Monday, September 05, 2005

Roasted Corn, Poblano & Cheddar Pizza

After Fat Baby's 4-hour trip to the emergency room Thursday night, followed by a sleepless night in which he lay beside me on the sofa and whimpered, I figured we had earned a three-day weekend. It is rare for our little family to take time off together and it is sacred and special when it happens. The Carnivore and I are both self-employed and the work simply doesn't get done if we aren't working our butts off doing it. When you add The-Renovation-Project-That-Will-Never-End into the mix, even Saturdays are pretty dang busy around here.

We have not taken a vacation together as a family yet, and it doesn't appear that it will happen anytime soon, so we treasure these little holidays around the house, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been for the past few days. The Carnivore worked outside most of the weekend, with Fat Baby wobbling along behind him most of the way. I piddled inside most of the time, still working on unpacking all of our belongings, some of which have been boxed up since we got married nearly five years ago now. Today I finally unpacked our wedding china and put it in the china cabinet for the first time. The afternoon was lazy though, with the three of us spending time on the porch and walking around the yard together picking muscadines.

We ended the blessedly refreshing weekend with the best dinner we've had in the past week. I've been wanting for a long time to begin making my own pizza crusts, partly because I prefer whole grains to breads made with white flour, and partly because I am trying to limit packaged foods in my family's diet. I cut out a recipe for whole wheat pizza crust from the May 2004 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine, and I've been eyeing it warily for the past few months. I haven't tried making breads before, and every time I see the ingredient active yeast in a recipe, I cringe and turn the page.

Then recently, Cooking Light magazine featured Roasted Fresh Corn, Poblano and Cheddar Pizza on the cover of their July issue. Though their recipe called for a can of refrigerated pizza crust dough (shudder to think), the pizza sounded entirely too special to be wasted on something that comes out of a can. Since I knew I would have extra time this weekend, I picked up the ingredients I would need to make my own crust, and jumped in eagerly today, relaxed enough from the past couple of days that I was only mildly anxious.

As it turned out, making pizza dough from scratch is absurdly easy (though extremely sticky) and I can't wait to try my hand at making bread now. And the pizza itself turned out to be so good we were already talking about making it again this week. This recipe was so unique and intriguing, yet relatively easy and extremely tasty. I made only a few minor changes to both recipes.


WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA CRUST (from Vegetarian Times, makes two crusts)
  • 1 Tbs active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  1. Mix yeast with 1/2 cup warm water, and set aside until yeast begins to foam, for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add remaining water, olive oil and salt, and stir to combine.
  3. Using a mixer, add flour by cupfuls until sticky dough comes together.
  4. Knead on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Put dough in a bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.
  6. Punch dough down, and form into two balls.
  7. Let dough rest for 30 minutes, shape into pizza crusts and place in pans.
  8. Pre-cook crust for 5 minutes at 350 degrees before adding toppings.



  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Place poblanos on foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, until blackened and charred, turning occasionally. Put peppers in a bowl and cover with a towel for 10 minutes. Peel and discard skins, seeds and stems. Chop peppers.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, onions and garlic; saute 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Stir milk into skillet, and cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Cool slightly.
  4. Place egg whites, egg, salt and black pepper in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Stir in poblanos, corn mixture and cheese.
  5. Spread mixture over dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Fold 1 inch of dough over corn mixture.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees or until set.
  7. Sprinkle with cilantro.

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