Crisp crust, melted cheese, and smoky spice all combine in this delicious, fun variation on the Alsatian “Tarte Flambée”, cooked right in your own fireplace!
A key to success with cooking in the fireplace is a good bed of coals, and the ability to move fast. Thanks to Christiane Oberli of Chez Christiane for the inspiration.
Prep time: 25 Min
Cook time: 25 min
1 ball (16 oz) pizza dough, room temperature
3-4 TB olive oil
½ of a large green bell pepper, ¼ inch dice
3-4 scallions, white and a couple inches of green, thinly sliced
4 oz. diced pancetta
½ - 1 cup Alfredo sauce
2/3 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
A large, fireproof sheet metal (NOT perforated) pizza pan
Start your fire, ideally an hour or more before you want to cook, to give the coals a chance to build up. When the time comes, you’ll need to arrange the logs in the fire (or the grates if you have them) to balance the pizza pan. Set out your pizza dough on a counter and allow it to come to room temperature. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat and sauté the peppers and scallions over medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring, or until soft. Turn off heat.
Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each half ball of dough into a rough circle about 12” across, and move dough to a metal pizza pan sprinkled with corn meal. Spread half the alfredo sauce into a thin layer, and sprinkle with peppers, sliced scallions, and pancetta. Top with half the shredded cheese. Using oven mitts, carefully (but quickly!) place the pizza pan over the fire, and cook for 2-4 minutes, turning constantly with fireplace tongs and/or fireplace gloves, or until bottom is nicely browned and crisp, and cheese has melted. Check frequently as it cooks, as fire temperatures vary. Remove to a cutting board, and serve this most excellent grilled masterpiece. When you’re ready to cook the second pizza, repeat with remaining ingredients.
Fireplace pizza goes well with a range of wines, from cool dry (like Sauvignon Blanc) to hearty red (Cotes du Rhone). Now that's a fun meal.
Tip: Fire temperatures vary, so watch your pizza closely. Cooking over coals is much easier to do than over open flame, which can burn your pizza. The times are guidelines only. Treat open fires with respect. Be very careful at all times. Variation: Use peppers with some heat, like poblano or jalapeno, instead of the green pepper.