Saturday, 9 July 2011

Weekend of Pizza Part II

Today's topping was originally inspired by a meal I had back in November when I drove down Highway 1 from San Francisco all the way to San Diego in 4 days (I don't have to tell me that you really need more time for that trip, but that was all I had so in my book that's still better than never going) anyhow, I got to relax for a bit and I stopped at Crystal Cove Beach where I had what they called a 'Tunisian Pizza' which was made with a grilled flatbread and a very intriguing mix of dates, blue cheese, roasted tomatoes and bacon.
To me it was one of those meals you have and then can't get out of your head for the next 10 years. Do you get that? You have a meal and then you can't forget it because it pretty much blew your mind away?
Anyhow, I'm digressing, I've been thinking of making this pizza for a while now and when we decided to have another boardgame evening I finally got a chance.
Oh, and I don't know about you but I don't measure things when I'm making pizza so here's a list of the ingredients with rough estimates of amounts.

Tunisian Pizza
A handfull of Dates
3 or 4 rashers of Bacon
Some Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (if you don't have any, sundried ones would probably work as well, if you don't know how to make your own, have a look at the Smitten Kitchen one or the two peas and their pod one, they're both super easy and pretty much what I do when I make them)
Some Blue Cheese (such as Stilton)
1/2 a recipe of Pizza Dough

Turn on the grill in your oven and heat it until it's nice and hot (mine has a temperature gauge and I tend to turn it to 250˚C).
Lay out the bacon on a piece of tinfoil and grill it in the oven for a few minutes (you want it to cook but make sure it doesn't go too crispy, it will go on the pizza and we don't want to end up with bacon-charcoal).
Once the bacon is done, switch your oven onto it's normal setting and let it get to around 230˚C (if you have two separate compartments you can do this before you deal with the bacon).
Roll out the pizza dough until it's about the size of you baking tray. Sprinkle some flour onto your baking tray and then transfer the dough onto the tray.
Mince the dates (i.e. play the game of 'how small can I cut the dates'), you want to end up with something that is starting to resemble a paste.
Spread the dates over your pizza (I've made this recipe twice now and the first time the dates were fairly dry so all I could manage was sprinkle them on top of the dough, the second time they were super fresh and I actually managed to spread them out like some slightly unruly butter).
Cut the bacon into little pieces (I don't like the fat so I cut that off beforehand, if you like it obviously leave it on) and spread them out on top of the dates.
Crumble some blue cheese on top of that and then add some of the tomatoes. If you have fairly large chunks you might want to cut them into smaller pieces.
Stick your pizza into the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes until the crust is golden (or until you're starting to get worried that the tomatoes or the bacon are turning into charcoal, whichever happens first).
Hmmmm....pizzapizzapizza :)

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