Posts Tagged ‘la quercia lardo’

Pork Heart Pizza Pie

One of the most underused items in the porcine library of protein is the pork heart. Rich in iron, vitamin c and that irresistible mild offal flavor. This is one of those proteins that you have two choices while cooking; really fast or really slow. I chose the slow method and knocked this pie into the bleachers at Flavor Field!

My local pork heart was obtained by my friend Rich Blazer of Harmony Hollow Farms here in Athens.

                                

I trimmed these hearts and tossed them with fresh garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil. Then I packed them in foil and threw them into my bread oven that was cooling down from Jacob Seidels baguette baking regime here at Avalanche. The temperature was 275 and cooled on down to 250  for four hours. After taking the foil out, I let it rest for another hour on the counter. The result was a beautiful, tender heart with the infused nuance of garlic.

               

I decided that this heart would benefit from the smokey, umami laden goat feta from my friends at Integration Acres. I took chunks of this almost a month ago and coated them in High Desert bee pollen then wrapped them in Hokkaido kombu that was re-hydrated in dashi.

          

The result is fee-nom! The salt from the kombu and dashi had crystallized and the bee pollen lent a sharp medium sweetness to the salty feta whose texture broke down with a smokey mouth feel as I bit down. This was gonna be perfect on a pigs heart pie!

            

So, I formed a dough from my Easy Dough Recipe and pre-heated an oven to 485 degrees. I laid the feta and some sharp (12 month old) Belgium Bruge Prestige cheese (above, left),  that I had been aging for six months extra for an ultimate taste of tang.

            

 I then took some fatty Red Waddle pig cheeks from Neil Perin at Arcadian Acres and cured them with salt and tad bit of maple sugar for four days then rubbed it with my secret spices smoked them over sassafras. This was sliced thin along with a few slices of La Quercia lardo.

       

I chopped some of the last great heirloom tomatoes from my friend at Vest Berries that he picked green and ripened in house. tomatoes with cilantro, one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt the drizzled this sauce on top of the heart, cheeses, and guanciale, (That’s right Chumly, some pizza sauces are better served on top!) I did use some slivers of the tomato on top also.

           

It was time for baking so I placed a few Castelvetrano olive halves on the pie to impress the meaty heart with some Sicilian saltiness. Then I tossed the pizza in the oven. (not literally.)

             

When hot, I rubbed the thinly sliced lardo all across the piping crust for a great slick pork crunch on the cornicione!

Brioche, Polenta Roulade’s and Chorizo Meatballs; Jan. 12th Baking

 

Even though this global warming is scary, it’s nice to get a warm Saturday to take hundreds of loaves of bread, pizza and gluten-variants from my pizzeria, Avalanche, to the Athens Farmers Market to sell to my neighbors. One of my favorite items to make is my banana brioche with Nutella and almond pudding with roasted almonds, (above.)

             

Once I knew that it was going to be a warm day, I kicked my preparation into overdrive. First was the chorizo meatballs made from 10 pounds of King Family Pork, which is local, free of chemicals and raised humanely. On tuesday, I mixed a batch of 70 percent pre-ferment made from natural yeast to 30 percent high-protein flour with a pinch of diatatic malt and salt to a 70 percent hydrated dough and it sat in cold fermentation for four days to achieve a great bread.

                              

To this stellar fresh ground pork, I added smoked paprika, garlic, onion, cilantro, basil, pepper, salt, lemon zest, little gems of La Quercia lardo, some cut-up Caputo tipo “00″ pizza cornicione, (crust) soaked in paprika and egg. (above left.) I then combined the crust with mozzarella and manchego cheese, toasted almonds, fresh spinach, Stanislaus Valorosso tomatoes and cilantro for a wonderful spanish pizza, (above right.)

I also had some ancho chilies from Patterson Organics here in Athens and whipped up a tikka masala sauce to roast with onions and those chilies. I used this mix on some great schiacciata topped with green beans and cheddar with cilantro made with some ciabatta dough with high hydration, (above.)

                                 

For the breads, along with the usual suspects like Italian sausage ladder bread and “Leek-a-choke,” with leeks, artichoke and parmesan, I made use of local spelt from Shagbark Seed and Mill for a Lebanese Barbari, (above left,) with ground coriander, sesame and sea-salt and some French style couronne with dried cherry and walnut, (above right.)

            

I also made use of several pounds of local parsnips, combining them with King Family bacon, roasted garlic, lemon zest for a knotted fougasse topped with fresh cumin seed and sea salt, (above left.) The other couronne and my personal favorite is packed with kalamata olives, rosemary and roasted garlic, (above right.)

                             

Some other pizza variants are the Turkish-style pide, (Pi-DAY) with mozzarella, provolone, basil pesto, fresh spinach and cherry tomato, (above left.) I also made a really cool schiacciata with two types of swiss cheeses and pork to boot. On one half is imported pancetta, (Italian cured bacon,) and French Emmenthal and the other is Finlandia swiss and King family ham.

Now, if none of those float your boat, then get a load of this honkin’ hunk of flavor- My  mushroom pizza with porcini, portobello, shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, thyme, fontina, provolone and teleggio cheeses with a sprinkle of white truffle oil and some cherry tomatoes.

Okay, here is a quick video of most of my baked stuff before the rush. It lasted about two hours before selling out…then I took a nap.

Oops almost forgot this great roulade of Shagbark polenta with ricotta and mascarpone with Reggiano, cilantro and sun-dried tomato topped with Gruyere cheese. yum.

See ya next week!