Posts Tagged ‘best pizza blogs’

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.

 

Chanterelle and Rabbit Pizza

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Mid summer is chanterelle time in Appalachia and also a great time to make a pizza with this wonderful mushroom.

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I was recently in the mountains south of Asheville, North Carolina and found some very gorgeous patches of delectable chanterelle mushrooms. These were much larger with a deeper depth of color than I have found in Southeast Ohio but still had the fake gills and apricot smell of true chanterelles. The kids had a great time collecting them with me on the lookout for poison ivy.

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This pizza is also an ode to the late Charlie Trotter who’s love of chanterelle and rabbit was reflected in his cookbooks. I especially loved the way he used time to benefit his dishes by patiently using low temperatures and reductions to layer flavors in his sauces. This pie has the same qualities of a low-slow sauce made from braising of rabbit thighs and a later addition of chanterelle. The lusciousness afforded by this sauce is juxtaposed with the rabbit ‘bacon’ and its salty-sweet yakitori buzz. The melting fresh mozzarella and chanterelle is heightened by the candy-sweet cherry tomato and even the smokiness of the burnt cornicione on this pie. (yes, I neant to do that… I swear.)  This took a while in prep but was well worth it.

Sauce Recipe:

One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

One half yellow onion diced

Two bone-in rabbit thighs

Four cups chicken stock

One half pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms

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Pour the olive oil in the pan and sear the thighs on high heat until the outside is browned. Add the onion and continue the sauté for five minutes or until the onions are transparent, then add the chicken stock and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for at least forty-five minutes to one hour until the meat is falling off the bone.

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Break up the rabbit thigh and add the mushrooms to the pan. Sauté without lid for another twenty minutes. If too dry, add more stock. Strain with a fine strainer and place pan back on medium to low heat and reduce until the sauce caramelizes reducing by half again. This sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. take off heat and reserve in a cool place.

Prep Recipe:

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Using a sharp knife, cut along the belly flap and the loin and separate. Turn the rabbit loin over and cut the tenderloin. (A small strip not to be overlooked.)

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Carefully and season the loin and tenderloin with salt and pepper.  Salt the rabbit belly for three hours then prepare the yakitori sauce. Rinse the belly meat under cold running water. Dry the belly flap.

Yakitori sauce:

One cup low-sodium soy sauce

Half cup sugar

Quarter cup rice wine vinegar

Half cup sake, or dry white wine

Procedure:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and reduce to a thick sauce over medium high heat. If it is too salty to your liking, add more sugar, if too sweet add more soy

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Pour the yakitori sauce to soak the rabbit bacon. Let sit in a cool environment for two hours then put in a 270 degree oven for 15 minutes turning often. Pull from the oven and set aside. Check for doneness of the bacon and if it is not slow-cooked through enough, place in the same oven for another five minutes. Cool. Saute the loin for only three to six minutes to a medium-rare. The tenderloin will only take one minute to cook. Set both aside to cool.

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Create a dough round from either the Easy Dough Recipe or your own mix. Using a spatula, smear the rabbit-mushroom sauce on the disc. then cut the remaining chanterelle mushrooms up and place on the dough, add mozzarella. Cut the rabbit loin and cherry tomato and place all on the dough with the tenderloin. Cut strips from the rabbit bacon and prepare to place on the cooked pie. Below, I placed some fabulous pickled ramps from spring on the pizza to cut through the lusciousness of the other ingredients. Yum.

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Cook in the 495 degree oven for twelve minutes until golden and crisp. After the oven, place the rabbit bacon on the pie and enjoy with friends and even enemies.