A pizza so fancy ... so retro ... so rich ... so downright manly it must be named The Tycoon ... or so says Poppa Trix
For the June/July 5 Star Makeover Challenge - hosted as always by the multi-talented Natasha of 5 Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! - we were tasked with creating a gourmet dish using only farmers market ingredients (except for pantry staples). Given the quality of ingredients and breadth of choice at the farmers markets I frequent, the possibilities here were practically endless.
I know that I haven't invented something new by making a pizza, and some may question a pizza's right to wear the "gourmet" mantle, but I couldn't get the idea of these flavors out of my head. I wanted a souped-up version of a steak, egg, and cheese pizza - and momma gets what momma wants. And besides, I am calling it a flatbread pizza, which imparts a more ... highbrow quality. Also, it's called the Tycoon, per Poppa Trix, who said that this was the best thing he has eaten in a very long time.
Interesting, though, that I somehow managed to make a farmers market dish that is nearly devoid of vegetables. Some former vegetarian I am. That said, I got every single ingredient except those for the dough (flour, sugar, yeast, salt) at the farmers market - in fact, I went to 2 different markets, that's just how dedicated I am!
I am not going to lie: This dish requires an absurd number of steps. At one point while I was making it I stopped myself and wondered why on earth I was going to so much trouble for a blasted pizza. But the results are so worth it. Trust me. Make this. I mean it! Look at what you get for your trouble:
Without further ado, here is how to make the world's most complicated - but delicious and worth it - flatbread pizza. The key is to have ALL the components ready and lined up before you start cooking your pie.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 cups of bread flour with 2 tsp salt. If you like, you can add some dried herbs as well. I added some dried Korean pepper powder. In another container, combine 1 cup warm water, one package dry active yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar, and 4 tbsp olive oil. Leave until foamy, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low, slowly add the water to the flour/salt mixture until combined. Knead by hand for 10 minutes and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let double, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. While that's going on, assemble the other components of the pizza.
Marinate one pound of tender shoulder chuck in 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 1 heaping tablespoon Chef Salt New York Steak blend for a few hours in the refrigerator. I picked up some samples of Chef Salt at the Fancy Food Show in D.C., and all of their blends are fabulous and so much fun to cook with. (You can get them online or at Whole Foods.) Cook the steak in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat for 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Let rest for 10 or 15 minutes before slicing thinly.
Slice 10 fingerling potatoes lengthwise and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree F oven until tender, about 25 minutes. While you're doing that you can ...
... Roast the garlic. I roasted 2 heads. When tender, I mashed them with a bit of olive oil and salt. Set aside.
The quail eggs:
Using a sharp knife, remove the top portion of 10 eggs at the wider point and set back into the tray. Meanwhile, fill a medium sized saucepan 3/4 way full with water and add about 5 tablespoons of vinegar. Bring the water to a boil and then turn off the heat. Give the water a gentle stir and add the eggs one at a time. For a soft poach (which I prefer) only leave in for 1 minute max. Gently remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in an ice bath.
When you're ready to make the pizza, punch down the dough and divide into three balls. (You can freeze one for later use.) Roll out the first dough ball, spread 1/2 the garlic mixture on it, and place in a a 450 degree F oven onto a pizza stone, using a pizza peel. In 8 minutes, remove using the pizza peel and add the potatoes and crumbled blue cheese. Place back in the oven for another 90 seconds. While that's going on, put 1/2 the quail eggs in a bowl of warm water. Remove the pizza again and add the steak:
Enjoy your Tycoons with a glass (or 3) of Bordeaux. And make sure to check out all the other farmers market creations when Natasha and Lazaro post a round up on July 29. And don't forget to check out my second blogoversary giveaway, going on until July 24!