Newsletter

October, 2011 Newsletter — The Fall Pizzas Issue

Fall Pizza Recipes

Crisp fall days have arrived, and it put me in a mood for some new pizzas. I went off to the farmer’s market to forage for ingredients, and, you guessed it, we now have a pumpkin pizza  recipe to share. Along with it are four others I think you’ll  enjoy.

Russ Faulk


Alpine Breakfast Pizza

A couple of years ago, Williams Sonoma published a recipe for a puff pastry breakfast tart. It was truly delicious, and is the inspiration for this pizza. (As Steve Jobs said of Apple in the 1996 PBS documentary, Triumph of the Nerds, “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”)

Crème fraîche and Swiss Gruyere cheese are topped with smoky bacon, an egg and fresh chives. You’ll be craving this pizza for more than breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 4 ounces Swiss Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked nearly crisp and cut up
  • 1 egg
  • 4 chives, cut to 1/2-inch lengths

Instructions

Prepare the pizza oven or grill for baking pizza (see separate instructions below).

Form the dough to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Gently spread on the crème fraîche and top with Swiss Gruyère cheese. Add the bacon and transfer to a pizza peel.

For the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven (3 minute cooking time)

Preheat the oven with the back burner on HIGH and the bottom burner on LOW for at least 20 minutes.

Transfer the pizza to the oven. As soon as the dough is “set” on the bottom (about 30 seconds), insert a pizza screen underneath the pizza and crack the egg onto the center of the pizza.

Continue cooking the pizza for another 2 to 3 minutes until the egg is barely cooked over easy before removing from the oven (instructions continue below).

For the Grill (12 minute cooking time)

Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Some stones must be used in the indirect zone. Some can be placed directly over the fire.)

Transfer the pizza to the stone. Close the hood and cook for 2 minutes. Crack the egg onto the center of the pizza, close the hood again and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the egg is barely cooked over easy.

When the pizza is ready, sprinkle on the chives. Break the yolk and let it run onto the pizza before cutting and serving.


Purple Cauliflower Pizza

Purple Cauliflower Pizza

This pizza is a feast for the eyes with its beautiful contrasting colors. Your taste buds will love it too. Roasted purple cauliflower, Brussels sprouts leaves, sweet peppers and raw tomato sauce all combine perfectly to make a delicious pizza.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 1 small head purple cauliflower
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • French gray sea salt
  • 2 large Brussels sprouts heads
  • 3 ounces raw tomato sauce
  • 2 mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings

Roasting cauliflower in the pizza oven

Roasting cauliflower in the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven


When I was young, the two most hated vegetables were Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Really, really hated. This pizza is proof of two things. One, your tastes can definitely evolve as you get older.  Two, roasting veggies with an open flame is pure magic. The caramelization of the sugars on the surface can totally change the flavor profile.

Instructions

Prepare the pizza oven or grill for baking pizza (see separate instructions below).

For the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven

Preheat the oven with the back burner on HIGH and the bottom burner on LOW for at least 20 minutes.

For the Grill

Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Some stones must be used in the indirect zone. Some can be placed directly over the fire.)

Preheat a cast iron fajita pan or skillet in the indirect cooking zone.

Break down the cauliflower into very small florets, discarding the stem portions. Toss the florets in olive oil to lightly coat and season generously with salt. Proceed with roasting, separate instructions follow.

For the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven (10 minute roasting time)

Place the cauliflower florets in a cast iron fajita pan or skillet and place the pan in the oven. Roast the cauliflower in the hottest part of the oven, turning occasionally, until the cauliflower has shrunk quite a bit and is brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.

For the Grill (30 to 40 minute roasting time)

Place the cauliflower florets in the preheated cast iron fajita pan or skillet. Close the hood and roast the cauliflower in the indirect zone until it has shrunk quite a bit and is brown on the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and reserve.

Cut the base from the Brussels sprouts heads and separate all the leaves.

Form the dough to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Ladle on the tomato sauce. Top with the individual Brussels sprouts leaves, the roasted cauliflower and the sweet peppers. Transfer to a pizza peel.

For the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven (2 to 3 minute cooking time)

Transfer the pizza to the oven. Cook the pizza for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating a couple of times for even cooking. Check the bottom after a minute or so and insert a pizza screen if you wish to slow down the cooking of the bottom. Remove and serve when the perimeter is golden brown and beginning to blister.

For the Grill (10 to 12 minute cooking time)

Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Some stones must be used in the indirect zone. Some can be placed directly over the fire.)

Transfer the pizza to the stone. Close the hood and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate as needed for even cooking. Remove from the grill when the crust is golden brown..


Smoked Trout Pizza with Olives

Smoked Trout and Olive Pizza

I love smoked Brisling sardines on my pizza, but there are many who don’t see the appeal. This pizza solves that problem by substituting smoked rainbow trout. It may even be an improvement more so than a compromise! Luscious water buffalo mozzarella, bright, raw tomato sauce and smoky trout are joined by briny olives for a fantastic set of flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 3 ounces raw tomato sauce
  • 1 ovolini-size-ball of water buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 ounces smoked rainbow trout (I use Cole’s Trout in cans)
  • About 12 Gaeta olives, pits removed

Instructions

Prepare the pizza oven or grill for baking pizza (see separate instructions below).

Form the dough to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Ladle on the tomato sauce and top with the cheese, fish and olives. Transfer to a pizza peel.

For the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven (3 minute cooking time)

Preheat the oven with the back burner on HIGH and the bottom burner on LOW for at least 20 minutes.

Transfer the pizza to the oven. Cook the pizza for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating a couple of times for even cooking. Check the bottom after a minute or so and insert a pizza screen if you wish to slow down the cooking of the bottom. Remove and serve when the perimeter is golden brown and beginning to blister.

For the Grill (12 minute cooking time)

Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Some stones must be used in the indirect zone. Some can be placed directly over the fire.)

Transfer the pizza to the stone. Close the hood and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate as needed for even cooking. Remove from the grill when the crust is golden brown.


Garlic Chicken Pizza

Hands down, this pizza is my wife’s favorite. Roasted garlic and white wine make a rich flavor base for the caramelized onions and chicken.

Ingredients

Please note this recipe yields 2 pizzas. It is also particularly helpful to read the whole recipe before starting to cook.

  • 1 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 28 ounces, split into two equal parts
  • 1 large head garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups white wine (I use Hey Mambo)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 red onion, shaved to 1/2 mm thick with a mandolin
  • 8 ounces soft Fontina cheese (I use Fontina Fontal)

Garlic Roaster

A nifty cast iron garlic roaster from Sur la Table

Instructions

Prepare the grill for direct grilling at 500ºF with an indirect zone for roasting garlic. At the same time (if possible), prepare the pizza oven or grill for baking pizza. For instructions on cooking pizza on the grill, see our helpful guide.

Cut the top off the garlic head to expose the tops of all the cloves inside. Drizzle olive oil onto the top and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the indirect zone of the grill until the garlic is browned and soft, about 30 minutes. (You can place the garlic directly on the grill grate or in a garlic roaster like the one in the photo at the end of this post.)  Reserve.

While the garlic is roasting, pound the chicken breast to a uniform thickness for quick, even grilling. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Grill in the direct zone of the grill, turning once, until 2/3 to ¾ of the way to fully-cooked. Reserve.

Also while the garlic is roasting, combine the wine and butter in a large skillet (more surface area helps with quick reduction) over medium-high heat. Reduce to a thick syrup with a volume of about 1/8 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in the brown sugar. Transfer to an 8-inch non-stick frying pan while it is still warm. Reserve.

At the same time, combine the red onion with a splash of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning occasionally, until caramelized (dark brown in color and substantially reduced in volume). Reserve.

Pop the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and smash them/chop them up. Add them to the reserved white wine reduction in the non-stick skillet. Place over medium heat and stir until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat.

Everything up to this point can be prepared a couple of hours ahead and held in the refrigerator.

Form the first dough to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Top with half the roasted garlic white wine mixture in small dollops. On top of that, add half the cheese and then the caramelized onions. Slice the chicken breast and place half onto the pizza. Transfer to a pizza peel.


Pumpkin and Sausage Pizza with Parmesan Cream Sauce

This pizza is much more than a fall season novelty. Sausage and squash taste great together, and the Parmesan cream sauce with a hint of nutmeg makes the perfect base.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I use Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • Freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pie pumpkin, cut to thick matchsticks
  • 1 Italian sausage, cooked (I use chicken sausage)
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts, toasted in a frying pan

Instructions

Prepare the pizza oven or grill for baking pizza (see separate instructions below).

Combine the chicken stock and cream in a small saucepan. Heat through over medium heat. Immediately before assembling the pizza, whisk in ¼ cup of the grated Parmesan. Add a pinch of nutmeg.

Form the dough to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Ladle on 3 to 4 ounces of the Parmesan cream sauce. Top with the remaining cheese. Add the pumpkin, sausage and pine nuts.

Transfer to a pizza peel.

For the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven (3 minute cooking time)

Preheat the oven with the back burner on HIGH and the bottom burner on LOW for at least 20 minutes.

Transfer the pizza to the oven. Cook the pizza for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating a couple of times for even cooking. Check the bottom after a minute or so and insert a pizza screen if you wish to slow down the cooking of the bottom. Remove and serve when the perimeter is golden brown and beginning to blister.

For the Grill (12 minute cooking time)

Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Some stones must be used in the indirect zone. Some can be placed directly over the fire.)

Transfer the pizza to the stone. Close the hood and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate as needed for even cooking. Remove from the grill when the crust is golden brown.