Posts Tagged ‘ramp pizza recipe’

Schiacciata with Mozza-egg and Caviar

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 “The opposite of success isn’t failure, it’s conformity.”

                                                                                            Alan McMillan, author and motivational speaker

I love eggs, but in my busy schedule I’d neglected to post one of my successful and non-conformist pizzas that I made in April. It was an ode to spring with those little orbs of life that bring so much flavor to a great pizza.  Let me tell you how this delicious monster was constructed!

I decided to make a long  schiacciata of naturally leavened, high-protein dough made with Manitoba wheat, then made a  mozzarella egg, (Just like the one I posted earlier) chicken skin bacon, Osetra and salmon caviar with Teleggio cheese and sweet, pungent spring ramp leaves. I then topped it in Sardinian fashion with grated Bottarga di Muggine; the dried egg sack from the grey mullet. It was once known as the poor mans caviar and has that wonderful whip-crack of umami you get with salty caviar and is particularly delightful on wheat, either pasta or, in this case, a pizza.

This is the time for all you pizza bloggers, purists and know-it-all “seafood doesn’t belong on pizza” scumbags to just go away. I love seafood on pizza and with cheese. Life is good, you are haters and no one likes you. Ha!

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It took a lot of strength to hold myself back from dipping into the caviar while taking this picture.

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I bake off hundreds of pounds of local, King Family Farm chicken each week at Avalanche Pizza Bakers and subsequently have a lot of chicken skin on hand. To make the chicken skin bacon, pre-heat an oven to 475. Take the cooked chicken skin off making sure to get as big a piece as possible, season with paprika, Chinese five spice powder, garlic powder, coloratura (Sicilian garum or Thai fish sauce), fine pepper and a little salt to taste. Adding a little teriyaki will produce a very nice char on the skin, just be careful not to overcook. Put the seasoned skin on a parchment lined tray and place another sheet of parchment on top of the skin, then weigh down with another similar tray and place two to three aluminum foil bricks on top. I have many trays in my pizzeria and just pile four trays on top. Cook in the oven for only 8 to 12 minutes. Keep taking a peek so as not to burn it. When nicely “baconized”, cut with scissors to resemble bacon.

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Now for the Mozzarella egg. Pre-heat the oven to 475, (or do this while the chicken skin bacon is cooking) Using fresh mozzarella from a log instead of mozzarella in brine, cut several pieces and overlap on parchment pressing down to form an oval the size of a Hobbits hand. Quickly heat up the mozzarella and press again once hot. When just melted, push an indent into the lower middle, crack and egg and place the yolk in the indent. Using a spatula, pull the top over the bottom and lightly press down to shut. Let cool and judge just how much it looks like a cooked egg! Or see just how much you have screwed it up and try again.

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Using a 20 ounce dough ball, bang out an oval. This may take some time but let the dough proof in between pulling. You will get there eventually. Place the Teleggio and chopped ramps on the dough and place in a 550 degree oven. If you are doing this at home, try to get your oven up to 500 with either a pizza stone or a preheated, upturned, heavy cookie sheet on the middle rack. Use parchment to transfer the pizza to the sheet pan.

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Cook for 12 to 14 minutes until cooked. Take out of the oven and place the cooled mozzarella eggs on the schiacciata. Put this back in the oven for two to three minutes. DO NOT COOK THIS TOO LONG OR THE MOZZARELLA WILL SLIDE OFF THE YOLK!

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When the mozzarella egg has sufficiently warmed and the pizza is cooked, place the chicken skin bacon, caviar and microplane the Bottarga on the pizza…

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…cut into the mozza egg and have an ooze-tastic taste of eggsistential delight.

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Spring Beef Heart Pie

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Pizza is my business! It’s how I make a living and sometimes it takes every moment of every week to keep my business running. Most of the pizzas on this blog are creations I make for my customers every week and some of the posts suffer from “Pizza Shock” or the fact that all my planned culinary finesse gets ruined by a massive influx of pizza orders that waylays my concentration, my recipe writing and photographs. This is one of those pies that almost hit the shitcan after a very busy day, (hence the bad photo above). So if you can hold your nasty comments about crappy photo’s, crummy writing and just…have a heart…literally!

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The heart in question is from my good friends at Shews Orchard. They are stalwarts at the Athens Farmers Market and produce some of the finest meats and fruit in Ohio! Not long ago, I bought a beef heart and wanted to incorporate it in my menu-mix. Here is the pie I came up with.

Beef heart is one of the most meaty tasting offal’s I’ve eaten because it’s flavor is less irony and contains a minimal astringency on the back palette. I’ve paired this with melting Piave Vecchio, an underused and very resilient pizza cheese from the Veneto region of Italy. Most folksPiave has the nuttiness to stand up to the beef heart and Portobello that I had planned along with some spring ramps for an additional facet of “Bad Ass pizza”

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Fabricating a beef heart looks harder than it is. In fact, it’s very simple. Just start with the outer silverskin revealing the beautiful red flesh below. Cut out the veins and tough walls to reveal strips of wonderful heart.

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All I did then was to salt, pepper and roast the heart at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. I also roasted an oiled Portobello mushroom in the same oven for 12 minutes then pulled it out and reserved the mushroom for slicing. (Remember Holmes, both will be sliced and cooked on a pizza later so don’t cook the shit out of them.)

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Now you are ready to make your pizza. Take six ramps and wash well, finely dice five inches from the bottom after taking the roots off reserving the “flags” for the pie. Slice the heart and Portobello. Take your proprietary dough and make a 15 ounce dough ball and form a disc. Place on parchment ready to put on an upturned heavy gauge cookie sheet or a pizza stone that has been heated in a 495 degree oven for 30 minutes…or the hottest you can get your oven.

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Place the cheese, thinly sliced heart, sliced Portobello mushroom and ramps on the pizza and cook for 12 to 17 minutes in the oven until done. Garnish with some tomato for color and  enjoy until your hearts content!

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