Week 30: Fermentation – [Cured] Meat Lovers Pizza

And now for a challenge I’m rather well versed in: fermentation. Let’s all give a quick air-five to Louis Pasteur, the man who put an end to the shoulder shrug of a mystery that we built civilizations around. Yet even without understand the mechanisms, we still managed to bust out thousands of years of worth of food and booze history all very much dependent on the process. Without fermentation, we’d all be extremely sober and things like bread would be seriously impaired.

Having built this blog, and really an entire career, around fermented items, I figured I might try to make a pizza wholly from fermented items. The crust would be a no-brainer but the remainder could really range in personality.

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For the sauce, I made a Spanish vermouth reduction with shallots and parmesan. The sweetness from the vermouth would help to balance out the salty toppings I had planned.

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Salami and cured meats were the biggest shock to find on the list of foods that require fermentation. This very fact would make up the foundation of this pizza, having finally found a reason to use an absurd amount of meat as topping. I selected a range of styles including pepperoni, Calabrese salami, finocchiona salami, and bresaola.

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I also took this as a chance to splurge on some San Dainele Prosciutto and wow was it so, so worth it.

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Parmesan was used to support all the bright, salty flavors, and it also happens to be a fermented product as well. My goal was to finish the dish with greek yogurt for some balanced creamy texture but after a quick couple of tests, opted against it.

 

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With the flavors leaning thoroughly into the super meaty, salty realm, I worked with the textures to create an interesting topography that crisped up just right (despite the lack of lighting in my oven).

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And for the final fermented product: wine. I opted for Champagne, a style that has seen two fermentations, one for the initial still wine and another reactivated fermentation to capture the CO2 in bottle. While I wasn’t enamored with the pairing itself, despite higher expectations, I built a nice little night on the couch around the meal and indulged my dumb face while watching Netflix and petting some dogs so overall, it was pretty okay.

favorites of lately: may 2015

in-n-out dip
5. repurposed in-n-out milkshakes: fries here have no real mojo until dipped into the ultimate have-it-all shake, the neapolitan.
saiko sushi
4. saiko sushi: building off the Coronado OG success, the new North Park location is throwing down some baller moves with high quality fish and a no-nonsense sake list.
negroni trials
3. negroni trials: things are getting heated as Jason switches the variable from sweet vermouth to gin. results due in this summer.
lunch dates
2. lunch dates: the hunt for the right wedding venue requires immediate reflection and sustenance. happily, the search has resulted in a series of indulgences at some of san diego’s prime lunch locales.
sharing with jack
1. sharing with my nephew: as this little munchkin readies his palette for the great big world of food, he inhales small bites from all plates brought to the table. keeping up with his quickdraw snatching abilities requires a thorough scattering of goodies while he lacks the ability to eat with efficiency.
BONUS:
wine of the month
wine favorite: Gosset – Grande Réserve, Brut Champagne NV. creamy and indulgent with apple and caramel aromas to emphasizes the richness of the style. to be paired with anything from butter noodles to caviar.
urbn pizza of the month
pizza favorite: URBN pepperoni, arugula & roasted garlic pie: eating pizza in the company of strangers requires the discipline of a Pai-Mei pupil so as to not eat into other people’s portions. i think i reached a new level of serenity during polite conversation over this pie.
kill bill 2