Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Baking: Pizza

So here's a closer look at my contribution to the FBM Holiday Potluck this year. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I participated in a chopped challenge like cook off. We were given a list of ingredients. And from that list, we had to choose 4 out of the 5 and use them in a dish of our choosing.
The ingredients in my basket were beef, cheese, canned soup, winter squash, and pretzels. After thinking about it for awhile, I opted to use all but the pretzels. And then I had to decide how I'd like to showcase the ingredients. I finally ended in choosing pizza.

Here's the delicious no knead pizza dough recipe from Jim Lahey. It always works for me and is great. It yields some really delicious crusts.
I also roasted an acorn squash. I just split it open, scooped out the seeds, then sliced it thinly. Oil, salt, and pepper is all it needs before a roasting in the oven.
For the beef, I chose beef sausage over ground beef. This turned out to be a great idea because these spicy smoked beef sausages were really tasty and paired well with the sweet squash.
And just because I thought the pizza needed a bit of something else, I also thinly sliced some red onions for a contrast in color, flavor, and taste.
The canned soup option was the most difficult ingredient for me to tackle. As a person who doesn't particularly enjoy canned soup, I had to find something that was flavor neutral. Luckily, I found cream of potato soup which was pretty good to use as a canvas although a bit salty.
I mixed the soup with some ricotta and pecorino cheese, and minced sage leaves. Nothing says fall and winter more than winter squash and sage. Well maybe browned butter too.
The cheese mixture was the base of the pie as a sauce. This was a white pie. Then I layered on the squash, beef sausage, and onions. Then into a preheated oven at the highest temperature possible and onto a pizza stone.
Let that crust bubble, brown, and char. I also prematurely take out the first pie too soon but this time I showed patience and restraint and was rewarded with a beautiful crust that was crunchy yet chewy.
The pizza was wonderful out of the pizza but the crust suffered in the transportation and reheating. It had become soft and lost any delicious crunch that was there earlier. Well lesson learned. But at least the toppings held up well.

1 comment:

  1. It was still delicious - i was actually impressed by how well it traveled. If I recall correctly - it even won the beef-basket!

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