Hello and welcome back to Kelly’s Kitchen! I am happy you’re here today, as I have a fun recipe to share with you. A couple months back I shared a skillet pizza recipe; in which I noted that pizza is my favorite thing of all time. Well, today I am putting my pizzaiolo experience to good use. Get ready because this is how to make Mexican-inspired pizza!
This is not your typical Mexican pizza, which I think is usually, basically, taco toppings on a pizza. Today’s recipe is something wholly other. We have a smoked poblano pepper cream base, mexican chorizo, cotija cheese, cilantro and pickled red onions.
Smoked Poblano Cream Base
Once upon a time, (2011-2012, I think it was) I worked on a wood fired pizza food truck. It was an amazing experience. One of the things I took from that time was the idea of a smoky, slightly spicy, cream sauce that could accompany pizza toppings in the best of ways. I never knew the recipe for the smoked poblano paste that flavored the cream sauce, but I have tried to replicate it, and I think it works.
If you don’t have the ability to smoke the poblanos, you can char them either in the oven or on a grill. If you char them, you will want to scrape off the charred skin before pureeing them. I have poblanos and banana peppers. To the puree, I added a few generous pinches of salt and about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. If you char them and want a smokier flavor, add a little smoked paprika to the puree.
To make the cream base, take eight ounces of mascarpone and mix with about one cup of the poblano puree. About the ratios: this will make a lot of poblano cream base. if you anticipate being able to use it on sandwiches or as a dip make this amount. However you will get enough for one pizza by quartering these ratios. I will say too, that the poblano puree makes a great salsa and will freeze well, too. A tablespoon or two makes a really nice seasoning for chili, soup or you can add it to a marinade.
This Mexican-inspired pizza has a thin base of the poblano cream, a layer of mozzarella cheese and Mexican chorizo. The exciting part comes with what goes on the pie when it comes out of the oven: another drizzle of the poblano cream, cotija cheese crumbles, pickled red onions and fresh cilantro.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Today, I am keeping it simple and using Trader Joe’s premade dough. If you’d like to make your own dough, refer back to my skillet pizza recipe for a great dough recipe.
Typically Mexican chorizo is a more liquid-y sausage that firms up as you cook it. But it can come in different ways. If it’s in a casing, remove the casing and chop it up in the skillet while cooking so it’s a ground beef consistency. Cook up your chorizo and spoon it out onto a paper towel-lined plate or tray to drain.
I poured my poblano cream into a squeeze bottle so I could squeeze out a nice even drizzle of the cream as my base sauce. Go ahead and crumble your cotija into a bowl. Pick your cilantro leaves into a nice big pile. Have your mozzarella portioned out and ready go, use however much mozz you like. The pickled onions are homemade. it’s easy to whip up a batch.
Quick Pickled Onions
- 1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper to Taste
- 1 tsp Sugar, Agave or Honey
Toss all ingredients into a jar. Cover and shake. Refrigerate at least one hour before using.
Generously flour a pizza peel and place your dough ball on the flour. sprinkle more flour on the top of the dough and spread the flour over the whole surface.
Make a Crust
With your hands cupping the sides of the dough, shape the dough into a disc. Then, with one hand cupping one side of the dough, use the fingertips of your other hand to press down the dough, about one half inch in from the side. Turn the dough as you press it down.
Using your finger tips, flatten the center, leaving the crust as a ridge all the way around. Flip the dough over and flatten the center with your hands.
Then, with one hand lift up the dough and flip it onto the back of your other hand.
With the backs of both hands begin to stretch the dough. You can gently toss and spin the dough up while you move your hands apart from each other. Or you can move one hand over the other underneath the dough to turn it as you stretch.
Once the dough is stretched out about 12 inches, flour your peel again and lay your dough down.
Now you have to work quickly to keep the pizza from sticking to the peel. Remember my great idea to put the cream sauce in a squeeze bottle? Well, that did not work out as expected because the pepper puree was a little too chunky and got stuck in the spout.
Not to worry! I just took off the lid, glopped out a couple tablespoon’s worth of cream, grabbed a pastry brush and spread it around.
Now for the cheese. Then the chorizo and a little more cheese.
Give your peel a few quick flicks from side to side to ensure your dough is not stuck. If it is stuck, gently lift the pizza and toss in a bit more flour and flick the peel again. This should solve it. The dismount from the peel to the pizza stone can be stressful. Don’t worry though. It’s ok if you lose a couple toppings. Let the pizza cook for about 12 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden. An aluminum peel is a great tool for turning the pizza and for pulling it out of the oven.
While my pizza was cooking, I actually cut the spout of my squeeze bottle about halfway, to create a larger opening for my chunky cream sauce to squeeze out.
When the pizza is out of the oven, drizzle on more cream sauce. Alternatively, you can spoon the cream sauce on. Modifying your squeeze bottle is totally optional!
Sprinkle on crumbled cotija.
Add the pickled onions and the cilantro. A masterpiece!
Slice it up!
This combination of toppings is one of my favorite ways for pizza. The flavors are fresh and unexpected. The cream sauce is light and smoky with just a hint of spicy. The acid from the pickled onions rounds it out very nicely. I can’t tell you enough how much I love pizza! I do hope you give this Mexican-inspired pizza try. If you want to make it a skillet pizza, just wait to add the cream sauce until it comes out of the oven.
Thanks everyone for spending some of your Saturday with me. Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook too! I am always looking for new ideas so please do let me know if you have any requests for upcoming recipes. Take care, be well, xo Kelly
Mexican-inspired Pizza Toppings
- Smoked Poblano Cream Sauce
- Low Moisture Mozzarella
- Mexican Chorizo
- Cotija Cheese
- Fresh Cilantro
- Pickled Red Onions