In our recent 2-part interview with Fred Eric (Tiara Cafe, Fred 62), Eric discussed the restaurant as art installation, the question of Jeff Koons, and the benefits of fasting for food professionals. Well, for him at least. And a surprising number of noteworthy L.A. chefs. It must be said, that it is a slightly surreal experience to eat an entire pizza in front of a chef who is in the middle of a 2-week fasting cleanse.
But no matter: Eric has eaten plenty of his own pizzas, and agreed to give us the recipe. It is an ideosyncratic recipe, as befitting an ideosyncratic chef. Neophytes might find the pizza dough instructions a bit baffling, but our advice is not to worry about it too much and remember that pizza dough is surprisingly forgiving. Or you can follow Eric's own suggestion and consider the merits of pre-made pizza dough. You can get canned poblanos and prepared harissa too. But however you piece it together, it is a remarkable pizza -- or pizette, as Eric calls it -- easily one of the best we've had in a long time, and you could do worse things with your time than playing with Eric's dough instructions. Turn the page.
From: Fred Eric of Tiara Cafe.
Makes: 1 pizzette
6 onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons pepper
5 roasted poblanos
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1. In a medium pot, cook the onions, butter and pepper over a medium flame for half an hour.
2. After half an hour, add the poblanos, thyme, oregano, cumin and salt and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
3. Add the cream to the onion mixture and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until reduced by about one-third.
Pizza dough and pizette formation:
Note: This makes a lot of dough. You may want to cut this recipe in half or perhaps quarter it.
1,700 grams pizza flour
4 grams fresh yeast
1 liter cold water
50 grams salt
1. Put flour into the bowl of a standing mixer and add the yeast and water. Mix at medium speed until combined, then add the salt and mix for ten minutes.
2. Knead the dough into a ball and put the ball of dough into a large bowl. Coer the dough with a thin layer of olive oil, cover the top of the bowl and allow to rest for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
3. Punch the dough down and kneed 7 times. Divide the dough into 4 oz. portions and roll into balls. Refrigerate the balls of dough for 2 days, tightly covered. Save out the amount of pizzette balls that you want to bake, and freeze the rest.
4. Let the ball of dough rise for 15 minutes. Cover the ball with flour, then smash the center with your fingers, slowly moving to the outside and leaving a 1 inch lip like a clock.
5. Pick the dough up by making a binocular shape with your hands and holding it up to your eyes. Keep that hand formation and pick up the dough, hold the dough so that your thumbs are parallel facing your eyes and your fingers are behind the dough, hold the dough at the top (like at 12 o-clock) and pull your fingers and thumbs together, making the dough thin, then pull your hands outward keeping your elbows at the same height. With your left hand move the dough clockwise continuing to stretch the dough all the way around the clock. Then put you dough on top of your hands in the same shape as if you were praying, only with your knuckles together and folded to your first set of knuckles in. Then pull your hands apart, stretching the dough and slightly spinning the dough clockwise.
6. Once the dough is evenly thin, throw the dough up in the air using your left hand to move away from your chest outward, this will cause the dough to spin and fly into the air amazing both friends and foes.
Pizette assembly and baking:
4 oz. pizza dough, formed (see above) into a pizette
2 tablespoons harissa
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
4 tablespoons of poblano-cream mixture (see above)
3 ounces of chorizo, cooked
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1. Cover a pizza palate with corn meal, and then put the pizette dough onto it.
2. Brush the pizzette inside the rim with the harissa, then cover the pizzette with grated mozzarella cheese. Add the poblano-cream mixture in little clumps and add the chorizo similarly.
3. Bake in the oven on bricks or a baking stone at the highest temperature your oven will get until the dough is bubbly and golden.
4. Remove pizzette from the oven, slice and eat.