Monday, April 20, 2009

Gourmet Pizza Party: taste of Hawai'i

We recently had the opportunity to host a gourmet pizza birthday party, for which we created ten speciality gourmet pizzas. Guests "ordered" their pizzas from a selection of printed menu cards listing the ingredients for each freshly baked pie. In the next few posts, we will highlight a number of these ten creations, focusing on the fresh ingredients used in their preparation.

The first of the ten pizzas was influenced by ingredients and cooking techniques used in the Hawaiian islands... and was aptly named, "a taste of Hawai'i..."
We started with a freshly made organic white flour pizza dough, rich in olive oil and sea salt. Baked on our pizza stone, the crust was crispy on the outside, and perfectly chewy around the edges. Rolled thin, in a "New York" pizza style, the crust is the perfect vehicle for the gourmet ingredients added.

Topping the pizza was a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, infused with the juice of fresh Maui pineapple. With a hint of spice to balance the sweetness, this sauce set the stage for the remainder of the pizza toppings. We chose fresh smooth and creamy mild Gouda cheese (unsmoked) to complement the robust sauce. Freshly shucked local yellow corn, roasted with chili and cumin, grilled red onions, and grilled fresh pineapple chunks were liberally added. Lastly, shredded Kālua pork, slow roasted with sea salt and ti leaves until tender and flavorful. While we were unable to build a traditional Hawaiian imu (underground "oven" lined with hot rocks and banana leaves), our orenji kitchens version is moist and delicious just the same. The smokiness and saltiness of the meat mingled perfectly with the other pizza toppings to create a rich and flavorful slice of pizza.

For us, and for many of the guests at the party, this was a highlight of the evening... but it is also just the tip of the pizza ice burg! Check back, as we review some of the other wonderful pizza creations from the gourmet pizza birthday party!

No comments: