Recipe: the roadrunner (green chile and pepperoni) pizza
They’re here! Hatch green chiles from New Mexico have arrived in our markets and I snagged a huge bag just the other day. You can tell who knows what to do with them and who doesn’t. The people who know buy a lot. The people who don’t know look at the long green chiles with uncertainty and buy like… two. Of course, those of us buying one huge bag were in denial, because we’re just going to march right back and buy more. MORE GREEN CHILES. You can never have enough. As soon as we got home, Jeremy roasted them up on the grill and then we sweated them in a plastic bag and removed the charred skins.
a bowl full of chiles
You can see the process from fresh to roasted chiles from when we made green chile cheeseburgers. Most of the roasted chiles will be squirreled away in the freezer to use throughout the year when the precious chiles are not in season. But after roasting a batch, it is customary to eat some (or a lot) of the chiles. My favorite way to enjoy them is admittedly in chile rellenos. However, I didn’t feel like frying anything in the heat of the day, so we opted for grilling pizza.
stem and de-seed the chiles
dice them up
In New Mexico, they put green chiles on EVERYTHING. A pepperoni pizza with green chiles is called a Roadrunner. The roadrunner is the New Mexico state bird and they are funny creatures, known as the clowns of the desert. Jeremy recounted how they used to perch on the 6-foot high fence of his family’s yard and taunt their dogs by leaning forward as if they were going to fall in. It is only fitting that a great pizza would be named for this awesome bird.
pepperoni, diced green chiles, mozzarella, pizza dough, pizza sauce, salt, pepper
Now, if you do not have access to freshly roasted green chiles, you can use the canned variety. It won’t be as awesome, but it’s a start. I used the same dough as I make for The Woodward pizza because it is simply lovely and super easy. We like making thin crust pizzas at home, which means not being heavy handed with the toppings.
enough sauce to coat, but not douse the dough
You can put whatever you want on the pizza, but I made this per Jeremy’s specs: tomato sauce, pepperoni, cheese, and green chiles. I think some places will include mushrooms and other will include sausage. I’m just trying to respect the roadrunner here… Since our pizzas tend to be on the smallish side (about 12-inches in diameter), I used one large diced chile per pizza. We made a few more and I increased it to two diced chiles. More chiles. More better. MOAR!
distribute the green chiles
In all seriousness though, you should taste the chiles before determining the surface density of the chiles on the pizza. Green chiles run the gamut from mild to HOT. So gauge according to your preference. Then get ready to cook that baby. The grill is really the way to go for us. Basically, our oven sucks and our grill rocks. And YES to the pizza stone. I like my pizza grilled until the crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
Despite being a huge fan of cold pizza, I have to say that The Roadrunner is most excellent hot off the fire. I love it. But, having never tried a Roadrunner before this one, I had no way to gauge how good it really was. So I asked my Alburquerque boy how it compared to the Roadrunner pizzas of his youth and he replied, “This is way better.”
that coyote is really a crazy clown…
The Roadrunner Pizza (Green Chile and Pepperoni)
Get your mise en place. Preheat a pizza stone in the bottom third of your oven to 550°F or heat your pizza stone on your grill to 550°F (or however hot it gets). Sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal or flour (to prevent sticking). Flatten the pizza dough on a floured work surface or onto the peel and roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer the dough to your peel if it isn’t on there already and roll or shape it to a 12-inch diameter. Add more flour as you work to keep the dough from sticking to the peel. If you are comfortable tossing the dough, then do so.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the dough. Spread enough pizza sauce over the dough to cover it, but keep it thin. Distribute pieces of mozzarella on the pizza, then repeat for the pepperoni. Sprinkle the diced green chiles over everything. Transfer the pizza from the peel to the stone and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the pizza is done to your liking. Remove the pizza from the oven or grill and serve. Makes one 12-inch pizza.