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Celebrating with Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas:
A few years ago my family lost my Grandfather. He was the rock of our family and instilled so many of his beliefs and traditions in us, we soaked in his words and continue to possess them as our own. I think back to the stories of him telling us his first memories of stepping foot in Los Angeles as a young boy. He and his family had arrived by freight train and thought LA would be a good place to jump off. Only a few English words existed in his mostly Spanish vocabulary at the time, and he described the experience as ‘convivir’ the initial blending of his two worlds. He prospered here in Los Angeles, worked hard, bought a house and became a father of 8. Never forgetting his beautiful Mexican culture and wholeheartedly embracing his American life. This is how he raised his family, and I am forever grateful for my upbringing under his guidance.
He taught us that the mountains on a crisp clear day looked “Hermosa.” He taught us the pride of being Latino and how gorgeous we were not only for our traditional food, but for the kindness of our people. He taught us that family was priceless and the biggest joy of life was when we were together. He taught us not to be intimidated by anyone, and to share a smile with everyone. He taught us to sing, partake in the arts, and never turn down a good Clamato® Michelada or a plate of cheese enchiladas. He taught us to give and share with others who may be in need. He taught us to whistle or hum when angry, it would restore peace. He taught us to go meatless during lent, and to make family-time a priority on Fridays. We may have lost my grandfather a few years ago but we will never lose what he taught us.
Still to this day I observe Lent gathered with my family. Which means we all gather at my house or at my Tia’s house for a large vegetarian feast on Fridays. We are fortunate that Walmart makes it easy to pick up any and all the ingredients I need to feed my beloved tribe. Sometimes traditional Mexican food is served, and other times a convivir Latin twist on an American or International favorite dish, depending on the mood. One thing is certain, doesn’t matter what I am making, Clamato (it was Grandpa’s favorite) will be on the Walmart grocery list. Clamato is an authentic tomato cocktail juice that has reserved it’s spot at many of our family gatherings. It’s brought lots of sabor to our meals and cocktails – from a perfect Michelada to a delicious spicy pizza sauce base. I buy the 64 oz bottle to make sure everyone gets some, as Grandpa would say “what’s the point if you can’t share?”
If you’re looking for something delicious to make and invite the family over to observe lent together, try my Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas. I make the pizza sauce with Clamato Tomato Cocktail and it elevates the pizza experience to a new level of nirvana. Be sure to buy a bottle or two next time you’re at Walmart, then you’ll be stocked and ready for the family to come by.
You’ll need a pizza baking stone and a scale.
Ingredients for Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas:
- Pizza dough ( 6 pounds – 2700 grams)
- olive oil
- Clamato pizza sauce (recipe below)
- melty cheese of your choice (Mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan)
- black olives (sliced)
- green onion (chopped)
- basil leaves
- red onion (sliced thin)
- red, yellow and orange bell pepper (sliced)
- mushrooms (sliced)
- jalapeno (sliced)
- pineapple (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
- white cornmeal
- Divide the dough into 9 (should each weigh 300 grams) parts.
- Position a rack to the middle of the oven. Place the pizza baking stone on the rack. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take one of your pizza dough balls (should weigh between 300 to 400 grams) and place on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a disk, and press 1/2 inch from the edge all around to create a rim. Then continue to pull out into the desired size of your pizza by draping it over the back of your hands, and continue to rotate dough with the back of your hands in a clockwise motion with the aid of your thumbs. Or roll it out with a rolling pin and pinch the edges of the pizza dough to form crust. Whichever method works best for you.
- Take a flat baking sheet or pizza peel and sprinkle it with a generous amount of cornmeal then place pizza dough directly on top. This will keep the pizza from sticking and will slide easily onto the pizza stone. If the dough rips, just pinch the dough back together.
- Once the dough is ready. Place a tablespoon of olive oil on the inside of the dough and then spread it around the inside circle avoiding the rim.
- Pour 1/3 cup of Clamato pizza sauce and spread on inside of dough.
- Top with 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, or any cheese of your choice.
- Top cheese with olives, red onion, red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, green onion, mushrooms, basil, jalapeno, and pineapple.
- Shake the baking sheet or pizza peel to make sure pizza is not stuck to it. Then open your oven and carefully slide the pizza onto the pizza baking stone.
- Bake in oven for 13 minutes or until crust is golden depending on your oven heat! Remove from oven with pizza peel or a large spatula. Cook each pizza one at a time.
- Cut into any shape you want!
Ingredients for Clamato pizza sauce:
- 50 oz. can diced tomatoes (drained)
- 6 chile de arbol (stems removed)
- 64 oz. Clamato Tomato Cocktail
- 1/4 – teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 – teaspoon salt
How to make the pizza sauce:
In a large bowl add drained diced tomatoes. Then break chile de arbol pods in half and allow chile seeds to fall over diced tomatoes. If you enjoy extra spice break up the chile de arbol pods and crush them into the tomatoes. Pour Clamato over tomatoes and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
For more Clamato Lent Friendly recipes click here!
You can find Clamato at your local Walmart.