Underground Pizza

Posted by on Sep 27, 2013 in Pizza | 0 comments

Underground Pizza


The world of wood-fired pizza.  Irregular puffy pockets of crust, bubble, and char.

Perfect combinations of vivid tasty toppings crown the thin dough on the peel.

Slide it into the blazing oven.

--a play by play by play.






















Dude, someone has to go.





























perché non io?



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Pizza Pie–Kinda.

Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 in Pizza | 1 comment

Pizza Pie–Kinda.


Nearly a year ago Cole sent me a link he thought I’d like to explore—cauliflower pizza crust.

It has become the darling of grain-free food bloggers.  The crust has a sweetness to it and it does hold together.  But you won't be giving it a New York City fold.




Pizza is on the menu once a week in our kitchen.  The sole purpose is to be creative with toppings and have plenty of pizza slices remaining to pack up for potluck lunches at the office.








I have made this pizza crust twice now.  The pizza is an easy switch.  Add any toppings you like after pre-baking the crust.








Mince the cauliflower florets in two batches (easier that way).















Cover and zap for 5 minutes.








Let the little bits cool and wring the water out of the cooked cauliflower.








Fluff the cauliflower with a fork and add the remaining dry ingredients.








Almond meal makes it gluten-free.






















Lastly, Make a well in the center for the egg to be beaten and combined.








Line an old baking sheet with oiled parchment and shape the crust.  Bake it per the instructions until it is golden and brown around the edges.








I added a bit of our pizza sauce and piled on olives, tiny tomatoes, and mozzarella.








Arugula with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette made it a salad too.








This pizza crust is a tasty tremendous winner if you are a vegetable lover--and-- you can eat the whole yummy pie!

Come on.  Get out a fork and give it a try.


































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Pizza All Dressed Up for the Big Show!

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Pizza | 9 comments

Pizza Palette, Pizza Palette!

In our kitchen, pizza dough has been a perpetual canvas for toppings not remotely related to traditional pizza.

Last month MP stumbled upon a cooking contest sponsored by Stonewall Kitchen
who produces award-winning pantry specialties.

My blog was selected to create a dish made from one of a dozen assorted mustards.

The Traditional Pub Style Mustard arrived in the mail with a gift of jam too.  Perfect.


Is it a salad?

Is it a pizza?

Is it a warm sandwich?

 Shrimp and Bacon Pizza with Spinach and Pub Style Mustard Cream

Hearty, tangy, and studded with mustard seeds, this mustard cuts right through the bacon and cheese and brightens up the layer of spinach.  Oh, boy!

The complete recipe is printer ready at the bottom of this post.

You may of course, use store bought dough or make your own using this earlier blog entry.

Partially bake the bacon in the oven or in a skillet.

I use a thin cut of uncured bacon free of nitrites.

Roll the dough onto a pizza pan.  Bake at 450 degrees for just 2 minutes before proceeding.

Prepare the mustard cream.  Add jam to heavy cream.

Add the bacon drippings and

stir in Stonewall Pub-Style Mustard until combined into a

luxurious mustard cream.

The baby spinach should be stemmed and very dry.

Toss the spinach with half of the dressing and

place it on the pizza that has been baked for 2 minutes.

Cover the spinach with Provolone.

Beautiful Wild Caught Shrimp

become little  bacon wrapped bundles.

Don't freak out.  It does look weird.  Get the bundles on the pizza and into the hot oven!

The pizza is done when the bacon is crispy, the shrimp are rosy pink, the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust golden brown.

Remove from the oven and brush the remaining Mustard Cream over the shrimp bundles.

Slice and Share

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Shrimp and Bacon Pizza with Spinach and Pub Style Mustard Cream


  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Stonewall Traditional Pub Style Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Stonewall Kitchen Apricot Jam
  • 1 Tablespoon bacon drippings
  • Pizza crust
  • 1 pound pizza dough, store bought, or Stonewall Kitchen pizza crust mix,
  • prepared to package instructions
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced bacon, cut in half
  • 1 pound fresh wild caught extra large shrimp (20/24 count), peeled and deveined
  • 4 cups baby spinach stems removed (about 4 ounces)
  • 5-6 slices thinly sliced Provolone cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay out cut pieces of bacon on a baking rack over a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly under done; drain on paper towels and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon dripping from the baking sheet.
  3. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, mustard, jam, and drippings.
  5. Roll the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round and place on a prepared pizza pan or parchment lined baking sheet. Par bake the crust for 2 minutes remove from the oven and set aside.
  6. Wrap each shrimp with a half slice of under done bacon.
  7. Meanwhile, toss the spinach with half the mustard cream and place on top of the crust. Cover the spinach with overlapping slices of cheese until all the spinach is covered. Top the cheese with shrimp bundles distributing them for even slicing.
  8. Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the bacon is crisp.
  9. Remove from the oven and brush shrimp bundles with remaining mustard cream.
  10. When cool enough to handle, and using a very sharp knife, cut into 8 slices.

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Pizza with a Purpose

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Pizza | 3 comments

Twenty years of pizza.  We have been making our own pizza for at least that long.  Once a week we make pizza.  When the boys were home it was usually on Fridays after a matinee at Big Newport.

Now it has become a sporting event.  On Sunday nights after church, MP makes a pizza from the lean, spicy wild game sausage he constructs a couple times a year.  It is either wild boar or venison.  I am not much of a meat eater.  I love this sausage!  He grinds the meat and adds fresh garlic, parsley, pepper flake, fennel seeds, cheeses and red wine.

What a savory, zesty, goat cheesy delight we know will come out of the oven on any Sunday.  Feel free to click on any pizza to take a big bite!








Make your own pizza night with our granddaughters has been standard issue for sleepover fun.

































The challenge for me currently is to create the second pizza out of whatever is left from the weeks provisions.  The toppings come from the refrigerator or garden.  In summer when tomatoes and basil are thriving, Margarita pizza is always a winner.  I have made pizza from beets.  I have made pizza with clams.  How about Pear and Blue Cheese topped with Arugula Salad?   During the holidays Turkey, Cranberry and Brie is on the menu.  Deep Dish Ricotta Pizza with Caramelized Onions is a pie to die for.

We have had some fairly strange pizzas.









All have been edible.  The remaining pizza goes with MP to the office on Monday mornings.  I have heard Cole won’t touch my pizza.

Whatever you top your pizza with-- it all begins the same way.  The dough becomes a palate for the time honored toppings or the remnants from the week.  No cheating!












Begin with the best.  High gluten.  All purpose flour works too.








Water, olive oil, yeast, sugar to feed the yeast, Kosher salt.












I use a stand mixer with a dough hook but used my food processor for the first century.








Flour and salt in the bowl.








Tepid water, yeast and sugar.








Bubbles mean the yeast is proofed and ready








to add the olive oil.








Pour the proofed yeast mixture over the flour and begin turning the dough.

The only tricky part is how much more water you need...








While the machine is running, begin adding anywhere between 4 and 6 ounces more water.  It sorta kinda depends.  The dough should from a clean clump around the dough hook or a ball if using a processor.  If it is too wet add a little more flour.  You will get the hang of it.  I count to 50.  Works for me.

Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.  Turn the machine back on and count to 50 again.  This takes care of the kneading.  Of course you can do this by hand.  It is therapeutic to handle the pizza dough too!








Oil your hands and shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl to rise.








Cover and let it rise for 20-30 minutes depending on the weather.








Bravo!  Divide the dough in half.  This makes two pizzas.








You can roll it out or press it out.  I have never thrown it in the air.








I dock my crust only because I found this cool tool at the restaurant supply. It is not necessary.








MP's pizza palate.








Home made Marinara.  Trader Joe's makes a great pizza sauce.








Venison Sausage








Goat Cheese









Into the oven to bake.  If I was Italian I would have a pizza oven in my terraced garden.

On this occasion,  I raided the remainder of our St. Patrick's Day dinner.



















Porter Spicy Brown Mustard








Corned Beef








Carrots and Potatoes








Chopped Cabbage








Kerrygold Skellig 100% Natural Cheese~~ a Strong Cheddar with an appealing bite

Imported from Ireland








Corned Beef, Cabbage and Root Vegetable Pizza with Irish Cheddar.

Let it rest... oh my, tangy but subtle flavors of a warm corned beef sandwich.















Spicy Venison Sausage Pizza with Goat and Mozzarella








Is it Sunday yet?

Pizza Dough


  • 2 teaspoons dry-active yeast
  • 1/2 cup tepid water (not over 110 degrees F.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour or All Purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt


  1. Add the yeast and the sugar to the tepid water and let bubble for about 5 minutes to proof the yeast.
  2. Add the oil into the proofed yeast mixture. Measure the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer. Turn on the machine and process the yeast just until the dough collects on the blade of the food processor (40-50 seconds) adding extra water as needed. This can also be done in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
  3. The dough will be soft. Let it rest 5 minutes and process 30 more seconds in the machine.
  4. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap in a warm area free from drafts until double in volume (20-30 minutes).
  5. Divide the dough in half (if making two pizzas) and let rest while you prepare the pans.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Oil the surface of two 16 inch pizza pans (if making two pizzas). Form each piece of dough into a disk and transfer into prepared pans. Shape to fit.
  7. Top pizzas and bake 12-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese topping is hot and cheese bubbling.

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Posted by on Mar 27, 2012 in Pizza | 8 comments

One of the very first expressions I began hearing over and over in Italy commencing in Emilia-Romagna into Liguria was allóra.  

MP and I arrived in Bologna to exchange homes with a couple, both attorneys, and their two children.  Stephano, Corinna, Frederico, and Laura were already comfortably settled in our home.

After finding our way to Reggio Nell Emilia









where we established base camp, the first thing on our agenda was of course, food.

Navigating the streets with the locals on our quest for, Pranzo was when I first began hearing the musical interlude of a common expression, allóra.  A clue to what it meant was in listening to the intonation of the voice who sang it.

A mother would pause, sigh and say, “Allóra” gathering her wandering children to her.

A waiter would carry a cappuccino to us and start with, allóra as he gave us the occasion to immerse ourselves in the moment.

If yelled, it could mean, Watch out!

Speaking it with raised eyebrows, indicated a question quite possibly followed by pursed lips.

I finally determined it may possibly, calmly mean okay, relax have a pizza.

I love the greeting because it gives me chance to collect my Italian memories…

Allóra.  Alrighty then!

An invitation to learn how to make bread and pizza in Italy is a precious and fond memory.









Dinner at Paulo and Essee's home.  Keep in mind, we did not know these kind people.

The person who invited us to the party wasn't able to be there that day.

We spoke no Italian and they spoke no English.









Alberto and Poppy watched the Summer Games together











while Essee taught me how to make Tuscan breads and pizza.











Approval came quickly.





































Tuscan Rosette









Outside to light the fire in the pizza oven...









and to prepare the pomodoro.









Annalisa and I shaping the little pizzas.  Everyone made one or two!









I had baked a Tuscan loaf as a gift (on the left) not knowing I was to be treated to Essee's lesson as a gift to me.









As the sun set over the terraced grounds, more people began to arrive.

It was an all day affair.  While the girls simultaneously proofed and kneaded, we heard collective shouts of  USA, USA, and Italia from the men.  We shared aprons, flour, yeast, water, oil, tomatoes, wine, friends, and laughter without common language.  We shared a universal love.











Allóra, then the photos began to get blurry.

Would you like to learn how to make a simple pizza dough?

I  can show you step by step.  No kneading.

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