It's time for another episode of the Secret Recipe Club! I always look forward it! For those who don't know, the Secret Recipe Club is like secret Santa for bloggers. We are assigned a blog and we get to snoop around for something delicious to make, then we get to blog about it. This is only my third time participating, and I have to say, I've been really lucky with the blogs I've been assigned. They've all been amazing.
This month I got the Cafe Sucre Farine. I had such a hard time trying to decide what to make. There are so many wonderful recipes on the site. And don't even get me started on the photography! The pictures are seriously drool-worthy. At one point, I wanted to lick my monitor. I had a long list of favorite recipes that I couldn't choose between, so I let my kiddos make the decision. I was really surprised with what they chose. I expected a dessert or some yummy treat. Never in my wildest imaginings did I think they would choose a pizza topped with strawberries. This Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken, Sweet Onion and Bacon was on my short list of recipes to try, so I was really happy!
The next thing I did was tell my hubby what I was making. He gave a little grimace and in his most skeptical voice said, "You're really going to make a pizza with strawberries on it?". I just told him to trust me and started cooking. When it was finished, I brought him a plate of this beautiful pizza. He looked, sniffed, then bit. A minute or two later I caught him coming from the kitchen with a second piece. By the time he'd eaten his third piece I was laughing right out loud. He then proceeded to tell me that I'm not allowed to make this pizza when the kids are home. He doesn't want to have to share it next time.
I can't say enough good about this pizza. It was fabulous! The flavors were perfect together. The salty bacon and sweet/tart strawberries complimented each other in the most unique ways. Next time I'm going to try grilling it and see what happens. Now I won't keep you waiting any longer, here is your ticket to culinary delight!
Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken, Sweet Onion and Bacon
Serves about 4-6
1/2 cup strawberry jam or preserves (My kids ate most of the strawberry jam, so I used a mixture of strawberry and currant)
1/4cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Siracha Chili Sauce
1 ball pizza dough, your favorite or the recipe below also from Cafe Sucre Farine
1 cup diced or shredded chicken breast, from rotisserie chicken or left over chicken of any kind
1/2 cup apple wood smoked bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces, cooked and drained ( I used thick cut hickory smoked bacon)
1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion
12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, diced small
Place pizza stone or sheet pan on middle rack of oven. If you don't have a pizza stone you can use a cookie sheet turned upside down. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until reduced to half of the original volume and mixture is thick and syrupy. This step is very important. You don't want thin runny sauce. Add strawberry preserves and Siracha and mix well. Set aside to cool.
Pat or roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately a 14 inch circle. Shape does not have to be perfect, this is a rustic pizza. Place a piece of parchment paper, slightly larger than your dough on a pizza peel or an upside down sheet pan. (The parchment paper will make your transfer of the pizza to the oven infinitely easier!) Sprinkle parchment paper lightly with cornmeal. Fold dough in quarters and place on parchment paper, then unfold.
Combine chicken with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic-strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce. Pour rest of sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover. Leave a 1 inch border all around the edge. Scatter chicken evenly over the sauce.
Place about 3/4 of the cheese on top of dough and spread to cover sauce evenly. Scatter bacon and sweet onion over cheese to distribute evenly. Scatter remaining cheese over this layer.
Slide parchment paper with pizza on top onto stone or cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Watch carefully, at this temperature it is easy to burn the pizza!
Remove from oven and let cool slightly, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and fresh diced strawberries. Serve and enjoy!
Makes 2 12" pizzas
1 ½ cups warm water, 105-115 degrees (use a thermometer)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, (one 1/4-oz. packet)
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes. Mix flours and salt in bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add oil to yeast mixture and pour yeast mixture into flour mixture, then knead on low speed for 10 minutes (or the same amount of time if kneading by hand). Dough will be elastic and slightly sticky.
2. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
3. Punch dough down and divide in 2 pieces. Proceed with pizza recipe above.
Makes 2 pizza crusts.