a big a gigantic thank you for voting me into Round 5 of Project Food Blog. This week’s challenge prompt asked us to put our own spin on pizza. If you like this post and would like to see me in Round 6 (yes, please!) you can vote for my blog here.
When I was a child, my parents owned a restaurant called The Quilted Giraffe. My father Barry Wine, a lawyer turned chef, was famous for being both innovative and eccentric in the kitchen.
Inspired by two of his favorite things, pizza and Japanese cuisine, my dad put Tuna Sashimi and Wasabi Pizza on The Quilted Giraffe’s menu in 1987. That pizza has been replicated by many different chefs, many times since: Barry Wine’s Raw Tuna Wasabi pizza has been on the menu of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen for years.
So when I found out I had to make pizza, I couldn’t not make my dad’s signature dish. And I couldn’t make that pizza without my dad.
So I called him up and we talked pizza. We made plans to make the Tuna Wasabi version, as well as two other kinds, over at his house in his pizza oven.
Yeah. He’s got a wood-fired pizza oven in his house.
Let me just mention here that pizza’s not something I eat a lot (I don’t have celiac disease, but I just feel better when I don’t eat wheat/gluten), and it’s definitely not typical fare for this blog. But because I got to do this with my dad, and because we made “The Barry Wine Pizza”, this was a special experience for me, gluten and all.
I’m very happy to be able to share it with you.
I made the dough a day in advance (feel free to use your favorite gluten-free dough or a store-bought dough, if you like)…
…and the next morning, we got to work.
Tuna Wasabi Pizza
To make pizza Barry Wine-style, you first need to divide your dough, and then on a floured surface, you need to roll it very thin. Transfer the dough to your pizza peel, if you have one, then drizzle it with olive oil and get it in the oven.
You want the oven to be very hot, by the way…
…but this isn’t so hot that you can’t do it in a regular oven. You know, in case you don’t happen to have a pizza oven at home ;)
While it’s cooking, you can get on with the toppings.
You’ll first want to make the wasabi “cheese” topping. To do this, we mixed one small container of creme fraiche with 2-3 tablespoons of wasabi paste (made from powdered wasabi and water). A combination of ricotta cheese and cream cheese can be used instead of creme fraiche if you prefer, and you can add a dash of mirin, white wine, and some lime juice, if you like. Taste and add more wasabi if you want the “sauce” to be spicier, or add more of the other ingredients to taste. Also have ready your other toppings: you’ll want carrot and daikon radish marinated in some ponzu sauce, if possible (cut these into very thin “shoestrings”: use a spiral slicer, or a vegetable peeler works in a pinch) and some cooked shelled edamame. Pickled ginger, toasted white or black sesame seeds, minced chives or green onion, and shiso leaves would all work as additional toppings, too.
Make sure to buy sashimi grade (#1) tuna. I found it at my local fish market (I don’t eat tuna a lot because it’s not considered a sustainable fish, but I made an exception this time…also, you really don’t use all that much, because it’s sliced so thin).
For thinly slicing the tuna, an extremely sharp knife is necessary (my dad’s is from Japan)…
Place overlapping slices between two layers of plastic wrap, and pound even thinner.
After a few minutes in the oven, your dough will be cooked…
…and you can go ahead and build the pizza.
You’ll spread a thick layer of the wasabi topping on first, then add the tuna slices.
Then pile on the marinated carrots and daikon, and finish with the edamame and any other additional toppings you are using.
Finally, cut into slices and enjoy.
Mashed Potato Pizza with Corn and Fried Egg
Next up was Mashed Potato Pizza topped with a fresh corn salsa and chunks of roasted local red peppers.
To the already baked dough, we spooned on a very thick layer of mashed potatoes (simple to make: I boiled peeled local Yukon gold potatoes, drained them, then mashed them with organic butter and cream, added sea salt and pepper, then added water to achieve the correct consistency), then added the corn salsa (basically just fresh corn that we mixed with a bit of lime juice, minced red onion and jalapenos) and the roasted red peppers. We put it back in the oven for a minute or two, then when it was sliced, we added fried eggs (hooray for backyard chickens!).
The only thing missing? Maybe a little cooked and crumbled bacon…pastured and preservative-free would be my top choice, of course.
Quick Tomato Sauce and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza
The final pizza we made was a Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza. I made a “five minute tomato sauce” with the last of the San Marzano tomatoes from my garden, a little garlic, onion, and olive oil (basil would have been great, too, but I didn’t have any), then thick slices of fresh mozzarella were arranged on the raw dough before dolloping on the sauce. After baking for just a couple of minutes, this was pizza perfection.
So there you have it! Three very unique pizzas, inspired by the very unique Barry Wine.
Thanks so much for being my pizza guru, Dad. We love your pizza, and we love you.
- *1 teaspoon dry yeast
- *3/4 cup lukewarm water plus 3/4 cup room temperature water
- *pinch of organic sugar
- *3 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour
- *1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- *2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for oiling the bowl
- *1 large or 2 small egg yolks, preferably organic and free-range
- 1. Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add pinch of sugar and mix well. Let sit until starting to bubble, about 10 minutes.
- 2. Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture, the other 3/4 cup water, the olive oil, and the egg yolk(s). Using the dough hook and adding additional flour if needed, mix well to form a dough.
- 3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes with your hands.
- 4. Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough inside. Cover with a damp towel (or with plastic wrap) and place in a warm location. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
- 5. Punch dough down, and let rise again, another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- 6. At this point the dough can be left in the covered bowl (or removed and wrapped in plastic) and placed in the refrigerator overnight, if desired. When you are ready to use it, allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, then cut into smaller pieces, and roll out into rounds (or whatever shape pizza you are making).