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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Carnitas Pizza w/ Chipotle-Avocado Crema

Carnitas Pizza w/ Chipotle-Avocado Crema
What's that you say?   You're trying to decide what to eat for dinner, but you just can't make up your mind?  On the one hand you want pizza... and on the other hand, you've got a fierce craving for Mexican.  Little Johnny's begging for a thick, chewy crust while little Suzie refuses to eat anything but sticky, salty Carnitas?


Fret no more.  You do not need to decide.  I am here to tell you that you can have BOTH!  Yes, I'm for real.  All cereal, no flake.  You can please both cravings and all family members with just one meal!
Carnitas Pizza w/ Chipotle-Avocado Crema
Sweet, caramelized onions and peppers are strewn over that thick, chewy crust that has been spread with wonderfully earthy roasted tomatillo salsa.  Throw in a bit of tang from some pickled banana peppers, some stringy mozzarella, and chunks of sticky, salty Carnitas - you're almost there.  Top the whole thing off with fat, creamy chunks of avocado and a sprinkling of thinly sliced spring onions, and you're almost there.  As if all of that goodness on one slice wasn't enough, finish it all off with a cool drizzle of some slightly smoky, slightly spicy, totally delicious sauce made of Mexican crema, avocado, chipotle chiles, and a bit of lime.

Problem solved.  (You're welcome.)

Carnitas Pizza w/ Chipotle-Avocado Crema
Carnitas Pizza w/ Chipotle-Avocado Crema
by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 1½ hours (largely unattended)
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Keywords: bake entree avocado onions pork American Mexican

Ingredients (3 (9") pizzas)
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, & thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded (if you like), & thinly sliced
  • 1 recipe pizza dough or any you like
  • 1-1½ c. tomatillo salsa or salsa verde
  • 12 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ~3 c. Carnitas, warm
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 avocados, cut into chunks
  • pickled banana pepper rings
  • Chipotle Avocado Crema (recipe follows)
Chipotle-Avocado Crema:
  • 3 Chipotles en Adobo homemade or canned
  • 1 avocado, pitted
  • ½ c. Mexican crema
  • juice of 1 lime
  • kosher salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 475° F. Put a light coat of olive oil in the bottom of 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Place pizza dough (according to recipe link above for pizza dough) in pans, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 minutes.

Heat some olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeño and saute until golden and caramelized, ~20-30 minutes.

Spread salsa over the top, leaving about a 1" border all around. Sprinkle mozzarella, pickled banana peppers, and sauteed veggies evenly over the crusts.

Slide into preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until crust is golden and cooked thorugh and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Immediately divide warm chunks of carnitas, green onions, and avocado chunks over the pizza(s) and then drizzle with some of the Chipotle-Avocado Crema.


Chipotle-Avocado Crema (yield: ~1½ c.):
Combine chipotle peppers, avocado, crema, lime juice and salt to taste in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth; set aside.

Although I used one of our favorite pan pizza crust recipes here, you could switch it up and use any pizza dough you choose. Roll or pat out to your desired thickness and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel with cornmeal scattered on it (to slide onto a preheated pizza stone). You may need to adjust the topping amounts and cooking times slightly to suit, but hey... it's pizza, not rocket science.
Carnitas Pizza w/ Chipotle-Avocado Crema