January 17, 2006

On Pizza...

Paul and I love pizza. We were on a mission a few years ago to make a really great homemade crust. Put a baking stone and a Kitchen Aid in our trust and we can do some damage. To your kitchen, I mean. (Making pizza at home is a bit of an affair.) Right now you must realize that I'm daydreaming because I have neither the baking stone nor the Kitchen Aid in my possession right now. They have been sitting patiently in my parent's basement for over a year awaiting our return from the old world.

So, it is a good thing the old world has pizza, too. Making pizza at home is great because it's different almost every time. I generally use whatever we have in the fridge. Leftover sautéed veggies? Ham? 1/3 bottle of pesto and leftover chicken? Throw it on there. You can buy really good pre-made pizza dough here, too, which helps things immensely.

There is something to note about French pizza. It seems the French do not share our concept of appropriate pizza attire. The most popular pizza toppings here are ham and mushroom and there is most definitely emmenthal or gruyere cheese on it. I like this. Also, whereas we usually stick with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, onions, or mushrooms, they are just as likely to put fresh tomatoes, broccoli, bacon or eggplant on it. This could just be an attempt to turn everything into a tarte. But, I love how every culture makes their own version of a dish.

So, I'm stretching my pizza palate a bit but keeping it grounded. There will be no green peas or eggplant on my pizza anytime soon, but there will be at least red pepper, ham and onion since that's what I have tonight.

Some other pizza ideas:

à la française: tomato sauce, ham, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sliced olives, mozzarella, emmenthal, and parmesan cheese

à l'espagnole: tomato sauce, chorizo, sliced sautéed onions, green or red bell pepper, basil, mozzarella and cheddar (or manchego?) cheese

à la Pizza Hut (their poulet basquaise): tomato sauce, sliced chicken, roasted red and yellow bell peppers, oregano, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

à la Pesto: pesto sauce, sliced chicken or pork, pine nuts or walnuts, gruyere or goat cheese.

à la Tarte Flambée: crème fraiche, lardons, onions and gruyere cheese.

à la Bread Co.: olive oil, fresh rosemary, thinly sliced cooked red potatoes, crumbled bacon, parmesan and asiago cheese.


Alison said...

A couple of weeks ago I had pizza with foie gras, magret de canard and mushrooms on it.

It was soooooo good. Greasy, but good.

Anonymous said...

I spent time in France this summer (07/09)and the pizza was amazing! My kids ate it all the time and swear it was the BEST pizza they ever had. Eating pizza, drinking French wine and enjoying it all in a little cafe off the beaten path was heaven. I'm going to make it this week! Thanks for the memories!