Sunday, August 31, 2008

Food Forward - Roasted Potato and Pancetta Pizza

This was a flavor tour de force. Truly. Two things happened that brought this recipe about, although there really isn't a "Recipe" for Pizza, unless you are talking about the crust and MAYBE the sauce, if any. But I digress.

This meal came about as a testament to one of my extremely talented friends back in Portland (childhood next door neighbor, actually) and the unparalleled delight of finding an Oregon Pinot Noir in Southern California. My friend, Ian Duncan, is the executive chef of Vino Paradiso in Portland's Pearl District. His philosophy is simple, the purpose of wine is not to compliment
food.... The purpose of food, is to compliment the wine. Which, as far as I am concerned, is how it should be.....

That being said, since I had acquired a delicious Pinot Noir from the Oregon Willamette valley, I was in dire need of a dish that would compliment my bottle of heaven from the vine. I checked out the Vino Paradiso website to peruse Ian's seasonal menu for ideas. He was currently serving a Pancetta, Potato, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Rosemary and black pepper pizza with their current Oregon Pinot Noir offering. Sounded good to me.... So I got creative... and as luck would have it, I still had roasted baby red potatoes left over from my Fondue evening.

The pizza crust recipe I use is one I picked up from my favorite recipe site, BakeSpace. I always have to mention Larry (Coldhitz) and his fantastic dough recipe. I did alter it slightly by using a mixture of High gluten flour and AP Flour to give the crust a little more chew, and I always make my dough 24 hours in advance and let it slow rise in the refrigerator.

1 cup AP flour
2 cups Bread Flour
1 tsp Smoked Salt
1 cup water 110 degrees
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil; Plus more for rubbing bowl

Heat water to 110 degrees, add yeast and stir, let sit 10 minutes.
Whisk flours and salt together in a medium bowl.
Add water and olive oil to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough is formed.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until a silken elastic dough is formed.
Lubricate a bowl with olive oil, add the dough ball and turn to coat.
Cover dough ball with plastic wrap (on the surface)
Cover the bowl with foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Rosemary/Garlic Olive oil
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves minced Garlic
3 branched of Rosemary (About 4 inches long)

Place olive oil in a saucepan, add minced garlic and heat just until garlic begins to color.
Strip the needles from the rosemary branches.
Once garlic begins to turn golden, remove from heat and stir in the rosemary needles.
Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
If making in advance, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

To Make the pizza
Heat up your stone in the oven to 500 degrees. (This takes about 1 hour)
Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces.
Fry pancetta until crisp.
Slice potatoes thinly.
Grate some Parmigiano-Reggiano
Roll out crust thinly, move to a cornmeal sprinkled peel.
Brush with Rosemary Olive oil.
Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Place sliced potatoes and pancetta.
Sprinkle with a little more Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Top with a few grinds of course black pepper.
Drizzle with a little more Rosemary Olive oil.
Sprinkle Pizza stone with cornmeal.
Slide Pizza from Peel to stone and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Slide peel underneath pizza and remove from oven.
Slide pizza from peel to a cutting board and brush the edges of the crust with more rosemary olive oil.
Let sit about 3 minutes before cutting.

Pour a big glass of Oregon Pinot Noir into a burgundy Grand Cru, but by all means, if you have the Reidel glass, use that, cause it really does make a difference in the wine.

Sit back, relax, play some jazz and enjoy.


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