Let's talk pizza

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Let's talk pizza

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:00 pm

Next Friday night our neighborhood wine club is doing a Pizza Night. With some helpers, I'm doing all the food. I'm planning to do four different pizzas which will come out of the ovens every 15 minutes or so, and I want to do combinations that are not the usual suspects.

I don't make or eat that many pizzas. Love them but tend to avoid carbs, especially in combination with excess fat. And that's what pizza is, basically, so we rarely indulge. Which is my way of explaining my relative inexperience with

Two have been decided on: potato/bacon/rosemary/fontina, and Asiago/Mozz/blue/Proscuitto/fig/balsamic. Neither have a base sauce, so for diversity I need to add a tomato sauce pizza and a pesto sauce pizza.

Bob and I tried experimented with various combinations last night. I bought a bag of dough from Trader Joe's, that is, and divided it into three balls, making a four-slice pizza out of each. Our favorite was the potato-bacon pizza mentioned above. I've had one potato pizza before in my life made from thicker slices of cooked potato with a leek pesto--the pizza was named Vichysoisse. It was a revelation to realize how good thinner slices of raw potato turn out. They were cooked through in 15 minuts. We loved a tomato/quatro formaggi/bacon one too, but I can't use bacon twice next week so that won't fly. Quite liked a pesto/crimini/cheese version, but to be truly successful it would need more elements so that every bite is not identical. My head's going toward adding asparagus and goat cheese--compatible additions both which also keeps one of the pizzas vegetarian, and I like that.

I'll play with more combinations in the coming days but am wondering what interesting ideas some of you might have. Bear in mind that I don't have a fortune to spend so cool but expensive ingredients like bottarga, just as an example, are off the table.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:17 pm

Don't really fit the niches you need, but my favorite pizza to make is probably the one I think of as somewhat Grecian. Basics are usually spinach (or baby arugula), feta, cherry tomatoes, olives. Can add mozzarella, walnuts, parmesan, mushrooms. The basic is definitely not excess fat.

I also like to make almost-pizzas - pissaldiere (anchovy, onions, garlic, olives) or tarte flambee/flammenkuchen (ham, onions, fromage blanc).

It's not that I don't like tomato sauce, we do that sometimes too!
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Redwinger » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:24 pm

I'm pretty much a traditionalist regarding pizza, but the white clam pizza from Frank Pepi's in New Haven,CT almost made me a convert. I have no idea how to make one,but the taste is damn fine.
Here's the wiki link which lists the ingredients. I have no idea of the cost or availability of little necks in the NW.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Haven-style_pizza
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:54 pm

I made a Pizza Margherita a few nights ago and it was not only one of the best pizzas I've made, but one of the best I've had. The crust was perfect. Tipo 00 flour is essential for a thin crust.
Dough for Thin Crust
3 cups Tipo 00 flour
1-1/2 Tbsp. yeast dissolved in 1-1/4 cups water with 1-1/2 tsp salt dissolved
After allowing yeast to proof for 5 minutes or so, add mixture to flour and knead in mixer with dough hooks for 10 minutes. Allow to rise until doubled. Knead again for a minute or so to form a ball. This will spread out nicely on a 16 inch round pizza pan. Add toppings and bake at 450 Deg for about 20-25 minutes. The toppings for the Pizza Margherita were whole basil leaves, sliced tomatoes (I used roma, because of the time of year), fresh mozarella and EVOO.
I often make Sicilian style pizza - basically double the dough recipe, but use bread flour. Make sauce by sauteing a chopped onion i olive oil with a S&P and touch of crushed red pepper, then a 29 oz can of crushed tomatoes and allow to cool. Spread dough on a 13x17 baking sheet, top with the sauce and grated cheese (I use Romano). Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees and drizzle EVOO on top immediately after removing from the oven. Allow to cool a bit and cut into squares.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:35 pm

I always fall on my "deconstructed pesto pizza with spinach."

Whole wheat & herb crust - largely pre-baked. Scant sauce. Layer on spinach (preferably pre-cooked and pressed to remove excess moisture) then a layer of basil leaves, cheeses of your choice, then lots of chopped garlic and pine nuts. Bake until cheese is bubbly & getting nice brown spots all over.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:38 pm

We use prepared pizza shells from a Maine bakery. We brush a tablespoon of EVOO on it, then a cup our Italian tomato sauce. Next comes a sprinkling of freshly grated Pecorino Romano, and a half pound of shredded cheese such as Casio de Romano. We than sprinkle with Penseys' Pasta Sprinkle or Italian Herbs. Will top with sausage or pepperoni or whatever. We bake on a stone at 450 degrees F. for ten minutes.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:13 pm

Here's an odd thought: just realized that this pizza night is two days before St. Patty's. Anyone ever had corned beef on a pizza?
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Frank Deis » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:17 pm

But remember a Spinach-Pesto pizza would be GREEN.

When I run through "irish" pizza toppings, I find myself visualizing potato slices, chunks of cabbage. Not pretty.

Actually when I was at Costco I noticed they were selling bags of ravioli -- the ravioli was cut into shamrock shapes and half of them were dyed green, and the bag didn't say "ravioli" but IRISH CHEESE. So someone else is making that Irish - Italian connection.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Redwinger » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:19 pm

Jenise wrote:Here's an odd thought: just realized that this pizza night is two days before St. Patty's. Anyone ever had corned beef on a pizza?


No, but I've had a Guinness with a pizza. :D
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:08 pm

Frank Deis wrote:But remember a Spinach-Pesto pizza would be GREEN.

When I run through "irish" pizza toppings, I find myself visualizing potato slices, chunks of cabbage. Not pretty.

Actually when I was at Costco I noticed they were selling bags of ravioli -- the ravioli was cut into shamrock shapes and half of them were dyed green, and the bag didn't say "ravioli" but IRISH CHEESE. So someone else is making that Irish - Italian connection.


Eons ago on this forum, when we used to do monthly ingredient challenges, one was mustard. And it was March. So I had one of my imagine-an-old-Italian-lady-who-has-never-left-Italy-had-to-make-dinner-out-of-typical-St. Patricks Day-ingredients brainstorms, and came up with corned beef ravioli plus steamed pillows of cabbage cut the same size as the ravioli served together with a mustard sauce made by reducing and thickening the broth with cream and mustard, and topping it with a pesto made from mustard greens. It was INCREDIBLE, if I do say so myself.

Actually did go out on the internet just now and found a lot of people have already thought of, and speak admirably of, corned beef and cabbage pizzas. Usually with potato, which I'd leave out since it's a principal ingredient on another pizza we're doing, and sans a sauce, which troubles me. As a prereq it would have to sing with a tomato sauce base.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:22 pm

I have a hard time wrapping my brain around a corned beef and cabbage pizza. That's one I think I'd have to try before being convinced it was a good idea.

On the potato front, there are a couple of places here that do Neapolitan style pizza with potatoes. Both use thin slices of potato, and both add bacon or pancetta and a white cheese - fontina, I think. Also some herbs. Makes for a delicious pie.

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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:53 pm

I love the corned beef and cabbage idea and I bet no one has had it before. Here is a link to one that got really good reviews and the picture looks tasty. I would certainly use a good corned beef that you cooked yourself. Some recipes I saw called for deli corned beef....ick.

Someone even mentioned putting a thousand island dressing drizzle over the top.....if you had a killer recipe that would be fun to serve on the side in a squirt type bottle. As for duplicating the potatoes, could you use different potatoes? I think the baby red bliss wouild be good on the pizza, even cooking them to al dente and getting some brown on them prior to putting on the pizza.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/corned-beef-and-cabbage-pizza-recipe/reviews/index.html
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:25 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote: As for duplicating the potatoes, could you use different potatoes? I think the baby red bliss wouild be good on the pizza, even cooking them to al dente and getting some brown on them prior to putting on the pizza.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/corned-beef-and-cabbage-pizza-recipe/reviews/index.html


I understand your point but tend not to think different species of potato would come across as different enough. To a lot of non-cook types, even boiled or baked there's little difference between potato types.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:29 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:I have a hard time wrapping my brain around a corned beef and cabbage pizza. That's one I think I'd have to try before being convinced it was a good idea.

On the potato front, there are a couple of places here that do Neapolitan style pizza with potatoes. Both use thin slices of potato, and both add bacon or pancetta and a white cheese - fontina, I think. Also some herbs. Makes for a delicious pie.


Fontina's exactly what I'm using on the potato-bacon-rosemary pizza. It really is a terrific combination. Not at all heavy as i kind of imagined it would be.

As for corned beef--think a little bit about pepperoni or other typical pizza meats. It's essentially salty beef, and what about that doesn't work with tomato sauce? The cabbage would have to be sauteed, and the cheese something mellow and plainer, like mozz. I have a corned beef in the fridge that I'm thinking of cooking up just to find out--like Karen, I can't imagine using deli meat. Technically it would be corned beef, but in reality it wouldnt' remind you of a corned beef dinner!
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:59 pm

Jenise wrote:Here's an odd thought: just realized that this pizza night is two days before St. Patty's. Anyone ever had corned beef on a pizza?

Here ya go! :lol:

http://forums.louisvillehotbytes.com/vi ... f=1&t=9729
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:17 pm

Redwinger wrote:I'm pretty much a traditionalist regarding pizza, but the white clam pizza from Frank Pepi's in New Haven,CT almost made me a convert. I have no idea how to make one,but the taste is damn fine.
Here's the wiki link which lists the ingredients. I have no idea of the cost or availability of little necks in the NW.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Haven-style_pizza


I'd kill to eat that myself, but costwise we have two less expensive white or least non-red or -green pizzas on the menu already and I'm already committed to people in the neighborhood for each so they're better choices politically speaking. Clams would be pretty prohibitive if fresh--I can dig them in front of my house, actually, but that would take awhile. :) Do they use canned?
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Redwinger » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:34 am

Jenise wrote: Do they use canned?


Heavens, NO.
Even if the work (shucking) and expense doesn't make a clam pie* practical for this group, you might wanna try it for yourself. Done right, it rocks. Now I've got a craving, but little necks are a rare commodity in Hoosierville.


^ There's a sophomoric joke in there someplace :twisted:
Last edited by Redwinger on Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Joy Lindholm » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:21 pm

Jenise wrote:Here's an odd thought: just realized that this pizza night is two days before St. Patty's. Anyone ever had corned beef on a pizza?


A few years ago, our local Whole Foods ran a Reuben pizza, which was AWESOME! (Being from the home of the Reuben, I will look for any excuse to get one.) Pastrami (close enough to corned beef), sauerkraut, swiss, and thousand island sauce. You could do a riff on that for St. Patty's.
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:12 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Jenise wrote:Here's an odd thought: just realized that this pizza night is two days before St. Patty's. Anyone ever had corned beef on a pizza?

Here ya go! :lol:

http://forums.louisvillehotbytes.com/vi ... f=1&t=9729


Have to admit, that looks pretty good.

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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Karen/NoCA » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:10 pm

Wow, wonder how fast I can get booked on a plane? I'd love that! :D
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Rahsaan » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:18 pm

Jenise wrote:Neither have a base sauce, so for diversity I need to add a tomato sauce pizza and a pesto sauce pizza..


One idea you might consider instead of tomato sauce is a roasted red pepper sauce as the red base. It's tricky to keep it from getting too sweet, so you need to watch that. But it's one of the things I play around with during the long non-fresh tomato season when we easily get bored with canned tomatoes (no matter how good they are).
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:09 pm

I often blend roasted red peppers into my tomato sauce, not just on pizza, but with macaroni.
NOTE: about 40% of the population of the city of Niagara Falls was (is?) Italian, where pizza has red sauce and cheese. Some of them post on a local FB Group and several of them agreed with one guy who said "Until about 20 years ago, I never heard of pasta. It was macaroni when I was growing up". Regarding pizza, I suppose I could go on a Robert J rant, similar to his "chili has no beans".
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Jenise » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:56 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:
Jenise wrote:Here's an odd thought: just realized that this pizza night is two days before St. Patty's. Anyone ever had corned beef on a pizza?


A few years ago, our local Whole Foods ran a Reuben pizza, which was AWESOME! (Being from the home of the Reuben, I will look for any excuse to get one.) Pastrami (close enough to corned beef), sauerkraut, swiss, and thousand island sauce. You could do a riff on that for St. Patty's.


I am a total Reuben slut!--but leave the sauce off mine, thank you very much. I love the idea of doing a St. Patty'd pizza and will explore that on my own with the leftover corned beef from my own annual St. Patty dinner (not Irish, just love the meal). But I'm going to stay traditional even if on the foofoo end of things for this event, so here's the list of finalists:

Yukon gold potato/rosemary/bacon/fontina
Pesto/asparagus/mushroom/goat cheese/provolone/pine nut
Tomato sauce/fennel sausage/fresh fennel/provolone/parmesan/candied oil cured black olive
Asiago/gorgonzola/fig jam/fig/balsamic/proscuitto
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Re: Let's talk pizza

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:13 pm

How about shredded roast duck, hoisin sauce, and blanced sliced scallions?
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