Posts Tagged ‘chevre pizza recipe’

Big fat Turkish Pide with Grapes and Pancetta

Don’t you just hate when bloggers apologize for not doing a post? The excuses can be endless and they usually lose me at “Sorry, but my cat…” So I’m just gonna just shut up and show you some stuff I’ve been doing instead of writing blog posts:

I made about 30 of these pides last Saturday, including the Turkish pide with grapes. Not to mention the the Nectarine/Stilton pizza (right) and the Brie Boat with pear.

Along with the Ohio University students coming back, I’ve been scrambling to accomodate my bread lovers at the Athens Farmers Market. Here are  just  some of the 300 breads, pizzas, flatbreads and other weird stuff  I did on 9-11-2010. (Take it easy on a critique of my presentation, dudes. I just finished 12 hours of baking, plus my customers were breathing down my neck.)

You’ll notice the Turkish Pide with the grapes. That’s what we are gonna make today. But first let me take you to where I got the grapes: Neil Cherry Vineyards and orchard in Crookville, Ohio where we visited last year for the Schiacciata Con L’ Uva or Tuscan Grape Harvest bread.

The skins of these heavenly grapes are thick and chewy and exude the brightest of grape flavors, along with watery flesh that explodes in your mouth. They are best described as “That’s what grapes tasted like in my youth.” Yes, these three varieties of seedless grapes have a grape quality that only local, unsprayed, real grapes have .

Here are some other grapes we are gonna use.

You may laugh at this recipe, but I don’t care. I love cumin with grapes, chevre and bacon! This baby’s got the fatty, salty pancetta (Italian cured-but not smoked-bacon), the creaminess of local Integration Acres chevre’ (creamy French Goat cheese), the sweetness of these killer grapes and the unexpected crunch of walnuts.

Let’s go.

Preheat a heavy cookie sheet placed upside-down in your oven at 475 degrees F.

Using the Easy Dough Recipe on this blog, cut a 7 ounce dough ball and freeze the other for later use. For this recipe,  use bread flour. It  has more protein iand therefore will stretch better when “tying a knot” with the dough.

3-4 slices of pancetta (bacon will do but will leach more liquid than the pancetta. I will cover that later so don’t worry.)

1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 heaping teaspoon cumin

1 quarter cup walnuts, pounded into small tooth-like pieces

1 inch thick piece of chevre

1-2 cups of seedless grapes

1 egg for eggwash

Place the pancetta in a saute pan under medium high heat with the teaspoon of olive oil and sweat the juices. Toss well for  2-3 minutes. (If using bacon, cook longer but avoid browning it.) Add the cumin and the 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. (If your pancetta created enough oil to soak up the cumin and still leave oil, do not add the extra oil. This will probably happen with the bacon.) Cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the walnuts and saute for only 1 minute. Set aside for the pizza.

Take the round dough ball and pull on opposite ends to form a football shape. Using you fingertips, press out into an even larger footabll shape, measuring 12 to 14 inches across. This will be your Pide base.

Place the dough on parchment, then place the pancetta, cumin, and walnuts on the dough and spread it out. Place the chevre on top in small dollops, all around the dough.

To tie the knots, start on the middle of the boat-like dough. Pull up from the middle to the end. The dough will slacken when you get to the end. Grab this dough and start spinning or twisting the dough, gabbing any slack that may make the middle of the boat fall back down. Gently pull the twisted end and tie in a knot.

Place the grapes all around the top of the pide. Some may fall off. Press down but not hard.

Crack the egg and scramble with a fork or whisk. Brush this eggwash all over the outside edges of the pide. Dab enough egg on each end knot to sink it into the folds.

Place the pide on the preheated cookie sheet  and bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the bottom is dark brown and the top is golden brown.

Pull out and enjoy with your dining partner. Woof!

Braised Leek and Potato Pizza

While working as a dining room captain at Le Ciel Bleu restuarant at the Mayfair Regent Hotel in Chicago, Illionois, the most requested soup on our menu was the vichyssoise. Its rich, creamy potato and leek combination was to die for, and with all the heavy cream the French chefs poured into the soup, it was sure to send you on your way.

I took an opportunity to replicate the savory, creamy and sharp combination these two mid-summer vegetables offer, thanks to all the great farms around this area. I’ve got  fresh leeks and Mr. Stripy tomatoes from the Chesterhill Produce Auction; organic Corolla Potatoes from Rich Organic Gardens in Shade, Ohio; locally aged, whole milk white cheddar from Athens’ Own; and fresh chrevre from Integration Acres in Albany, Ohio.

The most fun in putting this pizza together was bidding on veggies at the Chesterhill Produce Auction. It’s 28 minutes away from Athens, through the winding route 550. I drove through the wilds of Ohio, passing through Amesville (famous for its “coonskin library” where in the wild days, they traded skins for books) and into Morgan county and Chesterhill, where many Amish and other productive Ohio farmers live.

The produce auction is also a great way for these far-flung farmers to sell the fruits of their labor. It is managed by the folks at Rural Action like TomRedfern and Bob Fedyski.

The auction is a study in etiquette and aggression. The chef on your right may be a good friend but during the auction, he’s your worst enemy. He disgusts you as he eyes those baby pattypans or ripe smelling cantalopes with envy. That stuff should be yours. Needless to say, I try to limit the amount of coffee I consume and stay away from heavy metal music on the way there.

Here is a video of what the Chesterhill Produce Auction had to offer this last Monday.

Once the bidding starts, the fun begins.

The potato and leek pizza is for my lunch today so I am going simply, even though I will layer the potatoes like a Tortini di Patate, the Italian version; or the French Tourte aux Pommes de Terre. I’m starving! Let’s go.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees and put an upturned heavy cookie sheet or a really great pizza stone in there. Make the 2 dough balls in the Easy Dough Recipe and set one aside in the freezer for later.

2 medium yellow potato such as Corolla or Yukon Gold

2 tablespoons salt

2 medium leeks

1 large garlic clove

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large Mr. Stripey summer tomato

1 cup aged white cheddar (preferably whole milk cheese)

1/2 a round of chevre, or 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite goat cheese

Fresh dill sprigs

Pour 2 cups water into a medium bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons salt until it melts. Using a mandoline, shave the potato into slices thinly, but not so thin that you can read through them. They should still stand up on their own. Place them in the water and stir, making sure to separate the slices. This salt water bath will pull the starch out of the potatoes and “cook” them, leading to a crispier bake. Keep potatoes in this water for 15 minutes.

When the potatoes are limp and the water is smoky with starch, pull them out and strain. Dry the potatoes on a cloth or paper towel. Rinse out the bowl and dry it. Pour in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Place the potatoes in the oil and toss with a couple turns of cracked black pepper. Set aside.

Start the leeks just after you put the potatoes in the salted water. Cut the leeks 3 inches above where the green starts. Measure to make sure they will fit the pan. Reserve the top of the leek for sauces or soups. Do not cut off the bottom of the leek, where the hairs or roots are.  They will hold the leek together. Just trim them, as shown above.(Some chefs tie the leeks so they don’t fall apart, but the presentation is not important here and they will be under the potatoes.) Wash the leeks thouroughly.

Place 3 cups of water in a pan over high heat. Add a large, crushed clove of garlic and the leeks. When the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium, add the butter and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes, or until the leeks are easily penetrated with a fork. Put the leeks in the refrigerator to cool. Cut them into 1/4- inch slices and set aside.

For the tomato:

Cut the tomato in quarters. Cut out the inside, leaving the outside flesh and the skin in a “flower petal” shape. Cut lengthwise two or three times, then turn and cut into cubes. Put in a stainer and reserve.

O.K., let’s make the damn pizza!

“Bang out” (pizza industry term for making a round pie shape) the pizza dough on the counter. Place on parchment paper.

Place the cheddar and chevre on the dough. Then the leeks.

Fan the potato slices over the leeks, overlapping a quarter to a half of the one under it. This may take some time and even longer of you have a hook for one of your hands, but be patient:  the result is spectacular.

Place on the hot pizza stone or upturned pan for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the bottom is dark brown and the crust is golden brown. You may have to turn the pizza for an even bake.

When the pie is out of the oven, garnish with the tomato dice and fresh dill sprigs. Enjoy hot or cold.