Posts tagged ‘Mozzarella’

September 8, 2015

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad

If you’ve been reading this blog for much time, you probably know that I’m a big fan of culinary challenges. Unusual ingredients, strange kitchen set ups – you name it. Recently though, I completed a trial like no other.

I spent two weeks as a vegetarian.

Yes, it’s true. Your humble blogger and avowed carnivore went fourteen days without a single bite of meat. It was part of a deal that my girlfriend and I made to “eat healthier,” because meat is “bad for you.” In exchange she agreed to give up sweets for two weeks. I think I got the raw end of the deal.

(For the record, there is ample evidence to suggest that eating less meat contributes to better overall health. There, I admitted it.)

So what did I learn from the experience?

read more »

Advertisements
August 8, 2015

Pancetta, Pea, and Mint Pizza with Pistachio Sauce

Pancetta, Pea, Pistachio Pizza

This pizza is your new best friend.

It will give a ride to the airport at a moment’s notice. It knows when something is wrong before you even say a word. It always has the next round.

I kid, of course – but this is a darn good pie.

The pistachio sauce is a nutty, subtle alternative to the more traditional aggressive red and rich white pizza bases. The salty, smokey pancetta and crisp sugar snap peas are like a see-saw, rocking your tongue gently back and forth between two flavors. Everything is bound together by mozzarella, and cut with just a hint of mint to keep things cool.

The pizza as a whole manages to be both indulgent and refreshing at the same time. As the midsummer heat begins to fade into temperate Autumn evenings, you may find yourself more attached to it than you’d care to admit.

read more »

October 10, 2014

Butternut Squash Pizza

Butternut Squash Pizza 1

Oh hey, Autumn.

This is my favorite time of the year in Seattle. Summer is great and all – with the sun and the beach and the barbecuing – but there is truly nothing that beats a crisp fall day. There is a bite in the air, golden leaves line the sidewalks, and cozying up with a book and a fresh cup of coffee is the perfect Sunday morning activity.

Of course there’s all the wonderful winter beers, but that’s a whole other story.

Nothing could be more seasonal than this Butternut Squash Pizza. The nuttiness of the parmesan and pistachio meets the sweetness of the squash and caramelized onions to form a soul-warming union of comforting flavors. Those lovely notes are reinforced with mellow mozzarella and earthy sage to boot. On top of it all, this dish just looks autumnal with its orange and green colors and sinister caramelized onion curls.

Serve this up next to a fresh-cut jack-o’-lantern after a day of traipsing around a corn field and you will be the epitome of Fall – not to mention the envy of all your friends.

read more »

June 23, 2014

The Great Green Pizza

The Great Green Pizza

If chlorophyll could turn you green, then this pizza would make you into the incredible hulk. A happy, satiated hulk that is very content with his/her dining decision.

The peas and asparagus on this pizza retain just enough of natural crunch to provide a nice textural contrast while developing a faint sweetness under the heat of the oven. The roasted green onions bring a mild but noticeable flavor that winds up somewhere between biting onion and soothing vegetable. Combined with creamy mozzarella and sharp, salty parmesan cheese against a backdrop of aromatic pesto makes this a delicious and multi-dimensional dish.

With a light sauce, veg-heavy toppings and just the right amount of cheese, this pizza is perfect for the warm summer months. Find yourself a park or a patio and enjoy while you soak up the rays!

read more »

August 5, 2013

“The Pizza”

THE PIZZA

It’s been months since I first made this pizza (I’ve made it several times since since then too), but I’ve held off on posting it for two simple reasons: it is too damn good to describe and too delicious to name.

I just can’t wait any longer to share this little miracle with you all though, so I’m simply going to refer to it as The Pizza.

How does it taste, you ask? Let me paint you a word picture.

Every ingredient, every part, every bite in The Pizza is positively bursting with delicious flavor. The sauce alone is something to marvel at; with some bread, it would be a noteworthy appetizer in its own right. It’s full of finely diced sauteed mushrooms that melt into the tomato sauce as it simmers, creating a whole new meaty depth of flavor. The shallots and sun-dried tomatoes add another layer of zest and complexity.

But The Pizza hardly ends at the sauce. The cheese trifecta of mozzarella, parmesan and mascarpone brings creamy, sharp, and nutty notes together over each slice. That richness is punctuated by earthy fresh basil, spicy arugula and tart balsamic vinegar. And there’s extra sliced mushrooms as well – because why not?

So the next time you have a free evening go ahead and dim the lights, light some candles, crank up the smooth jazz and make yourself The Pizza. It’s a culinary imperative.

read more »

April 27, 2013

Spicy Mango Prosciutto Pizza

Mango-Prosciutto pizza

Think about all the people you know that like Hawaiian pizza. Got them all? Good.

Now, do any of them LOVE Hawaiian pizza?

The answer is probably no. Even the people I know that like the combination of pineapple and Canadian bacon on pizza aren’t overjoyed at the simple prospect of eating it. They don’t dream about it or order it for birthdays or special occasions.

The reason is because the draw – the combination of sweet and savory that forms the base of so many other great dishes – is inelegantly achieved in a Hawaiian pizza. Pineapple is too sweet, tart, and acidic to pair well with savory flavors. Canadian bacon, meanwhile, is a milquetoast of a meat that doesn’t offer enough of a contrast with sweet ingredients. What’s a pizza lover to do?!

Enter our protagonist: the Spicy Mango Prosciutto Pizza.

Instead of pineapple, it has the more subtle and complex mango. Instead of Canadian bacon, it has salty, crispy, aged prosciutto. Together, the two create a sweet and savory combination that puts competitors to shame.

Introduce the spicy kick of jalapeno peppers and pair with soft mozzarella, sharp feta and robust fresh basil – you’ll never bother with plain old Hawaiian pizza again.

read more »

September 23, 2012

BBQ Pizza with Pineapple & Arugula

While I was ingredient-hunting for this dish I ran head-first into a big old bottle of nostalgia. In Woodinville, where I grew up, there was a small, divey barbecue joint that I used to go to with my family. The lights were perpetually dim and the staff were all surly pranksters. Most importantly though, their barbecue was unparalleled.

The Armadillo barbecue eventually closed shop as Woodinville grew and gentrified. Although they reopened as a catering only operation in another town, I never saw anything from them again. Until, while wandering my local grocery store, I saw a bottle of their barbecue sauce.

Washingtonians – If you see Armadillo Barbecue sauce, purchase it immediately. I suggest a quick nip in the nearest alleyway to tide you over until you get home.

Now onto the pizza at hand. (See what I did there?)

A great barbecue sauce brings everything together, but the full cast of characters really makes this recipe. The pineapple highlights the sugars in the sauce while adding notes of tangy tartness. The red onion brings zest and cut through the underlying sweetness. The arugula, added at the very end so that it cooks just so, adds crunch and notes of spice.

All the toppings rest on a bed of Parmesan and mozzarella that sit atop fresh-made dough. Making your own dough can seem intimidating at first – I certainly was for me – but pizza dough is one of the simplest kinds to make. You wouldn’t expect flour, water and yeast to taste so good, but it really kicks this dish up a notch.

BBQ Pizza with Pineapple & Argula

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus reserve
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 5 mozzarella balls, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1/3 cup pineapple, diced
  • 2/3 cup arugula

 

  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water and olive oil. Mix until evenly combined and knead the dough into a smooth, firm ball.
  2. Coat the outside of the ball lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let stand until the dough doubles in size, approximately 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to desired thickness (I recommend thin crust). Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and cover lightly with olive oil. Place the dough on top. Spread the barbecue sauce over the dough, followed by the mozzarella and parmesan, red onion and pineapple. Place the pizza in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, approximately 16-20 minutes.
  4. Remove the pizza from the oven and add the arugula on top. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, cut as desired and serve.
December 8, 2011

Deconstructed Margherita Pizza with Mushrooms

Patrick and I are still working on our full write up of SliderPalooza. But I would never leave you, my dear readers, hanging.

So to keep your mind, eyes and stomach amused while we furiously try to fabricate recipes (which we never wrote down) and craft clever prose to bring them to life (we’re cooks, not poets!) I bring you a brief intermezzo: Deconstructed Margherita Pizza with Mushrooms.

This recipe is the perfect example of the right reason to deconstruction something. Although the technique always make for a phenomenal presentation, the real benefit of deconstructing a dish is allowing each component of the dish to shine individually.

Margherita pizza is composed of a handful of bold ingredients. And though I could have made this with simply those ingredients, I decided to bring mushrooms into the dish as well to add another dimension to both the flavor and texture. When baked together in a pizza the ingredients create a classic, flavorful dish. Separate, each component becomes the star of its own act in a play.

First, the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes bursts forth as the roasted exterior gives way. Then you get the crunchy, rustic flavor of the toasted foccacia. After that come the buttery, meaty seared mushrooms followed by the salty, creamy goat cheese mozzarella. Finally everything comes to a close with a hit of basil that lingers on your tongue.

These deconstructed bites make wonderful appetizers, and can also serve as the perfect amuse-bouche for an full course Italian meal. No matter how you’re serving them, they’re bound to impress!

Deconstructed Margherita Pizza with Mushrooms

  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf focaccia bread
  • 5 medium-sized mushrooms, cut into 1/8 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn into 1 inch x 1 inch squares
  • 1/4 cup of goat cheese mozzarella, crumbled into pieces approximately 1/2 inch in diameter
  • toothpicks

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking tray with aluminum foil and empty the cherry tomatoes onto it. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss until the tomatoes are evenly coated. Add the fresh ground pepper and place in the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the skins of the tomatoes just begin to crack. Remove from the oven.
  2. Switch the oven to broil on high. Place the focaccia loaf in the oven and toast for four minutes, or until golden brown on top. Flip the loaf and toast for another 2 minutes, then remove.
  3. Heat a skillet to high heat. Add the butter and allow it to cook until it just begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and toss until evenly coated. Cook until one side of the mushrooms are seared, approximately 4 minutes, then toss and repeat for the other side. Mushrooms should be golden brown on both sides when done.
  4. Cut the focaccia into 1 inch x 1 inch squares. Place a mushroom (or two) on each square.
  5. To assemble, use a toothpick to skewer a piece of basil, a tomato and a chunk of mozzarella. Carefully push the skewer into a focaccia and mushroom square. To serve, assemble the skewers on a platter of your choosing.
%d bloggers like this: