For Foodie Eyes Only
Posted: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
Chef Troy Gagliardo
CChef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlottes Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season. For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troys Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of A Chefs Life Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south. Vivian had this to say, Troys take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try. Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.
Who doesnt love pizza? If there is such a person I would love to meet them, so we could do studies on them to see what planet they are from; and I am only kind of kidding. Pizza is the perfect food not only because it taste great, but because it is a blank canvas for any flavor or style of food.
There are a few of really important factors to any great pizza; dough, sauce, cheese. Great pizza dough is easy to do with the right recipe, which I have supplied below and appropriately titled the best pizza dough ever. This dough recipe was given to me by a close friend of mine and was passed on to her from her father over 50 years ago. If you dont feel like you are ready to make your own pizza dough, stop by your favorite pizza place and purchase a couple dough balls.
Sauce is a taste preference, but a good one is tangy and simple. A slash of olive oil, a clove or two of garlic, a can of crushed tomatoes, a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar is really all you need. Bring it to a simmer, cool completely and you are all set. Something as simple an olive oil can be a sauce and makes for a lighter pizza and goes perfectly with vegetables.
Cheese is limitless and also preference, literally any cheese will do well except may be American cheese (not really cheese). Whether the cheese you choose is crumbled, grated or shredded, use it sparingly as a great pizza is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of topping and thickness of dough.
Here is a recipe for a pizza I devoured recently in Las Vegas. I completely fell in love with the concept and flavor profile. So much so that I wanted to home make the lamb chorizo and is simply put together with the recipe below. Mexican Chorizo is a good substitute and if you cant find rapini (broccoli rabe) use broccoli florets trimmed into small pieces.
Lastly for a perfectly baked pizza you need a pizza stone. Preheat your oven fitted with the pizza stone to 500 degrees at least 30 minutes before baking pizzas. This will ensure an evenly cooked pizza, crispy crust and perfectly melted cheese. Resist the temptation of opening the oven. Let it do its thing and if you want to take a peek, look through the glass. Your pizza will be at it perfect moment, golden and gooey 7 to 10 minutes of intense heat.
For more great recipe ideas and recipes watch Chef Troy on WCCB News Rising every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am and visit www.cheftroy.net.
Lamb Chorizo Sausage-Goat Cheese-Rapini
1 Pound-Ground lamb-cooked, drained, crumbled
3 Cloves-Garlic Cloves-smashed into a paste
3 Tablespoons-Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons-Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon-Dry Oregano
2 Each-Pizza Dough Balls-12-14 ounce (store bought or see recipe below)
1 Bunch-Rapini-Broccoli Rabe-cut into bit size pieces
2 Tablespoons-Olive Oil-plus extra
To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper/ Crushed Red Pepper
6 Ounces-Goat Cheese-crumbled
1. Combine ingredients for sausage and refrigerate for at least one hour, covered.
2. Warm a sauté pan over medium high heat.
3. Add oil, rapini and season with salt/pepper/crushed red.
4. Cook, tossing/stirring, until bright green 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.
6. Wipe out pan, heat over medium high heat and add sausage.
7. While cooking break sausage into small pieces.
8. Drain and build pizza.
9. Roll dough out into 10-12 rounds.
10. Brush dough with oil all the way to the edge
11. Top with havarti, lamb chorizo, rapini and goat cheese.
12. Place in oven and bake until golden and gooey, 7-8 minutes.
13. Remove pizza, slice and serve.
The Best Pizza Dough Ever
2 Cups-Warm Water
2 Tablespoon-Active Dry Yeast
¼ Cup-Granulated Sugar
¼ Cup- Olive/Canola/Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon-Kosher Salt
5 ½-6 Cups-All Purpose/Bread Flour
1. Combine warm water with yeast and sugar.
2. Set timer and let rise for 10 minutes.
3. Warm bowl of stand up mixer/mixing bowl with warm water.
4. Add yeast water to bowl and add oil, salt and 5 cups of the flour.
5. Add bowl to stand up mixer and attach the dough hook.
6. Mix on low speed until a sticky ball of dough is formed, add remaining flour if necessary.
7. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover, set timer for one hour and let rise.
8. Divide into two potions, roll into balls and use immediately.
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