Posts Tagged ‘best pizza blogs’

Kimchi and Pizza; a Match Made in Heaven!

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Kimchi, the traditional condiment of Korea combined with cheese on a pizza or (as above), on a Turkish Pide? Yes, yes, yes I say. The textural crunch and aggressive flavor of kimchi is a perfect match for combinations of cheeses such as aged provolone and mozzarella, gruyere or even cheddar curd. Combining kimchi with textural foils like nuts and crusts is heaven especially with fatty meats such as bacon, guanciale and even Prosciutto di Parma, (Yes, that may be construed as sacrilegious in pizza Puritan circles but it sure is a killer taste!)  I like kimchi with sweet fruits such as orange, blackberry and even pear. In fact in my high-volume pizzeria, I’ve made kimchi a distinctive part of my menu-mix with two pizzas that sell well: The Crouching Kimchi, Hidden Chicken has Mandarin orange, Teriyaki, Local King Family Chicken and Cashew and the Chicken Yakitori has an Asiago-Bechemel as well as Onion, Teriyaki, Chicken and Mandarins.

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Lets start with what gives Kimchi all the attention these days. The turn-on for most people like me is the fermented zing you get when crunching on a nice piece of kimchied cabbage or root like daikon. The turn-off is this same spicy zing for folks who are not used to it…simple as that!

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Here I took a boatload of Amish Daikon from Chesterhill, Ohio and cubed it to make Kkdugi, (daikon kimchi…daaaa). I just salted the little cubes for twenty minutes then squeezed the salt out and dried them as best I could then I added Korean pepper paste, raw garlic and Thai fish sauce with a few anchovies for a rough and tumble marinade. After adding some fresh hot peppers, scallion and cilantro, I let the soaking daikon sit at room temperature until my wife said, “Get that crap outta here.” So I finished up with the jar outside. After twenty-four hours to kick start the fermentation at higher temperature, I set in my refrigerator.

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Last week I was glad I had the Kkdugi because I added it to some great Asian long stemmed Taiwan Bok Choy and also known as Wa Wa Tsai that I obtained from Deep Roots Farm.

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The preparation for this beautiful kimchi was fairly simple: I made a kimchi sauce with Thai fish sauce added to Korean pepper paste with Sicilian anchovy and a few dashes of Sicilian Garum, (fish sauce). Then I threw in a handful of raw garlic, juice from three lemons and grated ginger. Then I salted the cabbage and tossed for thirty minutes until it became just limp then rinsed, squeezed and transferred to another container. I then added some shredded carrot, scallion and the Kkdugi for a final mix.

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Then it was to the jars for the final ferment-set and a cool trip to the fridge for a few months.

Here is how I made the Turkish Pide at the top of this page:

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First, I cooked some polenta then mixed Parmesan and roasted sweet Toro peppers from Cowdery Farms into it. I let it cool and then rolled it up. I salted some romaine lettuce, let it wilt then rinsed and squeezed the juice out.

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I then combined some napa cabbage kimchi I had with the romaine and formed a roulade with the polenta and for a spicy-sweet finale, added some pickled Cowdery Cherry-bomb peppers to the top of each roulade! This made a fine packet ready for cooking!

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When the time was right for baking, I used an 83 percent hydrated, high protein dough that aged for 30 hours in cold holding and formed a Turkish style pide. I placed some aged mozzarella and some Gruyere on the Pide with the extra polenta and more sweet-roasted peppers.

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I hope you can try using kimchi on pizza.

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It’ll give you another dimension of taste to your menu…after all who doesn’t want more spice in their life?



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.