Tuesday, March 16, 2010

apple, guanciale, and ricotta pie

Today, I made a pizza with apples, guanciale, parm, ricotta, chevre, and a little sausage. I cut the apple horizontally and sliced it thinly using the mandolin. I first put down large chunks of parm on the dough, hoping they would crispy up in a nice hard way. They didn't. I put the apple on top of the parm, followed by the ricotta and goat cheese. I hoped that the apple, between the three cheeses would be well insulated against the open flame of the oven and luckily I was right. It didn't burn and instead baked nicely. Its juices mixed with the cheeses and baked into the dough, giving the entire pie a very subtle, slightly sweet flavor. The guanciale crisped up very nicely and added an important element that the pie desperately needed: salt. I enjoyed the sausage but am not sure it added anything to the pie.

Next time, I want to cut the parm is long thin slices and hope they crisp up like the burnt edges on a grilled cheese.

Everyone seemed to like it, even the guys in the back kitchen. I've still been thinking about a pinto bean, chorizo and feta cheese pizza. let you know what I come up with.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pizza Creation Tuesdays

Working during the day on tuesdays at Roberta's is a bit slow. There's a lot of prep work and not as much pizza making. But one of my favorite parts of the day is having the time to experiment with different pies. Gabe, a chef from the back kitchen usually comes up front with an idea for a new creation.

Last week he made pizza with chickpeas, paprika, ricotta and thin slices of blood red oranges. It was amazingly zestful and light. It took pizza in a direction I had never even thought of. I absolutely loved it.

This week he made a pie with Coppa (an italian salumi), tomato sauce, mozzarella, swiss chard, and cured green olives. The Coppa developed a nice bacon crispiness in the oven which almost cut the surprisingly strong, somewhat bitter flavor or the swiss chard. The green olives had a spicy punch that lingered on your tongue the entire way. The sauce and mozzarella seemed to bring all the toppings together.

I'm going into work tomorrow morning and showing Angelo, my boss, how to make the neapolitan dough I learned how to make in Naples. Wish me luck!