Newsletter

August, 2012 Newsletter — The Pizza Bianca Issue

Pizza Bianca Recipes by Kalamazoo

It’s time for another pizza issue! Whether you have an outdoor pizza oven, or you cook your pizzas on the grill, you’re in for a treat with these five recipes for white pizzas. A pizza bianca, or white pizza, is simply a pizza without red sauce. I skip the sauce at home all the time, but that certainly doesn’t make the pizzas any less flavorful. My favorite in this issue is the Roasted Mushrooms and Bacon Pizza with delicious Sottocenere and Quadrello di Bufala cheeses. Please let us know which recipe you like best, or send us your own personal favorite pizza.

Cheers,

Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet


Apple Stilton Pizza

Apple Stilton Pizza

I love a big and bold blue cheese, and Stilton is about as flavorful as they come. Used sparingly on this pizza, it is balanced wonderfully by the fresh sweetness of Fuji apples and red onions. Try this pizza as an appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 1 Fuji apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled
  • Flour or corn meal for transferring the pizza

Instructions

Prepare the outdoor pizza oven or grill for cooking pizza. 

Form the dough to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Depending on your personal preference, place the dough on a pizza peel with enough flour or corn meal beneath to allow the pizza to slide easily — or assemble your pizza on the work surface and then slide the peel underneath at the last minute. Either way, the less time the dough spends on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.

Top the dough with the apple slices, onion slices and Stilton. Transfer to the oven or grill and cook until the crust is done and the onions are browned.

Enjoy!


Strawberry Spinach Salad Pizza

Strawberry Spinach Salad Pizza

Topped with fresh spinach and strawberries and a balsamic honey reduction after, this is a refreshing summer pizza. The pizza is cooked with a little fresh goat cheese added at the last minute to create warm and creamy counterpoint to the other toppings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 4 ounces chèvre fraîche (soft, fresh goat cheese)
  • 1 to 2 ounces fresh spinach
  • 6 fresh strawberries, cut up
  • Flour or corn meal for transferring the pizza

Instructions

To make the balsamic honey reduction, bring the balsamic to a simmer over medium heat in a small, non-stick sauce pan (greater surface area will speed the reduction). Continue simmering until the balsamic is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the honey until fully-incorporated. Return to the heat and bring back to a simmer. Remove from the heat immediately. Store covered until ready for use. This makes about 1/2 cup of reduction. It will keep in the refrigerator almost indefinitely.

Prepare the outdoor pizza oven or grill for cooking pizza. See our guide to cooking pizza on the grill.

Form the dough to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Transfer the dough into the oven or directly onto a hot grill grate. For the oven, cook for 2 minutes, add small dabs of the chèvre to the crust and then finish for about 1 minute more. For the grill, cook the dough for about 1 minute or until the bottom of the dough is marked by the grates. Remove from the grill and flip it so the grill marks are on top. Add dabs of chèvre all over and return it to the grill to finish cooking the crust and melt the cheese, about 1 minute more.

Top the warm pizza with spinach and then strawberries. Drizzle about a tablespoon of balsamic honey reduction over the top.

Enjoy!


Broccoli Raab and Ricotta Cream Pizza

Brocolli Raab and Ricotta Pizza

We start with rich and smooth ricotta cheese and heavy cream for a luscious base. Then we top it with caramelized onions for sweetness, Meyer lemon for its bright zing of citrus flavor, and the herbaceous bitterness of broccoli raab adds an interesting element to round out the exciting palette of flavors. This is another great summer pizza that can be served as an appetizer or entrée.

Ingredients

Note: Because of the extra prep work involved in caramelizing the onions and shallots, this recipe is written to yield 2 pizzas.

  • 1 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 28 ounces, split into two equal parts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Three large shallots, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 small red onions, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped (for this small amount, I suggest whipping the cream by hand with a whisk)
  • 1 Meyer lemon, sliced as thin as possible, peel and pith removed
  • Tender tips and leaves from 4 to 5 stems broccoli raab, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Prepare the outdoor pizza oven or grill for cooking pizza. See our instructions for cooking pizza on the grill.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, onions and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and sweet, but still showing some red color.

Form one dough ball to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Depending on your personal preference, place the dough on a pizza peel with enough flour or corn meal beneath to allow the pizza to slide easily — or assemble your pizza on the work surface and then slide the peel underneath at the last minute. Either way, the less time the dough spends on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.

Fold the whipped cream into the ricotta. Use a soft spatula to spread half of it onto the pizza. Top with half of the shallots and onions, half of the lemon slices and half of the broccoli raab. Transfer to the oven or grill and cook until the crust is done.

Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Enjoy!


Roasted Mushrooms and Bacon Pizza

Mushroom and Bacon Pizza

Using wild mushrooms makes a remarkable difference in the taste of a pizza. We roast shitake, morel and chanterelle mushrooms before putting them on the pizza to concentrate the earthy flavors and really make them the stars of this pie. Creamy, rich sottocenere cheese adds the assertive and indulgent flavor of truffles while smoky bacon rounds things out.

Ingredients

Note: Because of the extra prep work required for roasting the mushrooms and cooking the bacon, this recipe is written to yield 2 pizzas.

  • 1 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 28 ounces, split into two equal parts
  • 1/4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (I used a bourbon maple bacon made from Berkshire pork belly)
  • 1 ounce morel mushrooms
  • 2 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, cut in half
  • 3 ounces shitake mushrooms
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces sottocenere cheese (a medium-soft Italian cheese laced with truffles and with an ash rind), cut into smallish pieces
  • 4 ounces Quadrello di Bufala cheese (similar to Taleggio but with a less intense odor and more milky taste), cut into smallish pieces

Roasting mushrooms in the outdoor pizza oven

Roasting mushrooms in the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven

Instructions

Prepare the outdoor pizza oven or grill for cooking pizza. See our instructions on how to cook pizza on the grill.

Cook the bacon in a skillet until done but not crisp. Reserve.

Toss the mushrooms in olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Either place them in the pizza oven on a fajita skillet and roast until browned, about 5 minutes; or grill them directly over a hot fire on the grill for about the same amount of time. Remove from heat and reserve.

Form one dough ball to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Depending on your personal preference, place the dough on a pizza peel with enough flour or corn meal beneath to allow the pizza to slide easily — or assemble your pizza on the work surface and then slide the peel underneath at the last minute. Either way, the less time the dough spends on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.

Top the dough with half of each type of cheese, half the mushrooms and half the bacon. Transfer to the oven or grill and cook until the crust is done.

Enjoy!


Sausage and Cream Pizza

Sausage and Cream Pizza

I enjoy a nice cream pizza, and I have made many variations on the theme over the years. I had never, however, found a good way to make a thick cream sauce without adding cheese as a thickener or trying to reduce the cream over heat before using it… until one of our customers turned me on to the The Mozza Cookbook. Nancy Silverton shared the simple secret she learned in Italy: whip the cream. That’s it. The whipped cream collapses in the pizza oven, but all the air inside it helps the moisture evaporate quickly and turns it into a wonderfully simple sauce.

In her book, she offers a recipe for Fennel Sausage, Panna and Scallions Pizza inspired by her favorite pizzeria in Umbria. This recipe is a simplified version of the same type of pizza.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped (I suggest whipping such a small amount by hand using a whisk)
  • 2 Italian pork sausages, casings removed, broken down into pieces, and cooked (you can cook them in a pan over a cooktop or roast them in a cast iron skillet in a pizza oven)
  • 2 green onions, sliced, green parts only

Instructions

Prepare the outdoor pizza oven or grill for cooking pizza. 

Form one dough ball to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Depending on your personal preference, place the dough on a pizza peel with enough flour or corn meal beneath to allow the pizza to slide easily — or assemble your pizza on the work surface and then slide the peel underneath at the last minute. Either way, the less time the dough spends on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.

Use a soft spatula to spread the whipped cream onto the pizza. Top with sausage and onions. Transfer to the oven or grill and cook until the crust is done.

Enjoy!