In The Kitchen

2009 September: Mushroom Magic

mushroom, vegetables, ingredient, topping

My father was a mushroom farmer. During my high school years, I put in more than a few hours getting acquainted with mushrooms in every way possible. Most of the mushrooms we grew (from scratch, including inserting the mushroom spawn into the compost) were sent to various markets in the Northeast, but there were alwaysMore »

2009 September: The Power of Pasta

pastas pasta bowls

Pizza and pasta is a match made in heaven. If pasta isn’t already on your menu, start up the printing press — because that’s all about to change! Not only should you be offering both, but why not create a “family feast” by combining a pasta entrée, a pizza and a salad? I’ve heard fromMore »

2009 September: Toss Up

2009 September: Toss Up

When I was 18, I tossed my very first pizza. It was my brother, Frank, who taught me the basics. Then I practiced every day. I noticed that customers were amazed when they came into our pizzeria — and back then I really didn’t do much … just a simple toss and catch. It hasMore »

Dough Doctor: How does gluten affect dough?

2009 August: Dough Doctor

Gluten is the one thing that holds our dough together. Without it, the dough would be a pasty mix of ingredients, lacking the capability of being shaped, hand-tossed or slapped. Contrary to what a bag of fl our might say, flour does not contain any gluten. Instead, it contains specific wheat proteins which, when agitatedMore »

Old School Sicilian Pizza

2009 August: Old School

What makes a Sicilian pizza a Sicilian pizza? In two words: shape and thickness. A true Sicilian pizza is rectangular. A true Sicilian pizza has a crust that is almost a half-inch thick. How do I know this? I know this because next door to my boyhood home in upstate New York there was anMore »

Pasta Primer: Fettuccine

2009 August: Pasta Primer

This is the time of year that many of us (especially those of us living in the Midwest) go bananas over fresh tomatoes. If I had the time, I would write another cookbook called “101 Ways to Use Fresh Tomatoes.” So this time of year I am constantly coming up with new ways to useMore »

Summer Specials

Summer Specials

Have fun with this “five-course” summer special: appetizer, salad, pizza, pasta and dessert. I have a lot of recipes to cover, so let’s get right to it. Each of these recipes can be scaled up in direct proportion. ? APPETIZER Mozzarella Cheese Puffs These golden puffs are flavorful and fun. Kids, especially, love these. YouMore »

2009 June: Ricotta Revelry

2009 June: Ricotta Revelry

Love it or hate it, ricotta just may be the most versatile cheese found in pizzerias today. Not only is it used in pasta dishes, but it can also be found atop pizzas and in rich, delightful sauces and desserts. It’s important to understand what ricotta comes from and how it’s made. Ricotta is ItalianMore »

The Dough Doctor talks calzones

2009 July: Dough Doctor

From time to time I get requests from readers asking for a dough formula suitable for making calzones. The truth of the matter is that while you can use a specific dough formula for making calzones, your regular pizza dough will work just fine in this application. Let’s start by looking at a dedicated calzoneMore »

Fruitza

Mandarin Pizza

Think fruit pizza and the ubiquitous “Hawaiian” most likely comes to mind. While no one will argue against the popularity of this ham-and-pineapple delight, fruit toppings aren’t limited to pineapple. Consider pears, apples, oranges — even coconut. The operators we interviewed did just that and discovered that fruit not only adds a sweet note toMore »