Pizza #32 Hamburger and Hot Dog Pizza
The original idea was for a “Fourth of July” Pizza, but we couldn’t think what to add to make it more “Fourth of July”-y (ideas). So it boiled down to Hamburger and Hot Dog pizza.
We used Ballpark Meat Franks, using high quality hot dogs is important to make sure they maintain there flavor through the oven. I cooked the ground beef in a skillet for about 90% of the way I normally would if I were making tacos or something.
Thats about it. Sauteed, drained, ground beef as humburger and cut up Ballpark Franks. It came out much better than expected, the hot dogs maintained a little sweetness and even resembled a frank that had been grilled.
I expected a basic, solid, well rounded pizza and my expectations were exceeded. The usefulness of hot dogs as a pizza topping is expanding my pizza possibilities!
Pizza #30 Plum Tomato, Artichoke Hearts, and Wild Boar Sausage
Wandering around the supermarket, waiting for something to jump out at me to put on tonights pizza, I came across wild boar sausage. How could I say no to that?!? The sausage was pleasantly not-overly spiced. Plum tomatoes have become a color-adding staple on pizzas lately and were a welcome addition. Artichoke Hearts (un-marinated) add a mild yet distinctive flavor to pair with the spiced sausage and sweetly acidic tomatoes.
The chese was a learning experience. I got five pounds of fresh mozzarella from a friend, so I sliced up two for this pizza with a sprinkle of grated asiago for contrast between mild and strong cheeses. I misjudged how much the mozzarella spreads when it melts and one pound would have covered the pie just fine. Fresh mozzarella also has a lot of moisture in it which made the pizza toppings a little soupy. Next I’ll just use one pound, or less.
Otherwise, this was a fantastic pizza. The sausage was incredible, nice spices, with a little gamey hint and paired well with the vegetable choices.
Pizza #30 Bacon, Mushroom,and Plum Tomato
This pie was somewhat impromptu and for the most part used what we had that went well together. The bacon which goes with everything, was high quality Boar’s Head Bacon. Going cheap on bacon increases the fat content, which results in more grease being released in the oven and a slightly sloppier pizza. So higher quality bacon is worth it, splurge on the bacon on your own pizza.
The mushrooms are another story. On a pizza, use mushrooms from either end of the spectrum. High quality fresh mushrooms crisp and bake up nice, retaining a lot of their natural woodsy, earthy flavor. Canned, generic mushrooms create great texture (when drained and pressed dry between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible) and a commonly enjoyed mushroom flavor. Middle of the road mushrooms, I find, become mediocre in both taste and texture.
Plum tomatoes evolved for the oven, they retain such sweet garden flavor and great texture. Plus they add some much needed color to a pizza.
For a last minute pizza idea, this one came out amazing.
PIzza #29 Rotisserie Chicken Pizza
Like many grocery stores now do, my local chain makes these amazing rotisserie chickens that come out juicy, tender and perfect. Fall off the bone perfect. So of course why not put one on a pizza.
I pulled the chicked meat with the skin still in place and added some bacon pieces and sliced asparagus. This pizza cam out AMAZING! One of our best pizzas yet. The chicken skin crisped up decadently in the oven and the addition of bacon and asparagus was a great idea. They are complementary flavors, textures,and colors.
So, lesson learned, do another rotisserie chicken pizza.
Pizza #28 Sausage Grinder Pizza
At least once a year, I trek to my own personal mecca in Boston, Fenway Park. While there I almost always enjoy a Sausage grinder with peppers and onions from a street vendor.
So, of course I said let’s make a pizza of it. We used Perri Sweet Italian Sausage, that I cooked whole just long enough to make sure I could cut them into disks without the sausage smooshing. When cut, they’re still red in the center. The oven will cook them the rest of the way.
With added sliced green peppers and diced onions, and we have our grinder pizza.
This pizza was utterly fantastic. The sausage cooked up perfect, and the veggies remained crisp. One of our best to date.
Pizza #27 Egg Roll Pizza
Both of us are fans of Americanized Chinese food, and what is more iconic to that genre than the Egg Roll. Most of us love those tasty misnomers, Sam particularly. I sauteed some pork strips in an amazing orange-ginger glaze from La Choy. We then garnished the pizza with the pork, shredded broccoli, shredded cabbage, and shredded carrots, and strips of egg roll wrapper dough.
As good as the pizza tasted, it left something to be desired. I assumed the egg roll wrapper strips would crisp up in the oven, and they didn’t. Next time I will pre-cook the wrapper strips to ensure their crispiness. Other than that this pizza was great.
Pizza #26 Spinach and Bacon with Scallion, Sage, and Garlic
Can you tell I like bacon? I also have been addicted to sage lately. It stays fresh in the fridge for a long time, packs quite a flavor punch with just a little bit of leaf, and is super versatile.
So this pizza basically became an amalgamation of things that are awesome, and they went incredible together. As an additional twist, we used red clam sauce with some tomato paste to thicken as our sauce. All in all this was one of our better pizzas, very complementary flavors.
Pizza #25 Bacon and Scallop with Garlic
Inspired by the classic hors d’oeurve, this pizza was one of the best we’ve made to date. One, and just one, local pizza shop uses whole strips of bacon on their pies, not just chunks or bits. So I followed their lead, and what goes better with bacon than sea scallops, outside of breakfast.
I precooked the bacon about 60% of the way through, that way it cooks thoroughly in the oven and can also remove much of the grease that would soak our pizza. In a separate pan, I sauteed the scallops and fresh sliced garlic about 75% of the way. These toppings came out amazing on the pizza. The only drawback on this pizza was the cheese. We use Cabot’s Hunter’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar, my all time favorite cheese. However, I completely forgot about the amount of oil that this cheese releases when melted. That grease kinda made the pizza a bit sloppy, I need to stick to softer cheeses. Also, this is not a great leftover pizza, while the bacon was ok, the scallops weren’t fantastic reheated.
Pizza #24 Fruit-yaki Pizza
For this one, I was on my own - Sam wasn’t very keen on this idea. I have always enjoyed grilled fruit, especially peaches and pineapple. So for this pizza I grilled some slices of peaches, pear, and pineapple. I used a wheat dough for the first time. The cheese is fresh mozzarella and the sauce is a teriyaki-pineapple glaze from World Harbor.
The slices didn’t grill upamazing, my outdoor grill hasn’t been cleaned (de-wintereized or de-spidered) so I used my George Foreman grill and they didn’t come out as good as I had hoped but they weren’t bad. The best part was the crust, I thoroughly enjoyed the wheat dough and will use it again. The bites that had cheese, fruit and glaze were incredible. I only used one fresh mozzarella ball, which wasn’t enough to cover the whole pie.
Next time, I will grill the fruit more properly or not all and just use the oven. I will also get more fresh mozzarella. Other than that, the fruit went very well with the glaze and the cheese. For what it was, I was impressed with how this came out. Thoug I learned how to do it better next time.
Pizza #23 Cherry Tomatoes and Fiddleheads
I LOVE Fiddleheads, ever since I was a baby. So when they came into season, a Fiddlehead pizza was, of course, inevitable. (For those who don’t know what a Fiddlehead is). What to pair it with became the biggest question. Cherry tomatoes were a great fit, nice and acidic/sweet complemented the asparagus-esque flavor of the fiddleheads. I considered a seafood, clams or shrimp, but we kept in vegeterian.
We kept this one sauceless, just coated the dough in EVOO and smeared on some minced garlic. In the end, we couldn’t even taste the garlic. In the future I will use more, or prefererably fresh crushed garlic.
The cherry tomatoes came out amazing, perfectly sweet and tangy. The Fiddleheads also came out perfect, very similar to asparagus in texture as well as taste. This pizza would’ve been a lot better with proper garlic-ing of the crust or adding a red sauce. The toppings were great, but it seemd lacking something and the sauce may just have bene it.