There are two foods Iowa is most known for: pork and corn. Put the two together and you have an Iowa meal. Put them on a super thin pizza crust with a few other ingredients and you have an Iowa-St. Louis hybrid–a blend of the two places that are most important to me.
There’s a big difference between restaurant cooking and home cooking. The pizzas you order at restaurants are made from ingredients that were prepped earlier in the day or even days to weeks ahead of time. They are made as quickly as possible, repeatedly, the same way, almost on autopilot by a line cook who’s made it many times before and just wants to get the damn plate out on the counter already. And they are made safe enough to please a large crowd–not too spicy, seasoned lightly, adventurous but not always boldly so.
Home cooking is different. The pizzas you make at home are made from ingredients you prep in the moment, from scratch, or almost all from scratch. They are made with care–tasted, tested, slowly plated so the ingredients are distributed evenly, not just strewn across the crust as quickly as possible. And they don’t have to be safe. They don’t have to be the same every time. They can be robustly seasoned, spicy as hell, so adventurous only your most daring friends and family will eat in your kitchen. Most importantly, they bring you close to home. No matter where you live or who you’re with or what shitty day you just had, cooking in your own kitchen with your own ingredients and your own ideas and your own time will always feel like home. Because you use the flavors you grew up with, you think of the people who have eaten the same dish with you or are eating it wish you now. It’s an ordinary thing everyone does (or at least should do) at their pace and in their own way, which to me is incredibly comforting.
But on to the flatbread: it was delicious. All of it. I was quite pleased with the balance of sweet and spicy, the crunchiness of the crust, the beautiful colors, and the comfort of my home state all of that evoked.
Here’s a rundown of what I used:
- Homemade pizza dough
- My secret BBQ tomato sauce and pulled pork recipe (sorry, not sharing :P)
- Roasted corn (seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika; tossed in oil; roasted in oven at 450 for 15ish minutes)
- Poblano peppers
- Red onion
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley, minced, as garnish
That’s it 🙂