These babies turned out really well. In one big bite, you taste the sweetness of the corn, the citrus burst and spiciness of the lime cream, the juiciness of the tomato, the crispiness of the pizza crust, and the Sabra jalapeño hummus rounds out the whole experience with a nice smoky-hot finish.
I diligently set to work this afternoon, measuring ingredients and jotting down the recipe, squeezing my tripod into my small kitchen space to try to get some good photos for you. I had almost everything ready - the corn was sauteed, the pizzas were cooked, the lime cream was ready to go. I had just wrapped my fingers around the teeny tiny spoon which would serve to properly dollop the pizzas with cream when it happened:
The house started to shake.
At first, it wasn't that bad - I assumed my upstairs neighbor had turned on her noisy dishwasher. But then I noticed that my two cats, who had been in the middle of their daily, four-hour-long afternoon nap, had their ears pricked and their eyes wide open. Then they bolted for the bedroom, just as the entire house shook so hard that I was convinced a gas line had been ruptured and the whole building was about to explode.
I spent about one minute panicking, running about the house yelling for the cats to follow me (as if they would magically start obeying my verbal commands), darting back into the kitchen (a.k.a. Imminent Gas Explosion Central) to get my phone, and running out the door (but not before opening the screen door for my cats, as if they would be any safer on the balcony).
I was joined on the sidewalk by a neighbor whose name I have yet to learn - the Sous Chef and I refer to her as "that girl whose iPod we found a while back". I asked, "What the heck was that?" because apparently I lose all sense of decorum whilst panicking, and she said she was on the phone with her friend in D.C., and that is was happening there. Earthquake? I thought. It took me several tries to get through to the Sous Chef in D.C., and he confirmed what had happened.
Fast forward about fifteen minutes, through the return to the house, the flipping through the news stations, the checking on the welfare of the cats, and the attempting to call family and friends to check in. I finally calmed down enough to finish plating my appetizers and take some pictures (thank God for the tripod, because it took until about five minutes ago for my hands to stop shaking).
One big plus to having my food preparation interrupted for such an extended period of time: I now know that these appetizers are still quite tasty even when they are served cold.
I guess there's always a silver lining, even to an earthquake...
Sabra Jalapeño Hummus Mini-Pizzas with Corn, Tomato, and Lime Cream
(Makes 24 bite-sized pizzas. Prep time (including dough): 1 hours, 15 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes)
For the dough:
- 1/2 package active dry yeast
- Pinch granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more if necessary)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, and sugar and whisk together to combine. Set aside until foamy (about 5 - 10 minutes).
- Add the salt, olive oil, and 1 cups flour, mixing well with a wooden spoon.
- Add the cornmeal and remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix well, using your hands to blend the ingredients if necessary.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about five minutes, using a folding, pressing, turning motion. Add more flour as necessary until the dough is only very slightly sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled large bowl, turning the ball to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and allow it to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about one hour.)
- In the meantime, gather and prep the rest of your ingredients.
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 small shallots or 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 package Sabra Jalapeño Hummus
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4" thick pieces or circles, about 1 1/2" in diameter (you can use a small biscuit cutter for uniformity, or you can go casual and eyeball it)
- 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Chives, for garnish
- 2" biscuit cutter (for dough)
- Pizza stone
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, making sure the pizza stone is inside preheating along with it, in the lower third of the oven.
3. When the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough to prevent sticking, and roll it out to between 1/8" and 1/4" thickness. Using a 2" biscuit cutter, cut out small circles of dough. You may need to reform the dough into a ball and roll it out again to get the last few circles.
5. Using a fish spatula (or similar device), carefully transfer the pizzas to the pizza stone. Bake for 7 - 8 minutes, until the crust has crisped and gotten very slightly browned on the bottom.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the lime cream: In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, lime juice, cumin and chili powder. Mix together well. Taste and season with salt as necessary.
7. After removing the pizzas from the oven, let them cool for at least five minutes before topping with lime cream and corn (otherwise, the cream melts and it gets rather messy!). Garnish with chopped chives and serve.
*Notes: As I said before, these can be served warm or at room temperature. These are the perfect size for one big bite. I suppose you might be able to make this as one large pizza, or two personal sized pizzas, but I haven't had a chance to test that out yet (let me know if you do!). Baking the hummus in the oven with the crust allows the two flavors to meld together - the crust almost "puffs up" like a cracker when you bake it. When I tried baking the crust separately, then spreading the hummus on afterwards, the tastes didn't blend nearly as well.
I hope you enjoy making these appetizers as much as I did creating them.
(And for Pete's sake, no more earthquakes, please!)
Did you feel the earthquake? What were you doing when it hit?