Saturday, March 13, 2010

Potato-Leek Pizza, pg.110

This is the recipe that has most intrigued me about this cookbook. I kept hoping someone else would make it to hopefully answer the BIG question with this recipe....DO THE POTATOES WORK? But I gave up and decided to find the answer myself. First off, the crust in absolutely lovely.
I must admit, I did do 2 things different though, so now I don't know how much they added to the "wonderfulness" of my crust. I used the last of my Italian Bread Flour I had bought some time ago from King Arthur Flour. Also, I used a spice from KAF called, Pizza Dough Enhancer. My husband said I messed up big time, and now we don't know if this is truly a wonderful crust recipe or not...
I have a trick I like for baking pizza crust: I sprinkle the pan with cornmeal (rather than oil, like PW suggests). It seems that makes the pizza kind of "float" above the surface of the pan to make the crust crispier. And I used my handy pizza roller instead of my fingers to spread the dough. (It is a lovely dough to work with.)
Here is my next "cheat:" I sprinkled the oiled top of the crust with a special pizza seasoning that has salt in it, rather than just the plain salt the recipe calls for. I was very fugal with the spice though, as I feared getting the whole thing too salty. I would use more next time. This pizza needs salt. We were salting it at the table (and I don't even use much salt normally)
NOW FOR THE POTATOES....I laid awake nights thinking about these potatoes...imagining if they would cook or not, and if not, would raw potatoes taste very good on pizza?? The whole idea just really threw me for a loop. I finally decided I would just make the pizza like she said with raw potatoes....then halfway through arranging the slices on the crust, I quickly picked them all back up again. I just could not imagine this was going to be a good idea. So I decided to cook them a little first.
I put the slices in a microwave bowl and nuked them for one minute. They seemed about half cooked with that, and so I settled down and put them back on the pizza. Oh--one more change (sorry!) I sent hubby to the store for 3 leeks and he came back with one, claiming at $1.78 each, he was not buying 3 of them! (Hubby is very frugal.) So I felt I must fill in a bit. I added some sliced onion, since they are similar, ( I guess) then I decided I needed to use up the last of some fresh spinach. I did not have any bacon, but I do always have bacon grease in my fridge (it is how I grew up!).So I sauteed the leeks and onion in the bacon grease. I am not sure it is quite the "not to be believed" flavor PW thinks it is...but I am a fan of bacon grease, so I was sure it would be nice.
I did use only half the amount of fresh mozzarella, after reading on the package that 1 pound is 16 servings! So I used half (she said you could freeze it, so I did.) I used less of the goat cheese just because I think it is quite strong tasting. My cheese situation worked just fine. Oh, and I layered the raw spinach under the cheese. I think spinach should be included in the recipe. It paired perfectly with everything else.

So what is the verdict on the potatoes?? I was wrong. I think I would have preferred the potatoes half raw, like they probably are if you don't pre-cook them a bit like I did. Mine were soft enough to feel a bit out of place on the pizza I think. I just had this feeling that a little crunch in the potato would be a good thing.  I kind of think PW should have said that, to reassure ones like me to not go changing it up! All in all though--we liked this pizza. I served it with a soup because I feared my husband, who does not like potatoes, would maybe not eat it,  so I figured he could eat the soup then. I did have to hold my breath when he took a bite, then dug into the pizza with his finger and proclaimed, " What is this a POTATO!!" But then he just went on eating it like it did not bother him a bit. However, I think this pizza goes very well with soup, as it almost seemed like bread with a vegetable/cheese topping on it.

I will make this again. We really did enjoy it. (We had leftovers twice, and it heated up nicely.) The other half of my crust dough is still in the fridge....haven't decided what to do with it yet.

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