Posts Tagged ‘pizza blogs’

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!

Bumble Bee Stuffed Ciabatta

To be an interesting baker these days takes a little thought, some digging for ingredients, a little technical knowledge and a lot of denial! That last part comes in handy at three a.m. when you shout loudly, channeling the Talking Heads, “This is not my beautiful bread, what have I done here?”

 

The natural progression of my wee-hours-baking-thoughts start like this; “Damn this was stupid!”,  to “It’s not as bad as I thought!”‘,  to “Wow, that baked up well!”, to “I meant to do that!”, as I gloat at the finished product and get bolted out of bakers ego-stroke by a burning fougasse or baguette I have forgotten about.

Luckily, this wasn’t the case last week when I made some killer Bumble-Bee ciabatta.

 

I got this idea from the pasta class that I had just finished at the Athens Farmers Market. It’s a great class called “Junior Chefs School” and Jacob Seidel, Joel Fair and myself made some squid ink pasta.

 

 

These kids were the best chefs I’ve worked with…quiet…no attitude…lacking in guttural vocabulary… and they said “Eeeeewwwwwww” with the perfect amount of authentic distain when I brought out the mushroom stuffing for ravioli and tortellini.

 

First, I took some squid ink that I found whilst visiting Boston and kneaded it into some 80-something hydrated dough. Then cut it into alternating strips with some equally wet dough that I had kneaded white onions roasted with aromatic saffron.

I thought an interesting stuffing for this would be a roasted garlic pudding with ricotta and parmesan and a hint of mascarpone paired with some great local cheddar. My plans were almost waylaid by a broken rib, (or ribs-it’s hard to tell…) brought on by holding a metal sheet-pan, rib high and walking really fast into the corner of my Lincoln triple-stack conveyor pizza ovens….crack goes the weasel.

Well, here are some videos of this grand event. I pounded the initial oven rise with steam under 530 degrees then took it down to 420 to cook the guts, then down for a dry finish with doors and vents open at 320 degrees.

Okay guys here are four small videos of making this great bread.

1. The mix…Very down and dirty. Yes, I am used to having highly hydrated dough on my hands but this blackened color drove me nuts!

 Then into the wee hours just after breaking my riblet…

Now stuffing the proofed dough strips with garlic pudding.

The final cut. Showing off the crumb of this wonderful squid ink and saffron ciabatta stuffed with wonderful garlic pudding and cheddar!