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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sweet Potato, Pancetta and Blue Cheese Grilled Beer Pizza

A box arrived the other day cradling my first fall beer of the season. Thinking about crisp autumn weather may not be on everyones mind just yet, but for the team at The Bruery, they've taken it off their minds and bottled it already.

Autumn Maple is a bold, seasonal beer made from a traditional Belgian style strain. Brewed with yams (instead of pumpkins) this beer has a serious boozy punch.

Ideas swarmed my head with potential recipes but the flavor of the beer led me down the pizza path. This easy crust recipe offers an earthy warmth to my classic Fat and Happy thin grilled flatbread. The tangy blue cheese sets off the creamy sweet potato and crisp pancetta. The whole concoction is a gorgeous fall mix with a yeasty beer overtone.

When the cool winds arrive, warm from the inside out with a glass of Autumn Maple and a Fat and Happy Beer Pizza.

Fat and Happy food blog tips and techniques: You can make the crust days ahead of time and hold them in the fridge (wrap in foil) until ready to top.

 Sweet Potato, Pancetta and Blue Cheese Grilled Beer Pizza

1 cup flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 Tbls baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 ounces beer
1 tsp maple syrup or honey

2 small sweet potatoes
12 thin slices of pancetta
4 shallots
1/2 cup beer
olive oil
salt and pepper
blue cheese

Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix with a fork. Continue to stir with a fork while slowly pouring in the beer and honey.  Mix just to combine. The dough should be slightly sticky, if needed add a little more flour in.

Place the dough on the counter to rest; sprinkle flour on the counter to keep it from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap and a warm, wet kitchen towel. Let rest for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, dice the pancetta and cook over medium high heat until almost crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Peel and dice the potato. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan along with the potatoes, cook over medium heat about 3 minutes, tossing often. Slice the shallot and add to the pan. Continue to cook until the potatoes are just tender.

Add in the beer and turn the heat down to a simmer to reduce the beer, about 5 minutes (you want to have almost a sauce left). Remove from heat and add in the pancetta along with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat your grill. Split the dough into 5 sections. Roll each dough out into a thin flat bread,  you will need a little flour for the rolling surface. Carefully place each pizza on the grill for about 2 -3 minutes per side. Flip and grill on the other side - just until the dough holds its shape. Spread a big spoonful of toppings over the pizza, crumble on the blue cheese and then place the pizza back on the grill until crispy and melty.

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