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Switch Ingredients Around For Great Pizza

Summer is just around the corner, and one of the most popular menu options for the season is pizza: it’s a great, easy-to-eat meal, friendly to people on the go, and satisfying without being too weighty on the stomach. But if you’re going to be making pizza this summer to delight your guests--be they home guests or restaurant patrons--you are going to need a few good restaurant supplies, and you should also consider changing things up a bit when it comes to the ingredients you include. Of course, there’s nothing quite like the classic pizza margherita--mozzarella, tomato, and basil--but because it’s so iconic, it’s a go-to for many restaurants. But if you want to create an iconic experience, the first place to look at making a change is in the cheese. Mozzarella has always been a pizza standby for good reason: it melts beautifully, and creates wonderful strings that people love to pull on as they devour their pizza. But there are many other cheeses with similar profiles and reactions--and by changing the cheese you can look at a range of toppings that complement the cheese you’re using. For example, barbecue pork or chicken go amazingly well with cheddar. Fontina cheese with its nutty sweetness can be the springboard for a gourmet option with fresh, seasonal veggies. Blue cheese may not have the satisfying pull that some others do, but it’s a great pairing for buffalo chicken and many other toppings. You can also rely on changing around the sauce that you use as a base for your pizza. Of course, tomato-based sauce is the classic, but more and more people are turning to different sauces to accompany more adventurous toppings; “white” pizza usually has a cream-based sauce or a base of ricotta and garlic, for example. Other popular sauce options include barbecue sauce and pesto. But don’t let existing ideas hem you in; as long as the sauce is fairly thick, and will mostly stay put on the pizza without causing toppings and cheese to slide around too much, it’s definitely worth trying! You can even explore sweet sauces for the sake of making a dessert pizza. Of course, the easiest switch-up to make is on toppings themselves. If there’s anything that pizza parlors have discovered over the years, it’s the fact that there are few things that don’t work on pizza. If you’re looking to truly create a unique pizza experience, look away from traditional toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, or green peppers and consider some more unusual ideas. In France, pizzas topped with honey and goat cheese are extremely popular, as are pizzas topped with smoked salmon; pre-cooked ingredients like blanched asparagus or caramelized onions can also make for a unique and delicious pizza experience. There are tons of options available to you--you can even create pizzas that you add raw ingredients to after the pizza is done cooking, like the now-famous Caesar salad pizza. When you’re looking at elements to switch up for the pizzas you want to make, it’s a good idea to consider the process of making a pizza, and what you want the end result of your experiment to be. Of course, you should definitely let your imagination run away with you--but keep in mind that there are some things that are simply unlikely to work on your finished pizza: some raw vegetables are just too wet when exposed to the heat of a pizza oven to be tenable, for example, and some meats won’t cook properly (burning on the outside while remaining under cooked on the inside) in the relatively short period that the pizza stays in the oven. The best plan is to make up a few different sauces you think will work well, have a few different cheeses to play with, and a variety of toppings, and have a tasting party; you can weed out the recipes that don’t work out, and develop and refine the ones that do. Once you’ve got a few different combinations under your belt, you can go from there, creating new and better recipes with the help of a few good restaurant supplies. Summer is a great season for pizza, and this summer can be a wonderful opportunity to change things up while still relying on an old standby. Don’t let tradition control your attempts; instead, look at unusual combinations and a variety of approaches, and make something delightful for your guests.
2018-05-21 00:00:00
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