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Food & Home

Roasted Hatch Chile Pizza with Corn and Oaxaca Cheese

Alexandra Stafford

The combination below is inspired by esquites, a Mexican street corn salad that is dressed, among other things, with mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, and chile powder. I’ve added Hatch chiles, which I buy from the Fresh Chile Co. and roast at home, but you could use poblanos or even red or green bell peppers in their place. Oaxaca cheese can be hard to find but it’s worth seeking out for its flavor and texture—it melts so well and has a nice creaminess. Monterey Jack or mozzarella will work in its place. Note: If you’re eyeing the mayonnaise in the ingredient list skeptically, I see you. Trust me, it’s good.

1. Prepare the dough: Transfer the dough from its storage container to a roomier, lightly floured, covered container and allow it to proof at room temperature for 1½ to 2 hours.

2. Prepare the oven and pizza peel: About 1 hour before you want to bake the pizza, place a baking steel in the top third of the oven and preheat it to 550°F convection roast (or as high as it will go). Dust a pizza peel lightly with semolina flour or top with parchment paper.

3. Stretch the dough: Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Using lightly floured hands, pat the dough gently to flatten it, then stretch it into a 10- to 11-inch round by laying it on the back of your hands and gently rotating it, taking care not to depress the beautiful air pockets in the dough. If the dough begins resisting, set it down on the work surface to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then continue stretching. Transfer the stretched dough to the prepared peel and give it a shake to ensure it’s not sticking.

4. Top the pizza: Spread the mayonnaise over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Scatter the corn and roasted chiles (see below) over the top. Season with a big pinch of chile powder. Top with the cheese. Drizzle olive oil over the top and season with a pinch of flaky salt. Stretch the dough one last time by pulling outward on the edges. Redistribute the toppings as needed, then give the peel one last shake to ensure the dough is not sticking.

5. Bake the pizza: Shimmy the pizza (still on the parchment if using) onto the steel and bake until the cheese is melted and the edges are beginning to char, 5 to 6 minutes. (This may take 8 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven.)

6. Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board (discard the parchment paper). Sprinkle cilantro over the top. Cut and serve with lime wedges on the side.

To make the Roasted Hatch Chiles:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or rub it with a small amount of oil).

2. Place the chiles cut-side down on the pan. Roast until the skin is blistery and charred, 30 to 40 minutes. Don’t be impatient here: If the skin isn’t blistered enough, the peppers will be difficult to peel.

3. Place the chiles in a large bowl and cover with a plate or kitchen towel. Let rest for at least 20 minutes or up to 5 hours. Peel off the skin. Store the chiles in their juices in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for 3 months.

From Pizza Night, copyright © 2024 by Alexandra Stafford. Photographs copyright © 2024 by Eva Kolenko. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Crown Publishing.