Monday, February 19, 2018
My take on Pizza
Detroit is a pizza town. When I was very young, pizza was purchased at an Italian bakery or a local bowling alley. And then Little Caesar's appeared. You got Pizza-Pizza, two for one. Later it was Domino's and then Hungry Howie's. The owner of Hungry Howie's belonged to my parish (when I was still a church-goer) and one of my sons worked there while in college. All are local companies.
I remember the opening of a Pizza Hut and Pizzeria Uno in the township - both long gone. Dine in and carry-out, my boys will tell you that we ate a lot of pizza.
But I do enjoy making my own pizza for guests. If I am making my barbecued chicken pizza, I make my own dough or buy it. But when I make my white pizza, I purchase naan flatbread from a west Michigan bakery.
Pizza is relatively easy to make. Pick your base, your sauce and your toppings. I prefer red pepper, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and cheese - ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, or whatever might be in the fridge.
The pizza pictured above was actually one from my Blue Apron meals. And here is another from BA, a calzone:
When I make my own at home, I prefer no red sauce and no meat. Here is my recipe for roasted garlic bechamel...
1 head of garlic, just a small one of 2 inches or so
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tbsp flour - preferably cake flour if you have it
1 tbsp butter
1 ounce fine diced onions
Clarified butter, about 4 tbsp
Cut off the head of the garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Wrap in foil and roast at 375F for about one hour. Cool and squeeze garlic paste into small bowl.
Clarify the butter by warming and pouring off solids. It does not need to be perfect. Pour it over the onions and cook on the stove until onions soften. Drain and set aside.
Make the roux by melting the tablespoon of butter and then whisking in the flour. Cook for about one minute. Scald the milk and then add to the roux while whisking, bring to a boil while whisking until smooth. Lower the heat. Add the onions and the garlic. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Adjust to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Strain out the solids. Use on dough for pizza.
Recipe can be easily doubled, or even quadrupled.