Not Your Father’s Pizza: Spanish Pizza
I don’t usually do restaurant reviews here at My Man’s Belly. Not because I don’t like restaurants, I do, but mostly because it’s hard to find a good fit with some of them and this site. But I recently had the opportunity to check out a place in Hollywood with a group of LA bloggers that I just could not resist. Not so much the place, but the people.
So off to Hollyweird I went to go and visit BoHo Hollywood, a gastropub in the Hollywood and Highland complex. That place may sound familiar to you because it’s also where you’ll find the Kodak Theater: home of the Oscars. While the dress code for the Oscars is chiffon and black tie, BoHo doesn’t aspire to such highfalutin nonsense. This is a gastropub with all of the finest trappings: dark leather booths, wood paneled walls and low lighting. Oh, and there’s a pretty good size bar right smack in the middle of the room.
The menu contains the usual suspects for a pub/bar: like steamed mussels, pizza, burgers and ribs. But occasionally a rather strange dish (strange for restaurant of this type) would come to the table. A plate of sweetbreads was brought over much to our surprise. We were all impressed with something like this at the restaurant, but what we thought was a dish that was “trying too hard” turned out to be a dish that they didn’t try hard enough on. What was discovered was that the traditional pub fare was good, but any dish that seemed odd to be found at a place like this or that was more than a mouthful to pronounce was not that good. Many of the dishes were exceedingly sweet. We were brought out a house made pork and beans (which made everyone drool) until we tasted it – too sweet. Those beans would have been more at home on the dessert menu than on the main course side.
But there were a couple of definite standouts, beyond the impressive number of beers on tap…the pizzas. We were all in agreement on just how fantastic those were (and they disappeared almost as quickly as they showed up at the table.) My favorite was the Spanish pizza. What’s a Spanish pizza you may ask? No, it’s not one of those fancy weird ingredient fusion thingy’s like you find on the menu of CPK, this is an honest to goodness pizza. It’s made with chorizo sausage, Manchego cheese, caramelized onions, piquillo peppers and cilantro. It’s basically a trip to Spain on a pizza stone.
Since I wasn’t able to pry the recipe out of the folks at BoHo, I needed to get creative and come up with my own version. While mine definitely isn’t theirs, it’s pretty darn good. One of the differences is that they use slices of cured chorizo sausage, which when cooked in the oven gives a fantastic crispy texture to the pizza, while my recipe utilizes fresh chorizo sausage.
In fact, my Spanish pizza could also be called chorizo pizza because there’s sausage in every bite. I use the chorizo mixed with roasted tomatoes to make the sauce for the pizza. So Spanish pizza or chorizo pizza, whatever you call it is up to you. Oh, and I’ve also made this using Soyrizo and the results were just as good, maybe a bit better because there isn’t as much fat in the Soyrizo as in the chorizo.
A word about piquillo peppers. These bright red lovelies can be a bit tricky to find (I even had a tough time finding them here in LA). Thankfully, there are lots of places to order them online. I’ve got a link to where you can buy the piquillo peppers right here. These Spanish peppers are not hot. They’ve got a bit of a tang to them which makes them work perfectly on this rich pizza. I’m pretty sure that once you try them, you’ll use them more and more, so I recommend that you pick up more than one package of them. In fact, these are the peppers that should be used in my stuffed chiles recipe in place of the peppadew peppers.
I’ve previously covered or uncovered the unwanted penis picture sending, so now let’s take a look at the consensual side of member sending.
We’ve all heard quite enough about Weinergate, but it’s becoming evident that there are other men out there doing the exact same thing.
Tweeting your waxed chest and bulging underpants over a mega huge social networking site just screams “hey look at me!” Doesn’t this kind of stunt reek of high school adolescence? Of course in high school, all of the preening and posing is just part of the growing up process and figuring out who we are and where we fit in (I wish my hs self knew that it takes a lot longer than 4 years to figure that stuff out) to the bigger picture. When you become an adult and you do these kinds of things it’s called histrionic personality disorder: a person acts emotional and dramatic to get attention.
I suppose we’re more comfortable seeing this type of behavior in women, the saying “all show and no go” comes to mind. Guys sometimes call it a “cock tease” (touché). But this trait in men is disturbing to witness for both men and women. In our minds, men don’t preen around doing these childlike things to gain attention, if they want something they go and get it. They don’t perform these esoteric burlesque shows of teasing and titillating. I think that’s why this behavior bothers us (especially women) so much. Listen Weiner, if you want that woman go out there and really cheat on your wife and be done with it. These mental games are harder for most women to deal with than the physical. By doing your little tease show you lead us to believe that you have no, or very low, self-confidence which is a big turn off to us women (well, and men too for that matter).
Of course there is a good thing that may come out of this. Everyone knows that once adults start using something (Twitter to send sexy pictures) it’s no longer cool for the kids to do it.
So what do you think of the naked (or near naked) pictures being sent over Twitter? Have you ever done it?
Recipe: Spanish Pizza
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (separated)
- 2 Large Sweet (such as Walla Walla or Vidalia) Onions (peeled and sliced into thin rings)
- 5 Medium Tomatoes
- 1/2 Pound Fresh Chorizo Sausage (or Soyrizo)
- 4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Package Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 Pound Manchego Cheese (sliced thinly)
- 4-6 Piquillo Peppers (rinsed and split open)
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves
- Kosher Salt
- Preheat grill or oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large saute pan and heat over medium high heat.
- Add onions to pan and stir. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium low. Continue to stir onions while they cook down and caramelize.
- While the onions are caramelizing, place tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. Put tomatoes on grill or into oven and cook until skins crack open and tomatoes are soft.
- Remove tomatoes from oven and set aside.
- Follow the instructions on your pizza dough. You may need to let it rest for a few minutes. Now would be the time to start doing that.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
- Remove the casings from the chorizo and put meat into a small saucepan. Add the roasted tomatoes to this pan.
- Over medium high heat, mash the tomatoes and stir with the chorizo and tomato paste to thoroughly combine. Remove any hard (cores) of the tomatoes and pull out as much of the skins as you can.
- Remove from heat once everything is combined and heated through. If there is a lot of fat in your chorizo, keep cooking it until it is still spreadable, but thickens up a bit.
- Sprinkle some cornmeal on your baking stone or baking pan.
- Stretch or roll the dough out to 12″ – 14″ circle and place on top of the cornmeal.
- Spread the chorizo and tomato mixture on to the dough.
- Lay the Manchego cheese on top of the sauce.
- Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the cheese.
- Open up the piquillo peppers and lay them in a circle around the center of the pizza.
- Bake until cheese is melted and crust is slightly golden brown.
- After the pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle the top with the cilantro leaves.
Preparation time: 30 Minutes
Cooking time: 20 Minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: Spanish