Posts Tagged ‘pancetta pizza’

Local Pancetta, Rouqefort and Chardo-Paw Pizza

When was the last time you ate an entree, sandwich, pizza, soup, salad or bread that can be traced to the people and places you know? Last week?  The week before that? Never perhaps? Our modern world, with all our mega-mart grocers, has made it very hard to complete the cycle of local consumption. We’ve thrown out familiarity and support for our local farmers in our great quest for easy pickins’ with waxy tomatoes picked by slave labor packaged in deceptive red netting and “All Natural” pork from pigs that haven’t stepped more than three paces their whole lives. Most folks don’t really see a problem with this “from afar” food chain of giant trucks rolling into town all day and night; after all, if you haven’t tasted a real, unsprayed grape or local heirloom pork your whole life, you just wouldn’t know.

Because I sell breads at the Athens Farmers Market, I constantly have “Oh my god!” moments when I bite into some of the best produce and meats in this country. Years ago, I bit into an apple grown by Shews Orchard and blurted, “That’s like no other apple I’ve ever tasted!” This was because I was used to buying produce from my the large grocery store. I just didn’t know. Now I do and constantly try to integrate local, organic ingredients in my pizzas on this blog.

    

This pizza rocks on so many of those levels because all of the toppings are produced, grown or foraged by people I know. The motivation for curing the pancetta fresca (pork belly, a.k.a. fresh side) on this pizza came from the fabulous new book “Salumi” by a writer and chef I greatly admire: Michael Ruhlman (left) along with chef Brian Polcyn.

 

The cheese is a wonderful Rouqefort made at Integration Acres by Michelle Gorman and Chris Chmiel (check out last blog entry.)

 

The pancetta fresca (fresh pork belly, or “fresh side” they call it here) is from Rich Blazer and Harmony Hollow Farms.

  

The chardonnay grapes were given to me from Neal Dix of Shade Winery in Shade, Ohio and the arugula was growing in a pot in my backyard near a small and very gnarly cherry pepper.

 

The paw paws were…a pain in the keester! Check out my almost-unsuccessful paw-paw forage where I was only able to get three.

This is going to be a great pie! The local goat rouqefort is not as salty as the stuff from France so its a perfect match with the salty pancetta. The sweet paw-paw-chardonnay jam is a fantastic counterpoint to the piquant and savory cheese and pancetta. The nuanced spice from the pepper is a great suprise and the arugula is a refreshing and crunchy end to every bite!

Using the Easy Dough Recipe on this blog, make yourself a seven ounce dough ball and reserve in the refrigerator for the next day.

For the pancetta quick cure: Variation of recipe from “Salumi” (Ruhlman, Polcyn)

One large baton (8-12 ounces) of pork belly. This is cut across the belly and is usually sold at Farmers Markets in inch-wide strips for making lardon.

1/4 cup sea salt

20 turns of a pepper mill

                     

Place the pancetta baton in a bag and toss with the salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator for 20 to 24 hours until stiff.

                                     

After the salt has absorbed and the baton is stiff, rinse well with cold water and dry with paper towels. Slice in half (to fit the pan) and sear on high for 10 to 12 minutes until the outer edges brown nicely. Reserve for the pizza topping.

For the paw-paw-chardonnay jam: (be ready to get your hands messy with this!)

                        

Break the paw-paws apart with your hand and let the loose pulp fall into the bowl. The amount of seeds will vary with various paw-paws so take each seed between your thumb and other fingers and roll hard to get the pulp off of the seed. Discard the seeds. Draw you finger against the inner wall of the skin to peel away what pulp you can.

                                             

Place 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (or quarter of a lemon) into the pulp and mix. Take the chardonnay grapes and squish (is that a word?) with your hand. If you are a traditionalist, you can do this with your stinky feet. Place the seeds and skins aside.

                     

Strain the juice and pour into a hot pan. Reduce by half.

                                                                           

Cool the grape juice in the fridge then add to the paw-paw pulp. Refrigerate until topping.

For the Pizza:

1 pancetta baton

bowl of paw-paw, chardonnay grape jam

half of a hot cherry pepper

5 to 8 ounces of roquefort cheese

Handful of arugula

                              

 Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and place a pizza stone or upturned and heavy cookie sheet on the middle deck. Chop up the hot pepper and use as much as you can handle. Slice the pancetta on the bias.

             

Form the pizza dough ball into a disc, place on a pizza screen and top with the cheese, pancetta and diced pepper.

          

Place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until nice, brown and crispy.

              

 And enjoy like crazy.

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!