Sunday, December 4, 2016

Gorgonzola, Filipino Sweet Longaniza and Green Onion Pizza

     Gourmet Pizza!
     Pizza is a quick easy meal if the dough is made ahead of time!  Pizza dough actually tastes better when it is chilled for 1 or two days.  After 3 or 4 days, the pizza dough will start to smell like sourdough and the finished texture will be quite chewy.  
     When a yeast dough is refrigerated, the cold temperature slows yeast activity.  A cold dough has a stiff texture, but as soon as it warms up, the yeast activates and the dough becomes easy to work.
     When working a dough that has been refrigerated, it is best to use a gentle touch.  The first time that I made a pizza with a cold dough was in an Italian family style restaurant.  I thought that the dough had to be worked with more muscle, because the cold dough was stiff.  The owner of the restaurant said, "What are you trying to do?  Kill the dough or something?"  There is truth in what he said.  Working a cold dough with too much force will knock the life out of the dough.  Yeast is a living organism and it does react to too much force by becoming inactive.  
     When a gentle touch is used on cold dough, it takes longer to shape the dough.  The extra time allows the fingertips to warm the dough.  As the cold dough is gently and slowly patted out with fingertips, you can literally feel the yeast becoming active.  The dough starts to feel spongy with each touch.  As the yeast starts producing gas again, the dough becomes elastic and easy to work.      
     Pizza Dough:
     Follow this link to the pizza dough recipe in this website:
     • Pizza Dough

     Filipino Style Sweet Longaniza Sausage:
     This recipe yields enough for 1 medium size pizza.
     Spanish or Mexican Longaniza Sausage is not the same as Filipino style Longaniza.  Filipino Longaniza is flavored with sugar and Asian spices, the casing is tied in short lengths and it usually is a bright red color.  Filipino Longaniza can be found in Asian food markets.   
     Step 1:  Place 6 ounces of Filipino style Sweet Longaniza Sausage on a small roasting pan.
     Place the pan in a 300ºF oven.
     Roast till the sausage is fully cooked, yet minimally browned.
     Step 2:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Allow the sausage to cool to room temperature.
     Chill the sausage till it is firm.
     Step 3:  Cut the sausage into thin slices.
     Chill the sausage till it is needed.

     Pizza Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 3/4 cups.  (More than enough for 1 medium size pizza.)
     Classic Italian pizza sauce is a cold mixture.  It only is cooked in the oven!
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/2 cups of imported Italian canned crushed plum tomato in a mixing bowl. 
     Add 1/4 cup of olive oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper. 
     Step 2:  Mix ingredients together.
     Place the sauce in a container.
     Chill for 30 minutes, so the flavors meld.   

     Gorgonzola, Filipino Sweet Longaniza and Green Onion Pizza:
     This recipe yields 1 medium size pizza.  (12" to 14")
     Step 1:  Coat a smooth countertop with a very thin film of olive oil.  (Just a few drops of olive oil wiped on the counter is plenty!)
     Place a 10 to 12 ounce portion of the pizza dough on the countertop. 
     Use your fingertips to press and stretch the dough, till it is a flat round shape.  (12" to 14" diameter and about 1/4" to 3/8" thick.)
     Step 2:  Lightly brush a medium size pizza pan with olive oil.
     Transfer the shaped pizza dough to the pan.  (Re-stretch and shape the dough if necessary.) 
     Step 3:  Lightly brush the shaped pizza dough with olive oil.
     Spread an even layer of the pizza sauce on the pizza dough, but leave a 1/2" bare crust.
     Step 4:  Place 4 to 5 ounces of thin sliced Gorgonzola Cheese on the pizza.  
     *Gorgonzola is a strong tasting cheese, so a little goes a long way! 
     Arrange the prepared Filipino Sweet Longaniza Sausage slices on the pizza.
     Sprinkle 2 sliced green onions on the pizza.
     Step 5:  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the pizza.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of oregano on the pizza.
     Step 6:  Place the pizza pan in a 450ºF oven.
     Bake till the crust turns a golden color and a few light brown highlights appear on the toppings.  
     *Do not brown Gorgonzola Cheese!  Gorgonzola will become very bitter tasting if it is browned.  Just bake till the Gorgonzola melts.
     Step 7:  Allow the pizza to cool for 30 seconds before slicing into pie shaped slices.

     The combination of Asian spice sweet sausage, Gorgonzola, pizza sauce and green onion makes for an interesting tasting gourmet pizza!

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