Posts Tagged ‘pizza recipe’

Sprouted Lentil-Crusted Pizza with Egyptian Egg Pudding Sausage

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Nothing spells happiness more than a mouthful of green lentils, (well, maybe a mouthful of hundred-dollar bills.). Last week I used some sprouted lentils in my dough that I’ve been using for years in my breads. After finding a fabulous ancient recipe for egg pudding from Egypt, I decided to pair the two and, true to form, made a few modifications.

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Sprouting is a really cool activity to pair with baking, pickling and drying. My all time favorites besides green French lentils are local, organic black beans, (left), sweet Adzuki beans grown just 20 miles away and of course local sprouted corn adds a great crunch to breads, (right).

The egg pudding recipe called for a mix of leek, garum, (an ancient fish sauce still made today), pine nuts, wine, vinegar and stuffed in an intestine and cooked for a short amount of time. I took the Mark Anthony approach to Cleopatra’s Egyptian recipe and inserted the wonderful Italian Prosciutto di Parma into the mix with Roman abandon. (Metaphorically speaking.) I had some awesome Prosciutto shank that was very fatty and perfect for chopping up into small dice which provided a giant bang of flavor.

This pie captured all the components of a brilliant Colosseum fight combining some cool local vej rarely seen on any pizzas like celery and turnip. These were gently handled and slow cooked in a prosciutto and dashi broth to further enhance the wonderful lentils. Add some sweet Valorosso tomato and “Viola”, a great pie is born.

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Above is all that I needed to make this great pie.

For the sprouted lentil bread you will need to start four to six days in advance.

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In a sided tray or large jar, pour two cups green lentils. Add room temperature water to cover the lentils and wait for three hours then drain. After drained, toss with your hand to aerate. Leave the lentils in a warm place. Do this three to four times times a day until sprouted.

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Put four cups high-gluten or bakers flour in a bowl. Add two cups of a natural pre-ferment (follow the steps until the dough ball is made- this is a naturally active pre-ferment) that has been fed the night before and is at a 90 percent hydration, two cups of water and the sprouted lentils that have been strained along with one tablespoon of salt. Knead into a ball in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm area for 30 minutes to let the natural yeasts activate.

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After the bulk fermentation, cut the dough into four balls. They should all weigh 15 ounces. (Shoulda, coulda, woulda.) Oil each dough ball with extra virgin olive oil and top with plastic wrap. Place in a refrigerator for one, two or three days. By this naturally slow fermentation, you will make the dough more digestible, the gluten strands will have more time to form a good “net” and the crust will become crisper.

For the Egyptian egg pudding sausage:

3 ounces of large diced skin from a ham of Prosciutto di Parma

2 ounces finely chopped Chicken skin diced fine

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

One quarter of a leek (1 ounce)

2 ounces red onion

2 ounces of Prosciutto di Parma flesh and fat, chopped fine

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Garum, (Thai fish sauce is acceptable as substitute)

One natural casing from a pigs intestine


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Place the Prosciutto skin in a pan under medium heat and let it melt. If it starts to smoke too much, turn the heat down. The priority is to get as much fat and flavor from the skin as possible. Remove the Prosciutto skin and immediately add the chopped chicken skin as well as the pine nuts and turn to medium high heat. Cook and stir for six minutes then add the chopped leek, onion, chopped Prosciutto di Parma as well as two tablespoons of water. Let simmer for another six minutes or until the leeks and onions are cooked, limp and transparent.

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Place the pigs intestine in warm water to hydrate the casing. Pour all ingredients (including the hard-boiled egg yolk and finely diced Prosciutto di Parma) into a bowl and smash-mix with a large spoon or the end of dough roller.

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Add the Garum and rice wine vinegar and meld all the smashed ingredients together. Tie one end of the sausage tightly and, using a sausage-stuffing flange, stuff the casing with the pudding. If you do not have a flange, you can use a funnel or hollow device. (These will be problematic because of the air bubbles that will form in between stuffing.)

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Place the egg pudding sausage into a half-inch of water that is very hot but not yet boiling. Cook to set the pudding while turning the sausage frequently to make sure the water does not get hot enough to pop the skin.

For the toppings: At this point, pre-heat your oven to 495 degrees with an upturned heavy gauge cookie sheet turned upside down.

5 thin slices the size a half dollar of Prosciutto di Parma

Two cups water

Two tablespoons Katuobushi, (dried bonito flakes)

Three celery stalks, outsides peeled to get rid of heavy strings

One medium sized turnip

Five large pear tomatoes like Stanislaus Valorosso or San Marzano

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Peel and cut turnip into thin, coin-shaped discs using a mandolin or knife. Peel the celery so there are no major strings then cut on the bias into small pieces. Deseed the tomatoes and pull apart into strips.

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Place the Prosciutto di parma slices in a medium high pan with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Cook for four minutes then add two cups of water. Bring to a boil and add two tablespoons of Katsuobushi, (dried bonito flakes).

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Add the turnips and celery to the dashi broth and cook until the turnip is tender. The dashi stock will now be very reduced almost to nothing. take the vegetables out of the pan and into a bowl to marinate with the tomato. Toss to coat and remove the prosciutto.

Finally, the Pizza: First Re-check the oven to see if it is ready to go.

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Form the pizza in a disc on a piece of parchment paper.  Place three ounces of Gruyere cheese on the lentil crust. Add the turnip, celery and tomato.

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Place the pizza in the oven. Cut the egg pudding sausage on the bias. After six minutes in the oven, pull the pizza out and place the egg pudding around the pie. Cook for another six to eight minutes until the crust is done, the cheese melted and the egg pudding is piping hot.

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This pizza is a lot of work but it had a world shaking taste!

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Ox Tail Pizza with Cipollini and Bone Marrow

There I was just two weeks ago, minding my own pizza business, and in walked my Amish friends from Chesterhill, Ohio, Joe and Verna Hirshberger. I hadn’t had time as of late to travel the 30 minutes it took to go to their farm, so I was happy to see them.

“Hello John, we brought you the cipollini onions you requested.” Joe said in a mysterious sort of way. I instantly remembered telling Joe that I could use a few of these midget onions before the spring planting season.

“Great, just put them up here.” I pointed to the counter.

“I am afraid we will need much more room than that, John,” Verna said, chuckling.

“What?” I asked, as Joe left.

“You said that you could use any cipollinis that we could grow,” Verna replied as Joe came in the door with a huge box filled with the small red and white onions.

“Holy…aaa…” I cleared my throat in embarassment and horror. Wow, you were right,” I said. “That IS a lot of onions.”

“That’s not all.” Joe said and made 3 more trips, bringing the total to 80 pounds of cipollini onions.

“Wow.” It was all I could say. In my mind, I saw myself not only peeling these, one of the biggest pain- in-the-rear vegetables, for the rest of my life, but also saw that cartoon dollar bill sprout wings and flutter away from me. “Why so many?” I asked stupidly, remembering that the Amish in Chesterhill never do anything small. Joe explained that since he buys plants in bulk, that they had to buy numerous flats of the plants.

We haggled over price and they won (they always do.) After they left, I put the onions in two 55-gallon trash bags and have been braising, sauteeing, pickling, chopping, making salsa, carmelizing and just plain swearing. The only things I haven’t done with these sweet marbles of the onion world is juicing and sous vide.

When life hands you cipollinis, just make pizza. Here is an organic and local Pizza al Taglio that we sold last week: broccoli rabe, small sunburst tomatoes, and corolla potatoes with Manchego and Gruyere cheeses.

This is why they have made it on this Oxtail Pizza with Bone Marrow. It’s just meat from the ox tail, a small heaping of Gruyere, some thyme and that’s it. I must let you know that this was the most painful pizza to make because I hobbled around the kitchen with a cast on. My doctor said that I must stay off my feet, but what does he know? Sometimes pizza must take priority.

Lets make this fabulous pie! (Please note: I am using chicken stock and white wine instead of beef stock and red wine in this recipe because  do not want to contaminate any flavor nuance from the oxtails. To me, Beef stock and red wine tend to overpower a braise.)

Using the Easy Dough recipe, make two 7 ounce dough balls and freeze one for later use.

For the marrow bones: Put one quart of water with 4-5 tablespoons of kosher sea salt in a bowl. Stir to incorporatate.  Soak the marrow bones to extract as much blood as possible. Change the brine when when it gets cloudy. You may have to do this 2 or 3 times and this will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes. (We will come back to these after the braising of the oxtails.)

4 nice sized oxtails (the larger they are, the more meat you will get from them)

1/2 cup flour for dredging

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup diced cipollini onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups water

Put the flour on a plate and add the salt and pepper, mix well. Dredge each oxtail in the flour, coating all. In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on high heat. Just before the oil smokes, addthe oxtails. Turn to brown on all sides. Put the oxtail in a medium stockpot.

Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the hot saute pan. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Turn the heat to medium. Turn the stockpot on high. When the oxtails start to sizzle, add the white wine and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock to the oxtails and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.

When the vegetables have sweated sufficiently, (they will be limp but still colorful), add them to the stockpot, then add the water. Turn the stockpot heat to high. Add the tomato paste and stir. As soon as the mix comes to a boil, turn to low and simmer. Cover and simmer for 2 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

Back to the bone marrow.

Pre-heat oven to 35o degrees F. Take the bones out of the brine and place on a peice of foil. Add the cipollini onions to add fragrance to the marrow. Fold the foil up and place in the oven on the same saute pan you used before. Cook for 30 minutes and take out immediately. (Note: Do not overcook the bones. You will know they are overcooked when the marrow turns to liquid-oops!)

When the bones have cooled, use a thin sharp knife to gently scrape the marrow out of the bone. You can also press the marrow out from other end of the pipe. This is a delecate process, so take your time. Put on a plate and place in the fridge to harden.

When the oxtail braise has sufficiently reduced and the meat is falling off the bone, take the tails out of what is left of the broth. (Strain the broth and season for a great soup for lunch.) Pick the meat off the bones, taking care to avoid any extraneous cartilage. Cut the meat with the grain into small matchsticks and reserve for the pizza.

Take the skin off of the cipollinis and cut them in half.

To make the pizza:

1 7-ounce dough ball, formed into a disc

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Oxtail braised meat

1 cup Gruyere cheese

10 medium cipollini onions, sliced and roasted

Bone marrow that has been sliced lengthwise

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Put the olive oil on the pizza dough and rub onto the inner part of the disc, not the outside crust. Place the oxtail meat, then the Gruyere, then the onions on the dough. Place in the oven, using a pizza peel dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Place on a pre-heated pizza stone or upturned, heavy cookie sheet. Here I used an Emile-Henry pizza stone that I had placed in the oven and preheated.

As soon as the pizza starts to turn golden brown, sprinkle the top with the fresh thyme and the marrow. If you put the marrow on too soon, it will turn to liquid. Cook until the marrow starts to warm.

This is the most spectacular pizza you’ll ever taste. It is worth the trouble.