I've been playing around with my pizzas, lately, since I developed a little problem processing tomatoes & now rather dislike red pizza sauces. The past few 'zas have been pesto-based, topped with crumbled ricotta & mozzarella, with mixtures of chicken and a few vegetables (onions, mushrooms, sweet peppers, whatever is in the crisper drawer). Tonight, I went wild and left the pesto in the fridge. Instead, I made a sweet-and-zesty version, using mascarpone cheese blended with honey and fresh ground ginger spread on a plain whole wheat thin crust, topped with sautéed chicken in honey-whisky-and smoky tabasco, with onions, peppers, and pineapple. This time, I used quite a few preserved or previously-prepared ingredients, but I think next time I try this, I will use all fresh. Except, I really like using Mama Mary's thin & crispy crusts (available at, of all places, the local Mart of Wals, for half the price of the other brands' crusts).
Anyway, if you want to try my pizza topping, here's the stuff:
Sweet Bird of Pizza!
(or, if it weren't for the chicken, this could pass for dessert....)
1 pre-cooked 12-inch pizza crust of your preferred variety
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh ground ginger
2 tsp. honey
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbs. butter
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 lb. white chicken meat, cut into 1/2-inch or smaller cubes*
1/4 cup (or slightly more) honey-infused whisky
a few shakes (to your taste) smoked tabasco sauce (I used about a dozen)
salt & pepper to taste
sliced or chopped: onions, fresh sweet peppers, hot peppers (remove & discard the seeds)
finely-cut or shredded pineapple (fresh is better, but, if you use canned, be sure to drain it well)
Preheat oven according to instructions for crust (usually, for a crispy crust, you'll need a fairly hot oven, around 425º F.). Place crust on a cookie sheet or pizza pan, brush lightly with olive oil.
In a small bowl, mix mascarpone, ginger, and honey until completely blended. Set aside.
Using a medium frying pan or wok at high temperature, stir-fry mushrooms in butter until some of the mushrooms develop a golden-brown, crisp edge. Remove from heat, put in separate bowl. Return the pan to heat, add in chicken, salt & pepper, stir until most of the pink is gone from the meat. Add in honey-whisky and tabasco, simmer, stirring, until liquid is cooked away and meat is lightly golden-brown.
Spread mascarpone mix on pizza crust, sprinkle lightly with mozzarella, then top with all other ingredients, distributed evenly and arranged to please your eye.
Bake on cookie sheet or pizza pan for 7-10 minutes (I do not recommend the extra-crispy method of baking right on the oven rack, because the mascarpone cheese will melt quickly and may run off the pizza onto the bottom of the oven). When the mozzarella and onions have begun to lightly brown, remove from oven, allow to cool about 3-5 minutes before serving.
*I find the easiest way to prepare chicken for the purpose is to take a completely frozen chicken breast and allow it to thaw an hour or so at room temp -- or in the nuke for about a minute at full power -- just enough to make it less of a brick, but still frozen fairly solid. Take out a good, heavy-duty knife and cut while still frozen. Allow those wee chunks to thaw the rest of the way in the refrigerator, or stir-fry while still a little frozen. If you're using a brined chicken breast, you'll want to drain the ensuing liquid from the pan before you add the whisky/tabasco.