Entertaining & Recipes

Pizza Party, Cali Style

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Intro image

Our amazing vice president of creative, Josh Liberson, may have just been visiting from NYC for the summer, but he and his family managed to score a place from Airbnb with one of the all-time best entertaining accessories: a wood-burning brick oven. “My wife is very smart,” he says. Luckily he and his family were down for some drop-in guests. What does he love about hosting a summer pizza party? “Um, everything.” We couldn’t agree more!

The Toppings

The Toppings

Josh’s daughter, Ada, holds a bowl of cherry tomatoes, the seasonal star, that he roasted and used as the base for the pizzas (see below for the recipe).

Other summer favorites, like corn cut freshly off the cob and sliced Padrón peppers, added even more seasonal flavor.

Once the dough was rolled out and the tomato sauce and veggies were added, the pizza was given a sprinkling of grated mozzarella and provolone.

Pizza-making tip: Be sure to transfer your rolled-out dough to the pizza peel (or pan) before adding your sauce and toppings.

The Pizzas

The Pizzas

Brick ovens get insanely hot, and this one cooked the pizzas in three minutes flat. No pizza oven? No problem. Pizza stones can be added to any old oven and are perfect for achieving a crispy crust.

The pizzas, one a tomato-and-corn combo and the other topped with peppers and sausage, were transferred from the oven to a wood cutting board for slicing. And yes, they tasted as good as they looked (see below for the recipes).

The Table

The Table

Mason jar glassware, minimal flatware, and laid-back textiles set a casual vibe (and encouraged another summer treat: eating with your hands!).

The mix-match vessels used for flowers continued the evening’s casual approach to entertaining.

This was pizza and beer, One Kings Lane style. Our host raised a glass to a successful pizza party.

“We love our farm stands and our CSA, and we love to cook. Start with great ingredients and it's kinda tough to screw them up.”
—Josh Liberson
Beer Pairings!

Beer Pairings!

Racer 5, Bear Republic Brewery
The peppery notes of this heavily hopped beer balance out the sweetness of the corn pizza.

Loakal Red, The Bruery
This dark, malty beer has subtle grapefruit notes, which cut through the bold flavors of the sausage-and-Padrón-pepper pizza.

THE RECIPES

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough
Makes enough for three 10-inch pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (we used a 50/50 blend of all-purpose and Italian 00 flours)

In the bowl of an electric mixer or, if you’re making the dough by hand, a large bowl, whisk together the yeast, water, and honey. Let stand for about 5 minutes. The mixture should be a little bubbly and smell yeasty.

Add the olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. If using a mixer, mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for 5 minutes. If mixing by hand, stir the ingredients together with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the remaining flour. If using a mixer, mix with the hook attachment on medium speed for 5 minutes. If mixing by hand, spread the 1 1/2 cups of flour onto a clean surface, pour the wet dough on top, and knead until elastic, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour one tablespoon at a time as necessary until the dough is slightly sticky but not wet. It should pull away cleanly from the sides of the mixing bowl, and bits of dough should not stick to your finger if you touch it.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp dish towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Pizza Dough

Once the dough has risen, punch it down, and lightly flour a clean surface. Turn the dough onto the flour and portion into three equally sized pieces. Shape into rounds, and let rise again on a lightly floured surface, covered with a dish towel, for about 20 minutes.

Next, on a lightly floured surface, form a 10-inch round using a rolling pin or by gently spreading the dough out with your hands.

Bake the pizzas, preferably on a pizza stone, in an oven that has been preheated to 450-500 degrees. If your oven has a broiler, you can cook your pizzas in half the time using a preheated pizza stone about 4-5 inches below the broiler.

 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
Makes enough for three 10-inch pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts cherry tomatoes, stemmed and left whole
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a rimmed baking dish, and place in the oven until the tomatoes start to caramelize, about 30-40 minutes. The sauce is ready to use at this point; if additional roasted flavor is desired, however, try broiling the cooked tomatoes until they’re blackened in spots.


Roasted Cherry Tomato and Corn Pizza
Spread a few spoonfuls of roasted cherry tomato sauce over the dough. Shuck one ear of fresh corn, cut the kernels of the cob and sprinkle them about. Layer a blend of grated mozzarella and provolone cheese, and bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and browning.

Roasted Cherry Tomato, Padrón Pepper, and Sausage Pizza
Spread a few spoonfuls of roasted cherry tomato sauce around the dough. Remove the casing from a fresh sausage of your choice (we used a spicy Italian pork sausage), break into bite-size chunks and parcook in a skillet or baking dish. Dot the partially cooked sausage around the dough. Scatter thinly sliced Padrón peppers about, then add a layer of grated mozzarella and provolone.

 

Set Your Pizza Party Table

Prep For Pizza Making

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