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Nov 17, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Recipe: Grilled Pizza

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

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There are three commandments you must follow to achieve flame-kissed, grilled pizza nirvana that no conventional oven-baked pie will ever reach.

No. 1: Control thy heat. Charcoal imparts the best flavor, but it can be a pain to manage until you get the hang of it. Patience is the secret ingredient to this exercise. Don’t be discouraged by a burnt crust or two at the beginning; this is an art, not a science. Hitting that perfect level of crispy char is unlikely to happen on the first try. Watch your dough like a hawk, peaking at the underside and readjusting its position to avoid flare-ups. And keep a spare crust at hand to replace any blackened beyond salvation.

No. 2: Preparation is key. All toppings for a grilled pizza should be prepped and ready near the grill. Once the crust is charred on one side, you need to move quickly to pile on all the ingredients. Go with cooked meats and chopped vegetables, a raw sauce I’ve included in this recipe and shredded mozzarella (thick slices won’t work). The toppings only have a few precious minutes to melt and fuse together into gooey deliciousness during the finishing stage.

No. 3: Keep it simple. You don’t have to make dough from scratch, but don’t buy a precooked crust either. Raw pizza dough is a must to get a satisfying, puffy and blistered crisp crust. A 16-ounce dough ball at Trader Joe’s will set you back about $1.50. “Less is more” should also be your credo while fashioning these crispy crusts on the super-hot grill. Apply sauces with a light hand. Toppings should be sufficient to cover the crust, but not overwhelm and create a soggy mess.

 
Grilled Pizza
2 pizzas

1 28-oz. can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 1-lb. balls pizza dough
½ cup olive oil
12 oz. shredded mozzarella
Desired toppings (pepperoni, ham, cooked Italian sausage, olives, chopped bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, artichoke hearts, etc.)
Handful chopped basil, for garnish

• In a mixing bowl, thoroughly crush the tomatoes with your hands, then mix in the garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. Set aside.
• Roll out each piece of dough to the desired shape and thickness. Let rest at room temperature 30 minutes.
• Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-high heat. Preheat 10 minutes.
• Brush each crust with 2 tablespoons olive oil and place each oil side-down on a sheet of foil. Working 1 pizza a time, place the foil over direct heat and grill 1 to 2 minutes, until the dough starts to bubble and set, checking the bottom occasionally to prevent burning. While it grills, brush the top of the crust with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
• Flip the crust onto the grate over direct heat and remove the aluminum foil. Quickly top the pizza with 9 ounces pizza sauce, 6 ounces cheese and desired toppings.
• Slide the pizza to indirect heat, cover and grill 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Repeat with the remaining pizza crust.
• Remove from the grill, garnish with basil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Matt Berkley is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Hugo’s Pizzeria in Midtown

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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Restaurateur Dave Bailey’s latest venture, Hugo’s Pizzeria, opened doors today, Sept. 20, at 3135 Olive St., in Midtown, formerly home to The Good Pie.

As The Scoop reported in March, Hugo’s marks Bailey’s seventh restaurant concept in the St. Louis area. He named the pizzeria for his son.

The menu at Hugo’s is based around a variety of hand-tossed pizzas. Bailey said they are akin to Roman-style pies with a yeasty pillow-like dough. The pizza selection includes classics like pepperoni and sausage and a white pizza with bechamel, prosciutto and lemon zest topped with charred grapes. For an additional charge, diners can add house-made pepperoni in five varieties: beef, spicy beef, duck, Buffalo chicken or a vegan variant. Vegan cheese and gluten-free dough can be subbed in, too.

The menu also includes salads and shareable plates like meatballs or fresh mozzarella with garlic oil, black honey, toast and more of those charred grapes. On the beverage front, Hugo’s offers a small selection of cocktails, a wine list heavy on Italian varietals, plus approximately 25 beers on tap.

Hugo’s seats approximately 100 inside and also boasts a partially covered patio space. The interior’s centerpiece is an open kitchen, fronted by the bar, for pizza aficionados who want to see the action up close. Rough-hewn wooden tables with fresh flowers and colorful metal chairs soften exposed brick and concrete floors in the dining areas.

Hugo’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Here’s a first look at Bailey’s latest new project.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Pie Hard pizza truck launches in Belleville, will expand to STL

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

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Another chef with fine dining creds has left the white tablecloths behind and opted for a more low-key culinary approach.

Chef-owner Michael Pastor debuted his new pizza-themed food truck, Pie Hard, on Saturday, July 29, at a soft opening event at his commissary kitchen, located at 8201 W. Main St., in Belleville.

Pastor has worked in some impressive kitchens, including Gerard Craft’s Niche and Pastaria, Cielo at Four Seasons, and an externship during his culinary school days at world-renowned Alinea in Chicago. But when he decided to strike out on his own, Pastor chose a more casual focus.

“Fast-casual is a trend that’s been going on for quite a while now,” Pastor said. “People don’t want to sit down and eat three or four hour meals anymore. So I leaned toward a fast-casual concept, and that led to a food truck.”

Pie Hard is decidedly different from many of the rolling eateries in the area. It’s a custom 20-foot shipping container atop a massive flatbed truck that houses the 5,000-pound EarthStone wood and gas pizza oven. The truck measures just shy of 30 feet.

“It’s the biggest St. Louis city allows, ” Pastor said.

Pie Hard will cover a wide swath of real estate. In addition to periodic events at the Belleville commissary, Pastor said the truck will serve south St. Louis County, and St. Clair and Monroe counties in Illinois. Pie Hard will be available for private events as well.

“We can’t do St. Louis city just yet because there are no spots available,” Pastor said, though he hopes to operate within limits soon.

Pastor said initially there will be five staple 10-inch personal pizzas available on the truck, including The Queen, a traditional margherita pie; The Vladi, with vodka sauce, Italian meatballs, pickled shallots and rosemary; The Cuban, a play on a Cuban sandwich that includes a mustard bechamel, speck, porcetta and house pickles; and The King, featuring crunchy peanut butter, banana, bacon and a spicy grape jelly, along with one rotating special.

Pizza fans can keep track of the truck on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Photo courtesy of Pie Hard Pizza

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Pappo’s Pizza closes St. Louis location

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

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The St. Louis location of Pappo’s Pizza & Brew Co. at 3960 Forest Park Ave., has shut down operations. The restaurant made the announcement via Facebook on Monday, May 7, which was also the last day of service.

According to the post, the restaurant shuttered because “it was not sustainable,” and the company is “looking at other options in the St. Louis area,” including a location to continue brewing its beers.

Pappo’s opened in January 2016 in the former Six Row Brewing Co. space in Midtown. The pizzeria stepped in to the brewing game with a rotating house beer list.

The Pappo’s locations in Osage Beach and Springfield, Missouri, remain open. Pappo’s owner Chris Galloway did not return repeated requests for comment.

Photo by Meera Nagarajan

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The Scoop: Café Piazza to open in Benton Park

Friday, March 31st, 2017

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Vito La Fata III, owner of Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante in Midtown, is opening a new concept in Benton Park. Café Piazza will debut in the former Benton Park Cafe space at 1900 Arsenal St., early this summer.

La Fata described the cafe as a hybrid between a fast-casual pizza concept and a more traditional dine-in restaurant with approximately 50 seats and possibly outdoor seating.

Café Piazza will be open for breakfast with frittatas, breakfast pizzas and pastries on the menu, and additional morning offerings on the weekend. Lunch and dinner will feature pizzas, salads, soups, panini and a gelato case.

“There won’t be any pastas or entrees,” La Fata said. “The main focus is on pizzas, but we’ll have some fun appetizers, and we’ll bring our arancini recipe over to the cafe.” Beer, wine and cocktails will also be available.

La Fata said the inspiration for the project is the Italian piazza, a gathering place where anyone can take some time out of their day and relax a bit. “We want to make it a neighborhood pit stop, where people can stop their hectic day, sit down and have a conversation,” he said.

Courtesy of Cafe Piazza 

The Scoop: Pour-your-own bar and restaurant Tapped to open in Maplewood

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

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Tapped, a restaurant and bar that will allow customers to pour their own beer and wine, will open in April at 7278 Manchester Road. Co-owners Ryan and Lindsay Reel will open in the former A Pizza Story space, as reported by Feast Magazine.

While the kitchen will remain basically the same, Ryan Reel said changes to the space include new windows, a new front door and a walk-in cooler. A large part of the build-out process involves installing the lines and electronics for the iPourIt tap system, the first in Missouri.

To utilize the system, customers will check in, start a tab and receive a radio frequency identification (RFID) wristband. Each tap will have an iPad mounted above it with information about the beverage. Customers then activate their chosen tap with the wristband, and the system tracks how many ounces customers pour. There will be 48 taps – 40 for beer, cider and Bitts coffee from Living Room in Maplewood, and another eight taps for wine.

“It’s a pretty extensive undertaking,” Reel said.

Reel said the Tapped beer program will be centered on local breweries. “Our focus is putting the craft beers next to each other so you can come to one location and be able to try a bunch of different things,” he said, adding that beers from other craft breweries around the country may eventually be added.

Customers will order food via a point-of-sale system at the counter, where they will pick up the finished product. Reel said Tapped staff will be available to answer questions and bus tables.

A Pizza Story’s wood-fire pizza oven will fire once more with a menu of pizzas and “elevated bar fare,” an assortment of larger plates and a build-your-own charcuterie and cheese board. Dessert options will include items from nearby Maplewood businesses Pie Oh My!, Kakao Chocolate and Encore Baking Co.

“The whole concept is really around the beer and the wine, and the pairing of food,” Reel said. “It’ll really be a social house type of atmosphere.”

 

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The Scoop: Dave Bailey to open new concept, Hugo’s Pizzeria

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

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Restaurateur Dave Bailey, owner of Baileys’ Restaurants, will soon add another concept to his stable of eateries. Hugo’s Pizzeria is slated to open this summer at 3135 Olive St., in Midtown, just two blocks away from another of his restaurants, Small Batch. Bailey bought the building, which formerly housed The Good Pie, last year.

“With Small Batch being over there, we were familiar with the building, and when it became available, it seemed like a good opportunity,” said Bailey. “I think Midtown is growing, and it’s a good connecting point between Cortex and downtown. It’s going to fill out, and we want to be there.”

Named after Bailey’s son, the restaurant will have a 12-seat bar, inside seating for 120 and 60 seats in the back garden. The one-story brick building is divided into four individual units, or bays. The bar and dining room take up two of those bays, while the kitchen occupies the third. Bailey said he’ll reveal his plans for the fourth bay in the next couple of weeks.

The main event at Hugo’s will be 12-inch pizzas cooked in a gas-fired deck oven at 550 degrees. Hugo’s will offer a Roman-style crust, house-made ingredients like pepperoni and sausage and other ingredients from the company’s micro-farm.

“It’s going to be familiar cuisine but elevated, family-friendly but open to everybody, much like (Baileys’) Range or Rooster,” said Bailey. “It’s completely approachable. We just love pizza and want to present a version of it that we think is really good.”

On the beverage side, Hugo’s will feature 30 draft beers, a selection of wines and a full bar. In addition to pizza, the menu will feature items like burrata, meatballs, wings and salads.

For those who want to get an early taste, starting today, March 15, Bailey’s Shift, Test Kitchen & Takeout will serve three 10-inch pizzas: cheese, pepperoni and a rotating daily special. The pizzas will also be available as a lunch special with a salad and a drink. The smaller size pizza will also be served as a lunch option at Hugo’s.

 

 

Baked: Thai Red Curry Pizza

Monday, February 27th, 2017

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My husband and I love the red curry pizza at Thai Pizza on The Loop. It’s exactly what it sounds like: Thai curry on pizza crust, held together by lots of cheese. If you think this sounds unappetizing, well, you’re wrong.

I decided to attempt my own version of Thai pizza with a simple homemade red Thai curry spread on a pre-baked pizza crust and smothered with lots of cheddar and mozzarella. The result is an umami-packed pizza with sweet pineapple bites amid the savory red curry.

 

Thai Red Curry Pizza
2 to 4 servings

1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
3 heaping Tbsp. red curry paste
1 8-oz. package frozen bell peppers or Asian vegetable blend
Handful chopped mushrooms
1 Tbsp. Red Boat fish sauce
1 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
Handful chopped cilantro
Handful fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
Handful chopped Thai basil
2-3 cups shredded cheddar and mozzarella blend
2 prebaked 10- to 12-inch pizza crusts
Handful chopped green onions

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• In a large skillet over medium heat, whisk the coconut milk and red curry paste together until combined. Add the vegetables, mushrooms and fish sauce and simmer 10 minutes, until the sauce starts to reduce.
• Stir in the chicken, cilantro, pineapple and basil and simmer another 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and is no longer runny. Taste and adjust the flavors.
• Place the pizza crusts on a rimmed baking sheet. Evenly spread the curry atop each crust, then liberally cover each with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
• Garnish with chopped green onions. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

 

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Sneak Peek: ‘Zza Pizza & Salad in Skinker Debaliviere

Friday, February 17th, 2017

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The new fast casual restaurant ‘Zza Pizza & Salad from the folks behind Pi Pizzeria is scheduled to open later this month at 282 N. Skinker Blvd., in the Skinker Debaliviere neighborhood.

As The Scoop reported in November 2016, ‘Zza will focus exclusively on pizzas and salads, with an emphasis on quick service and quality ingredients. The single-serve, oblong pizzas are designed so each slice is an edge piece. The crust is a combination of pizza styles with the chew of Neapolitan and the structure of New York style.

Two beers will rotate on tap (Schlafly Kölsch and 4 Hands Incarnation IPA to start), wine and sodas from Blue Sky, and canned and bottled wine and beer will be offered. Approximately 45 seats will be available for guests who opt to eat in and enjoy the 1,600-square-foot space decorated with hand-painted art by the local artist Phil Jarvis.

There will be plenty of ways to order ahead of time, including ‘Zza’s website, Facebook page and a smartphone app, as well as via Yelp and Google. Washington University students can also use Bear Bucks to pay for their pizza. ‘Zza will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store at ‘Zza:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Photos by Meera Nagarajan

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What I Do: Meredith and Rick Schaper of Dogtown Pizza

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

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Rick and Meredith Schaper had big plans in 2006: open a pizzeria serving St. Louis-style pies. But when the economy started to decline, the Schapers had to try another strategy. Today, more than 300 retailers carry frozen Dogtown Pizza, each handmade and flash-frozen at their warehouse in North City. Here, the Schapers tell how their business thrived in a tanking economy – and why they’ll never move to West County.

The Early Years
“The only pizza I had until I was 14 was Imo’s. My first sleepover, we had Domino’s with pepperoni, and I didn’t know what either one of them was. For us, [pizza] was a special occasion. We went and sat at Imo’s – we didn’t even get carryout.” – M.S.

“The real core of me is Farotto’s Pizza in Rock Hill. I started there when I was 11 and worked there until I was 21, so I had 10 years in a pizzeria. Literally, you’re at the most influential stage of your life from 11 to 21. That was my life. I didn’t think I’d do anything but work at that place. I was already the kid that hung out with my mom in the kitchen. [There are] stories of me on a stool, licking the strings off the roast beef.” – R.S. 

A Rough Start
“We invited some investors and tried to throw a party to raise money for a restaurant, and we got zero dollars. … It was right when [the economy] was crumbling. In our first year being in the frozen business, restaurants closed left and right. … The good fluke was people stopped going out to eat and grocery shopped more, and that’s where we were – in the grocery stores.” – R.S.

“Talk about trial and error. The first batch of labels weren’t coded so that the ink wouldn’t run in the freezer. We didn’t know to tell [the printer] that. When we said we were putting it on a pizza, we thought they knew!” – M.S.

Dogtown or Die
“Everybody asks, ‘When are you moving out to Chesterfield?’ Never – I’m staying in my nice cozy brick home in Dogtown. … My parents met and dated in Dogtown. My mom grew up and went to grade school at St. James the Greater and got married at St. James the Greater in the ’50s, and our first house is on the same street as my parents’ first house. … It’s still in the city, it’s close to everything, and the community and people are just tight-knit.” – R.S.

Long Live Pepperoni
“I hate plain cheese pizza. I hate my own cheese pizza. It just feels like it’s unfinished. It makes no sense to me.” – R.S.

“It’s like ordering a Jack and Coke and getting a glass of ice.” – M.S.

Dogtown Pizzeria?
“There’s a really strong fire inside me that still wants [to open a restaurant] because I enjoyed it, but then I go back to the risk of restaurants, the hours, the toll on your body and I say no way. … I’m not saying I couldn’t make it work – of course, in my mind I know I could – but there’s still a risk.”– R.S.

Photo by Kat Niehaus

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: February 2017

The Scoop: Dogtown Pizza to move operations to support “serious growth”

 

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