One of the nicest things about having a bunch of friends who are as interested in food and wine as I am is that our parties are a lot of fun. At one memorable soiree last Fall my pal Chris shared with me a recipe that was sent to him with his shipment of Holly's Hill wine. Now first, let me just say that Holly's Hill is a true find, we first tasted their Rhone style wines at the Rhone Rangers and Chris promptly ordered a bunch. And how nice of them to include a recipe for Tartufata which has become one of my favorite for "I-don't-have-anything-in-the-fridge-but-a-few-odds-and-ends-but-I-have-mushrooms-so-let's-make-pizza" kind of nights. Better yet was that stapled to the recipe was a tiny envelope of truffled salt, what a nice touch from Holly's Hill. One taste and I was hooked. Nicest of all was that Chris thought of giving the recipe and sample to me, what a great friend!
The key to this dish, is of course, the mighty fungus in my three favorite forms:
- Fresh mushrooms
- Truffled salt
- White truffle extra virgin olive oil
But first, the pizza dough. Oh pizza dough, my nemesis, how I have fought and struggled and railed against your mighty challenge. Somewhere out there is a pizza dough recipe that works for me, and I will someday find it (strains of Somewhere My Prince Will Come should be heard in the background here). Meantime I just followed the recipe and much to my horror discovered that I only had half a cup of all purpose flour in the house. How can this be? Fortunately I have a brand new bag of King Arthur white whole wheat flour, so off to the mixing bowl I went.
Using my Cuisinart I made up the dough and let it rest for a bit.
Meantime I sliced up one of the King boletus mushrooms, sliced up some Black Forest ham, mixed up the cream and preheated the oven. Can I just interject here how much I love my little convection oven? My big oven that comes in The Roost takes a minimum of 30 minutes to preheat to 350 and never does get hot enough for pizza, but the magic of convection is so delightful, I love you little DeLonghi!
Pizza assembly was completed in a few minutes and, once again, this pizza dough was not cooperating. It had adequately rested however it was tearing and just not behaving, bad dough! surely it couldn't be a result of using the whole wheat flour. Ah me. I managed to get it into a reasonable pizza shape on the pan and covered it up with the toppings.
Within a minute the heavenly scent of truffle salt started wafting out of the oven so I just hung out and watched the show, sipping my mint julep, and 20 minutes later - ta da!
Then I drizzled it with white truffle extra virgin olive oil, and promptly ate it, along with a lovely glass of Boggle Old Vine Zinfandel 2007. Mmmmm. Not bad for a Monday night!
Grilled pizza with a creamy sauce and truffle salt
1 1/2 c flour
1 t kosher salt
1 T dry active yeast
1/4 c warm water
1 t olive oil
1/4 c sour cream
4 T milk
3 slices Black Forest Ham
1 Portobello mushroom, sliced
(white truffle extra virgin olive oil for drizzling)
(Please note that The Roost is very high up and BBQ's are just not in the picture, hence using the convection oven at 500 for 20 minutes. Also, I used the coveted King boletus mushroom tonight, and in the past have used regular mushrooms, criminis and also Portobellos as the recipe indicates. I have also used goat cheese in lieu of ricotta and actually like it that way the best.)
Put the first three ingredients in a food processor. Turn on and off and add water just intil the dough forms a ball without being a sticky, using a little less or more as needed. Process for 1 minute. Form dough into a ball and coat with olive oil to keep it from drying out. This can be done up to a day ahead and kept covered with plastic in the fridge.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 15" circle. Place directly on a cool grill until lightly brown on the bottom. Take off grill and place browned side up. Mix the milk with the sour cream and spread over the top of pizze leaving a 1" border around the edge. Place the ham around the pizza. Put the sliced mushrooms and 12 spoonfuls of ricotta around the pizza and top with the truffled salt. Put the pizza back on the grill and cover and grill until the pizza bottom is lightly browned. Cut and serve.
I drizzled it with the truffle oil, and really should tell Holly's Hill about that... Holly's Hill suggest serving this with their Tranquille.
All Hail Tartufata and Truffles!