My new city of inhabitance is somewhat of an anomaly. I say this because it is what one would call a “university town”. Not that this city started that way. Oh no! It has a centrum built starting in the 14th century with old brick building, churches, market squares and narrow, narrow roads. The city is renowned as the hometown of the first King of the Netherlands – Willem van Oranje (now you know why they all wear orange!). It is the burial site of all Dutch royals and is famous for the Delft Blue china. More recently, a Technical University has sprung up and has risen to being very well-known in the engineering world. This is precisely why I am writing you this post from a 1 bedroom university apartment in Delft, Netherlands. Mr. Foodlova is partaking in his PhD in engineering at the TU Delft. Now, I can finally get to my point – which is that, because Delft is a university town it is filled with internationals!
Of course, we fit into that group. Our apartment block houses said international students from Brazil to India. Arne’s office contains not one student from the same origin. All of these mostly male students come from all over to study at this particular university. Now, this being a food blog, one might ask, what do international students eat? What is the shared fancy of all international students? Well, it is as easy as asking what the favorite food of University of Calgary students is – PIZZA of course!
Pizza, it is the most international food I have ever seen. I have seen all different faces being filled with the cheese topped dough. I have seen students carrying pizza home by bike, walked home in arms stacked high and eaten on the street right outside of the shop. When recently having some new friends over for dinner, what did we serve those who hailed from Hungary? You guessed it – homemade pizza. You just cannot go wrong.
On the same thread, every blog out there has a pizza crust recipe and pizza idea. It seems a bit unnecessary to add another, but I will. The dough is very much like any dough recipe I’ve seen, but you can’t beat a fresh pizza dough – so make it. The toppings are a little different from what I’ve seen, though. The usual is fresh mozzarella, basil, artichoke, prosciutto, etc. This one is a little less gourmet and a little more yum! It is spawned from an illusive tex-mex frozen pizza I ate when I was about 12 and my fave pizza from Panago. It is also a shout out to all of you pizza makers out there (or soon to be) – go nuts with the toppings! Try something totally different. BE international!
Taco Pizza – Dough recipe from Mrs. Morrison
Dough (makes 2 crusts or 1 thick crust):
1 cup warm tap water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp or package of instant yeast
1 tsp salt
0.25 cup olive of veg oil
2.5 – 3 cups all-purpose flour (also works with 1/2 white and 1/2 wholewheat flour)
Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the sugar in and then add the yeast. I usually do a quick whisk to get all the yeast into the water instead of it floating on the top. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Turn the oven on at its’ lowest setting.
When you look at it after 10 minutes it will be all frothy and smell strongly. Sprinkle in the salt and pour in the oil. Whisk just to combine. Start with adding 1.5 cups of flour (use the wholewheat flour first if you are going that route). Using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture is wet and sticky. Add 1 more cup of flour. Stir until mostly combined. This is where you can tell if it need more flour. If it is still very sticky add about 0.25 cups more at a time. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the flour is combined. Plop the dough back into the bowl and let rise for at least 20 minutes. Put the bowl into a warmed oven make sure it is turned off and not hot enough to make a crust on the dough. When the dough is about double the size – it is ready!
Toppings (for 2 pizzas):
300g browned ground beef or 2 boiled and shredded chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning or your own mexican seasoning mix
1 can garlic tomato paste
1 red and green bell pepper
medium or hot salsa
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Half a head of iceberg lettuce
a handful of cilantro (optional)
250 ml sour cream (or the smallest available pack)
While the dough is rising, get the toppings ready. You can cook the meat before hand since it takes longer and only chop the veg at this point. Totally up to you. I usually just brown some ground beef, but this time (because of my super smeller) I boiled and shredded some chicken. Once the meat is done cooking, sprinkle on some of that mexican taco spice and a little water to make sure it coats all the meat. I use the packet of taco spice because that is the white trash in me!
Chop the peppers into small cubes, shred the cheese, thinly slice the lettuce, chop the cilantro, and set aside.
When the dough is ready, separate into 2 halves. Take one half and spread with your fingers into a large circle or square. Be patient and nice with the dough! I always use parchment paper between the pan and the dough to avoid sticking. Smear half of the can of tomato paste evenly over the dough and leave an edge for the crust. Sprinkle on half the meat, half the peppers, half the cheese and with a spoon, dot the whole thing with some salsa. Put in a preheated 425 degree farenheit oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The way I check and see if it’s done is if the cheese is melted and bubbling and I also tap the crust to see if it feels hollow and not doughy anymore.
When you take it out, sprinkle on half of the lettuce and cilantro and then drizzle some sour cream over the whole lot. I put some sour cream in a small sandwich bag and then snip the corner off and use it like a piping bag to drizzle the sour cream. You can just used a spoon and dollop it or whatever if you want.
Repeat for a second pizza and then stuff your face!