Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fajita Pizza with Cilantro Pesto Sauce

Why should anyone have to choose between Mexican and Italian?  It's unfair; they're both so delicious.  Confronted with the latest Ratio Rally challenge of pizza dough, I decided it was time for some nation-building and brought them together into one amazing dish.

I wish I could write more about this pizza; how it was crunchy and bursting with so many simple and strong flavors, and had enough taste on its own to defy a need for cheese.  Sadly, though, graduate school is sucking all of my free time away from me right now, so I'll just leave you with the recipe and this final thought:  make this.  It's a party in your mouth - seriously.

Thanks to Karen of Cooking Gluten Free for hosting this month's Ratio Rally!  See below the recipe for a list of the other participants and their creations.

Fajita Pizza with Cilantro Pesto Sauce

This works best if you make the pizza dough first, then make the cilantro pesto and slice the veggies and chicken while the dough rises.  Try to have the fajita ingredients ready to go before you put the dough in the oven so that it's all ready at roughly the same time.

For the dough (adapted from the Gluten-free Girl's Pizza Crust recipe)

2.2 oz cornstarch
2.2 oz. corn flour
1.1 oz. tapioca starch
2.2 oz. potato starch
1.1 oz. brown rice flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. warm water
2 tsp. honey
~1/4 cup cornmeal for dusting

Don't preheat the oven yet! Place the warm water, olive oil, honey, and yeast in a bowl and place somewhere warm until it's very frothy, roughly doubled in size.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.  With an electric mixer, beat the yeast mixture in until it is well mixed.  Sprinkle liberal amounts of brown rice flour onto a cutting board or countertop and place the dough on top.  Use more brown rice flour to work the dough into a soft ball with your hands, adding just enough to keep it from sticking.  Return to the bowl and place somewhere warm, covered with a towel or a greased piece of plastic wrap, for an hour, or until it doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.  This will turn out best if you preheat your pizza stone (if you have one) in the oven as well.

Take a fist-sized piece of dough and place on a large greased sheet of wax paper.  Fold the wax paper in half over the dough, then (using a rolling pin) smooth it into a very thin layer.  It doesn't have to be pretty - just try to make the thickness of the dough consistent.  Carefully peel back one side of the wax paper so the dough doesn't stick, then place the dough (exposed side down) on a piece of greased parchment paper.  Peel back the wax paper from the other side of the dough.  Sprinkle with cornmeal and place the parchment paper on the pizza stone.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until lightly browned - don't overcook!!

For the cilantro pesto sauce:
2 bunches of cilantro, washed and patted dry
~1/3 cup olive oil
~1/3 cup pine nuts or cashews
3 - 5 cloves of fresh garlic

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth.  Set aside.

For the fajita topping:
2 - 4 tbsp. olive oil
3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 onion, sliced into slivers
1 red pepper, sliced into slivers
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Saute the onion and red pepper in 1 - 2 tbsp. olive oil until blackened and tender.  Remove to a bowl, then add the other 2 tbsp. oil and saute the chicken strips until they are cooked through and blackened to your own taste.  When the chicken is done, add the pepper and onion back into the pan.

In a small bowl, combine all of the spices and the cornstarch together.  Add to the pan and stir to mix well, then add the 3/4 cup chicken broth.  Simmer until it thickens to your liking (I simmered mine for at least 7 - 10 minutes).

Compiling the pizza:

Spread a generous amount of cilantro pesto on each baked pizza crust, then top with the chicken fajitas.  Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and top with salsa, sour cream, or cheese to top if you like, but trust me, these are flavorful enough on their own. 

Be sure to check out what the other Ratio Rally folks put together:

Jenn of Jenn Cuisine made Moitié-Moitié Sausage Pizza
Meg of Gluten-Free Boulangerie made Pissaladière (Provençal flatbread w/ olives & anchovies)
TR of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies made Teriyaki Chicken Pizza
Erin of The Sensitive Epicure made Stuffed Pizza Pie: Spinach, Mushrooms, Sausage
Charissa of Zest Bakery made sauteed onion and sausage grilled pizza with basil
Pete and Kelli of No Gluten, No Problem made Grilled Pizza
Mrs. R of Honey From Flinty Rocks made Pepperoni Pizza & Pineapple, Black Olive & Ham Pizza
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free made Pizza crust by ratio (choose your toppings)
Morri of Meals With Morri made Everything Peace Pretzels & Pizza Blanca
Meredith of Gluten Free Betty made Pizza
Gretchen of Kumquat made  Mozzarella Pizza with Pine Nuts, Currants & Arugula
Jean of GF Doctor Recipes made Pizza
Brooke of B & the Boy made Dessert Pizza
Karen of Cooking Gluten-Free! made GASP! Garlic, Artichoke,Sun-Dried Tomato, Pesto Pizza
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen made Rum Raisin Apple Pizza Pie, Gluten Free Dairy Free

1 comment:

Wanda said...

I had a friend visiting from the States this weekend and she loved the pizza. She usually pooh-poohed any of the gf recipes I tried but she came pretty close to finishing half a pizza on her own and would have continued had I not been there.
I am thinking of trying a sun-dried tomato pesto sauce and omitting the salsa on the next one just to mix it up a bit.

Thank you for the recipe. I hope other readers and followers try it. It’s wonderful!