the Captain’s death
Right, grab a cupper tea or a beer (you have no other options, magic) and sit down, breathe… Calmer… Now forgive me on forehand, especially you, if your Italian…
Morituri te salutant
Months ago, a friend of mine who name I dare not say, approached me because of my Voyage. He told me that another friend and himself like to experiment with… (I am so sorry Skippy) Pizza and they wanted me to join and go apeshit crazy.
And so we did.
First of all, you need a good dough. I myself do not have any experience with making good dough, but *censor* taught me the importance of having the right flower and yeast, the balance between the ingredients and the time it needs to rise.
Now, it is time to come up with the craziest ideas and that process was a lot of fun. The amount of enthusiastic WHAT IFs was far too high, luckily, we came up with the basics for 2 out of 5 and the 3rd that came together real easy (on paper) was the Bonus round. The 4th and 5th pizza took a lot more effort but that was all part of the jolly good fun!
So, this is what we came up with:
– Powdah Krautah
– Miso Piso
– Toffee Coffee Chicken
Now let me talk you through the individual pizzas and the thought behind them, because there is actually a thought behind them, a reason why we thought it might work. Well, except for one, but more about that when we get to the bonus pizza.
First thing *censor* called out for was a sauerkraut pizza, so that would be the base. See? That went quite easy! Now how to elevate this to something else, something new, something mind blowing in either way? A great thing to keep in mind is the following: try NOT to think like an Italian! This part of the process is VERY important. Sorry again, Skip! (For all other readers, scroll down to the comments, knowing him he will curse me over there, might be fun!)
The trick is to take elements of all flavor types and get them in balance so first we thought about the sour elements. Sauerkraut is already sour, so how to get other elements into this pizza without disturbing that too much? By adding another, slightly less sour element that brings in yet another element so we took a basic tomato sauce and blended in fresh Grapefruit juice! Grapefruit, when used in the right amount, does not just bring acidity, it also delivers bitterness and even a touch of sweetness. Now we have our tomapefruit sauce worked out we needed spice and salt to rock around that sauerkraut, but that one was easy. Ivan of Wallet Pizza (Zijlstraat, Haarlem) got me some of his favorite Nduja++, a very spicy sausage from Spilinga (Calabria), bringing the perfect balance of spice & salt and kicking the krauts ass! Fighting one another we deeded to balance them out, we noticed that after bite one after baking it off. I topped it off with a good amount of powdered sugar, that was already on it but not enough, it needed more silky sweetness and now you need to remember: dont inhale!
This baby actually made us jump off our chairs laughing, because it worked so well! An absolute ballet on the tongue!
In short, a list of toppings:
Time for my little baby! Where Geffrey (I will censor them into Geffrey and Ric from now on, easier for you and yet Cosa Nostra will never know it’s actually Jeffrey and Rik) really wanted do that sauerkraut pizza, I was dying to go all-out umami… That’s right, umami… pizza…
Since the world is flat, you find flatbread all around the world. Damn thats contradicting… Anyway, flatbread all around the world, and let’s be honest, pizza is not that much else from being a topped-off flatbread so why not go all around the globe with toppings as well? I mean, we checked Germany with pizza one…
To start this one off, we blended fresh tomatoes with some red Miso. Red, aged Miso, my goodness that stuff is delicious. Being not much more else than fermented soy beans (sometimes with rice) and salt, red Miso carries a punch of salty goodness so from this point onward we need to be carefull adding salt. After blitzing it up and tasting we needed to double check if we really enjoyed it, so we had to taste again, wholeheartedly ending up on a double FUCK YEAH! Still punching tomatoes but with a lovely cuddle of umami this can go everywhere! Thinking out loud, shouting ideas we came up with marinating mushrooms in lime juice with brown sugar, shrimps covered in chili oil and as finishing touch, a caramel sauce made the world famous Sweet & Spicy Soy sauce made by Tomasu!
Result was fantastic, even though we couldnt find any of the shrimp in taste nor texture (sadly we chose the tiniest ones, might be because i was a little scared?). We didnt create the Umami bomb that I hoped for, but the pizza was delicious!
(Jumping subject here: if you never tried it, all Soy sauces made by Tomasu are next level. Aged for 24 months in whiskey barrels, they are the only Soy sauce produced in Europe created according to Japanese tradition.)
At this point, I am actually not even anxious about Italian mobsters anymore, for this one, anyone, everywhere will hunt us down. Sorry Geff & Ric for exposing you guys like this, but hey, we had fun right?
In the Netherlands, there is this supermarket chain called Albert Heijn, aka Appie. They have a system called Bonus, which brings a lot of products that are totally overpriced to a somewhat better price for the consumers, that sheepingly buy bulk out of that stuff even though they still overpay. Anyway, we went full Sheeple on this pizza. Separated from each other we went inside, each of us with a different mission: we all had to bring a different type of topping, ANYTHING goes, as long as it is in the Bonus discount of the week.
Im not going to jump around it, we came home with the following:
– Ketjap Sesame woksauce
– Pringles crisps
– A full on meal pack for Pappardelle Ragu
So yeah, that happened…
Using the Ketjap Sesame woksauce on the dough, the Ragu as a main topping, adding small chunks of the Donuts for a bite and after baking we topped it off with a crisp of Pringles.
Should we have done this?
Was it still a pizza?
It was a very tasty meal though! Besides from the woksauce only leaving the saltiness, all components did their thing together, well-balanced all the way through. Did you know that Pringles stop existing when on a pizza? Like seriously, gone with the wind!
The fact that it has a name now, makes it possible to imagine what we did. But to be honest we didnt have a freaking clue. Trying too hard to do something unknown I went into my pantry and came back with a little canister with a substance that I have been afraid of for over a year: Geese Rillette… Never tried this in my life, nor did Geff, nor did Ric, so we decided to go for it.
Starting off with a little tomato sauce, we spread the entire canister, or what was in it, all over the pizza, adding Nordsee Käse for the creamy melt & salt, fresh Bimi as veggies, garlic-pickles for some acidity and flavor and topping it off with a peanut-powdered sugar dust.
By the Gods! What a jackpot!!! Tasting it straight from the canister, the rillette was horrible but on this holy grail of a pizza, it came out super moist, flavorful and combined with the hearty Bimi, everything was there!
Toffee Coffee Chicken
Going through my pantry, we stumbled upon this fantastic molasses made by http://www.thebastard.com/. Blackstrap Coffee Molasses, meaning we will be adding coffee to this pizza! Using it as a base sauce, it meant the coffee would be there in every single bite. This better be good…
After cutting it into pieces and marinating it in smoked paprika powder, salt & pepper, we spread a chicken thigh fillet, added slices of fresh mango for some sweetness that worked out perfectly with the paprika powder and added some sour cream for contrast, but balancing that out with a drizzle we made by melting toffee.
Maybe we tried to hard. Maybe we understand the way flavors work a bit too well because do not get me wrong, we wanted to fail a little, but we did not at all. Why did we want to fail? Because we wanted to learn, to be taught by making mistakes. Not to toss something away because we all hate food waste, but, for example, to find out what type of sweetness does not work with what type of saltiness or acidity.
Was our experiment a success? Yes! Because we learned anyway, even though we failed our goal! Now thats a win!
Besides the fantastic pizzas we created, we had a lot of fun, got to know each other a little better and I gained a lot of new experience in the world of flavor that we sail.
Leave a comment to let me know what you think, give me ideas of what to do next or just drop some random bullshit!