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Pizza Contest - Need Topping Ideas!!

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Some friends and I decided to do a Pizza making contest this weekend. I'm trying to come up with a tasty, yet different topping combo. Here's what I have so far: a fig preserve base topped with shredded mozzarella and sliced truffles. I'm considering adding caramelized onions, prosciutto and maybe sage. What do you all think? Does that sound like a good combo that would compliment each other...or are their too many flavors going on? Anything I should add or remove? Any tips would help a lot!! I would test this out myself to see how it is....but am a little short on time. Thanks!!

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  1. too many flavors.......less is more. When pizza has a lot of toppings on them in restaurants they are called "Garbage Pies" for a reason.

    1. Quattro formaggi (4 cheese) with something like broccoli rabe... vary up the cheeses, a creamy, a more pungent, a more salty, and another wild card?

      Something seasonal? Pumpkin puree sauce with some turkey and sage?

      1. Quattro formaggi (4 cheese - used sparingly) sprinkled with freshly fried bacon bits and chopped artichoke hearts. If you use canned/jarred artichoke hearts, use only the lower ends. Save the upper portions for a salad. If you don't like bacon, substitute using toasted pine nuts. Thinking about mushrooms?; forget about it. They only make your pizza soggy .... If you don't want to use artichoke hearts, use chopped fresh basil. Pizza is all about the crust, not the topping.

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          If you slice them and then fry them in olive oil, turning them once until they are brown on both sides, they will have given up all their liquid and will be quite wonderful on pizza--or in anything else for that matter.

        2. That fig preserve base would be waaay too much for my personal tastes. I like figs, but less is more.

          I suggest a N'awlin-stylepizza w/ a creole sauce base, fresh sliced mozz cheese, sauteed shrimp & andouille sausage. Slice and fry your andouille sausage, remove from pan and add your shrimp and saute with a little garlic. Undercook your shrimp b/c they will cook in the oven on the pizza. Finish off pizza with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and chives.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lynnlato

            I was reading this article: http://www.realfoodtraveler.com/2011/...
            It's where I got the idea for fig preserves...but you may be right, it might be too rich.

          2. Those flavors do sound a bit busy and also on the sweet side (not my taste, but tastes vary).

            Can you say a bit about style and cooking approach? Baking stone? Home oven at max (500-550). Will the dough have anything but flour, water, yeast and and salt? Is a pan-pizza an option?

            Sounds like you're working what I call the yuppy end of the ingredients spectrum, which I do not mean disapprovingly. Maybe you could consider getting a good, simple pie going real hot, perhaps with some porcinis, and then after baking you can put shaved parm. and arugula and olive oil on top and let it warm up a bit.

            Also, you can make a really hearty Sicilian pie in a half- or quarter-sheet pan. Not the most common style in the States, but delish.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Bada Bing

              The Sicilian pie is a good idea--different and much easier to do ahead of time. I love using Peter Reinhart's focaccia recipe and making pizza. Assemble it all ahead of time, loose wrap w/ plastic wrap and refrigerate. Just let it come to room temp and bake. While the others are rushing their pizzas in and out of the oven, you sit back and do nothing.

              1. re: chowser

                About Sicilian, I should add that some styles--esp. those that forego lots of cheese and are just a great red sauce with, oh, some olives and herbs and maybe caramelized onions--are very good at room temp. You can bake ahead and cut out squares later.

              2. re: Bada Bing

                I'm using a baking stone...buying the dough from Trader JOes. I like the idea of a half sheet pan crust!

                1. re: allie78

                  About sheet pan pizzas, note that many preparations involve liberally oiling the pan, so the crust can come out somewhat fried and browned, which can be delicious. For pan pizza, don't place it directly on the stone unless you're certain the stone is amply pre-heated.

              3. Fig, proscuitto and goat cheese is one of my faves but I think fig preserves over the whole thing is too much sweet. I do add carmelized onions sometimes when I've made them but definitely wouldn't with fig preserves- again, too much sweet. The tang of the goat cheese balances the sweetness of figs well.

                1 Reply
                1. re: weezieduzzit

                  I like the fig, prosciutto and goat cheese combination, too, and sometimes top w/ arugula after it's baked.

                2. I've got a couple of favorites. This 1st is using caponata instead of tomato sauce with lots of parmigiano reggiano and a little fresh moz.
                  The 2nd is a classic sauce and cheese pie along with smoked oysters. Sounds odd I know but delicious.

                  1. taleggio, spinach, caramelized onions, and chanterelle mushrooms (sauteed with a little sage); finish with a drizzle of good aged balsamic. and if you really want to gild the lily you can toss some crisp pancetta or prosciutto on there too...

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      That sounds amazing!! Thx!!

                      1. re: allie78

                        GHG knows her stuff and that does sound amazing! Visually, some good "crumbles" of crisp proscuitto would be lovely.

                        1. re: lynnlato

                          aw, thanks chica! it's been too long - nice to see you :)

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I almost always agree with goodhealth, but I have to say in this case that I think hot taleggio might smell a bit too funky for many people. It's one of my favorite cheeses at room temp., and I haven't tried it hot, but I have had some similarly odiferous raw milk cheeses that go (to my taste) all weird when hot, like artisinal cheddar in a mac & cheese. My two cents...

                        1. re: Bada Bing

                          i tend to forget that there are people out there who aren't cheese freaks like me :) can we compromise with fontina?

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Fontina. Mmmm. :)

                            1. re: Bada Bing

                              whew! crisis averted ;)

                      3. How 'bout roasting a few red bell peppers, peeling and pureeing them, and adding the puree to the tomato sauce in a 50-50 ratio. I use such a puree, without the tomato, as a base for an extremely incendiary chile sauce that contains steamed homegrown ghost pepper chiles (bhut jolokia). I'm not suggesting that you add such incendiary chiles to the puree unless you can tolerate that level of capsaicin. The 50-50 sauce can be seasoned with ground cumin and ground coriander.

                        Caramelized fennel and thinly sliced fresh mozzarella can be toppings along with fresh basil and any other ingredient. If you decide to use fennel, make sure it is the female of the species because it is sweeter than the male. Yes, fennel is dioecious. The female fennel is the one that is globular, the male being less shapely just in case you are not aware of that fact.

                        Buon appetito...