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Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Pizza CARLA HALL, MARIO BATALI

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Carla and Mario are adding a delicious twist to pizza!

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 can San Marzano tomatoes (crushed, 28 ounces)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
8 ounces monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (finely chopped)
1/4 cup shallots (peeled, finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (peeled, minced)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce
3 large green tomatoes (sliced 1/3-inch thick)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
vegetable oil (to fry)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 recipe basic pizza dough cornmeal (for dusting)basil leaves (to garnish)

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place a pizza stone in the oven to preheat.
For the Easy Tomato Sauce: In a large saute pan or small pot add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and red chili flakes and allow to infuse for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
For the Pimento Cheese: In a large bowl add the cheddar cheese, monterey Jack cheese, mayonnaise, red peppers, shallots, garlic, cayenne and hot sauce and mix to combine. Smash with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Taste to season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the Fried Green Tomatoes: In a cast iron skillet, heat 1-inch of vegetable oil to 325ºF.
Add flour, buttermilk, and cornmeal to three separate baking dishes. Season the flour with cayenne, salt and pepper.
Dredge the tomato slices in flour, then buttermilk, then cornmeal, shaking off any excess flour or cornmeal. Gently place in the hot oil and allow to fry until crispy and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Cut into quarters.
For the Pizza: On a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal, place the pizza dough and stretch into a 10-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, top with dollops of the pimento cheese and arrange the fried green tomatoes on the top of the pizza. Slide the pizza from the pizza peel onto the hot pizza stone in the oven and allow to bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges of the pizza are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from the oven and garnish with basil.
Tip: For easy meal prep, use your favorite store-bought tomato sauce and make the pimento cheese in advance. Purchase the pizza dough from the grocery store or local pizza place and assemble for a easy weeknight meal!

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