Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday Night Supper Club

It's no secret that I am married to a hunter.  Well, my hunter came home last week with a cooler full of deer meat. We butchered it down, packaged it up and filled the freezer.
Venison does not taste like beef.  It has a more intense flavor, more earthy. I have heard it called gamey, but gamey makes me want to gag.  Venison doesn't want to make me gag.
It is very lean and can be gussied up or dressed down.
Tonight I am dressing it down.

My hubster likes pizza and we are always on the hunt for a great pie with a thin crust. I thought I would try and make a dough with minimal yeast and low gluten to minimize the lift and chewiness of the an attempt to get a thin crispy crust.
I figured I would give it a try for Tuesday Night Supper Club.
The results were fairly successful.  The pizza tasted much better than it looked. It looked homemade and scrumpy (scrappy and frumpy at the same time)....but my toppings rocked!

At Mike's request I made him a half and half pizza...half pepperoni and half ground venison.

"veneroni" pizza
2 1/4 cup tipo 00 or cake flour
1/8 cup olive oil 
1 cup tepid water
1 tsp active dry yeast
pinch sugar
1/2 tsp salt
In a large bowl, place the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center.  Drop a pinch of sugar in the water, then add yeast.  Let sit a few minutes making sure the yeast is alive.  Add olive oil to liquid.  Pour liquid in the well and mix to incorporate.  Remove dough from bowl and knead incorporating more flour if needed.  You should knead for about 10 minutes. You want your dough to be smooth, but it won't be completely springy.  Place in an oiled bowl.  At this point you can place in the fridge overnight---or for the afternoon and bring out about an hour before you want to make the pizza.  You can also buy pizza dough...but I think it will be more bread-y than this recipe.
You can buy pizza sauce but I like to use marinara sauce. I always have some in the freezer.  
 1/2 lb ground venison or other meat--cooked well and in small crumble.
pepperoni slices
grated parmesan cheese
grated mozzerella
fresh basil leaves
mushrooms--thinly sliced
dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
very good olive oil
Roll out the dough to your desired thickness. I like it thin and crispy, so I go very thin.  I immediately put it on the pizza peel that I have dusted with cornmeal.  Trying to get the dough off the counter is a challenge otherwise.  Spread sauce on top, sprinkle with oregano and sprinkling of parmesan.  Top with meat.  Place mushrooms on top, along with basil.  Put as much mozzerella as you can stand. I like to dot with a bit more marinara--top with salt and pepper and drop on a pizza stone in a very hot oven. When it comes out of the oven, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. Place the pizza stone in the lowest rack and turn the oven to the highest temp. Allow the stone to heat with the oven.  I usually get the oven going about an hour before I start to put the pizza together.  

I was craving a cheese pizza, so I made this for myself
cheese pizza
marinara sauce
parmesan cheese
pinch dried oregano
fresh mozzerella--sliced
grated mozzerella 
arugula leaves tossed in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper
Roll out dough, top with marinara.  Sprinkle parmesan and oregano.  Arrange sliced fresh mozzerella on top--add basil and top with some grated mozzerella. 
 I don't like gooey-gooey, so was a bit sparing on the cheese.  Once the pizza comes out of the oven, top with the arugula.  It will sort of melt into the pizza and make a lovely warm salad.

So there you have it.  Homemade pizza.  The good news is, you can make the dough in advance or you can buy it.  The rest is really easy.  I still maintain that it is less expensive than delivery pizza...especially if you are a generous tipper.  Tip yourself instead!
Eat up!


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