Oct 14 2010
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We really like pizza around here. Back when I only had one kid, we used to make pizza all the time. Now, I have a second child and not as much time during the day to make my favorite homemade pizza dough. So, when Foodbuzz asked us to put our own spin on pizza for Project Foodblog’s fifth challenge, I was happy to get baking again.
I decided to make a pizza that revolved around two of my favorite ingredients: chicken wings and ranch dressing, but not in a form that you would normally suspect.
To make this recipe more unique than the typical buffalo chicken pizzas you find out there, I created a blue cheese pizza crust, a mildly spicy paprika tomato sauce, a ranch-flavored cheese, and topped them with small crispy pieces of buffalo chicken. It’s a delicious pizza with many complementing flavors, and to complement the pizza I made a creamy blue cheese dip and a tangy celery salad. If you enjoy a powerful blue cheese flavor, I suggest going with a Roquefort like Papillon. And, if you prefer only a hint of blue cheese, go with something like Bleu des Causses which is made from cow’s milk as opposed to Papillon’s which is made from sheep’s milk.
To help bring out the subtle spiciness in the pizza, I made a paprika-tomato sauce. It’s a nice and thin sauce, and purposely so. Too thick a sauce would detract from the over all flavor of the pizza. This sauce accentuates without detracting from the core flavor.
Although you may suspect that the ranch-flavored cheese would be lost on a blue cheese crust, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that it doesn’t. To create the flavor of ranch dressing, I created a dry ranch mix substituting shredded goat cheese for dry buttermilk. Because buttermilk is tangier than goat cheese, you can opt to add a bit for a more authentic taste. I chose to leave it out.
I love ranch dressing, but it’s even better when you have something to dip into it. And, my favorite finger food is buffalo chicken wings. I don’t know about you, but I like my chicken wings to be crispy, spicy, and tangy…and not soggy and gooey. So, I used a special breading technique I picked-up making Pioneer Woman’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I always keep a bag of the pre-made buttermilk breading mixture in my freezer. It’s great for coating chicken for baking or frying.
If you still have the urge to dip , I think you will find my blue cheese dip delicious and refreshing. I like mine to be really thick and creamy, so if you want a more fluid version, just mix in some milk.
And, to quench that light burning sensation in your mouth from all that delicious hot sauce, and to help cleans your pallet, I made a very lemony celery salad.
When I asked my husband if he felt that my pizza was good enough for this challenge, his answer was “I’m biased, I tasted it”. So, I hope you take the time to make it as well.
Blue Cheese Pizza Crust
2 2/3 Cups of Flour
7 grams of dry Yeast (1 packet)
½ teaspoon of Salt
8 ounces of Milk
2 + 1 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 teaspoons of Sugar
100 grams Roqufort Blue Cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 95°C (200°F) and then turn off.
In a mixer bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt.
In a small sauce pan, heat-up the milk to about 43°C (110°F), but do not bring to a boil. Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sugar.
Set your mixer bowl into your mixer with the dough hook in place, and turn it on to kneed. Slowly pour in the milk mixture. Once everything is mixed together and the mixture starts to look like dough, add the blue cheese, and then turn the speed up to medium and let it kneed for 5 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the ball of dough in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand in the pre-warmed oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and divide the dough in half.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
Roll a dough half into a pizza round on a lightly floured surface. Place in a parchment-lined round casserole dish and cover with another round of parchment paper weighed down by pie weights. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until dough has turned into a pail, thoroughly baked crust.
Remove from oven and let cool. Set aside to top, or refrigerate or freeze for use on a later date.
Makes 2 pizzas.
Paprika Pizza Sauce (original recipe here)
170 grams spicy Paprika Tomato Paste
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon dried Oregano
1/2 Tablespoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed Rosemary
Mix together the spicy tomato paste, water, and olive oil until the tomato paste is no longer clumpy. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Use right away.
Makes about 2 cups.
1 Tablespoon Flour
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Parsley
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/8 teaspoon dry Dill
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
3 Cups shredded Cheese (I used goat cheese)
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, parsley, onion, powder, dill, garlic powder, and salt. Sprinkle it over the shredded cheese and loosely mix with your hands making sure to loosen all pieces of cheese.
Makes enough for 2 pizzas.
1 liter cooking Oil
5 Cups Flour
3 Tablespoons Seasoned Salt
2 teaspoons Pepper
2 teaspoons dried Thyme
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
2 Chicken Breast Fillets, cut into small cubes
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (I love Crystal Hot Sauce)
Heat 1 liter of cooking oil.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, pepper, thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Use a hand whisk for best results.
Pour in the buttermilk and use a fork to mix it in until clumps form throughout the mixture.
Place the small chicken breast pieces flour mixture and press on – make sure to separate them out so that they are all evenly coated.
Deep fry the pieces for about 3 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let drip on a towel-lined plate.
Place in a large tuperware with fitting lid and coat with hot sauce. Cover and shake well to coat evenly. Set aside.
Makes about 4 cups.
Quick Blue Cheese Dip:
200 grams Sour Cream
1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1/4 Cup Blue Cheese crumbles
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Tangy Celery Salad
juice of 1 Lemon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
4 sticks of Celery, very thinly sliced
In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix in celery and let sit for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.
Makes about 3/4 cup.