Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Makin' It, Fakin' It an' Bakin' It!

Sfincione Falso con Macinato, Romanesco, Finocchio & Scamorza
"Fake" Rustic "Sfincione" Pizza with Pork, Fennel Seed, Romanesco & Scamorza

Time to use up some left-overs, time to make something quick and easy and time to trick half the world into thinking you are the best pizzaiolo in the west! Who would possibly guess that this came from a roll of store-bought pizza dough? I certainly wouldn't if I saw it served-up somewhere! Especially with it's fluffy, folded edges which make it so similar to a Sicilian "sfincione", that fluffy, double thickness, soft and yeasty pizza-bread from Palermo...

I used a little trick to get my dough to fluff up more and that was to "steam" it for the first 5 minutes of baking time. This coaxes the yeast into working overtime and almost doubling in thickness- but in just 4-5 minutes, whereas the real thing is made with much more yeast than normal dough and left to rise and rise and rise for hours on end. It is then baked, usually with just a simple tomato, onion and cheese topping and strangely enough, enjoyed cold the morning after!

But not tonight! I neither wanted to deprive you all of a more interesting and tasty topping- or myself for that matter! Especially as I had a little ground pork and also a third of a small sized romanesco to make use of. And this is how I combined them together to make this yummy dish!

I chopped up the romanesco into small, bite-sized pieces and popped them into my frying pan, with just enough boiling water to cover the base of the pan and then cooked it until the water had evaporated away. At that point I added the ground pork- it was really just a handful- enough to make a small burger. I seasoned it with a teaspoon of fennel seeds, some salt and pepper and little crushed garlic. After the pork had sizzled away for 2-3 minutes, I added a couple of finely sliced shallots, stirred everything well and allowed them to sizzle away for another minute or so.

I then set the topping to one side, rinsed and cleaned the pan, turned on the broiler in my oven, with the heat turned up to maximum and got busy putting my pizza pie together ;-)

I cut out a circle of dough and laid it out in my frying pan, then sprinkled it with grated scamorza cheese- yum! On top of this, in the center of the dough, went the topping- nicely and generously, but not too close the edge- which as you can see, I folded over and over to create a decorative crusty edge- which was very easy to do! Just tuck and fold, tuck and fold, all the way around. And the next thing that I did was to pop the pan into a hot oven where a baking tray of water was bubbling away and making quite a lot of steam! I left it in the oven for 2-3 minutes, which was already enough time for the dough to puff-up considerably.

And then the pan went back onto the stove top at a high heat for 2-3 minutes, until the base had baked to a crust... you know my method by now! I shook the pan gently until the pizza came loose easily... then I added a little more cheese on top, a light drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of that delicious, Spanish, roasted chili powder... delicious! And then I popped it into the oven for 3-4 minutes on the top shelf... until it had become a deep, golden brown!

What could be more yummy and satisfying? This is a whole meal packed into bread-like casing- great for my supper this evening, or even cold for a picnic or afternoon snack... In any case- so much fun! Which is why I recommend you try it too!

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