My in-laws were down one weekend recently. I had decided to make some pizzas for them. They were all sitting at the table playing a fierce game of Attack Uno. I figured it was safer for me to give them all some space as the family battle unfolded. This may seem to be an ordinary game, but my family, is not ordinary. This can get serious.
We had grilled up some Tri-Tip the previous evening and had a good amount of left overs. I thought I would take advantage of this favorite ingredient of mine that I had laying around. I'm often just as happy with my second round use of a good Tri-Tip. One of our favorite meals is a Pepper Steak, which features left over Tri-Tip, Chopped Bell Peppers and Onions all sauteed up with a little oil, salt, pepper and any other herb or spice we feel like throwing in. Toss this with pasta and you have a happy English Family. But, this time, I was going to take this to the flatbread.
My kids fought valiantly with their grandparents, their uncle and their mother. Uno is a high stakes game that lifts my kids up and brings everyone else down to where they are all on the same level - the battle field. I started to chop ingredients and get a head start sautéing items for the pizzas I was going to make later on. I sliced up some onions, mushrooms and a couple jalapeños that I had in the fridge. As the war waged on over at the kitchen table only a couple of yards away I chopped, sliced and snapped pictures in relative peace.
It was all worth it. I had some nice rare pieces of Tri-Tip and when it all came together with the jalapeños, I created a pizza that was "perfect". I know that perfection isn't really possible, but
I'm using that word to describe the results anyway. Sautéing the jalapenos takes a bit of the heat off them, so they are more balanced and still give notice that they are there. It's a wonder you don't see more versions of a Cheese Steak Pizza on more menus. I know it's not traditional. I know you won't find it a traditional pizzeria like Pizzeria Antica, or any other classic Neopolitan pizzerias. But, it's good. Here at Pizza Quest we are looking for what is good, or great, or what might be considered perfection, even if that is only for a fleeting moment in time that then sets a new high point that we will now seek to overcome again and again. We are after what is satisfying and fulfilling. We are chasing that moment when you either make that "perfect" pizza, or taste it.
The onions and mushrooms sautéed up without a hitch, or so much as a notice from the family. Then I decided to sauté my sliced jalapeños. I noticed a little tearing as I did this. But, mostly I noticed the Uno crowd getting louder. They weren't just getting louder due to their competition though. It started with a single cough. Then I heard a couple more. As someone would shout out some game attack charge, it was proceeded by a cough. Then, the chatter was also followed by a cough. Pretty soon, the whole group was laughing and coughing as the game got more and more intense. All at once, we all realized what was happening! The smoke from the sautéing jalapeños had filled the room with whatever make those babies hot and was bringing tears and coughs and a lot of hilarity to this family gathering! They spiced up our food later, but definitely had a spicy effect on the game too. Needless to say, when we all realized what was going on, we laughed our heads off as we then opened all the doors and windows.
This pizza was one of those experiences I was chasing. At it's most basic, it is a great sandwich that is fulfilling. At it's most complex, it's a beautiful blend of great ingredients that become more together than they were apart. I think this perfection we seek, or the goal we seek in such endeavors is sometimes about balance, other times it may be about a statement. But, what it's always about is being memorable. As I sit here thinking back about this particular pizza, I can taste the memory. I can smell it. And, perhaps best of all, I want to go experience it again. I won't call that perfection, but for some reason this pizza came close for me.
Sauteed Jalapeno's and Tri-Tip Pizza
Pizza Quest Signature Beer Dough *See recipe in our Instructional Section (or use your favorite dough recipe)
Quality canned Tomatoes
Sliced and sautéed onions
Sliced and sautéed mushrooms
Sliced and sautéed jalapeños
Sliced pieces of grilled tri-tip steak
For this pizza, I simply used the tomatoes crushed out of the can.
The Prep and Build:
Build the pizza by placing the Crushed Tomato Sauce on the dough.
Add the grated Mozzerella
Add the sautéed Mushrooms
Add sautéed Onions
Add the sliced grilled Tri-Tip Steak
Add the sautéed Jalapenos
Place pizza into a pre-heated (550 Degree) oven on your pizza stone. If you have it, switch the oven over to Convection Bake.
Check the pizza in about 7 Minutes. When it's done, remove it.
This is yet another version of a great Cheese Steak inspired pizza. I found this to be balanced with the base notes of the melted cheese and sautéed mushrooms and the highlights of the tomato sauce and the jalapeños all served up on an amazing warm slice of dough!
Give this a try and send us your own versions with photos and a story!