Game-Day Pies

Charge up your Super Bowl party with these robust artisan pizzas


Nothing pairs better with football and sports gatherings than hot, cheesy pizza, fresh from the oven. So to help you make a culinary game plan for Super Bowl Sunday, we huddled with a few club chefs to get their deliciously inventive takes on the big game's most popular portable meal, no delivery guy required. Excellent calls by all. From a hearty Southwestern deep-dish served piping hot with beef tips and salsa to an unexpected prosciutto, fig, and fennel taste sensation to a rustic and earthy grilled sausage and pesto pizza, these combos will surely impress your friends through the postgame show.

Here's a bold and beefy team of south-of-the-border ingredients from executive chef Bob Malone of Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley, Pa. Call it a Chicago-style pizza on steroids.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 16-inch preformed deep-dish pizza crust
3/4 cup queso mozzarella or melted mozzarella
1 pound beef tips, tri-tip, or flat-iron steak, pan-seared and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons black beans, cooked
3 tablespoons corn kernels, roasted
1 red pepper, diced and sauteed
1 yellow pepper, diced and sauteed
3 tablespoons white or brown rice, cooked
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
sliced pickled jalapeños
Mexican salsa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a cast-iron skillet or deep, round baking dish with olive oil and sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal. Press in the pizza crust dough evenly and push it up around the sides, about 1 to 2 inches.

Spread a layer of queso mozzarella evenly on the base of the dough and top with beef, vegetables, rice, and shredded cheddar cheese. Garnish with jalapeños and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted. Cool slightly before cutting.

Serve Mexican salsa on the side.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Executive chef Sebastian Heil of the Tower Club in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shares his rustically shaped, yet sophisticated pizza, starring thinly shaved prosciutto, caramelized fennel, fresh figs, and tart balsamic reduction. A dynamite bite!

1 pound fresh pizza dough
2 tablespoons cornmeal, for dusting
1-1/2 cups sour cream
6 figs, sliced into 6 wheels per fig
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced and caramelized in olive oil
3 ounces prosciutto di Parma, sliced paper thin and torn in pieces
3 ounces dried ricotta salata, grated
White Balsamic Reduction (recipe follows)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a pizza stone or sheet pan in the oven to preheat it, about 20 minutes.

Roll the pizza dough very thin on a lightly floured surface. Remove the pizza stone from the oven and dust it lightly with cornmeal. Place the pizza dough on the stone.

Evenly spread the sour cream on top of the dough, leaving about a 1/2 inch of crust around the edges without toppings. Top with sliced figs, caramelized fennel, and torn prosciutto. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden.

Transfer the pizza onto a large cutting board to avoid burning the crust with the residual heat from the pizza stone or pan. Sprinkle with ricotta salata and drizzle with White Balsamic Reduction. Season with salt and pepper.

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar

Add vinegar to a pan over medium heat. Stir slowly. Simmer about 3 minutes, until reduced to 3 tablespoons and vinegar becomes thicker.

For an irresistible blistery-edged crust, take the party outside. Executive chef Jeff Coonce of Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., grills this creation that pops with pesto, earthy mushrooms, and Italian sausage.

Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
1/2 cup high-quality canned or fresh chopped tomatoes, drained
1/2 tablespoon roasted garlic, minced kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
6 shiitake mushrooms, julienned
1/4 cup spicy crumbled Italian sausage, cooked
1 cup multicolored microgreens
pinch of grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare an outdoor grill for direct heat using charcoal or wood. Brush the rolled out pizza dough with olive oil on one side. Place the dough on the grill, oil-side down. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. The top of the pizza dough should start bubbling with air pockets.

Using a large spatula or pizza peel, flip the dough over and grill until golden brown and the dough is just firm, another minute. Remove to a sheet pan. Cover the grill to retain heat.

Spread the pizza with a thin layer of pesto sauce. Scatter tomatoes and roasted garlic on top of the pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mozzarella, mushrooms, and sausage. Return the pizza to the grill on the sheet pan. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to melt the cheese.

Remove, slice as desired, and top with greens and Parmesan before serving.

Yield: 3-4 servings

1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 envelope instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
3/4 cup water

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours, yeast, salt, and rosemary. While the mixer is running, add the water. Mix until the dough forms into a ball.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth firm ball. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm area until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Rest dough for 10 minutes and then roll out a round pizza crust about 12 to 14 inches.

Yield: 1 piecrust


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