Pizza with Chantarelles, Bacon, Fontina & Parsley
OK people- no more beating about the bush- it IS now well and truly Autumn! Cold and dark in the morning, dreary and grey all day long- sigh! So, what is a dude to do?!? Well, rather than beat about the bush, maybe look under the bush and see if the damp weather has brought out any tasty mushrooms... or at least find someone else who has already done that for you!
Which is exactly what I did today at the Frankfurt Kleinmarkthalle- my favorite place to shop for gourmet goodies- like these delicious Chanterelle mushrooms! Deep yellow, full of flavor and in season- what more could you want?
As for me- I just picked some out that were a little cleaner from the get-go ;-) Haha! As for worrying about mushrooms getting waterlogged and soggy... I used to worry about that and buy into that nonsense. As mushrooms consist of up to 80% water anyway- I am not going to fret about it too much! After all- these fellows get rained on out in the woods and don't dissolve away and the bottom line is that they need to be clean to be enjoyable, end of discussion!
The main thing you need to prepare good mushrooms- and good pizza for that matter, is a high temperature. So get your oven turned up full power and get your frying pan hot, hot, hot too!
Into your pan goes finely diced bacon, finely sliced Spring onion, finely chopped parsley stalks (we will use the leaves later) and some crushed garlic. Let it begin to sizzle and brown for 2-3 minutes and then add the mushrooms. Stir well together and season with black pepper, a little nutmeg, some crushed coriander, caraway and cumin seeds and just a hint of salt.
Once the mushrooms begin to cook, you can press down on them with a wooden spoon and they will pop apart or squash down... this is a good idea, otherwise they will be stacked too tall on the pizza and begin to burn later on.
To put the pizza together, grate some Fontina cheese and a little salted Ricotta and mix them together. Sprinkle the cheese onto your pastry base first and then spread out the mushrooms, bacon and onion evenly on top. Add a little more cheese and pop into your oven on the middle shelf at the highest setting for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven. After that time, add a light drizzle of olive oil and a hint more cheese and pop it back in for a final 2-3 minutes under the broiler until it is perfect and golden brown!
Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of the finely chopped parsley leaves as they go wonderfully with the mushrooms and enjoy it whilst it's hot! Delicious!