Posts Tagged ‘southeast ohio’

Baking in the “Great Unwashed Middle of America”

It’s early November and while the country is clamoring for (yet another) “change” in government, some of us keep on bakin’.

We’re here in Southeast Ohio, a place Katie Couric describes as the “Great unwashed middle of America.” We’re keeping ourselves busy fermenting, mixing, holding, filling, topping proofing and schlepping pizzas and breads to our loyal customers. The veggies  came from either the Athens Farmers Market or from the Amish in Chesterhill, Ohio.

Besides some big Fougasse and Northern-pike looking garlic-pudding stuffed Fougasse, Patty Nally, Joel Fair and I made big Turkish Spinach Pides (Pi-DAY) with ricotta, Parmesan and aged cheddar. Today’s Pizza al Metro are made with Stanislaus Alta Cucina tomatoes mixed with our organic Christina’s tomato puree from Escalon.

I use a stellar organic sauce on my Pizza Margherita.

We also made Schiacciata with arugula, Parmesan, purple carrots, pickled green tomatoes and turnip, French fingerlings and the last of the Starline Organics cherry tomatoes. All are coated with melting Gruyere.

Add to this mix the Sukkar bi Tahin, sweetened tahini rolled in dough and cooked, then stuffed with a poached pear.

We went through a tremendous amount of mushrooms for the Super Mushroom Bread and the mushroom pizzas. I used porcini, shiitake, portobello, button and oyster mushrooms, along with imported Fontina and Gruyere.

I topped the Scaletta, or ladder sticks, with heavily-smoked local pepper bacon or immature Cerignola and Castelveltrano olives from Italy that I usually mispronounce.

It was a great crowd and I felt so good, I decided to treat myself  to my monthly shower. Thanks for reminding me, Katie!

Domenico Crolla’s Chanterelle Pizza (Part I)

It’s July in southeast Ohio and that means chanterelle’s are a poppin’ out in them thar hills. I couldn’t pass the urge to head out and do some fast scanning of my favorite (and secret) patch of forest where my kids and I found some fabulous chanterelles last year.

This year I found them in a wider swath than last year. They were peeking out from under roots and moss, which made hunting a real “squint-fest.”

False chanterelles (called Jack-O-Lanterns) were also out in force in their bright orange poisonous splendor. They have smaller stems, bright orange color, sharp gills and usually grow on wood. (See the ones climbing up a buried branch, and the thin stem and sharp gills on the right Jack-O-Lantern mushroom.)

In my last post about chanterelles, I used them with apricot, duck, Gouda, Parmesan, and parsley after reducing the mushrooms with chicken stock. This year, I have a few ideas of what to do, but none of them written in stone yet. (That’s code for “I haven’t a clue.”)

Here is a video of my excursion into the steamy, steep, bug infested world where these delicious beauties thrive. My camera man is my left hand and apologies to all about that. I also said “yellow” about the false chanterelles in which I meant “orange.” (I blame that one on the tight women’s beach flip flops I went hiking with.)

Next, I’ve gotta find a great pizza to make with these. In the Rolodex in my mind, I contact the perfect person who would know what makes the best chanterelle pizza. That is Dominico Crolla, award-winning chef, entrepenuer and pizza expert. I hope he responds to my e-mail, or I’m gonna have to either change the name of this post or find some other guy in the world named Domenico Crolla.