AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Birthday Pizza DATE: 11/04/2008 05:07:00 AM ----- BODY:
For my (ahem) 30th birthday party, I hosted a “pot-luck” dinner at my friend Paul’s restaurant, Daddy-O’s. I asked my chef-friends to bring a dish, and my friend-friends to bring a donation to my favorite charity, Operation Frontline. The warmth of my friends and family, good food and wine created a unforgettable evening.

The highlight of the meal was the Portobello – Pomegranate Pizza, which came courtesy of Susan Regis. It has become a staple in my repertoire and makes a regular appearance at my annual dinner party. The sweet crunchy pomegranate seeds create a bright contrast to the earthy, rich mushrooms. A drizzle of truffle oil elevates the flavors to a new high.

Portobello and Pomegranate Pizetta with Truffle Scented Arugula
pizza dough
4 shallots, sliced
10 garlic cloves, sliced
2 scallions, cut in rounds
2 oz. fresh grated parmesan
2 oz. ricotta salata, grated
4 portobellos, sliced
1 POM fresh pomegranate, shelled
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. truffle oil
1 tbs. butter
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 bunch arugula
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
fresh shaved parmesan (opt.)


1. Sweat shallots and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, until translucent, but not browned.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium high flame. Add butter. When butter is melted, and mushrooms. Cook with out stirring for 2-3 minutes. Spoon about 2 tbs. shallot/garlic mix on top. Sprinkle thyme on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes more. Set aside.

3. Divide dough into 6 balls. Roll dough into rounds, as thin as possible and place on a pizza stone or cookie sheet (dusted with cornmeal). Garnish pizza with garlic and shallots, cheeses, portobellos, pomegranates and scallions. Bake in 450F oven until crust is crispy on the bottom, about 10 minutes.

4. Toss arugula with truffle oil and lemon juice. Garnish cooked pizza with the arugula (and fresh shaved parmesan). Cut and serve.

Dough

2 cups water
2/3 oz. fresh yeast
1 # bread flour
10 oz. semolina
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. salt


Heat water to 105F. Dissolve yeast in water. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and semolina. Combine flours, yeasted water and olive oil. Knead for 10 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let rise in warm place until doubled. Punch down and form.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:11/05/2008 10:11:00 PM Happy (I assume) belated birthday! Sounds like a nice get together. I am beyond impressed with the pizza. I'll have to look up "pizetta" - never heard of that before.

It's this sort of knowledge about flavour combinations that I would really like to learn more about. I would never think to combine portobello, pomegranate and arugula. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:11/07/2008 09:05:00 AM psychgrad, Thanks! I made up "pizetta". Basically just a small pizza.

Have you seen the new book, "Flavor Bible." It's a great guide for combining flavors ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous helena DATE:11/15/2008 09:47:00 AM Well, this is a dynamic and surprising combination!

I've heard of the term pizetta before, it usually applies to a plain, small pizza, may be flavoured just with garlic or a little cheese and/or herbs, and served as an appetiser. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:11/16/2008 07:07:00 AM helena, you're probably right. I use the word "pizetta" quite liberally. ----- --------