Pizza Today - September 2019 - 34

INGREDIENTS

Cheesy combinations are on everyone's
minds these days because chefs, restaurateurs and pizza people have realized the
infinite possibilities that pairing cheeses
affords. Even with this new interest in
combining cheeses, mozzarella is still
king of pizza because of its milky, melty
structure. But it can still get lost when
topped with strong topping flavors. In my
pizzeria, we've opted for a combination of
mozzarella and provolone and we've also
expanded our cheese experience by using
up to 15 different cheeses in our menu
mix including local and even house-made
cheeses like vegan and yogurt cheeses.
Over the years, I've found that the use of
cheese combinations depends upon several
different factors starting with the most
important for any independent pizza
owner, which is price.
BLEND IT LIKE BECKHAM

How can I get the most bang for the
buck out of cheeses? We all know intuitively how much mozzarella costs but is it
worth it to add a mild-flavored cheese to
your mozzarella pizza? Probably not. My
rule of thumb is if they cannot tell the difference and you cannot get any street "cred"
and sales through marketing, don't bother
bro. Quality mozzarella is definitely worth
it, so any complimentary cheeses should
be strong enough or visible and separated
from the mozzarella melt to transform the
pizza to the next level.
What historical flavor profiles are you
shooting for? You wouldn't use mountain
gorgonzola paired with Pecorino Sardo
with a red mullet-caper pizza topped with
balsamic glaze? (Would you?) Traditional
flavor profiles are well documented in history because they really work. Like mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano, pecorino
and ricotta, ricotta and gruyere, goat cheese
and Neufchatel, fromage blanc and blue
cheese and Manchego paired with queso
fresco.
When are you applying the cheese?
After competing for numerous years overseas, I've come to love cooking with one
cheese then finishing off the pizza with
another. For example, finishing an aged
mozzarella pizza with the milky ooziness
of a stracciatella or burrata is absolute
heaven. After the oven bake, flakes of feta
3 4 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9

add a salty-sour finish to a pizza or a slice
of brie or Camembert topped to melt
slowly on a pie or flatbread is a real winner.
LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD

I am a big advocate of cheese saucing
especially with béchamel sauce, (AKA
Alfredo, Bechemele, white sauce.) Using
a fairly small number of strong cheeses
with the alfredo sauce elevates a pie to new
levels and, after all, who says you only have
to use a tomato sauce? Here are a few of
my favorite pairings with this great white
sauce:
GORGONZOLA CREAM. A great Gorgonzola cream sauce is perfect when topping
mozzarella with spinach, fennel, pear,
tomato, walnut, pine nuts, peaches, beef,
bacon and even a yogurt cheese (like
labneh) smooths the loud funk of the gorgonzola for a quadruple cheese pizza.
ASIAGO CREAM. This is another
full-flavored sharpness to the laid-back
béchamel under an umbrella of mozzarella.
I've noticed that Asiago tends to get even
stronger when cooled so this combination
is great with bacon, grapes, figs, potatoes,
prosciutto di Parma and arugula.
FETA CREAM. This crumbly cheese can
be made from goat, sheep or cows and
goats milk combines wonderfully with
béchamel sauce to create a slightly tangy
and almost peppery base for toppings.
Best with spinach and beets with walnuts,
olives, tomato, cherries, mint, rosemary,
honey, pears, pancetta, leeks, salami and
even strawberries.
COMBO NATIONS

Just like any great entertainer, you've
got to be on point when presenting your
pizza to customers. Besides, you've worked
countless hours to hone your dough and
sauces and sought out the best toppings for
them, why just cut the pizza and shove it
in front of them? Finishing a pizza with all
the world's cheeses creates a wonderful element of surprise for your customers, here
are some cheeses to add to your finishing
team:
PECORINO ROMANO. This finelygrained sheep's milk cheese adds a salty yet
fruity finish to pizzas and pairs well with
both ricotta and mozzarella. It pairs well
with balsamic vinegar, mostarda, honey,

chestnuts and duck prosciutto. I love the
combination of burrata, pecorino Sardo
and pears.
PIAVE VECCHIO. This dense cow's milk
cheese from the Veneto region ranges
from delicate slightly sweet and fruity for
younger ages to nutty and caramelly in
older versions. I really love grating this
cheese on cured meats such as soppressata Friuli and Prosciutto di Parma after
the oven bake. This cheese is wonderful
with Montasio, Asiago and ParmigianoReggiano.
MASCARPONE. This mild, creamy and
buttery cheese isn't technically a cheese
because acids are used instead of rennet to
thicken the cream. It doesn't stand up well
to high heat but can add a much-needed
sweet creaminess to fruits, pumpkin, berries and figs. I add a little maple syrup to it
to finish off high-fat pizzas using guanciale, pancetta and lardo or drizzled over
figs with arugula. Combining Mascarpone
with grated Parmigiano, ricotta and roasted
garlic makes a beautiful garlic pudding for
a sauce.

The Royale with Cheese
This is one of the most prolific pizzas in my
menu mix. It started as a riff on John Travolta's
line in the movie Pulp Fiction as he described
what the Big Mac is called in France and it also
highlighted a great local band named The
Royales. This pizza's genius is in its ginormous
flavor and its simplicity.
1 19-ounce proprietary dough ball
3 to 4 ounces proprietary tomato sauce
¾ cup aged mozzarella
½ cup shredded provolone
1/4 cup of the following cheeses: Feta,
Asiago, Parmigiano, Gorgonzola,
Provolone
Place the tomato sauce on a 14-inch
round followed by the mozzarella.
Sprinkle each of the cheeses around the
pizza and bake in a 475 F oven for
12 minutes or until the crust is golden
and cheese melted. Serve hot. n
JOHN GUTEKANST owns

in Athens, Ohio.

Avalanche Pizza


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - September 2019

Pizza Today - September 2019
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
@ Pizza Today
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Payment Options
Cheese Blends
Flatbread Pizza
Cauliflower Crust
Raising Wages
Pizza & Pasta Northeast Preview
The New Wave of American Pizza
Pizza Today on the Road: New York City Tour
Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - September 2019 - CT1
Pizza Today - September 2019 - CT2
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today - September 2019
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover2
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Commentary
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 4
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 5
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 6
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 7
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Contributors
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 9
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 11
Pizza Today - September 2019 - @ Pizza Today
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 13
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Conversation
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 15
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 17
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 19
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 21
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 22
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 23
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Destinations
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 25
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Payment Options
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 27
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 28
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 29
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 30
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 31
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cheese Blends
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 33
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 34
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 35
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Flatbread Pizza
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 37
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 38
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 39
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cauliflower Crust
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 41
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 42
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 43
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Raising Wages
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 45
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 46
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 47
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast Preview
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 49
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 50
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 51
Pizza Today - September 2019 - The New Wave of American Pizza
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 53
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 54
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 55
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today on the Road: New York City Tour
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 57
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 58
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 59
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 60
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 61
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 62
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 63
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 64
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 65
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 66
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 67
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 69
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 70
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 71
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 73
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 74
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 75
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 76
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 77
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 78
Pizza Today - September 2019 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 80
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 81
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 82
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 83
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 84
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 85
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 86
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 87
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 88
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover3
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover4
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