Posts Tagged ‘blue cheese’

TGRWT #18: Norzola puffs with plum reduction

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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For TGRWT #18 hosted by Aidan Brooks I decided to use puff pastry dough and laminate some Norwegian blue cheese, “Norzola” (made to mimic Gorgonzola) between two layers and roll them out. To accompany this I made a plum reduction with my two favorite spices, star anis and ginger. I should also mention that I tried the very simplest combination of plum and gorgonzola as well: a simple slice of bread with some Gorgonzola and a thick slice of a blue plum. This was very delicious – and takes absolutely no time to prepare.
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TGRWT #18: Plum and blue cheese

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

tgrwt-18

Finally it’s time for a new round of TGRWT. It’s the 18th round and the host this time is Aidan Brooks, a trainee chef who works in Spain. In his blog he’s touched upon flavor pairing several times and also wrote a blog post on the same topic for “Word of mouth”, the food blog of The Guardian. The foods to pair this time are plum and blue cheese, and as usual you can read more about how to participate in the announcement post. The deadline for submissions is September 1st.

TGRWT is not a competition, but Aidan wanted to add a little competitive element to round of the meal. (more…)

TGRWT #10: Pizza with blue cheese and pineapple

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

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This piece of art was recently sold at an auction for $ 35 million USD! No … just kidding. Read on to find out more!

For the 10th round of TGRWT I decided to modify one of my favorite pizza recipes. As it already has some blue cheese I decided that I would just add som pineapple to the sauce and see how that would work out. Knowing that pineapple works quite well on pizza (at least I have childhood memories from a pizza place called “Aloha” where they served a “Hawaiian delight” pizza with pineapple, ham and cheese) I was quite optimistic about this combination.

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Normally I don’t use a recipe for the dough. I only remember to use 1 dL water per person. Everything else is added ad lib. But to give you a proper recipe I measured all the ingredients. Using 4 dL water gives approximately 1 kg dough in total. This gives 3 pizzas with a diameter of about 26 cm, serving 3-4 people. If you like you can roll the dough out thinner and make 4 pizzas and stretch the sauce and toppings correspondingly.

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Pizza dough
4 dL water
5 g salt
5 g fresh yeast
580 g flour (plain white)
20 g olive oil

Add salt and yeast to luke warm water (~37 °C) and stir to dissolve yeast. Add flour in portions, reserving about 40 g. Mix/knead well for a couple of minutes. The dough is quite sticky. Add the olive oil. Mix/knead more. Add the remaining flour and fold the dough a couple of times. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours.

Addition of 2% oil helps to give a lighter texture. But mix/knead the dough first so you form the gluten network before you add the oil. Otherwise the oil will cover the glutenin and gliadin proteins and inhibit the formation of gluten, rendering the dough less elastic.

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Pizza sauce
45 g sardines (I used King Oscar “Mediterranean style”)
3 t capers
2 T tomatoe paste
1 clove garlic
4 pineapple rings

Mix everything in a small food processor. (You can also add some olives if you like.)

Blue cheese sauce
75 g blue cheese
75 g crème fraîche

Crumble the blue cheese, add the crème fraîche and mix until smooth.

Toppings
1-2 onions, in rings
50 g pepperoni
100 g cheddar, grated

Assemble the pizza as follows. Roll out approximately 330 g dough and place it on a suitable pizza peel (if you forget this you won’t be able to transfer the pizza to the baking stone). Add pizza sauce, blue cheese sauce, onion rings, pepperoni and cheddar cheese. Transfer to a preheated pizza stone and bake at 250-300 °C until nicely browned. Depending on temperature this typically takes around 5-10 min.

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The key to a good pizza is turning up the heat! I usually set my oven around 250 °C, but you can go even higher if you like. Secondly you want to use a pizza stone (also known as a baking stone) to get that nice oven spring and a crisp crust. The picture at the top of this blog post is just a close up of my pizza stone! The black speckles are the carbonized remains of cheese and pizza sauce. I’ve blogged about the science of pizza stones previously:

A baking stone is made from a porous ceramic material. It’s heat capacity is good (much higher than that of a metal plate/sheet) and as a result, when the cold dough is placed on the baking stone, it still has enough heat to make the pizza rise immediately. Secondly, the fact that the baking stone is porous lets it absorb moisture from the pizza. This is what gives the nice crisp crust as it transports moisture away from the pizza.

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Verdict:
The original version of this pizza (without pineapple) is one of my absolute favorites and tinkering a little with the recipe doesn’t change this. But even so I felt that the pineapple diluted the pizza sauce and that the sweetness took away too much of the saltiness of the pizza sauce. Unfortunately, when making the pizza sauce, I discovered that my tube of tomato paste was empty so I used ketchup in stead. In retrospect I see that this wasn’t a good choice as ketchup is quite sweet. Therefore it’s not fair to say that all the extra sweetness came from the pineapple, but it nevertheless contributed with a lot of sweetness.

The overall flavor was very nice though, and my wife thought this pizza was better. Personally however I prefer the “original”. But perhaps next time I’ll try to add pineapple chunks in stead of churning it together with the sauce so as to concentrate the pineapple flavour more and allow it to come in small “flavor packs” now and then. I think that might work better.

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Serve with red wine and a fresh salad!

Flavor pairing – try this at home!

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

If two different foods share one or more volatile molecules, chances are they can taste pretty nice when eaten together. A further discussion of the science behind can be found here. I justed wanted to share a picture of the simplest possible way this can be done. White chocolate/black caviar (top left – this is one of Heston Blumenthals signature combinations!), strawberries and coriander leafs, pineapple and blue cheese, and banana and parsley. Definitely very strange, but when eaten together, the tastes more or less blend together. Convince yourself and try this at home!

examples of flavor pairing

Any readers with fantasy to create exciting dishes based on such flavor pairings? Suggestions and links are welcome!