Pear, arugula, and gorgonzola pizza

Pear, arugula, and gorgonzola pizza

My friend Bridget suggested this pizza combo to me after a meal she had at Santa Cruz’s Tramonti in Seabright. It was an all-white pizza featuring pears and blue cheese; she thought some arugula would add some zing and make it sing. She was right. The base of this is a thin layer of Trader Joe’s Quattro Formaggio blend (asiago, fontina, provolone, and parmesan), topped with thin slices of ripe Asian pear, a handful or arugula, and finally a drizzle of gorgonzola. The sweetness of the pear substitutes nicely for tomato; the asiago and fontina give it a zing, arugula adds texture and contrast, and the gorgonzola makes it elegant. A...
Barbecued chicken and gouda pizza

Barbecued chicken and gouda pizza

Tangy barbecue sauce, rich gouda, crunchy tart red onion, and savory chicken . . . one of my favorite combos for Friday pizza night. For any pizza night, really. Here is the lightly topped thin crust in the pizza oven: And the finished pie ready to slice: Delicious! Ingredients: Best Barbecue Sauce Pizza crust Cooked chicken (I toss the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper before grilling it) Thinly sliced red onion Shredded gouda cheese...
Friday night pizza night

Friday night pizza night

I’ve gotten into the habit of saving pizza nights for guests, because once I cure the pizza oven, make the dough, make the sauce, mince the vegetables, and precook whatever chicken or sausage I may feel like, it just seems like a lot of work when there aren’t many people to enjoy it. But that’s just wrong. Why wait for guests or holidays to make a meal an occasion? I had the time and a hankering for pizza so went to the trouble for just LL and Kid Two and I on Friday night. Turns out it was not any more trouble than anything else I do. Kid Two practiced making the same face as the dog: Then we cooked our pizzas and watched Touch of Evil (Kid Two enjoys classic film noir) and I sat there thinking, as I often do, it just doesn’t get any better than this. The pizzas don’t get any better than this, either. LL’s favorite is salami, black olive, and mushrooms with tangy tomato sauce: I like prosciutto, fontina, and thinly sliced tomatos with arugula, but I don’t see the arugula here on this one! Look at this great thin crust, though:   I been thinking about the bacon and jalapeño pizza I used to love from Imo’s; it was my go-to pizza in high school. I made this one for Kid Two in honor of his starting high school. It has a base of homemade provel cheese sprinkled with sriracha, thinly sliced garden tomatoes in lieu of sauce, a sprinkling of crispy bacon, cooked fast, then topped with garden greens. It may be my new favorite. Here’s...

A good gluten-free pizza dough

I had a pizza night planned for Saturday with new guests – work colleagues – and almost too late learned one of our guests needed a gluten-free menu. Instead of rethinking dinner, I decided to give gluten-free pizza a go and tried Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix mix – chosen because, of all the gluten-free baking options at the grocery store, this package included directions for making pizza dough. This was my first try with a gluten-free dough, and it turned out just great. The package had quite specific mixing and handling directions; follow them exactly and you will combat the inherent stickiness and relative difficulty to work with. Once cooked, the crust was perfectly crisp and had a firm, light texture. It’s on the sweet side because ingredients include sorghum flour, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, molasses, and honey, so use lots of garlic and herbs in your tomato sauce. Even if you’re not gluten-free, this is worth a try. Seeing as more and more people are gluten-free these days, I’ll be keeping a package or two on hand from now...
Little Italy’s Davanti Enotica – nouveau Italian

Little Italy’s Davanti Enotica – nouveau Italian

davanti – in front of enoteca – wine bar –  from the glossary on Davanti Enoteca’s menu The Italian restaurants in the St. Louis of my memory are the Cicero’s, the Rossino’s, and the Talayna’s;  a vowel-laden litany of boisterous, dimly-lit, wooden-walled, linoleum table-topped rooms filled with baseball teams, cast parties, church groups, girls’ nights out, first dates, and second anniversaries mingling with clattering trays and decades-old smoke and grime, where as high schoolers we’d share plastic pitchers of soda and crunchy iceberg salads tossed with buttery tubes of provel cheese and creamy Italian vinaigrette and as college students we’d share pitchers of Busch Light and chewy pizzas topped with sliced black olives and bacon and jalapeños. That old-school vibe was overthrown in the Foodie Revolution in favor of “nouveau Italian” – handcrafted salumi perched in pepperoni’s throne and purple pickled cauliflower in waiting on tables instead of breadsticks. And across the country in San Diego’s Little Italy, Davanti Enotica reigns as Rossino’s glamorous cousin, the ultimate finishing school graduate of the foodie revolution. Davanti Enoteca is bricked-walled and plank-floored just like those Italian restaurants of my youth, but clean – oh so clean – and decorated in a nod to the past with black and white photos of wooden Italian speedboats docked in tidy harbors and yellow #10 Marzano tomato cans stacked in tidy pyramids, then dotted with single white orchids and tiny tea lights flickering in 4-oz Ball canning jars. My glass of wine was served in a miniature carafe accompanied by an oversized stem – nice to pour just a bit at a time to sip while browsing the...

How many calories in a Domino’s bacon cheeseburger pizza?

Grist reported today that Domino’s, along with other fast-food pizza chains, are protesting proposed regulations required them to disclose calories per slice. Here’s a news article from today covering the same topic. That’s fine. There are independent labs all over the country who share their results. Here are a few I found online: Start with CalorieLab’s breakdown. They estimate a serving size is 1/8 of a Domino’s bacon cheeseburger pie, or 77 grams, and it contains: serving size: 77 grams (my note: compare to the 78 gram serving of a Doritos Locos Taco) calories: 220 calories from fat: 130.5 saturated fat: 5.5 grams total fat: 14.5 grams trans fat: 0 grams cholesterol: 30 mg sodium: 405 mg carbohydrates: 15 grams dietary fiber: 2 grams sugars: 2 gram protein: 11 grams For more information, visit CalorieLab’s website. Livestrong also has data, only their serving size is 2/8 a pizza instead of 1/8 – double the serving size. Even so, their numbers are more than double CalorieLab’s: serving size: no grams listed. (I could do the math, but this is their data, not mine) calories: 550 calories from fat: 234 saturated fat: 12 grams total fat: 26 grams trans fat: 0 grams cholesterol: 61 mg sodium: 1274 mg carbohydrates: 55 grams dietary fiber: 3 grams sugars: 3 gram protein: 26 grams For more information, visit Livestrong’s website. Finally, Domino’s Cal-O-Meter weighs in on the nutrition information of a medium, thin crust bacon cheeseburger feast pie: serving size: 154 g calories: 450 calories from fat: 250 saturated fat: 12 grams total fat: 28 grams trans fat: 0.5 grams cholesterol: 65 mg sodium:...
Smoked salmon pizza and grilled prawns – a perfect appetizer combination

Smoked salmon pizza and grilled prawns – a perfect appetizer combination

Saturday was slow-food pizza night, with friends new and old celebrating the close of another school year. But our pizza is slow and cocktails strong, so we started out fast and delicious, seafood-style, with three dozen grilled prawns tossed in Louisiana hot sauce. They are as rich and luscious as they are quick and easy, mostly because you make the sauce by mixing together 1 part butter to 1 part Louisiana-style hot sauce. Everything’s better with butter – or bacon! – right? A quarter-cup of each is plenty for a dozen prawns, and Crystal, Original Louisiana, and Frank’s Red Hot brands are all traditional and tasty choices. Just toss your sustainably-raised, cleaned and deveined prawns in olive oil and throw them on a hot grill. Turn them over as soon as they start turning pink; it takes only a minute or two on each side for them to cook through. Pop ’em straight into that buttered up hot sauce and dive in – you’ll definitely need extra napkins. Yum. Okay – now for the second appetizer: smoked salmon pizza. We’ve been refining this recipe ever since LL’s first taste of Wolfgang Puck’s smoked salmon pizza at Spagos in Las Vegas way back in the old Comdex days. Chef Puck uses thinly sliced smoked salmon – lox – with caviar. We use dry smoked salmon, thick flaky slabs of alder-infused deliciousness. I love Dave’s brand – it’s local but easy to buy online. Start by making your dough – click here for a fool-proof recipe. Now make a spread of 1 cup whipped cream cheese, zest of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 cup finely minced red onion,...
Grilled pizza how-to

Grilled pizza how-to

Jack Prelutsky’s pizza poem made me hungry! Since I’m thinking about pizza I thought I should let you in on the secrets of one thing I do really, really well – handmade barbecued pizza.