Sunday, September 8, 2013

Salmon, Goat Cheese and Shaved Red Onions - California Brick Oven Pizza at Home

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I was feeling very Wolfgang Puck-ish while I was making my version of his signature dish, a Smoked Salmon Pizza.  It helped that I had just made a Sugar/Salt cured hot smoked salmon (Wofie uses a cold smoked raw salmon on his pizza).  So I happened to have a few leftovers saved back for just this pizza!

The shaved onions came from a mandolin slicer, the goat cheese came from a Nanny.

Add em all together and you have a very respectable Faux California Style Faux Brick Oven Pizza at home.  Delicious, exotic (especially here in Kansas (God's Country) and a great way to extend leftovers of a complicated dish (that I will be posting tomorrow).

As to the Italian Brick Oven style pizza at home...

Recently I went to a fancy dandy pizza shop.  One with an Italian wood burning pizza oven.  The pies went in and out in only 3-4 minutes and came out this beautiful randomly charred, bubbling cheesy beautiful pie!  I got to talking to the pie master and he explained this process for achieving near brick oven quality at home...

There is a trick of course to getting this look and texture of an authentic Italian Brick Oven pizza in a standard home oven.  That is HOT... Hot oven, and a HOT Pizza Stone.  Most ovens can reach a temperature of 550 degrees.  BUT, if you use the broiler setting, your oven will reach 650-700 degrees and maybe a bit higher.  Not as hot as a true pizza oven, but close enough for us.

Italian Brick Ovens will reach a temperature of 800-900 degrees.  SO instead of 3-4 minutes, our pizza will take a few more minutes, but we will still get the look and texture of crunchy crispy crust and bubbly cheese.

It is also important to know that these Italian style pizzas are never loaded with ingredients.  usually just an oil brushing, a thin layer of cheese and a thin layer of a vegetable (like these tomatoes).  While many pizzas will come with a tomato sauce option, this style shown here is much more common in Italy than the traditional American style.

OK... First the basics...

Here's the "How-To" and why of my goal of  Pizzeria style pizza at home...

Pizzeria Pizza at Home...

A goal of mine (and an earlier blog post, double click the blue letters).  In that post I go into details about the best way to achieve the goal of a making a seemingly simple flat bread, topped with a sauce and cheese.  I have a never fail yeast pizza dough recipe, a deliciously fresh rich pizza sauce (from scratch) and a bit of history.

This post has the recipe for the dough that I use.
OK... We have the dough, the cheese is out of a little tube and the onions are simply sliced very thin.

Here's your trick... PREHEAT YOUR PIZZA STONE AND OVEN set on BROIL for 30 minutes before you start cooking your pizza.

Assemble a pizza normally... I always assemble on a sheet of parchment paper.

Roll out the dough as thin as possible
Brush with Olive Oil.
Salt and Pepper the oil
Put a layer of Salmon chunks
Top with a layer of chopped goat cheese.
and finally top with some paper thin Red Onion slices

Bake on the pizza stone about 8 inches below the broilers for 6 minutes, Quickly check the pizza to see if it is how you like it,just starting to char is best.  COntinue to cook as needed, checking every minute to make sure it has not crossed the line from beautifully crispy to burnt.

And ENJOY!!!

Once you learn the tricks of the trade, Pizzeria Pizza at home is simple and addictive.  My dough recipe makes 4 dough balls, so each time I make pizza I have 4 canvasses to create.  Generally I make a pizza Margherita (pictured to the right, sauce, cheese and basil).  The Margherita is recognized by many as the first and original version of the modern pizza.

My wife prefers the classic Pepperoni.

That leaves me two canvasses to create.  SO many options... different sauces, different toppings, different shapes, different... well, different whatever I want to try.

So, as to the recipes...Well, that is not really the point of the series.  It's just a chance to show variety, to make you ponder what you can do and if you have never, try it yourself.  there are plenty of recipes, tricks and techniques to get you started over at the Pizzeria Pizza at Home 101 Post.  Scratch sauce, Scratch Dough, history and LOTS of photo instructions to get started.

As with most recipes, the basics can be learned in minutes; mastering the art will take a lifetime (or at least 52 tries).  You can achieve success with my Pizzeria 101 Link, a cookie sheet, standard oven and items in most every kitchen.  But... eventually you will want to try the toys of the trade  So if you want to dig deeper, I recommend these books and items...

Enjoy your Pizza making... Let me know what pizzas you are making and be sure to come take a look next Sunday to see what I come up with!

I hope I did not make it sound complicated... it really only takes a few minutes if you are an experienced home pizza maker.  The pay off in beauty and taste is well worth the effort.  Plus, if you get in the habit of making pizza dough 4 balls at a time (as my recipe does), and you always have a jar of sauce laying around (since I make 8 jars at a time, this beauty is actually very affordable).  Your big cost is the toppings, but since mostly I use leftovers, pizza is about as affordable as it gets... As long as you are not buying a $20 pizza at the pizzeria when you CAN make em at home!

And of course... This is a MUST MAKE recipe for my new Page that eventually will be a guide to Italian Cooking (worth following). I will try to research the history, Italian name for the dish and most of all the authenticity (going to be hard not to monkey about with the recipes, but I at least promise to try).

So, Cin Cin indeed as I add Breakfast Pizza Uova e Pancetta Pizza) to my "52 Authentic Italian Recipes".

And if you like this dish and want to see more, be sure to take a minute and "Follow" me on Pinterest for all of the updates to come!!!

This is Pizza #21 in my list of 52 Pizza Party Pizzas...

Week #1 ...

A simple Salami Pizza (break free of the addiction to Pepperoni).  A classic example of the Italian belief that less is more... Allow a quality ingredient like the artisanal Dry cured sausage, the sauce and the cheese balance beautifully!
This Sausage pizza is Pizza #2 in my list of 52 Pizza Party Pizzas...

I made a fantastic HOT Sausage Pizza... Made with mini balls of sausage (there is a small trick) that also looks as dramatic as it is tasty!

Week #3

I was on the grill making a dessert or Appetizer FANTASTIC Honey - Goat Cheese - Arugula Pizza... Delicious and PERFECT if you want to WOW your friends with something unique on the GRILL!

Week #4

A Pizza from my youth, the (then) exotic sounding Canadian Bacon and Onion GRILLED pizza!  Loaded with color and the unique taste of the sweet juicy back bacon that became a legend back in Pekin, Illinois in the 70's.

Week #5

A fond memory of our time living in the islands... US Virgin Island, St Thomas had a fantastic little beach bar where you could get a Steak and Gorgonzola Pizza (and a bottle of wine) for just $25... one of the few bargains on the island and a darn fine PIZZA!

Week #6

We stayed out on the grill for a fun APPETIZER PIZZA of Goat Cheese, Honey and Walnuts!  Worked perfect to serve as guests arrive, the sweet honey, zippy goat cheese and the savory walnuts paired perfect for a fine welcome treat!

Week #7

HOW COOL IS THIS BREAKFAST PIZZA???  Ham and Eggs... Cheese and tomato sauce!  It is actually a classic Italian recipe for
Bacon and Egg Pizza (Uova e pancetta Pizza)And it is WONDERFUL!

Week #8

Was something really special for me, a chance to cook with another respected Food Blogger, Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, AND to use her open fireplace cooking grate to cook over a live fire and make a pizza topped with Ina Garten's Guacamole Salad!  Fruit, Vegges, Black Beans... Makes a FANTASTIC Pizza!

Week #9

My beloved Rotisserie Chicken gets dressed up with Taco seasonings to help create a Taco Chicken and Pickled Red Onion Pizza!  A wonderfully colorful and spicy pizza.  Something you would expect at a California fancy pizzeria... or now at home!

Week #10

Cul de Sac Famous empty Nestors that we are, we were a bit intimidated with the idea of sitting for 7 (YES, SEVEN) of our nieces and nephews for a weekend.  I decided to make pizza one night, even more challenging I decided to offer each of the kids a chance to pick their own toppings... CHEESE PIZZA was by far the most requested.  But just because it is a simple cheese pizza is no excuse not to make it the best.  LOTS of tips to make yours better than a pizzeria!

Week #11

A new twist on the original classic pizza... A Basil Mint Pesto Margherita Pizza.  Pesto is loaded with fresh herbs (herbaceous), Pine Nuts (Nutty) and Garlic (you guessed it... garlicky!), making this pizza layers upon layers of flavors!  And pretty too!

Week #12

Another big change of pace that was HUGELY successful as an appetizer was this Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Pizza.  Lots of fresh grilled Corn and a sweet sauce of honey and mascarpone cheese.  Unusual combination of ingredients, sauce,cheese and a DELICIOUS Change of Pace!

Week #13

Fresh, Local, and best and SUMMERTIME!
Great produce is available at just about any street corner... And sometimes even your own garden.  Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow and work great in container gardens.  And they make a FANTASTIC... Cherry Tomato Margherita Pizza.  Colorful and Summertime fresh tasting!

Week #14

More fresh local And Best...
Seasonal Summer Pizzas are very simple.  You want the ingredients to shine.  The sauce, dough and cheese takes a back seat to fresh garden herbs.  This Fresh Herb Pizza tastes like summer in a garden!

Week #15

This pizza was a delicious trip to my back yard garden!  MY TOMATOES ARE IN MY TOMATOES ARE IN!!!  A Fresh Heirloom juicy sweet tomato pie!  This is what an Italian pizza ought to be... fresh local and loaded with flavors.  My favorite so far!

Week #16

This pizza is a stretch of leftovers.  I had grilled some wonderful Korean Style Short Ribs but only had a single serving left.  SO... Stretch those ingredients to make a wonderful pizza for two, A Korean Beef Short Rib Pizza for 2!

Week #17

I experimented with a new technique today when I made an Italian Brick Oven Style Pizza AT HOME. The trick is HOT HOT HOT, not only the oven but a Pizza Stone as well.  My first was this FANTASTIC White Sauced garlic and Tomato Naples style Pizza!

Week #18

I went a little more traditional American Pizzeria style this week with a sausage pizza.  In Fact, this got an Italian upgrade with a Spicy Italian Sausage and Tomato Slices Pizza.  Made Naples style in the HOTTEST OVEN Possible.

Week #19

I vary a bit from a traditional looking pizza with a simple BEER BREAD Crust, MARGHERITA TOPPED Pizza.  A bit unusual but fast and EASY to make and a great Bar Snack or Appetizer.

Week #20

I added a cooking with beer pizza.  I simmered Rotisserie Chicken in a combination of beer and Hot Sauce, PLUS used a Beer Pizza Dough recipe to make these appetizer Buffalo Pizza Sticks with Blue Cheese.  All the tastes of a bar snack, Buffalo Chicken Wings on a Pizza!

OK, be sure to come back next Sunday... I already have plans for next weeks' Za!

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