There are times when admittedly, my meals are a little wacky. They can be downright self- indulgent and make little sense to others. Especially on Friday nights.
It’s the end of the official work week and it’s time to relax. There are no rules! My refrigerator looks deranged with a mere mishmash of odds and ends and pathetic leftovers. Since I will likely do a grocery shop over the weekend, I resist a stop—and prefer to pass on fast foods.
In my experience, there’s always a pizza in the works. Like another stand-by, the taco, a few toppings can become a full meal. To that end, I like to stock at least one pan-size portion of pizza dough in the freezer. It easily defrosts in the microwave and is ready to go in no time. Occasionally, I have even stashed a pre-baked crust in the freezer. It’s a matter of gathering up a few compatible toppings and tucking it all in the oven for a quick bake.
That was the situation this past Friday night, between Christmas and New Year’s. Thanks to the holidays, my fridge was ripe pickings for fabulous toppings. No pathetic odds and ends here; I had a little hard Spanish chorizo, a collection of fontina and other cheeses, pasilla peppers, sweet onion, Greek dried olives and — fresh green tomatillos.
Whatever. I treated the 8 tomatillos as if they were treasured San Marzano tomatoes. I removed their husks, chopped them up, and made a fast sauce with onion, garlic, jalapeno, oregano. I simmered it briefly, then ran the immersion blender through it until thick and cohesive. The results: a light, bright sauce worthy of this splendid occasion.
Turns out, the sparkling sauce brought all of these disparate characters together.
The final topping was another gift that kept on giving, too. I had a little cheese mixture left from making stuffed mushrooms earlier in the week: a combination of shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, green onion, garlic, herbs and Panko. These amazing bread crumbs kept the stuffing light, absorbed moisture, and allowed for a beautifully browned top. Who knew it would one day end up on my pizza?
It’s another Friday Night Special… and that’s the way it goes.
Friday Night Pizza
1 pizza crust
2 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, partially seed, chop
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon dried oregano
8 fresh tomatillos, husk and chop
½ teaspoon.dried thyme (or Herbes de Provence if available)
½ cup chicken bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pasilla pepper, seed and cut into strips
½ cup hard Spanish chorizo, cut up
½ smoked ham chunks (if available)
½ sweet onion, cut into strips
A handful of dried Greek olives, or other
1 handful shredded fontina cheese
1 cup cheese combo: mozzarella, parmesan, green onion, garlic and @ ¼ cup Panko
- For Tomatillo Sauce: in saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté the onion until soft. Add the pepper and stir, then the garlic and allow to cook until aromatic. Add the dried herbs, then stir in the chopped tomatillos. Just barely cover with chicken bouillon and allow to simmer until thick, about 7 minutes. With immersion blender, whirl until the sauce is thick, cohesive and still has texture.
- Prebake pizza crust at 425° in lower 1/3 of oven to set, about 7 minutes.
- To assemble: cover the crust with a coating of some of the sauce. Top with a layer of green pepper, then the meat selection, the onion, olives, and cheese.
- Sprinkle with dried oregano and bake another 12 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Cut into portions and serve hot. Serves 2.