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Cooking Portland Uncategorized

Mozza’s Fennel Sausage, Panna, Scallions and Red Onion Pizza





I swore off making my own pizza dough for years because the results always sucked. Store bought dough was never much better but at least you didn’t have to go through the pain in the ass that is making pizza dough before you topped and baked it and turned out a lame pizza. So, it had that advantage. But, now that I am older and wiser in the kitchen, I had been thinking that it’s time to give it another go. A few weeks (months? one never knows. . .) ago I put the Mozza cookbook on my library holds list for some reason–I think it was when Mario Batali was on Real Time with Bill Maher, and Bill was lavishing the Big B with praise as he is a co-owner. So the plug worked on me to some degree, I guess. Can I just say that I find Mario Batali obnoxiously grating, and yet the man can cook. I have made some excellent recipes from his books. I have a love/hate relationship with that guy. I kinda wish he would stick to the restauranteuring and pipe down a smidge.



Nancy Silverton is the chef at Mozza, and within the cookbook is an entire chapter devoted to the pizzas they make at the Osteria, and the Pizzeria. Basically, they looked hella bomb, and I went all in on giving one of these pizzas a try. So I went out this past saturday and picked up all of the extraneous items that i would need including wheat germ, something that I don’t think I would have ever purchased without being prompted to. I couldn’t find barley malt, but then I didn’t try too hard since it stipulates that you can sub honey. Then I got back home and went at it. This dough turned out to be, unsurprisingly, an all day affair with 1 hour here, 45 minutes there type steps that ends up eating your whole day. Luckily, I have a 1 yr old who won’t bacdafucup with the her Little Red Hen book to keep me busy in the interim. To be fair, she did help me make the dough, to the extent that she was able to. (She helped me hold down my Kitchen-Aid mixture as it rocked this big ball of dough all around the bowl, for instance. Seriously, don’t walk away from it. It’s a canned earthquake.) Somehow, it was still an exciting endeavor, and my hopes remained extremely high through out the process.







I had all of my ingredients prepared and ready to go, my six balls of dough proofed as a motherfucker, the oven mad hot, ready to go. I get to kneeding my first crust out, and all kinds of holes start popping off in it. Naturally, I started to get heated, but I calmed down a bit, and went at the next one with a bit more tenderness. This dough is SUPER WET, and moves like crazy. It stretched out way faster than I was ready for, and was really sticky, but I worked it out. The top picture is the second pizza I made. It turned out damn good. The craziest thing about this pizza is that the ‘sauce’ is just whipped cream––the panna. I had my doubts when I was reading the recipe, but it turned out to be an amazing base. The crust was extremely light and airy and had a wonderful yeasty flavor that I can’t say I’ve ever truly experienced so intensely in a pizza’s flavor profile. It was a great crust, and all the more so since it came out of my janky electric oven. I might even go so far as to say it’s in my top five pizzas ever from anywhere. There is only one or two in the whole of Portland that can even hang with this as far as I’m concerned.



The second pizza pic is from some dough we froze and held over for a few days, and then defrosted. As you can see, the two pizzas are nearly identical, however, the dough lost a good deal of its complexity by not being used immediately. It was still a high quality pizza, though. Below is the upskirt photo, which is important to some people, thus it is included. I’m like, eh, it’s the bottom of a pizza, what about it?







The recipe for the dough can be found here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/10/nancy-silvertons-pizza-dough-recipe.html

Many of the steps listed are superfluous, so don’t be daunted by the high step-count.



The toppings are as follows, listed in the order they should be applied:
–olive oil, brushed along the edge
–kosher salt, sprinkled all over the dough
–whipped cream, spread around the dough, leaving a 1″ border
–fennel sausage, 2oz per pizza par-cooked, broken into small pieces
–scallions, sliced extremely thin on an exaggerated bias
–red onion, sliced extremely thin
–low moisture mozzarella, cut into 1/2″ cubes, approx. 8 cubes per pizza

Categories
Cooking Portland Uncategorized

Pata(y)ta Pizza





Edit: Title modified per Jacinda’s admonishment in the comments



Gabrielle was so excited that she came home and there was a ‘patayta’ pizza waiting for her. I became so enraged (again) that she pronounces ‘potato’ this way that I forbade her to eat any of it until she said it the right way. OK. I lie. But it eats me up! I mean she mize well be one of these people that says ‘sangwich’! But how could I withhold this beautiful pizza from anyone who wanted a slice! (O cruel world, how you make us endure such senseless injustices!) I been killing it on the pizza front lately, though. The one I made before this should have been dag-nasty, because I’ve had it that way before—and the only guy I know who ever loved it probably lost his legs in a gambling debt by now—but the BBQ chicken joint was actually pretty good. This one, however, was slammin’! Talking ’bout a Baked Potato Pizza!!



So, yeah, I buy my pizza dough and I always keep one in the freezer. I’ve tried for years to make my own pizza dough, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not worth the effort, especially when there is someone out there who knows how to already, and sells it for a song. I like making pizza for dinner because it’s so easy. Sometimes I don’t feel like braising short ribs on a wednesday night. And we’re not all intellectuals, so I spent my whole day at work thinking about what I wanted to go on it. I changed my mind at the last minute once I remembered that I had some left-over baby dutch potatoes languishing in the fridge. I swung by the market and picke3d up a half-pound of Neuske’s applewood smoked bacon, a block of cheddar, and a bunch of chives. Everything else I had on hand.







In order to make quality pizza at home you need a pizza stone, and in my opinion, one of these^^ things. It’s a circular grate. I bought it at a kitchen supply wholesale place, but I’m sure they have them at the box stores, as well. I’ve only been using this for about 4 pizzas, and they just keep getting better the more I make. I took too long (I’m meticulous) with the first pizza I made on it, and the dough got stuck in the grate grooves, which sucked. After that I learned to put a sheet of parchment between the dough and the grate. The way it works is you make the pizza on this and put it in the oven on top of the pizza stone. Once it has par-baked, you pull the grate out from underneath the pizza and finish cooking the pizza on the stone. It works great!

    Baked Potato Pizza:

• 1 Pizza Dough
• Olive Oil & Garlic base (minced garlic, S&P, a little cayanne, dried basil, maybe some dried italian herbs)
• A good amount of equal part shredded cheddar and mozzarella (not too much; too much cheese ruins pizza!)
• Yukon or russet potato, precooked, and sliced thin
• 1/2lb bacon, sliced pretty thin, cooked halfway. I bake mine in the oven (see this post)
• caramelized onion (see this post)
• baby spinach (optional)
• chives



Preheat Oven to 550º (some people say you should let the stone heat up for at least an hour)

Roll out the dough, and then stretch it to your desired size. If you go all out and get one of the grates, you should just stretch it to that big. Mine is a 15″ diameter one. Place a sheet of parchment between the dough and the grate, or work quickly. Spread a layer of the oil & garlic on the dough, covering as much area as possible. Then disperse the caramelized onions here and there along with a small bit of cheese. Add a layer of baby spinach, but not so much you cover the whole surface area. Spread the slices of potato around, covering essentially the whole pie, and then top with the remainder of your cheese. Finally, add the strips of bacon.

Slide the pie into the oven and let it bake for 5-10, checking occasionally to make sure that there aren’t any bubbles ballooning out of the crust. If so, pop them straight away with something sharp. Once the outer layer of crust just starts to brown, pull the pizza out, and carefully remove it from the circular grate. Return it to the pizza stone, and bake for about another 10 minutes, or until the crust is a deep auburn brown, but just before it starts to char. I finish mine off by cranking up the broiler for a minute or two, so that the cheese, and in this case, the bacon crisps up just a bit much more. Finish with some finely minced chives. Oh, man, this is a good pizza. Enjoy!