Archive for the ‘Local Ingredients’ Category

The Incredible, Edible Mozza-Paw Egg

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Paw paws are not only the official fruit of Ohio but are also spectacularly flavorful in the few weeks of maturity here in the Southeastern corner of this “Buckeye” State.  Its this time of year that I find myself entombed in a broadleaf jungle of a massive paw paw patch looking up at a pair of testicular-shaped beauties and making a decision to either bend, shake or just grab, (Now, I know what you’re thinking- that’s disgusting you sicko!)

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You see, the paw paw trees that bear fruit are the medium sized ones that can usually be bent over, but some paw paws hang so high that you have to shake. Here is my son and I in a patch this year.

 

My intention weeks ago was to make a paw paw pizza, (Next blog entry) but I wanted to do something erratic, or if you will, out of the ordinary and since we were doing some fresh mozzarella fabrication, I thought an egg was an appropriate topping for said pizza. So here it is, but first another video about getting the flesh from the paw paw that some of you mere mortals may find annoying.

 

 

So, now that we have the custardy goodness in the bowl, its time for the “yolk” for my egg. Remember, that the ‘Vitamin C” I referred to is ascorbic acid in the form of lemon juice. This will keep the paw paw custard from turning brown.

 

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First take a hemispheric mold and fill as many half circles as you will need and place in the freezer. When frozen solid warm your finger under hot running water then rub the top of each half circle to melt some of the paw paw filling for cohesion with another. Place atop another half circle.

 

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Take both out of the mold and place in a square of plastic wrap and gently press together. The paw paw will melt quickly so you must work fast and get on ice fast.

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When the paw paw yolk is frozen, start the fresh mozzarella in the fashion of my previous blog post. Use only enough fresh curd as you will need. Heat the fresh curd and form and place in your hand. Quickly place the paw paw yolk in the center of the melting mozzarella and close the edges quickly. Even more quickly form the  mozzarella into an egg shape. Here I used a baking form pan to roll the mozzarella into shape. Place in ice bath quickly to set.

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When you are ready to place on a pizza, bring to room temperature, slice and place on a pizza. The yolk will melt out beautifully and people will think you’re utterly insane…until they eat this ‘gnad-pumping egg! late summer 2014 269ii Next on Pizza Goon, a real killer paw paw pizza!

Two Wet, Wild and Wonderful Summer Cocas

 

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The fruit of summer is a full landslide now in middle American Ohio. This means some great chances to pack my pizzas with the sweet goodness of local foodstuffs. Here are two sweet fruits that I’ve paired with a low-hydrated dough and sharp piquant cheese to achieve a fresh, juicy agrodolce, (sweet and sour taste) that everyone with taste buds loves. The shape of these pizzas resembles the Spanish Coca and is a fantastic way to introduce this fantastic food to your friends.

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Lets first start with the tomato coca. I used some of the great heirloom grown by Green Edge Gardens of Amesville, Ohio. My all time fave is the Cherokee Purple followed by the Green Zebra and Mr. Stipey brings up the rear on this great coca. First I added about five ounces of shredded aged mozzarella and provolone and slid torn pieces of basil in between each slice followed by extra virgin olive oil and coarse sea salt.

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The next coca is a finger-licking pear pizza featuring some local pears from Neil Cherry of Cherry Orchards in Crooksville, Ohio. Under the sweet pear is some great English Stilton and then I topped the coca with some chopped Marcona almonds.

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After assembling these coca, I blasted them at 550 degrees. If you are making these at home, try to cook them with a high heat, (above 485 if you can), because you don’t want the “melt”, (This is a soggy mess and separation of juices from the fruit that you get when the fruit is cooked a low temperature)-plus the dough will not crisp up enough to hold up to the weight of the fruit. To check for doneness, lift a slice in the middle and look for undercooked cheese and dough gumline.