For the last six weeks I’ve been following the action around Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog, a contest aimed to find the “next food blog star” among Foodbuzz’s Featured Publishers, and not only has it introduced me to some amazing blogs but it’s also made me unbelievably hungry. The biggest offender was last week’s challenge that had the remaining contestants do a “remix” on pizzas. So many delicious ones emerged as a result that my stomach started audibly growling while reading through the posts, and all I wanted to do last week was make lots and lots of pizzas. The wedding of two awesome people kept us away from our kitchen Saturday night, but a little planning and the help of Fresh Direct helped us bring one of the more intriguing pizza meals to life on Sunday night.
But first, a bit of backstory. Our last night in London found us at this darling Argentinian steakhouse joint that happened to be featured in an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word (aka not Kitchen Nightmares) that was conveniently located down the street from our awesome hosts in Battersea. Thanks to the exposure Santa Maria del Sur is much harder to get a reservation at (ours was at 9), but it hasn’t lost the charm that got it listed as a contender for best American food in the first place. We enjoyed the Parriallda Piazolla mixed grill platter that had ribeye, rump steak, two pork sausages, a blood sausage (my favorite) and a big ol’ lump of melted Provolone cheese, as you can see here. (The photo isn’t great because I was trying to be stealth as I didn’t want to humiliate our hosts as I figured they would like to return to this establishment again.) The meal was amazing, but I never thought we’d look to recreate it only because it seemed so unique that anything we tried to do would turn up being wanting.
Enter Cristina of From Buenos Aires to Paris. An Argentinian native who has since expatriated to Paris, she was inspired by the classic Argentinian barbecue when asked to remix the classic pizza recipe, and so two positively genius savory pizzas were born. (She also does a sweet one, but wedding cake had satisfied our sweet teeth the night before.) Her provoleta pizza was very pizza-like, with the oregano and the cheese and the caramelized red onions that really did add that extra oomph, along with the Criolla sauce that gave it all some texture and bite–though we were prone to eating that out of the bowl and had to force ourselves to save some for the actual pizza!
The steak and sausage pizza was another beast entirely. Michael cooked the steak relatively early to give it plenty of time to rest prior to going into the oven (and it was purposely underdone so it could finish in the oven), and we set off the smoke alarms (yet again) in cooking the sausages. The tomato sauce was a simple garlic, olive oil and a 15 oz can of tomatoes concoction cooked with some balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper until most of the liquid evaporated. The sauce is the base layer, then the meats are placed on top, and then a little chimichurri is layered on top as a garnish of sorts (and according to Cristina it was first made with parsley and not cilantro–good to know!). There’s no issue in biting into steak on a pizza here–a good sirloin top steak does the trick here nicely and even when finished in the oven on the pizza, the steak is quite easy to sink your teeth into, and the sauce is tart and sharp and just a little spicy, and the sausage is naturally delectable. The chimichurri adds just the right amount of bite as well as color and the whole pizza really does turn into a steakhouse on a round of dough.
The meal brought us back to Santa Maria del Sur for sure, though we have yet to remake the fabulous Don Pedro dessert that included bourbon and ice cream (though C might have to correct me on that). Get the recipes here (we used our own pizza dough and adjusted accordingly, but use the original as your benchmark).
¡Buen provecho! ¡Besos y muchas gracias a Cristina!