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!