Monday, April 30, 2012

Pizza Bianca

Pizza Bianca
In Naples any pizza without tomatoes is "Pizza Bianca" or white pizza.  The focus of this pizza is the mozzarella, so it's worthwhile to get the best quality cheese you can.  This is a very simple pizza. . .just the mozzarella and some herbs.  The recipe called for fresh sage, but a few weeks ago I started growing some basil in a hanging pot on the back porch and thought it needed to be put to good use.  I have some tomatoes and peppers growing too. . .my mouth is watering when I think that in just a few weeks I'll be able to use my own fresh produce on a pizza or in a salad! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Brat Pizza

Several weeks ago my sweet hubby was brainstorming and suggested that we try to invent a pizza using brats (bratwurst sausage).  We decided it needed some type of mustard sauce as a base, sliced brats, and then some grilled onions and peppers.  The final touch would be some type of cheese, and I finally settled on shredded swiss cheese.  We thought we were being very original and creative until Mike googled "Bratwurst Pizza"; let's just say there is nothing new under the sun!  Anyway, during the planning stages I came across a recipe for German Deli pizza that had a german rye crust which I thought that would be perfect for our "Brat Pizza". I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find rye flour and ended up trying four different stores before I found it!  The dough called for 1 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1/2 cup of rye flour along with a teaspoon of caraway seeds so it had a german rye taste and texture.  It was a  perfect crust for this pizza although somewhat denser and thinner than our normal pizza crust. The sauce was the biggest challenge.  I tested the sauce in the German Deli Pizza recipe, but it was creamy and I wanted more of a mustard glaze. Plus I wanted something with a bit more of the mustard zing.  I experimented on my own and came up with the following recipe:

Rye crust spread with mustard glaze
 Mustard Sauce:
½ c. water
2 T. vinegar
2 T. white wine
2 t. ground mustard
1-2 T. sugar
¼ t. ground coriander

Bring to a boil and thicken with 1 T. cornstarch dissolved in 1 T. water.
Unfortunately the sauce was a bit of a dissappointment, still not enough of the mustard tang.  I have NOT given up though.  I plan to do more experimentation and we'll try this pizza again before too long! The next step was to grill the bratwurst.  After the brats were grilled and sliced, Mike had the great idea of putting the brat slices on paper towels to soak up the grease.  
As he was manning the grill, I was in the kitchen sauteeing some peppers and onions, similar to what you would do for a fajita. 
We topped our creation with shredded swiss cheese.  Our first attempt at this pizza was a bit bland.  The crust was great, the sauce needs some work and we'd like to try a different cheese. . .Mike says something smokey, I'm thinking sharp cheddar.  We enjoyed this pizza while watching The Seven Year Itch, which was interesting as a venue for Marilyn Monroe but not as funny as I had expected it to be.  Stay tuned to see what happens when I try Brat Pizza-Part 2 in a couple of weeks!
Ready for the oven!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pizza Marinara

This is an extremely simple pizza, no cheese!  In fact it seemed so simple and basic that when I saw the recipe I wasn't even going to try it because it seemed like it would be b-o-r-i-n-g!  I was pleasantly surprized to find that I was mistaken.  Like the the Pizza Margherita, I started by spreading some pizzaiola sauce on the prebaked crust.  I had frozen some sauce that I had left over from making the Pizza Margherita, so I used the thawed sauce and then arranged some sliced Campari tomatoes and sliced garlic over the sauce.  I am learning the importance of using high quality ingredients, and since this pizza is basically a showcase for tasty fresh tomatoes and oregano, spending the extra money for the best tomatoes was well worth it.