December 28, 2013


    It's that time of year again, where you analyze all that has happened over the past year and recognize what is most important in your life.  I just returned back to San Francisco after spending a lovely week with my family and friends in Philadelphia, which reconfirmed how lucky I truly am to have such amazing people in my life.  This year has been one hell of a ride for Erich and I, and frankly I am thankful to have made it through with only a few bumps and scratches.  I am looking forward to the year ahead and the pies to come!

    This pie was inspired by leftovers.  There are certainly plenty of them around this time of year, and there is always that one side dish that lingers around the fridge that you're not quite sure what to do with.  In our case, we had leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving.  We went to LA for thanksgiving and only took back brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce, so there was not much around to pair with the cranberry sauce, and I was not about to cook another turkey!  These days I love pairing fruit and savory toppings on pies.  It's just soooo satisfying!


cranberry sauce (made from scratch)
1 1/4" slice of pancetta
blue cheese
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. reserved pancetta fat (oil leftover in pan)

    If you don't have any cranberry sauce lying around and you want to make this pie, I suggest either making it from scratch or purchasing the kind that has whole cranberries in it.  We used the recipe on the back of the trader joe's bag.  Of course we added our personal twist, but that's for us to know and you to wonder.

    First dice up the pancetta and crisp it up in a pan for about 5 minutes.  Then scoop out the pancetta and place in a bowl.  Reserve the oil in the pan.  Next add dollops of cranberry sauce on the pie.  Use as much or as little as you like.  Then add the rest of the toppings (pancetta, cheese, seasoning etc.).  Finish the pie off with the reserved pancetta fat and bake in the oven until the cheese is all bubbly and the crust browns up nice.  Soon it will smell like the holidays in your house all over again!  

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!

November 2, 2013

   There are days when all I want is breakfast for dinner.  There are in fact many days.  A poached egg over quinoa, a side of scrambled with pita, kale, and hummus.  Need I go on?  When the weather starts to turn, I crave comfort foods, particularly carbs, and cheese…  A perfect storm for making a pizza pie! So about a week ago, I decided a pizza pie with an egg on it was on the menu for our Saturday night dinner.  I went to the meet market in search for guanciale, and came home with hot coppa.  I thought a little spice could be nice.  This pizza pie is sooo easy to make because there is no prep needed, except for the dough which you could buy.  I guess…


1 garlic clove
6 cherry tomatoes
a little bit of buffala
3 tbsp. cream cheese (I used cowgirl creamery)
5 slices of hot coppa (thin)
1 egg
olive oil
salt and pepper

1) Halve the tomatoes and mince the garlic.  Mix

2) Taste test.

3) Top the dough with tomatoes, cheese, and olive oil.
Bake about 4 minutes until the crust looks like it's more 
than half way done.  This really depends on how hot 
your oven gets.  Do less time if you're oven gets HOT!

4) Remove pie from the oven add meat, and one egg.
Put back in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until the egg 
turns a translucent white color.
Think over easy egg.

5) Remove from oven, smear egg yolk, season.

October 28, 2013

I'll be the first to admit that this pie was a little outside of my wheelhouse. Usually it's Ashley doing the veggie pies while I stick to the important stuff, you know, smoked and/or cured meats. But after the idea for beet "pepperoni" popped into my head (the inspiration was my "genius" realization that sliced beets and sliced pepperoni are both red and round), and I found myself trying to approximate the mighty pepperoni with a beet.  Go figure.

To infuse a beet with the smokey, salty, savory, spicy character of a pepperoni, I grabbed some dried shiitake mushrooms (make sure you get good ones as they are more smokey), some smoked paprika, and a butt load of salt. I sliced the beets into approximate pepperoni thickness, put them in a bowl with some of the dried shiitake, smoked paprika, salt (don't fear the salt; pepperoni is salty), and some soy sauce (to punch up the savory meatiness factor), and poured enough hot water over top to cover. Then I covered the bowl and put in the fridge overnight. 
The next day, I'll be damned if those beet slices didn't taste like meaty, smokey circles of pizza toppin' goodness. I drained and diced up the shiitakes, topped the pie with the beets, mushrooms, and a little pesto made with kale, smoked almonds, and a blast of anchovy paste. Tossed a little burrata and pecorino on top for good measure.  The resulting pie was quite a treat.
Beet "pepperoni" Pie


for "pepperoni"
3 Beets (roasted and peeled)
Small Handful Dried Shiitake
1 tbls. soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbls. sea salt
 1 tsp. smoked paprika
hot water

for pesto
1 small can hickory smoked almonds
1/2 bunch kale
1 tbls. anchovy paste
1 clove minced garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbls. olive oil
1 tbls. soy sauce

Slice the beets into approximately the thickness of a slice of pepperoni. place the beets, and all the other "pepperoni" ingredients into a small bowl, and pour almost boiling water on top to cover. Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for 3-4 hrs. (better if over night). Next, remove from fridge, drain liquid. Set aside.  To make the pesto, cut up kale into small enough pieces that a food processor can get a hold of it. Place all ingredients for pesto into a food processor, and pulse until in is a uniform, semi-chucky, pesto like consistency.

Roll out your dough, top with pesto, died mushrooms, beet slices, mozzarella, pecorino, and bake at 550+ degrees until bubbly cheese, and charred perfection.  Enjoy.

***Also, as an ending note, special thanks to my new boss for giving me a pull of his sourdough starter.  Ash and I have been using it in our pizza dough with great results.  It's got a nice savory, mushroomy type thing happening. The resulting raw dough reminds me of fresh mozzarella cheese.***

October 13, 2013

  So Erich and I finally made it to Cali!  We set out on our journey for the west coast at the end of July, and after a little cross country road trip we arrived in early August.  We lived like nomads for the first two months, making pies for friends and family along the way of course...  Although this is not the first pie made in California by Erich and I, it is the first pie we have made in our new apartment.  We even used some ingredients from the garden in the backyard!

Orange you glad we moved to California Pie?


1 bulb of fennel
1 tsp. honey
1/2 c. orange marmalade jam
1/3 c. sour cream
a sprig of rosemary
salt & pepper
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 550 or higher for 30-45 minutes.  Next thinly slice the fennel and sauté with a little bit of olive oil and honey until it turns golden brown.  Add 1/2 the rosemary to the pan to season the fennel.  Before rolling out the dough, heat up the orange marmalade in a pan so it breaks down and is closer to a syrup consistency.  Next roll out the pizza dough, and top the pie.  I smeared the jam on first, and finished topping the pie with sour cream dollops but you can top the pie however you please.  Bake for approximately 7 minutes.  Season as necessary and eat it up! I added the left over jelly to a small bowl and mixed it with a dollop of sour cream to dip my pizza crusts in.  You might want to do that...

More to come out of our kitchen in SF soon!


August 8, 2013

Opposites attract.  In this case we are talking about pizza toppings.  Although both of these toppings are found in abundance in the Mediterrenean, I was surprised by the harmonious combination of sweet red grapes and salty kalamata olives.  They complement each other beautifully!  We discovered the perfect pair when we cooked the roast chicken recipe in Smitten Kitchen's cookbook.  Nothing beats a meal with sweet and savory flavors.  Mmmmm.  There is no better combo.  You always feel complete by the end of your meal.

(recipe adapted from The Silver Spoon)

1 1/4 cups flour 
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup water
3/4 tsp. salt
olive oil for brushing

   The Silver Spoon recommends using 00 flour, but I used bread flour because it's what we had on hand. I felt the consistency of this dough was easier to work with and had more gluten production probably because we usually use half the amount of yeast.  

   Mix all dry ingredients together then mix in water and knead for 10 minutes.  My wimpy arms only lasted about two if you have some nice biceps I suggest going for the full 10 minutes to increase gluten production or use your luxurious kitchen aid mixer for 5 minutes.  (I can't wait to add that to the registry!!!)


2-3 Tbsps. tahini
1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
8 red grapes cut in half
8 kalamata olives minced
3 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 Tbsp. zatar
mozzarella & pecorino
olive oil
salt and pepper

  Smear tahini onto the surface of the pie.  Then add rest of the toppings and bake for 7 minutes in the oven at 550 or higher if possible.  Season with a little salt (those olives be salty!), some pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  Mangia mangia!

May 20, 2013

   Spring has somehow come and gone or was it every really here?  Today felt like summer in Brooklyn.  Hot and muggy.  This pie was inspired by a fresh spring day!  You know one of those days when the flowers just begin to unfold and show their colors?  The farmer's market has more than just potatoes and root veggies?  The grass is green and pollen has taken flight!

Pie Ingredients

Healthy handful of arugula
4-6 slices of pickled melon (see recipe below)
1/3 c. grated pecorino
1.5-3 oz of goat cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper

Pickled Melon

1 c. white wine vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. water
1/4 of a cantaloupe thinly sliced
2 sprigs of dill
dash of all spice

   Bring water and vinegar to a boil.  Add sugar and cook until it dissolves.  Add the sliced melon and cover for 5-10 minutes.  Place in container with all spice and dill and let the melon pickle! Nom nom.

   First prep your dough and form it to the thickness you prefer.  Add goat cheese, grated pecorino, olive oil, and a dash of pepper and salt.  Bake at 550 for 6-7 minutes.  Then add pickled melon, arugula and a dash more of pecorino.  Mangia, Mangia!

  This pie is great for a spring or summer day, as it is light and flavorful! (It will not leave you feeling guilty! I promise!)

  Ahhh, spring.  I miss you already.


April 23, 2013

Over the past few months, I have fallen under the spell of Za'atar. What is that? Zataar is middle eastern spice blend, mainly composed of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. I kept running into items on menus that listed Za'atar as an ingredient (on flatbreads, in spreads, even a Za'atar bagel), and the stuff tasted so good that I figured I'd pick some up to have around the house. Turns out the stuff is cheap too. So cheap that they sell it in 1 lb. bags.  That's a lot of Za'atar! With so much on hand, I knew that it would have to find it's way onto a pizza. 

I mixed a healthy amount of Za'atar into a little bit of olive oil to make a paste. The Za'atar paste spread generously onto a freshly rolled out pizza dough formed a great base for a Middle Eastern inspired pie. Next, I topped the pie with our usual blend of Mozzarella and shredded pecorino, some fire roasted yellow peppers, and some crumbled lamb sausage that I picked up from my other new jam, Los Piasano's, a killer meat shop on Smith Street in Brooklyn. We popped the pie in the +500 degree oven, and seven minutes later, Ash and I were chowin' down, feeling like Saudi Royalty. Enjoy!


Za'atar Pie W/ lamb Sausage

1 dough
3 oz mozzeralla
4tsp za'atar spice blend
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 fire roasted yellow pepper
1 link lamb sausage
2 oz shredded pecorino cheese

Mix the Za'atar spice blend with the olive oil until you form a paste. Remove the lamb sausage from the casing, and crumble into a hot skillet to cook. Spread out the dough. Spread the Za'atar paste generously on the dough. Top with mozz, peppers, cooked crumbled sausage, and pecorino. Bake at +500 degrees plus for 5-7 min.