Friday, July 13, 2012

Melissa's Lobster and Fresh Basil Pizza - How to Get that Brick Oven taste at HOME! Dough and Sauce Recipe included!

Lobster Pizza
Yes Folks, that is Lobster on that Pizza along with Fresh Basil Leaves! Years ago, I used to work at the Surf Restaurant in Magnolia, MA. They made a thin crust Pizza with Lobster on it and I have always remembered it. My version uses my trusty Pizza Dough Recipe along with my home made sauce. You can use any old crust and sauce with good success because the secret to the whole thing is plenty of Lobster!!

Melissa's Pizza 
1/4 c. Marsala wine
3/4 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. dried yeast
tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
3 c. flour

Preheat to 420-430 degree oven. I use a cast iron Pizza Pan and I put it in the oven while the oven is heating up so it is red hot when I go to make the Pizza. You can use a cast iron skillet with good success. The reason I do this, is it makes a very crispy thin crust. I divid the dough into 2 balls. This recipe makes two pizzas. I roll out the dough with a rolling pin (secret to making it extra thin). I have all my ingredients ready out on the counter because once you take the hot pan(s) out of the oven, time is of the essence to get it assembled. I quickly place the rolled out dough onto a red hot and ungreased pan. Then I quickly put on the 1 c. Sauce (recipe below) , 1/2 lb. Lobster Meat, 2 Springs Basil Leaves, and  2 c. shredded Mozzerella and 1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese.  Once the pizza goes in the oven, I turn it down to 400 degrees. I put it on the lowest rack for 10 minutes and then switch it to the higher rack for 10 minutes. If your oven is a hot oven, the timing may take more or less. I am trying to replicate the brick oven temperatures and experience to get that really good, you can't buy this type of Pizza anywhere taste.

Lobster Pizza fresh out of the Oven

Melissa's Fresh Tomato Sauce

I puree fresh tomatoes in my blender or you can use canned whole tomatoes. If you are making a nice batch of sauce figure on 2 large cans of tomatoes or 4 or 5 lbs fresh tomatoes. These particular tomatoes were frozen from last year's garden and I need to use them up before I am inundated with this years crop (coming soon). I put the tomatoes in my crock pot, add fresh herbs from my garden such as Oregano, Chives, and Basil. Then I saute an Onion just a little bit and put that in the mix. You can add Garlic if you like too but my husband doesn't like it so I don't add it but you can add anything else you have on hand like peppers or garlic. I like a nice Margarita taste to my pizza so a simple sauce is best for me. One of the tricks to a good sauce when using fresh tomatoes is to put a potato in the pot while it is cooking as this takes out any bitterness from the seeds. I learned this from the Italian community here in Gloucester. You can also use a carrot or other root vegetable. When my children were little they used to beg to eat the potato after the sauce was cooked. Truthfully, I throw it away, usually, but some people consider it a delicacy. I also add about 3 Tbsp. of Sugar or Honey to sweeten it up. Set the crock pot on high and let it cook for several hours. If the sauce is thin, add 1 can of tomato paste to thicken it.  After cooking for several hours, you can jar it up into a couple quart size jars and keep it in the refrigerator till you need sauce for a recipe. I grow lots of tomatoes every year and I freeze or can them for making sauce later.  Sometimes I make huge batches of just sauce in the fall and freeze bags of it for the winter. I usually have anywhere from 16-25 tomato plants in any given summer. This year, I am trying to dial it back and only have around 16 tomato plants. I try to grown several Roma plants but I am also a Big Boy fan and I love heirloom tomatoes too. Making your own sauce is an art and everyone has their own ideas of what works for them and what doesn't. I like a fresh natural taste. Other people like loads of garlic flavor. Basically you can be as creative as you want but the upshot is that I might spend $12-$20 on tomato plants in the spring and end up with 50 quarts of sauce or stewed tomatoes in the fall plus all the fresh tomatoes I grew and ate or gave away all summer. I have at least $100+ of tomatoes in my freezer every year. You can't beat fresh tomatoes and all the things you can cook with them including Pizza. A good garden cook as an arsenal of tomato recipes. I hope to share more of them with you in the future! Meanwhile Abondanza!