Super Bowl Snack: Pimento Cheeseburger PizzaJanuary 31, 2014
There is nothing complicated about the pimento cheeseburger pizza on the menu at Terra in West Columbia, South Carolina. It has nothing on the house-made charcuterie, or the carefully ornamented plates of fish, steak, and poultry, or the salads that balance farm-fresh vegetables with vibrant dressings and smoky hunks of meat. But chef Mike Davis, who worked for years under famed Alabama chef Frank Stitt, has inherited his mentor’s knack for haute simplicity—and a bit of his playfulness, too. With what has become one of his signature offerings, Davis nods to his restaurant’s location just outside the pimento cheeseburger capital of the South. And although this pizza may be simple, we doubt that any of your party guests will mind.
Pimento Cheeseburger Pizza
From Mike Davis, Terra, West Columbia, South Carolina
5 oz. pizza dough (see below)
2 oz. store-bought or homemade pizza sauce
¼ lb. ground beef, cooked
4 oz. pimento cheese, or more to taste (see below)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Roll pizza dough into a circle about ½ inch thick. Rub crust with oil, and then top with sauce. Distribute ground beef and spoonfuls of pimento cheese evenly over the sauce and bake 8-9 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Makes enough for 8 personal pizzas
2¼ tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp., plus 1 ½ tsp. dry active yeast
1 quart, plus 3 cups flour
1 tbsp., plus ½ tsp. salt
Combine 2 ¼ cups warm water with sugar and yeast in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Let the yeast mixture sit for 10 minutes, then add dry ingredients slowly, mixing with your hands or a dough hook. Once the dough begins to pull away from bowl, stop mixing. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in warm part of kitchen until doubled in size, about an hour. Knead for several minutes and portion into 8 5-ounce balls. Keep dough in the refrigerator if not using immediately.
Makes about a quart
This is a thicker pimento cheese that works well in our pizza oven. For a spreadable dip, add another half-cup of mayonnaise.
1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pimentón
1 tsp. white pepper
2 lb. white cheddar
8 oz. cream cheese
3 roasted red peppers, 2 diced and one puréed
Crystal hot sauce and Sriracha, to taste
Combine mayonnaise, sugar, pimentón, and white pepper. Shred cheddar and reserve. Let cream cheese come to room temperature and then whip to a soft consistency in a food processor or mixer. Add the mayonnaise mix to cream cheese, and then add shredded cheddar, using a wooden spoon to incorporate it thoroughly into the mixture. Mix in diced red pepper and red pepper purée and season with hot sauce.
Photograph courtesy of Terra
Other Super Bowl-worthy dishes: