Twelve years ago Val and I packed up our car and headed west because we were craving something new. From our perspective, it was a fun adventure, and we were young and up for anything, but in retrospect, I now see that the universe was pushing me towards my real self.
I can’t even express in words how much I love San Diego. It’s everything I never knew that I needed in my life.
From living here I’ve learned to take life at a slower pace, to make time for myself, to not take everything so seriously, to value what’s really important, and to appreciate nature in a different way than I ever did in the past.
I also met The Hubs here, and together we’ve been molded by this beautiful way of life.
San Diego is truly a part of me.
Food in San Diego is very different from where I grew up in Chicago. The weather allows for fresh food year round, and our proximity to Mexico and the ocean brings a cultural influence unlike any other place in the country.
Carne Asada, a thin cut, marinated and grilled steak, is a staple around these parts. More often then not we eat it wrapped in a tortilla with french fries, a la the famous California burrito, but this time around I opted for a different preparation.
This time, as an homage to the city I love so much, and to the man whom I was meant to meet in this beautiful place, I made a carne asada pizza. The Hubs favorite food, topped with San Diego’s favorite ingredient.
It was the perfect pairing.
If you’ve never been here, add it to your to-do list immediately, and order yourself some carne asada. It’s on every menu. I’m confident you’ll love it as much as I do.
I hope to see you all in our little corner of the country soon.
- 12 ounces refrigerated fresh pizza dough
- 2 small hatch chiles
- 8 ounces flank steak, trimmed
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
- 1 small red onion, cut into ½-inch-thick rings
- ½ cup lower-sodium marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 cup chopped seeded tomato
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- Cilantro sprigs
- Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Arrange hatch chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 8 minutes or until charred on all sides, turning occasionally. Wrap peppers in foil; close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and seed peppers; discard skin, membrane, and seeds. Cut into ¼-inch-thick strips.
- Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).
- Sprinkle steak with cumin, chipotle powder, and salt. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until well marked. Let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice steak across the grain.
- Add onion rings to pan; grill 4 minutes on each side or until well marked. Place in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Combine marinara and adobo sauce.
- Roll dough into a 15 x 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Pierce dough liberally with a fork. Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone. Place dough on hot stone; bake at 500° for 5 minutes. Remove stone from oven. Spread sauce mixture over dough, leaving a ½-inch border; top evenly with mozzarella and cheddar. Arrange poblano and onion slices over pizza; top with steak. Sprinkle with queso fresco. Return stone to oven; bake pizza 9 minutes or until crust is done.
- Combine tomato, juice, and minced red onion; sprinkle tomato mixture over pizza. Top with cilantro sprigs, if desired.
Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine