By Angela Denstad Stigeler
Sometimes the need for the familiar and the quest for the exotic result in a frozen entrée stalemate. Next time you feel caught between indulging in some classic comfort food or taking a culinary step out of the ordinary, try doing a little of both. My easy Thai pizza recipe is just the thing to introduce some fresh Asian flavor on a familiar palatable platform. You can easily add chicken or other meat for a heartier offering, or play with the theme even more by adding mushrooms, Thai basil or eggplant–like any pizza, it’s easy to alter. So when you can’t decide in which direction to take your dinner, let this pizza break the tie.
Thai Vegetable Pizza
2 cups bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾-1 cup warm water
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 minced garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon Tabasco
2 tablespoons water (more if necessary)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
½ cup shredded carrot
½ cup thinly sliced fresh or roasted red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Whisk together the flour, salt and yeast. Stir in the oil and warm water to form a dough, kneading until smooth, about five minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl; cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and gently simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring and thinning with water as needed. Leave to cool.
Divide the risen dough in half and form each portion into a ball. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven and baking stone (if using) to 450 degrees. Flatten and stretch one of the dough balls out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to form a dinner-plate-sized round. Spread liberally with about half of the sauce, then top with half the cheese, scallions, carrots and bell peppers. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to form a second pizza. Bake each pizza until the crust is crisp and the cheese is golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cilantro and serve hot.