Pizza Plaza in action
Sunday night we were able to have Lyn and Adam plus Laura and Michael for a pizza party. I cranked up the oven with possibly the hottest fire yet, and by 7 PM we were into an appetizer, namely Arancini, made from a leftover celery risotto. Laura made the rice balls (walnut size), inserting a cube of mozzarella in the center. After dipping each ball in flour, beaten egg, and Italian bread crumbs, I fried them in 2-3 inches of oil until good and brown. Served with a crisp white wine.
Preparation for the pizza was mostly done in advance: fresh tomato sauce, sliced onions, zucchini, regular and Buffalo milk mozzarella, slices of prosciutto, eggplant breaded and baked, sliced cremini mushrooms, pesto, basil leaves, arugula — and of course, the pizza dough, already made with all-purpose and whole wheat flours.
Foreground: pizza elements At the stove: frying arancini.
One more preparation: sauteeing and braising the chanterelles, to combine with some Cacciota Cheese with Truffles on my own pizza — terrific atop a little sauce, prosciutto, Buffalo mozzarella, and arugula.
Chanterelles in the steel pan
Each person then rolled out the dough and added toppings to his or her pizza:
and it was into the oven. It was dark outside by that time, but the work light was trained on the oven, so the process was quite workable. The oven floor was 900+ degrees F. when we started, so each one was ready in about 90 seconds. A quick lift with the pizza peel for 10 seconds finished the browning on top:
and the customers were happy with the finished product.
For wines we had a 2000 Bonarda (Ghiro Rosso D’Inverno) — and the 1965 Barbaresco (Marchese Villdoria Riserva Speciale) .
Conversation covered politics, sociology, travel medicine, protest movements, South Africa, Nepal, Danish furniture, Israeli techniques for re-acclimating soldiers returning from war, families, food and wine.
Adam and Lyn brought some of their own peaches which we shared with gusto for dessert. Thanks to Michael for being the official photographer, and of course, to Barbara for all dough, all the ingredient prep, and cleanup after Laura did a bunch of it, as usual.
Please join us next time.
dgourmac: That oven looks beautiful. And is that a Big Green Egg I spy in that first photo?
Yes, it is. Sharp eye of a photographer. I have actually done pizza in it, too, but not so well. The crust burns before the topping is right. However, it is unbeatable for low-and-slow pork butts, ribs or brisket. Will hold a charcoal fire at 220 F for 16-18 hours. Might not do justice to a White Tower burger.