Posts Tagged ‘pear pizza’

Cauliflower, Chevre Pizza with Prosciutto Cracklings and Bosc Pear

This pizza is the BOMB. It has everything I love; charred cauliflower paired with toasted Szechuan peppercorns and fresh chevre from Integration Acres in Albany, Ohio. Added to this creamy, astringent and spicy profile are the juxtaposed flavors of tangy fresh cilantro and the sweetness of late season Bosc Pears from Cherry Orchards in Crooksville, Ohio and finally, I finished this pie with the chewy-crunch of sauteed Prosciutto di Parma strips.

 

It’s great to finally bring you a pizza on this blog. I’ve been very busy messing around with bread and travelling alot as well as baking for the holidays like the local spelt dough spiked with cherry and walnut, (above left) and the chorizo meatballs, (above right,) that I serve on a thick crust Sicilian-style pizza with cilantro, almond, tomato, roasted ancho and Manchego cheese.

It certainly has been a great couple of months. In October, it was my dream to compete with my team of World Pizza Champions at the French World Pizza Championships in Paris. My good friend Bruno di Fabio (Top row, second from right,) won the Best Pizza in the World!

Then in November, I was very happy to bake with my son Sam for Thanksgiving, he was a great employee and I showed my appreciation by paying him a whopping .13 cents an hour despite having  to fire him three times.

 

Then I got loaded down with plenty of Southeast Ohio vegetable booty from the end of the year.Farmers dumped so many pounds of local root vegetables, Brussel sprouts, peppers, raddichio, pumpkins and most of all pound after pound of daikon radish that I’ve been pickling every day.

 

Kimchi, curry kimchi, tumeric pickles, miso-pickles etc. etc.

Gotta love this late season! Okay, lets crank out this wonderful pizza!

Recipe:

 

Using the Easy Dough Recipe, make two seven ounce dough balls, leave under a damp cloth on a plate until ready to bang-out.

Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

One tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns

Four ounces of julienned Prociutto di Parma (no, regular ham won’t do and country ham is too salty.)

Six to eight ounces cauliflower florets

One medium Bosc pear sliced thin

Half cup chopped fresh cilantro

Four to five ounces of chevre goat cheese

Lets Go!

Preheat oven to 485 degrees. Place a pizza stone or an upturned heavy cookie sheet on the middle deck to act as your stone. Using the Easy Dough Recipe, take one dough ball and place on a plate with a wet kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out.

  

Place Szechuan peppercorns in a saute pan on medium heat with the oil and saute for four minutes. Add Prosciutto di Parma strips and saute for five to seven minutes until crispy. Transfer to a plate without taking the oil from the pan and hold for topping after the pie is out of the oven.

   

In the same pan with the same oil that now holds plenty of flavor, place the cauliflower and saute on medium high. Cover and toss frequently. The cauliflower will brown and partially cook till al dente. This will take only seven to eight minutes. (Remember, the cauliflower will cook on the pizza also.) After pulling the cauliflower out and placing on a plate, immediately add the slices of Bosc pear in the pan then turn heat off. Saute for two to three minutes. Pull the pear out and reserve for later also.

   

Form a disc with the dough and place either on a pizza screen or parchment paper. Place the chopped fresh cilantro on the dough, then the cheese. Place the Bosc pear slices on the pizza then the cauliflower. Place in the oven for ten to twelve minutes or until golden brown. You may have to rotate the pizza halfway through.

 

When done, top with the Prociutto di Parma crackling-peppercorn mixture and serve immediately.

Wow, look at the cornicione!

 

 

The Pizza Olympics in Italy, 2011

                         

My “Schiacciata alla Lombardo,” highlighting the cheeses and food of the Lombary region placed 4th in the U.S.A. I slathered wonderful Bellweather Farms Crescenza on the whole thing, then topped in thirds (1) Gorgonzola Dolce, Gorgonzola Piccante, sliced pear, Bresaola (air dried beef) and arugula. (2) Teleggio, wild mushrooms and truffle oil. (3) Vallentina Casera cheese with pancetta fresca (fresh pork side, marinated with salt, herbs and balsamic) and braised raddichio. My dough consisted of a wild yeast 24 hour levain with 50 percent local spelt flour and a 16 hour cold-retarded biga, then mixed with a 50/50 mix of 14 percent protein flour and caputo tipo “00″ flour to a 70 percent hydration.

World Pizza Champions

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of being invited to the pizza olympics, held in Salsomaggiore Italy. My team, The World Pizza Champions ruled the day with fantastic culinary scores as well as the silver and bronze medals in pizza acrobatics.

                            

This fabulous pizza made by Tony Gemignani won “Best Pizza in the U.S.A.”  The”cornicione” (Korn-e-Chon-A) or end crust has a terrific open crumb and airy cells obtained by pre-ferments, the perfect amount of hydration, patience and a little pizza love. Tony named this “Pizza Fortura.”  It consisted of  100% organic 12-grain  flour from Central Milling with a 93 percent hydration, Anchor Steam starter, triple malted, La Quercia prosciutto, blackberry honey, Sierra Nevada mozzarella and white cheddar with arugula. 

The fabulous Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony’s Napolitana, Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Slice House, Pizza Rock in Sacramento and Pysano’s Pizza in Castro Valley  won “Best Pizza in the U.S.A.” for his score in the Pizza Classico category (damn- I came in second.) Tony also rocked the “Pizza Teglia” category, coming in 4th in the World followed by Bruno di Fabio who finished 8th in the World. Bruno has just opened “Re Napoli” to rave reviews in Greenwich CT.  and is opening a spectacular pizzeria called “900″ in the East Village, Manhattan. (These guys are on FIRE!)

Here are the sights of the competition.

                       

Eric Corbin, Pat Miller and Jay Shuurman exploded with great tricks in the Freestyle Acrobatics and Largest Dough Stretch.

                         

    Some great pizzas were made in the Teglia, or pan pizza category where alot of Italians let them rest for over 10 minutes. 

                          

Tony and Bruno saying, “If we gave you 1000 Euro, would you make sure the judges give that goon from Ohio a lower score?”

                         

                     Lotsa French Chefs showed up this year. Here a chef creates a red Mullet pizza with spring vegetables.

                    

Pat Miller, Owner of A Slice of New York in Columbus Ohio was spectacular in all events but really shined in largest dough stretch.

                          

Contestants from all over the world competed in “The Fastest,” or pulling 5 small doughs out onto 12 inch screens in record time.

                           

                               The Japanese team scored third place in the team acrobatics. Here they are with Miss Italy.

                             

Three pizza legends; Tony Gemignani, Antonio Manzi (He won first place, freestyle acrobatics) and Bruno di Fabio.

                         

                                                                               Did I mention the French were there?

                                     

                                                                                  Eric Corbin helping a nice old geezer cross the street.

                        

                                                                                          Presentation to the judges is everything.

                                

                                            The non-gluten category was held in a seperate area and featured some great pizzas also.

                         

                                                                                                     The World Pizza Champions.

                           

              Nancy Puglisi, (center) herself a master at the pizza business, acted as our interpreter, coach and friend.

                                            

This pizza place forth in the world in “Pizza in Teglia” or pan pizza and was made by (who else) Tony Gemignani. It is called the “Pancetta Porcini” using a 72 hour maturation with a poolish, porcini marsala cream sauce, wild mushrooms, smoked pancetta, smoked scarmoza, truffle oil, sea salt, roasted red peppers, fresh thyme, and mache.

 

                              

Jay Shuurman, Eric Corbin and Alberto Pavolo shared the stage in victory for thier freestyle actobatic dough tossing.

                          

                                                                 Here is Tony Gemignani picking up his trophy for Best Pizza in the U.S.A.     

                           

This was an exciting and exhausting trip, these guys are some of the best and most dedicated pizza people on the planet and it was an honor to accompany them. Next year, even though they are my friends, I will crush them with a stellar pizza and win Best Pizza in the World because, like Bruno says “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometime.”

Semper Pie!

the goon

( I’ve had some problems attaching videos to posts but hope that soon I can show them to you.)