Tag Archives: pizza

Pissaladière

DSCF1048This onion tart originated in Nice in the south of France where it is often served as an appetizer at room temperature. The name is thought to be derived from Ligorian for “salt fish,” referring to the anchovies that are an integral part of the dish. Recipes vary: some call for pie dough, some for pizza-like bread; some have goat cheese, others do not; some include potatoes, or not. They only mandatory ingredients are caramelized onions, black olives, and anchovies. I have reimagined pissaladière as a deep-dish pizza. The ingredients I used were what I had on hand. In place of the aged provolone and mozzarella one could use chèvre or feta. I included tomatoes because I had some that needed to used up. The olives in my version are Moroccan oil-cured but any tasty black olives would do.  Just do not scrimp on the anchovies. After all, they are what the tart is named for. You will notice that the ingredient list is a bit vague. That is deliberate. Make this dish your own.

Ingredients

One medium russet potato

Two medium to large onions

Olive oil

One half 14½ can diced tomatoes, preferably unsalted

Fresh chopped or dried thyme

Fresh chopped or dried basil

Dough for 12” to 14” pizza

Shredded aged provolone

Shredded mozzarella

A dozen or so pitted and halved black olives

A dozen or more anchovies

Salt and pepper

Method

Peel the potato and boil it until done, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit then slice thinly.

Thinly slice the onions. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and cook the onions slowly until nicely browned. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Set aside to cool.

Add a bit more oil to the skillet and cook the tomatoes until most of the water has evaporated. Season with salt, pepper, and basil.

Preheat the oven to 400°F and set a rack near the bottom.

Roll out the pizza dough and put it into a 12” preferably cast-iron skillet that have been lubricated with olive oil. Spread out the dough, forming a rim around the edges.

Line the dough lightly with provolone then spread the caramelized onions on top of the cheese. Spread the tomatoes on top of the onions. Top with a bit more provolone and some mozzarella. Distribute the olives over the cheese and arrange the anchovies.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the cheese and the crust have browned. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Pizza Dough (Metric Edition)

A couple of weeks ago, on September 5, I published blog post on the benefits of cooking by weight rather than by volume. By coincidence, the New York Times published a similar article just over a week later that included recommendations of inexpensive digital kitchen scales. I assume that by now you, my loyal readers, have seen the light and rushed out to procure such a scale. (Mine is a Slater that I bought for under $30 several years ago. I have seen it online for as little as $16.) Now I would like to demonstrate the further benefit of adopting the metric system in your cooking. (You will not be alone if you make the switch, every country except the US, Liberia, and Myanmar uses the metric system. Ironically, the metric system has been legal for trade in the US since 1866.) Many cookbooks today list both English and metric units. The digital scale you bought can be converted by the press of a button and nearly all measuring cups sold in the US are calibrated in both systems. To convert this recipe from the traditional one in the cookbook that came with my KitchenAid® mixer I simply measured ingredients out the usual way but weighed them before addition. You can also find a useful tool for converting units online at traditionaloven.com.

Yield: one 14-inch pizza crust, enough to serve four

Ingredients

  • Warm water (100°F)———– 250 milliliters
  • Active dry yeast—————— 12 grams
  • Bread flour———————— 350 to 450 grams
  • Olive oil————————— 10 grams
  • Salt——————————— 5 grams
  • Cornmeal————————– as needed

Method

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in the mixer bowl, if using the mixer, or in a large bowl otherwise. Measure out 350 grams of the flour. Add about ¼ of it to the bowl along with the olive oil and salt. Stir with a large spoon to combine.

If using the mixer fit the dough hook and start to knead on the recommended speed setting (2 on a KitchenAid®). Add the flour a bit at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If making by hand, stir the flour in a bit at a time until you can no longer stir the dough, then turn it out onto a floured counter and knead well between additions of flour. Continue until most of the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes. Form into to a ball.

Warm a large glass or ceramic bowl with hot water and dry thoroughly. Pour a bit of olive oil into in it and add the dough, turning to coat it evenly with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to proof until doubled in bulk, about one hour.

If using a peel, place your pizza stone in the oven. Preheat to 450°F (230°C). Lightly coat a pizza pan or a peel with cornmeal. On a floured counter, stretch or roll (or toss if you are brave) the dough into the desired size pizza crust. Place in the pan or on the peel. Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until brown and crispy.

Cholesterol Bomb Pizza

My lovely wife, Glenda, is allergic to wheat so gluten-free cooking is the norm at our house. On two out of three Thursdays, though, she goes to Ithaca to rehearse with her trio, Diamonds in the Rough, and I indulge myself with a home-made pizza. This is my favorite.

Note that while I make my own dough and sauce I will leave it to you, dear reader, to come up with your own, store-bought or home-made as you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces pizza dough
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • ½ pound part-skin mozzarella
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and broken into pieces
  • 8 ounces hot Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled or sliced
  • 4 ounces pepperoni, sliced about ⅛ inch thick
  • cornmeal (if preparing the pizza on a peel)

Method

Preheat oven to 500° (450° for convection). Stretch the dough into a crust on a pizza plate or a peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread the sauce thinly over the crust. Cover with mozzarella. Arrange the meats on top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.