Posts Tagged ‘Dough Recipes’

Curried Loki and Chicken of the Woods Mushroom Pizza

Sometimes, pizzas just happen. Certain factors gel together in the cosmos to throw great foods into my lap just begging to be rendered into a great pizza. Case in point: a freaky, tie-dye-poisonous-looking-wood-growing-dense-alien-like mushroom that is called “Chicken of the woods” and a lame-green-bulbous-gourd-watermelon-wannabe called “Loki.” (…was I channeling Tyler Perry?)

Last week a good friend of mine foraged some wonderful Sulpher Shelf Mushrooms, also called “Chicken of the Woods.” This wild and bright fungus was new to me. I had tasted another bracket fungus that grew on trees- the “Hen of the woods” (or Maitake) before but this was much different. I was in for a suprise. After a quick saute I said, “Wow, this tastes like chicken,” then made a stupid joke about the Donner party and a plan was hatched to make a great pizza out of it.

That same day at the Athens Farmers Market, my good friend Larry Cowdery of Cowdery farms handed me what looked like a bottle goard saying it was called Loki, in Hindu. That was karma ingredient number two and it seemed the recipe for this pizza was being made for me. And what better ingredient to bind the two…CURRY!

Loki, or Lauki, is a Calabash squash and called by many names like doodhi or bottle squash. Pale green and prized for it’s firm nutty and delicate flavor, Loki is perfectly suited for curries. Unlike other squash, it has a firmer and crisper texture.

I’ve decided to do what I call “A Preppie Pizza” wherein all the labor goes into the prep and then just gets dumped (a culinary term) on the dough. Added to the Loki sauté will be some pattypan squash, garlic, tomato and some excellent curry powder. I had some Paneer cheese hanging around so I will add the mushrooms to these and make a great pie.


Preheat the oven to 495 degrees and insert a pizza stone or heavy upturned cookie sheet on the middle shelf.

One seven-ounce dough ball from the Easy Dough Recipe

Two cloves of garlic

Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

One quarter of a large loki squash

One half of a pattypan squash

One Amish paste tomato (or Roma tomato equivalent)

Two tablespoons of good curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 ounces of trimmed Chicken of the Woods Mushroom

five to six ounces of paneer cheese

Cilantro for garnish


Peel the loki squash, cut in half then down the tube. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds out then cut the meat in thin slices.


Cut the ends off of the pattypan then slice in half. Cut into thin strips. Reserve.


Cut the tomato in half lengthwise then into thin strips. Reserve.


Smash the garlic cloves and roughly chop. Reser…you know what to do.


Heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame and add the garlic. Let that saute for three minutes, add the loki, pattypan, salt and curry. Saute for four minutes keeping in mind that this cooking is just to meld the flavors together add the tomato and cook for another minute. These will cook again on the pizza.


The Chicken of the Woods mushroom is very thick so to facilitate a quick saute, slice horizontally in thin slices (or medallions). Add another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the same curried pan and turn to medium high. Wait for the oil to heat (two minutes) then saute the Chicken of the Woods mushroom for five to six minutes. This type of mushroom will not wilt much no matter how long you saute it so watch carefully for searing or browning at the edges. When this occurs, remove mushroom from the heat.


Form the pizza dough into a disc. Place the curried vegetables, the paneer, then the mushroom. Bake in the oven for twelve to fifteen minutes. NOTE: The paneer will not melt much so do not ruin your crust by waiting for it to do so.

Take out of the oven and garnish with cilantro and dig in! This pizza is an awesome vegetarian option to any table!



Here are the ingredients above.

Some Psycho-licious Fougasse

I always looked forward to Sunday nights when I was young. That was when Public Television hosted a few hours of the best British shows of all time. These shows taught me that another, more cultured civilization existed across the great ocean as our big Magnavox with faux wood trim beamed Benny Hill and Monty Python’s Flying Circus  into our packed living room. I never understood Benny Hill’s humor but because I was at the height of puberty AND his show always featured a quick shot of a woman taking her blouse off, I was riveted. Monty Python on the other hand, was just downright outrageous. The part I enjoyed the most was when John Kleese announced “AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!”


This summer Chef Nally and myself have been using local, organic ingredients to make some killer schiacciata as well as pizza and bread like the “Triple Pork Paradise,” (above left) featuring imported pancetta, Harmony Hollow Farms pork belly and King Family bacon paired with fresh spinach from Rich Organics, provolone, local maple syrup and Blackberries from Vest Berries. On the right is our Tuscan Schiacciata with mozzarella, provolone, fresh Amish Basil from Chesterhill, fresh mozzarella and small heirloom tomatoes, (that taste like candy,) from Cowdery Farms in Longbottom Ohio.

And now for something else completely different… All apologies blokes, but this entry is about fougasse. It’s a bread made famous in the south of France, essentially a flatbread formed in the shape of a leaf or wheatstalk.


Today I have two styles that I sold this week; a boomerang-shaped fougasse with pearl onion, King Family bacon and Cowdery Farms pablano peppers, (Right picture.) and a sunburst fougasse with basil, La Quercia lardo, blueberries and pistachio nuts, (Left picture.) Optimally, lardo is the fat from the back of a pig that has been fed only acorns and apples the last three to six months of his/her fantastic life, but the best Italian lardo is from pigs that also are allowed to watch cable reruns of Mr. Ed and Green Acres for at least six months!

Here is also an insightful trip into the nocturnal activities of a pizza madman and his outrageous breads. This is another reason for you to stay in school, get a degree and stay away from really hot ovens.




Thank you for hanging out with me. I promise next time I won’t use the term “Glorious,” (I get carried away.)