peppers
- 2 ears of corn, husked
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices and skewered horizontally so the rings lie flat on the grill
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- To make the dough: Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and incorporate into flour using hands until no dry flour remains on bottom of bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and divide into four even balls. Place each in a covered quart-sized deli container or in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Place in refrigerator and allow to rise at least 2 more days, and up to 4.
- To make the sauce: Preheat broiler. Place tomatillos, cut sides down, on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to broiler and cook until tomatillo skins have charred and flesh has softened completely. Transfer tomatillos to the jar of a blender along with garlic, sour cream, cilantro, and sugar. Puree until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and additional sugar to taste. Transfer to an airtight container and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- To make the pizza: 2 hours prior to cooking, remove dough from refrigerator, shape into balls, and allow to rest at room temperature, covered, for at least 2 hours before baking.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place corn, onion slices, and peppers on grill. Cook corn, turning occasionally, until tender and charred all over, about 10 minutes. Cook onion slices until softened and well charred on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Grill chiles, turning occasionally, until completely charred all over, about 10 minutes total. Transfer peppers to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until cool enough to handle. Transfer corn to a plate and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Cut kernels off cob. Transfer onion slices to cutting board, remove skewers, and roughly chop. Remove charred skins, deseed, and cut peppers into thin strips.
- Heat KettlePizza or pizza oven to 950°F. Alternatively, set a baking stone or Baking Steel on upper middle rack in oven and heat on highest setting possible for 45 minutes. Stretch dough into a 12" round. Spread on a layer of sauce and cheese. Top with pepper strips, corn kernels, and onion. Place pizza in pizza oven and cook for 2-3 minutes, rotating pizza for even cooking as necessary. Alternatively, place pizza on baking stone or steel in heated oven and cook until crust is baked through and mozzarella is melted, 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle on fresh cilantro and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining dough and ingredients.
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Sarah This is so yummy and fit perfectly into my meal prep! Funny enough, I was very on the edge of trying a Keto diet because there's so much info out there and I was really confused at the beginning lol. I read a blog post – https://blakestake.com/i-finally-tried-the-keto-diet-heres-what-happened-my-results/ .This is a review of a weight loss program called the Custom Keto Diet and the writer (Blake)'s journey with starting and achieving amazing results with the Keto diet. I can't stress enough that people should try this before wasting money and their time on things that don't work. It changed my life!:)