Written Recipes
Olive and Peppadew Tapenade
Peter Reinhart

I'm becoming quite fond of those bright red pickled peppers you find in the pack your own condiment bar of supermarkets next to the olive bar--you know, the ones that look like tiny mini-me's of red bell peppers but have a lot more zing and are sweet and vinegary and just explode in your mouth with flavor. They're called peppadew peppers and are from South Africa originally. A few years ago they were the latest new, hard to find thing but now they're fairly ubiquitous. That's a good thing for all of us.

They work wonderfully on top of pizzas or in salads, whole or sliced -- I now use them zealously on pepperoni pizzas to really push the zing factor! So, I got to thinking what a fun topping it would make to combine the peppadews with some tapenade ingredients and make a relish-like topping spread that could be used on sandwiches as well as pizzas. Tapenade, for those like me who have heard the word many times but never actually knew the meaning, refers to a Provencial spread traditionally made with anchovies, olives (black or Greek), garlic, and capers, finely chopped or processed into a paste. Pretty fabulous!

But now we use the word to mean many kinds of similar olive-based relishes, such as the one to follow. Once you've made it, feel free to adjust the ingredients to your own taste or create your own similar "tapenades" (yes, we're absconding with the term and making it our own -- we could just as easily refer to it as a topping or relish but tapenade sounds so much cooler). Whatever you call it, you'll love it! How about calling it: Makes Everything Taste Better Relish.

2 cups black olives (or a blend of black and green olives, or even Greek), pitted
1 tablespoon capers
1 cup whole peppadew peppers, packed
1 clove fresh garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Drain the peppadew and olives and make sure there are no pits. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor except the olive oil and process for about 5 to 15 seconds, or until it forms a relish-like consistency, drizzling in the olive oil until you get the consistency you want  (you can process it all the way down to a thick paste if you like, but I prefer preserving the little bits of olives and peppers, which make for a colorful relish). You can also hand chop everything and hand mix if you are so inclined.

Use this mixture generously on top of pizzas or as a sandwich relish on hoagies, subs, heroes, po' boys, or muffuletta (in other words, on hoagies and all the hoagie offspring -- remember, I'm from Philly where we take our secret hoagie spreads pretty seriously!).

PS  Here's a link to a peppadew website:
http://www.peppadew.com/products/en/0/

 
Caesar Salad Dressing
Peter Reinhart

I’m not going to get into the history of how this dressing came into existence--you can read all about it on a bottle of Cardini’s, since Caesar Cardini owns those bragging rights (though I’ve heard it disputed by others who claim the dressing may have other origins--if you know these stories please tell us about them in the comments section). What I do want to say is that a good Caesar salad -- as opposed to a bad one made with a bottled dressing like you get in most chain restaurants -- is one of the most perfect flavor combinations ever invented. Sometimes people just nail a dish--like Reuben Kulakofski, who is one of the men credited with inventing the Reuben Sandwich (it has also been credited to Arnold Reuben, from another time and place--if you know the true origin story, or other "true" versions, please dish it here!); or Rafael Esposito and the Margherita pizza (if he really is the one--that too is in dispute, but one within our PizzaQuest wheelhouse). My point is, regardless of who really invented these iconic foods, there are just some dishes that represent flavor perfection and Caesar salad is one of them. I credit it with being the dish that single-handedly turned me into a foodie when I was about 11 years old.

I get into arguments everywhere about who makes the best Caesar dressing, and I’ve had some good ones over the years, but I’d put the one below one up against any. One of the tricks is to use

 
Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto, and Arugula Pizza
Peter Reinhart

Here's a great pizza from Kelly Whitaker of Boulder's fabulous Pizzeria Basta.

 

We asked him to create something on the spot, using Bel Gioioso Fontina cheese and he quickly pulled together a few other great ingredients: speck (smoked prosciutto), regular prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, local mushrooms, and a garnish of arugula. We all loved it! (I got to eat the slice you see me with in the video but the production crew devoured the rest, and a few others as well!!)

One point of note: Kelly is using --00--flour (low protein, Italian-style pizza flour), but it's not imported from Italy. Instead, it comes from San Francisco's Giusto Mills, the very same mill that supplied my flour when I had Brother Juniper's Bakery many years ago. It's a small world....

 

 
Focaccia col Formaggio di Recco
Peter Reinhart

I discovered this in northern Italy, in the Ligurian town of Recco, just south of Genoa. I'm in love with it!! It is made with the simplest of all doughs yet makes an extraordinary type of unusual focaccia. The dough is unleavened and, when rolled out paper thin, is not all that different from Greek phyllo (aka, fillo) dough. It is used not only in the Ligurian Focaccia col Formaggio di Recco, but also in countless Greek and Macedonian pastries of the pita tradition. While the focaccia col formaggio is made in large copper pans, such as what we had at da Vittoria Ristoranti in Recco, this version uses a 10” cake pan to make a smaller version; if you

 
Peter's Herb Oil on Brad's Cheese Pizza
Brad English

I've been playing with Peter's Herb Oil recipe for a while - ever since I first read his book American Pie "My Search for the Perfect Pizza".  I have only focused on using it with Pizza, but he has some very interesting suggestions and ideas I'd like to try some time.


I woke up early the other morning, about 5:00 AM, and realized that I while I wanted to sleep, what I really wanted to do was to take some photos to go with the Peter's Herb Oil recipe.  So I came downstairs and pulled a couple of frozen pizza doughs out of the freezer to use with my new batch of Herb Oil and went back to bed.  Later, after getting the kids off to school, I made the Herb Oil and took photos while the dough came up to temperature.

 

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American Pie Artisan Breads Every Day Bread Baker's Apprentice Brother Juniper's Bread Book Crust and Crumb Whole Grain Breads

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