Oven Roasted Rack o' Pork!
I just found the pizza and sandwich topping of the year! You heard it here first. In this post I'll tell you how to make it and, in future posts, how to use it on pizzas and also how to make the King of all Cheese-(Pork) Steak sandwiches, with the left overs.
Here's the background story: I was looking to play with my Primavera one weekend not long ago. I was bored and wanted to try something new. I've had it now for almost 6 months and it still feels new and, I'm still either learning to drive it, or thinking about ways to drive it. That may be half the fun of it. Like any hobby, the fun and rewarding part is often as much about the journey and not the destination. I was "feeling" pork that weekend. I reviewed some of the great recipes on the Forno Bravo Forum, and put in some time searching on the internet, when something caught my eye.
Oven Roasted Rack of Pork.
Rack of Pork?!!! Now that just sounded too good. Rack of lamb is one of my favorite things to make and maybe that will be next to hit the fire dome, but a rack of pork -- that sounded perfect! I don't think I have ever had a whole rack of pork cooked for me before. Pork chops, roast pork loin, smoked pork, barbecued pork, on and on, but never before had a full rack of pork been presented to me. I found a gigantic 8-bone specimen at the store. Beautiful!
So, back to my weekend...
It was a slow weekend and I had some time to just hang out with my family. We had a break in our usually crazy schedule of running the kids from one sport to another, or to one friend's house, or a movie. When a calm window opens up like this I often feel like cooking. I do some of my best meals when it's just the family. I enjoy cooking for and with friends, but there is also something about hanging out and making something amazing when it would be just as easy to order a pizza or to throw some burgers on the grill. After all, do the kids really appreciate a good meal? The truth is, even my kids don't! I can admit it. You get the occasional, "That was really good!" but on weekends like this it's more about the time you spend with each other. I think gathering around a big meal, or a special meal means something more than just the food. With the way the world is these days, this type of time spent together is more and more important.
By the way, that said, a burger on the grill is almost always a good idea! I'm just saying…
Back to the rack!
I can't take credit for this Rack of Pork creation. I found it on a website called Ask Chef Dennis - www.askchefdennis.com. Just click on the *LINK to his recipe and I could stop here and pass you on. Trust me, you have to make this!
I won't stop though. I did add something to this which I think our pizza making, wood fired oven lovin' community will appreciate. I made this in my WFO. I think it was Newman on one of the Seinfeld episodes that proclaimed about the Kenny Roger's chicken: "It's the wood that makes it good!" You gotta love Newman as he munched through a chicken leg, mouth half full enjoying his chicken while spewing those words. The wood does make it good, right? It certainly makes it fun. And, it makes it more primal. We like primal.
I followed Ask Chef Dennis' basic recipe. It's simple, as so much of great cooking is.
- 8 bone center cut rack of pork *Take the pork out of the fridge for 30-60 minutes before cooking.
- olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 2 carrots - rough cut
- 1 small onion cut with skins
- 2 stalks of celery - rough cut
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
Since you are on Pizza Quest, it's time to build a fire! The recipe calls for 450 Degrees for 15 minutes and then turning it down to 325 degrees for 2 hours in the oven. As we all know, there is no turning a wood fired oven down after 15 minutes. There's more of a dance to be played out in order to do what Chef Dennis is trying to do here.
So, this is not going to be a pizza hot fire. I got a small-medium fire going and let it saturate the oven for a little more than an hour or so. I got the walls up to around the 400's and let the fire settle down. I wanted to get the oven interior temp to be holding in the low 300's and hold that for about 2 hours without loosing too much. I also wanted to try to sear the pork with a higher heat. So, I added some small logs to the fire and let it flare up when I put the pork in. After about 15 minutes, I decided to close the door to capture some smoke and to kill the fire a bit and hopefully, get this thing to ride in the low 300's. You'll see I did pretty well.
Now that the fire is rolling, go set up the rack of pork:
- In a roasting pan add the cut veggies *We'll use these and the drippings for some pan gravy.
- Rinse the pork and pat dry
- Place pork fat side up on top of the bed of veggies
- Rub the olive oil all over the pork
- Sprinkle the entire rack with sea salt, pepper and then with a good coating of Montreal Steak Seasoning. *Use a good amount of the Montreal Seasoning to form a crust.
- Place the roast into the oven. *See my notes above if using a wood burning oven.
- Use a remote thermometer to get the outside of the racks to reach 160 degrees. This will make sure that the thicker center is not as cooked as much. This should take about 2 - 2 1/2 hours, but because you are in a wood oven with less consistent temps, make sure to monitor it.
- Pull the rack of pork out and let it rest at least 10 minutes.
- While the rack is resting, place the roasting pan on your stove top. Add 2 cups of water and, with a wooden spoon, loosen the scraps and veggies in the pan. Add a little flour, or pre-make a roux to thicken the gravy. Strain the chunks and bits and you have a delicious gravy!
Back to the pork:
- Cut the rack along the bones. Serve with the pan gravy.
I served this with mashed potatoes and some roasted carrots. So simple and so good! What a great meal!
Ask Chef Dennis was right! The Montreal Seasoning and the pork go so well together. It's not fair to other cuts of meat and spice combinations. It really isn't. I hope you enjoy this amazing meal. Check out the original recipe on the link above if cooking in your home oven, or if you are lucky enough to have a WFO, then get to this recipe and do it soon. It's a winner and it keeps on giving.
I'll be back with some pizzas made with left over Rack o' Pork with Montreal Seasoning. This is an amazing pizza topping and worth the effort to make and use for pizza alone! And, as I said, I later made a cheesy rack-o-pork, Philly Cheese Pork sandwich that may have put the original to shame.
Spicy Roasted Pistachio Pizza
I was shooting a scene for a commercial recently on a sidewalk in Beverly Hills. Between set ups, I wandered into a juice bar and found a little jar of spicy Mediterranean pistachios sitting on the counter. I bought them as a snack, but as soon as I tasted them, I thought "Pizza"! These would make a great option for a pepperoni-like vegetarian pizza. Pistachios add a nice crunch that can almost be "meaty" in their nuttiness and with these spicy ones, I was thinking it would be as interesting as using a spicy salty porky product that I love so much!
Let's get to the pizza. This one came out great! I ended up making 2 variations of this pizza. For the second variation I added some sautéed broccolini, which was a great addition.
The Spicy Pistachio Pizza
Peter's Country Dough
Herb Oil - for the tomatoes and to drizzle on the dough
Halved Garden Cherry Tomatoes
Chopped Italian Parsley
*2nd Pizza options:
Sauteed Broccolini with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper
Peter's Neo-Neopolitan Dough
The cherry tomatoes will become an ingredient in this pizza, but also function as the sauce. Slice them in half and cover with Herb Oil to coat and marinade. You can do this in advance. For this pizza, I just laid out the tomatoes for this pizza and drizzled some olive oil and sprinkled a little dried basil over the top before baking.
Add the grated mozz and pinches of goat cheese.
Lay some sliced shallots around the pizza and sprinkle on the pistachios.
That's it. Into the oven.
*An interesting thing happened to my pizza on the way to the oven...
I pre-heated the wrong oven! My pizza stones, steel and pizza grate are all stored in my lower oven. I accidentally pre-heated the top oven. Uh oh! I was sitting there with a pizza on the peel ready to go. By the time I could get one of the stone/steels into the upper oven and got it up to temperature, my pizza would be wet and stuck to the peel. Besides, I didn't have all day.
It was then that a lightbulb went off.
I took the cold Baking Steel out of the lower oven and placed it on the stovetop. I turned the two burners to high and it got really hot in just a few minutes. With some hot hands, I then placed the hot steel into the hot oven and in went the pizza.
This is one great reason to have a metal pizza surface around like the Pizza - Baking Steel or the new cast aluminum Pizza Grate. i love cooking on my Forno Bravo extra thick pizza stone, but these other products offer some options to play with.
In about 7 minutes I pulled the pizza. Success! Nicely done. I sprinkled some chopped Italian Parsley over the top and added some of my favorite Chili Sauce from 800 Degrees Pizzeria. Delicious! The pistachios were like little toasted pepperoni nuts! Awesome.
For my second version of this I used Peter's Neo-Neopolitan dough and added some sautéed broccolini. Again, delicious.
Two great vegetarian pizzas with some "chops" to stand up and be counted amongst the saltiest and spicy meaty of meatiest pies!
*There are additional photos of the 2nd pizza in the gallery. The broccolini added a nice juicy texture and flavor to this pizza.
Wood Fired Bo Ssam Miracle
Happy New Year!
This is my first belated post in this calendar year we've now entered. 2014! It can be a wonderful thing to start into a new year. There are all of our hopes and dreams before us. Yet it's also bittersweet because we are leaving behind yet another moment of our lives, or a measure of time. Time seems to move faster and faster as we get older. Ever since my wife and I had children things have really seemed to speed up. I feel like Snake Plissken in Escape from New York sometimes. It's as if I'm being forced to watch a giant red digital timer on my wrist counting off each second, each minute of my life! Tick tock, tick tock...
When we're younger we think our life clock is counting forward. Life is ahead of us. A big realization for my wife and I came when our second child came along. Upon closer inspection, we realized this giant obnoxious wrist timer was actually tick-tocking backwards! The thing was counting down not forward! We realized these kids, even this newest little baby, were working their way out the door to leave us. This changed things! Our baby, our daughter was now looked at with a little more suspicion! She actually wants to leave us because she thinks her clock is ticking forward.
It's really unfair!
That's the cycle of life I suppose. We all go through it, experiencing time differently throughout our lives. We seem to be always trying to get somewhere or too something and then at some point when things change, or come to an end we wish we had not rushed through them. Perhaps it's impossible to not do that ultimately, but because these measured moments in time come and then go, I try to remember to focus on not only being where I am at that moment, but also at least as much as where I've been and where I'm going.
"Ok pizza guy, get to the point!" You're off the rails!" Ok, ok! What about this Bo Ssam Miracle?
Where does my Wood Fired Bo Ssam Pork fit into this? It's funny how that works. I couldn't possibly have pre-planned this introduction to my latest attempt at "perfecting" David Chang's Bo Ssam pork. I just woke up early this morning after a busy holiday and the beginning of another new January and made myself a cup of coffee and sat down to write. I realized what this meal meant to me as I looked at the photos and thought about our friends Kurt, Kim, Ryan and Mitchell that we shared this feast with. It was a moment in time we shared with good friends and our families that was now gone.
To my mind, the best meals aren't the ones made by a master chef, or the best cooks in the best restaurants -- though they can be. Great meals are the ones that become memorable because they were part of a moment in time where you shared it all with a connection with your family or friends. It's about good food for sure, but it's also about the people and even the place. It's the overall experience that makes food and meals memorable. The first time I made David Chang's version of Bo Ssam pork was one of those perfect nights with good friends, good food, and some good beer that combined became a memorable stamp in time! Perhaps a miracle?! I've had quite a few of these moments around David Chang's cooking. While in NY on various trips, I've been lucky enough to find myself sitting in Momofuku Noodle Bar, or the Ssam Bar with friends and being blown away by how simple and good the food was.
I am not going to go deep into the recipe here because you can find it online, or in one of David Chang's books - which if you buy it at one of his restaurants comes signed, which I think is a nice touch! Here is a link to a New York Times article called "The Bo Ssam Miracle". The recipe is simple - it just takes some time in the oven.
My wood fired Bo Ssam Pork...
For this attempt at finding this "miracle", I decided I would try to cook the pork in my Primavera - Wood Fired Oven. The original recipe calls for 6 hours in the oven at 300 degrees. As I learn to take create different meals in my Primavera, I figured this 6 hour roast would be perfect to take this long road trip with my oven and work to keep it at a relatively low temperature for a long time. I fired the oven with a small fire and let it go for about an hour. At that point the oven was getting pretty hot, but I figured it was still absorbing heat and once I cut it down, I wanted enough residual heat stored in the walls to keep the process going for the duration. After the temps were approaching pizza temps, getting up to over 700 degrees in the dome, I put the door on to kill the fire and see where the ambient temperature was. I then pulled a lot of the coals out to allow it to cool down a bit more. I tinkered with it for about another hour or so while going back and forth and getting the pork ready in the pan.
As you see, I had a lot of pork in that pan! It was about 14 pounds and just barely fit.
With the door closed the temperature gauge on the door read exactly 300 degrees which is right where the recipe calls for it to be in a regular oven. I added a small piece of wood to the coals and got it to catch fire. Since I was using the WFO I figured I may as well let it do what it does -- adding some fire and smoke to the process. In went the pork. After about 15 minutes I closed the door to extinguish the fire and create some smoke.
After an hour I checked the roast and turned it. I then left for my daughter's soccer game! My pork was important, but well, you know how I said the whole family and friend thing is at least equally important with time and life ticking away -- so, off to soccer! Besides, the oven was doing all the work, I would just be pacing back and forth trying to look busy.
I came back almost 2 hours later and rotated the pork again and basted it. The temp was still holding and it hadn't burnt to a crisp! I let this baby run the full 6 hours since the temp was ever so slowly falling from 300. At the 6 hour mark, I pulled it and covered with foil. Since we were having dinner at our friend's house, we wrapped the package and hit the road.
Luckily we live in an area with great Korean and Asian markets! Kim did the shopping for the sides and ingredients for the Bo Ssam Sauces while I attempted to coax the Primavera into delivering the perfect roasted Bo Ssam Pork ever made…again!
When we got there with our package we made the Ginger Scallion Sauce and the Ssam Sauce as well as a spicy brewed fish sauce with Thai chillies. Kim picked up some great stuff at the market for sides: kimchee, seaweed salad and a few other Korean side dishes like a Seasoned Omasum (tripe) and some other spicy pickled veggies as well.
The pork was finished in Kim's home oven where we caramelized the brown sugar and salt mixture on it and then pulled the pork apart and plated it and the feast began! The thing I love about this meal besides the juicy salty-sweet pulled pork and the tangy pickled kimchee and side dishes and the warm rice in the cool lettuce that cups and the insane spicy and earthy sauces is that it is a meal that is meant to eat in a free for all style! It's a family style meal. It's a shared meal. It's a working meal - with everyone talking and passing plates and ingredients and eating with their hands and laughing and drinking and just having a good time with each other and with their food! I'd call that a miracle for sure.
We sat and began eating and continued drinking some wine and beer and after a short period the smells and our laughter began to draw the kids from their various activities around the house. As I sat there, I couldn't help but smile as I realized we were having another one of those moments…a moment that would remain with us, but was quickly going to pass into time.
Kim's Family Brewed Fish Sauce Recipe:
- Fish Sauce
- Thai Chillies
- Chopped Garlic
In a saucepan over medium heat add equal parts Fish Sauce, Water, Vinegar and Sugar. Add some chopped garlic and chopped Thai Chillies and stir until sugar melts. Be careful not to let it boil over!
Serve at room temperature. May be stored in a covered jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
*Note: For those cooking in a Wood Fired Oven, I suggest using a remote thermometer for this. I think I got comfortable because my temperature gauge was exactly 300 degrees for hours. With my diversion to a soccer game and the temp being right on the money, I let this ride. The top of the pork was a little dry (not ruined), but the middle, sides and bottom were perfectly juicy. That is part of the fun cooking with a wood oven, or over a fire on a grill. Isn't it?!! You have an added challenge which requires experience, skill, and the use of your instinct a little more than punching the keys BAKE - 3 - 0 - 0 - START. Love it!
I hope you all try this amazing recipe. I realize that though I've eaten at several of David Chang's restaurants numerous times, I have not had a chance to try his own version of this! I can't wait. It's now on my official list of things to do. We'll see how he does compared to us! Haha
In the meantime though…it's only a matter of time before I fire up the oven again and gather some friends.
The next miracle is waiting!
*I keep meaning to make this recipe and save some of it to make a pizza with. Once again, I have failed in my attempt to keep anything left over. I guess we'll have to try it again!
Wild Spicy Venison Sausage Pizza
My father-in-law is a hunter and I'm lucky enough that on our last trip up to his place for Thanksgiving he sent me home with some "fresh" Spicy Italian Venison Sausage he and a friend made up after a recently successful hunt.
When I got home I started thinking about how to use some of the sausage to make some pizza. I wanted to make something that sort of celebrated where the venison came from. When an animal is hunted by you, or someone you know, I guess there's just more of a connection to it. I remembered an old Anthony Bourdain episode of "No Reservations" where he visits London and Endinburgh. In the show, he joins the famous Michelin 3 Star Chef, Marco Pierre White, who takes him on a hunt prior to landing at his latest restaurant called the Yew Tree Inn, where they eat and drink and pontificate about food and life together.
There's a beautiful moment (as Bourdain so often captures) when he and Marco are walking along a grass covered two track dirt road on their morning hunt in the English countryside. Bourdain asks him how often he does "this". Marco thinks for a second reflecting on his lifestyle and says "About 4-5 days a week. It allows me to clear my head." He talks about how this connects him to his childhood when life was simpler and he would spend time fishing and hunting.
As they walk the road Marco says something that stuck with me. I had to go back and rewatch the episode to capture the entire quote. He says:
"I don't know how many times I saw wood pigeons eating the elderberries here. And I thought, lets roast a pigeon with elderberries. It's delicious. I love wild apples. And, how many times do you see pheasants picking at them when they've dropped on the ground? It's like shooting a rabbit and then baking it in the hay. It works. It really works. What does a rabbit love to eat? Hay. Mother nature tells us everything. We're not the geniuses are we? We're just the technicians."
Anthony has an "Ah-ha!" moment. It makes sense! It's what all good cooking is about. It's about using the available fresh ingredients that are right there wherever you are. It's about connecting the food, our environment and our lives. It's really about quality of life. You only see it in a very brief quickly cut shot, but you see Bourdain's almost childlike smile. It's a smile that says I know this, but you just taught it to me again!
Another hour or so has passed as I re-watched the episode. Anthony Bourdain has done it again. He's inspired me. His passion to search and explore the world through food is what originally gave me the idea to reach out to Peter Reinhart in the first place and why you are reading this recipe post!
For my Venison sausage pizza, I tried to bring some ingredients together that were similar to some of those that the deer may have once eaten. I wasn't able to to go to the location and investigate it, but tried to think about what deer eat in various locations here in the Western US. I chose my Desert Dough because it was rustic and celebrates the western deserts where this deer came from. I chose to add some sage, pine nuts and berries to represent what the deer may have eaten.
There are some wonderful flavors coming together in this pizza. It was balanced with flavors ranging from earthy to sweet to spicy. The song they created makes sense.
- Brad's Desert Dough *Link
Alternately you could use Peter's Rustic Dough *Link
- Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Gouda Cheese
- Spicy Venison Sausage Sliced
- Olive Oil
- A little Red Wine
- Dried Cranberries *Because this is what I could find! They work nicely!
- Pine Nuts
- Fresh Sage (Chop 3 leaves and pull and trim 4-6 others and leave whole)
- Fresh Thyme
- Large Spring Onion Chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Chili Oil if you so desire as a finishing touch
Spicy Venison Sausage Preparation:
Pull the sausage out of it's casing and pinch it off in pieces that are thick enough to not dry out, but thin enough to cook and eat on the pizza.
Slice up the Spring Onion
Chop some Garlic
Add Olive Oil to the iron Iron Skillet.
Add the garlic, onions, chopped sage, fresh thyme to the pan and slide into the fire.
Saute for a few minutes to start softening the onions and blending the flavors.
Pull the pan out and add the sausage. After the sausage starts to brown, add some red wine to the pan. The red wine will deglaze some of the charred bits and create a "sauce" depending on how much you use. I wanted to also make sure my sausage didn't dry out.
Slide it back into the oven and sauté sausage to "almost done". You will want to make sure there's room for this to finish on the pizza. Venison can get dried out. The sausage should contain some pork fat to help keep it moist, but I still say leave some room for this to cook on the pizza.
Remove and set aside.
To the Pizza:
Spread your dough
Drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle some herbs that go well with venison like: dried thyme and a little rosemary and I added some oregano as well.
Spread some grated gouda cheese and add a few pinches of the fresh mozzarella to blend with it which will also serve to smooth the gouda out as it melts.
Lay the venison sausage around the pizza and drizzle some of the sauce with the onions/garlic over the top.
Sprinkle on some pine nuts around the pizza.
Finish with 4 of the fresh sage leaves after soaking them in the sausage "sauce" and then sprinkle on a "few" dried cranberries. *I forgot the cranberries in the first pizza, but you can see photos of them in the 2nd. The cranberries add a nice sweet note that goes well with the more earthy venison and the slight spicy notes from the sausage mixture.
Into the oven!
What can I say here. We have about 90 - 120 seconds to wait. As soon as the dough sets up from the heat on the floor of the oven, it's time to slide the peel under it and turn it so it doesn't burn! I love cooking in fire, it's always more interactive.
Add a little Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.
Add chili oil if you have any, but first enjoy this in it's simplest form.
I hope you enjoy this one.
*As always send me your emails, comments on the site, and some pictures of your own pizzas!
The "Oh My!" Pizza
"Lions Tigers and Bears!"
Oh my, this turned out to be a great pizza! Take a walk with me down the wood fire brick road.
I had some Brussels sprouts sitting in a bowl on the counter that we hadn't gotten around to cooking and I figured I better do something with them before I had to send them on their way. I pulled a dough from the freezer and set about looking for some inspiration on the inter-webs.
I came across an interesting recipe on the Food Network site. I want to give full and due credit for the idea for this recipe. As usual, I often look around at recipes and see what I like and don't like and basically take some of the main ideas and adapt the rest for my purposes. I found this recipe for "Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers," which was published in the Food Network Magazine excerpted from Michael Symon's book Live to Cook. Though I was making a pizza, that title caught my eye and, after a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe, I knew I saw starting point here that I could work with.
The next step was a mental run through of my assets. What did I have around? I had some slivered almonds, anchovies, salt-packed capers, and honey. I believed I could pull this thing off, but instead of frying, I was -- of course, going to run this all through my P-60 WFO! What else did I have on hand to take this from playing a role as a side dish to turning it into a pizza? I still had a cherry tomato plant that wouldn't stop producing and some chili plants that were going strong. Prosciutto... Fresh Mozzarella…ah!
This started sounding interesting and as the wheels were spinning, the train started to leave the station. They started spinning and then slowed down as the frozen dough took its time to thaw on the counter. A few hours later, though, that train was rolling again! There was a fire growing in the belly of my oven. I was trying to finalize my loose plan to take off from the launching pad of Michael Symon's inspired recipe and to create my own pizza.
This is the fun part of cooking for me.
Roasted Tangy-Sweet-Salty Brussels Sprouts Pizza
- Favorite Dough
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Serrano Chili's - Chopped and Seeded
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Slivered Almonds
- 2 Tablespoons of Capers
- 2 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
- 2 Chopped Anchovies
- Olive Oil
I have a 10" iron skillet that I use in my Primavera. It's about the size of a pizza, so I just used it as a visual guide while prepping my ingredients. I like to cook without following any recipe too closely. I prefer to "feel" how much of anything should go into a recipe. I may have frustrated a few people here who prefer exact measurements, but I feel like that is one of the aspects of cooking that allows you to bring yourself to a recipe. Every time you make something it will be a little different.
Par boil the Brussels sprouts. When cool enough, slice them in half.
I grabbed enough cherry tomatoes from my garden to allow the tomatoes to become both part of the sauce and to act like an ingredient. So, I sliced some of them in half and threw some in whole. Cherry tomatoes are an amazing way to add a burst of flavor on a pizza!
If using salt packed capers, which seem to be the best, rinse a few times and set aside.
Chop up and seed the Serrano chili.
Into the pan:
Drizzle some olive oil into the pan. Start adding the ingredients.
- Slivered Almonds
- Chopped Serrano Chili
- Drizzle some more Olive Oil
Give it all a little toss, or mix to blend with the olive oil, and slide it into the oven. *Note: This would work fine in a home oven as well. I think it all roasted in about 10 minutes in the WFO at 800 degrees or so, so just give it more time in your home oven at 550 degrees. You want to roast it to the point where it's almost finished. You have to consider that it will finish roasting when it goes back into the oven on your pizza. In a way, this is par-roasting - just like par-boiling!
And now it becomes a pizza!
Spread your dough out and lay on a well floured peel.
Spread your roasted Brussels onto the pizza.
Add some pinches of your fresh mozzarella around the pie.
Tear some prosciutto and place it around the pizza.
*As I often say here, as you are placing all of these ingredients together on the pizza think about they balance with each other. In this case, I spread the roasted Brussels out on the pizza knowing that I was also going to add some mozzarella and prosciutto. This is important with cooking, but in a way it's even more important when making a pizza because these ingredients don't only have to blend together as they bake, but they also will be delivered to you on a bed of dough. Each bite will be what it is. You don't build a forkful from your plate to do your own blending of ingredients. With pizza you take a bite and that's what you get.
Into the oven it goes. My Primavera delivered it back to me in about 2 minutes. It's so giving! So selfless! In a way it would be nice if it took more time, because I love feeling the heat of the fire on my face as I lean down and watch the pizza rise to the occasion.
Lions, Tigers and Bears!
When I took my first bite, I actually said, "Oh my!". This pizza has it all going on! It's got it all. Lion's, Tiger's and Bears!
It hit the mark! As I write this, I'm still thinking about it. There's really more going on in this pizza than I originally thought. The roasted charred Brussels give that almost subtle
bitter base that allows the other ingredients to pop even more. The saltiness of the prosciutto and capers pops in your mouth. The sweetness of the honey dances around the spicy notes of the Serrano. The soft milkiness of the mozzarella plays with the juices given out by the tomatoes as they collapse and give up their liquid to create a sauce as well as their explosive pop of sweetness. Oh, but wait, this isn't over. The almonds then bring another textural experience to the whole thing. They softly crunch as you chew up their toasty-roastiness!
Don't forget the delivery system. The crisp, charred dough with it's soft warm center delivers this package wonderfully. My mouth is literally watering. Oh my....
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