Ready for Its Cheese Pull Moment in the Sun, Better Pizza at Home is the Star of Chef Michael Schwartz’s New Genuine Pizza Cookbook

Puttanesca with marinara, stracciatella, anchovies, capers, olives and basil.

Feast your eyes on Genuine Pizza! Shooting on location this week on Miami Beach, Chef Michael Schwartz and a crack team of cooks and creatives are preparing the final elements of Genuine Pizza: Better Pizza at Home, due to publish in Spring 2019 with Abrams Books. With more than 75 recipes, the Chef shares his genuine approach to making better pizza at home.  The pictures make the book after all, and we’re serious about capturing the experience true to hand-formed!

“My philosophy is simple and straightforward—the secret to good food is good food, and it starts with sourcing great ingredients,” says Schwartz. “Genuine Pizza is my approach as an American chef who puts quality and simplicity first. Pizza has always been an important part of all my restaurants.  It’s an opportunity for expression and I want the home cook to feel like they now have a great resource that they can turn to and enjoy using.”

Teamwork makes the dream work (left to right): Prop Haus’ Martha Bernabe, TGHG culinary assistant Dillion Wolff, chef Michael Schwartz, culinary assistant Brandon Green and camera assistant Sophie Fabbri.

The popularity of pizza at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink inspired Schwartz to open a casual pizza restaurant, Genuine PizzaTM, and this book reveals the chef’s tried and true approach for making his signature pies. Schwartz believes that the home cook can and should eat better pizza at home, and so Genuine Pizza is inviting and fun, covering the basics first, so that readers can then be adventurous in their own kitchens, mixing and matching ingredients that appeal to them, to create the perfect pie.

Brad and Brandon.

Beginning with Pizza Fundamentals, Genuine Pizza explores everything from useful equipment and must-have ingredients to detailed, step-by-step techniques for how to make incredible dough, including recipes for gluten-free and rye-based options. Part two is all about composing nuanced, flavorful pizzas, with recipes that include classics such as Margherita and Soppressata, as well as pies with more unorthodox, yet irresistible topping combinations. Schwartz shares his favorites, like Zucchini with ricotta, anchovy, chile, lemon, grana padano, mint, and basil, BLT with bacon with arugula, tomato, and taleggio, and Pastrami on rye crust. Inspired by the Miami locale, pizzas also feature local Rock Shrimp and Slow-roasted Pork, Schwartz’s nod to the Cuban sandwich in pizza form.

Because no one can live on pizza alone, Genuine Pizza also explores Snacks, Soups, Salads, Main Courses, Desserts, and Drinks, forming a guidebook to creating balanced, vibrant meals, centered around everyone’s favorite food. “Pizza is just the beginning—it’s a jumping off point to colorful, delicious meals at home,” says Schwartz.

Follow #genuinepizzaathome and visit thegenuinekitchen.com for more information, events, and behind the scenes content leading up to the release.

Photographer Sidney Bensimon with TGHG Culinary Director Bradley Herron.

[RECIPE] Spring Cleaning the Grill & Your Plate — Lettuce!

Spring is clean up time. No matter where home is, we brush off something — dust from shelves or grimy remains of (so much) snowfall.  While wiping the shmutz from dark corners, we mind what’s inside by eating fresh and clean.  For starters, scrub down the grill and mark some lettuce — escarole to be exact.

“Try to buy lettuce in whole heads,” Michael says.  “The heartier the better, and make sure you cut thick enough on the vein so it holds together. It doesn’t take much time on the grill to get it where you want it — just wilted enough with some good marks, smokey flavor, and still with a nice firm texture.”

It’s always smart if you can to position your grill in a spot with great ventilation, and give yourself some good clearance on all sides. If you’re on wood, you want to light it at least an hour beforehand to get it up to temperature. Watch your fire and use a thermometer — add wood when necessary and have a spray bottle handy for flare ups.  Michael has both an indoor wood grill at home like many of our restaurants, as well as a Lynx gas grill outside — it requires less planning with great results.  Always clean your grill after you’re done eating, not cooking.  Elbow grease with a good brush will do and even a bowl of soapy water with a stainless steel scrubber.

When grilling with lettuce, drizzle liberally with olive oil and season, then use tongs to mark each side of your “steaks”.  Here’s how we serve escarole as a side at Amara at Paraiso, but this is more of a roadmap for running with it, than a recipe.  You can substitute radicchio, endive, romaine — whatever combination you like.  Same goes for the chile and hard to semi-hard cheese.  Just not the lemon, please!  It would make a great entrée salad with grilled shrimp.

Grilled Escarole with Idiazabal, chile, lemon

Serves 4

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
2 heads escarole, cleaned and split
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 lemons, split in half
1/4 cup shaved Idiazabal cheese

Pre-heat the grill to high.  When hot, brush the grill grates with a wire brush, then rub with a paper towel blotted with vegetable oil.

Place small saucepan on the grill and add 1/2 cup of the oil and the chiles. Warm through until the oil begins to simmer.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Drizzle escarole heads with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place on open grill, cut side down with the lemon halves. Grill escarole and lemon for 3-5 minutes, without turning.  Watch the lettuce in particular — you just want it wilted enough with some good marks for smokey flavor, but still with a nice firm texture.  Pull off onto a cutting board and cut each piece in half.  Dress on the board or platter you plan to serve on, spooning the chile oil and topping with shaved cheese. Enjoy with grilled lemon on the side to squeeze.

 

[Recipe] Miami Winter’s Bone: Amara at Paraiso’s Guajillo Chile-Grilled Beef Short Rib with Cabbage Slaw

Grilled Beef Short Rib with shaved cabbage, marcona almonds grilled peppers and sour orange

The heaters have been cued from hibernation.  As we learn the ins and outs of our new home on the bay, Amara at Paraiso, blasting the breezes with a little firepower takes the edge off.  So does opening the terrace doors, feeling the warm current mix with the cool, and digging into something with a little more meat on the bone than usual on a Miami winter evening.

Chef Michael Paley’s Grilled Beef Short Rib is just the thing to bewitch us warm bloods into a cozy state of contentment, brightened with shaved cabbage, fresno pepper, marcona almonds and sour orange. It’s all about balance for this chef, and this restaurant in the approach to every dish. Here, the crisp, citrusy slaw cuts the richness and spiciness of the meat.

Paley, a moment away-ish from expo.

“The tendency is to want to fuss with a steak on the grill,”  says Paley.  “The beauty of bone-in is out of sight out of mind in the oven.  And when it’s finished on the grill after the long cook, it’s actually ok to work it on the grates a little over the high heat so it gets nice and crispy on all sides.”  Paley also notes that while the yield may be less with the bone, it’s a more intact cut, with less people touching it along it way.  Not to mention it’s great looking at the table too.  Now that’s something we can really sink our teeth into!

Grilled Beef Short Rib with shaved cabbage, fresno pepper, marcona almonds and sour orange

Serves 4

4, 4-inch cut bone in beef short ribs 1 cup
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
1 pint Guajillo Chile Wet Rub (recipe below)
4 cups shaved green cabbage
1 cup thinly shaved Fresno peppers
1 cup roughly chopped Marcona almonds
½ cup picked Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup thinly shaved red onion
¼ cup thinly shaved red radish
¼ cup fresh squeezed sour orange juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 each whole sour oranges cut in half

Preheat oven to 300° F.

With a sharp knife, trim the short ribs of any extraneous fat or silverskin. Coat the ribs evenly with the Guajillo rub.  Place the ribs on a roasting rack set on a baking sheet and roast uncovered for 2 hours.  Remove the short ribs from the oven and place in a large earthenware or stainless steel baking dish, meat side up and add ½ an inch of water.  Increase the temperature of the oven to 325° F.  Cover the baking dish with tin foil and roast 2 more hours, until the meat is easily pierced with a paring knife.  Remove from the oven to rest and refrigerate overnight.

To finish the dish, heat a charcoal or wood fired grilled to 375-400° F.  Place the cooled short rib on the grill, turning and rotating often to develop an even char on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Place the halved sour oranges, flesh side down on the grill and cook until charred, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the cabbage, fresno pepper, almonds, parsley, onion and radish with the sour orange juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To plate, trim the hot short ribs off the bone and cut on the bias into 1-inch thick slices.  Arrange the bone on a platter or board, fanning the short rib against it. Spoon the the cabbage salad evenly on either side, and garnish with a grilled sour orange.

Guajillo Chile Wet Rub

This dried red chile commonly found in Mexico has the depth of flavor and heat necessary to penetrate a big cut and can handle, hold up and develop deep, rich flavor in the meat over a long cook time.  It is long and narrow in shape, and very tough in texture. The dried fruits are seeded, soaked, and pulverized to a thin paste, then cooked with salt and several other ingredients to produce a thick, red, flavorful marinade.

Yields 1 pint

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup Guajillo pepper powder
1 tablespoon toasted coriander, ground
Juice and zest of 4 oranges
1/4 cup smoked paprika
2/3 cup minced garlic

Mix to combine.

[RECIPE] We Fancy Cheese Puffs | Playing the Temperature Game for Perfect Choux Pastry in Gougères

Wednesday’s Rancher Appreciation Supper (tickets and menu here) at Harry’s Pizzeria® is about more than meats the eye.  The occasion is a celebration of delicious product from a source we trust and can stand behind, a commitment that Michael is making long term for our neighborhood American pizzeria as it grows.  Beef and pork raised right, tastes right.  But what happens behind the scenes to make it all happen for the dinner on the culinary end orchestrates resources and talent across our group, from menu development to execution.

This morning we visited our commissary kitchen where much of the heavy lifting for prep happens for our restaurants and special events to zero in on the process through the humble cheese puff or gougère.  A flurry of activity since 5:00 a.m. dances around not skipping a beat from one item, one hot minute, to the next, cooks methodically Sharpie-striking the day’s butcher paper prep list taped to glass racks. MJ keeps her cool “off to get [her] ass kicked” on the next thing.  Jean checks on Michael’s Genuine’s pastrami in the cabinet smoker wafting a peppery sweetness over the range where MJ begins her pâte à choux.  The key throughout the process is use of temperature and its control.

“What I love about the choux dough is it is so rustic. You have to really get in there with your hands to make something beautiful and simple,” she explains, bringing the water, milk, salt and sugar to a boil in a saucepan before adding the butter and then the flour, paddling, turning and whipping with a wooden spoon aggressively. “Instead of a raising agent like yeast or baking soda, we use a mechanical leavener — moisture from fat and the steam that escapes when heated.”

You’re looking for the “V” to form and then it’s ready to pipe.

MJ prefers her base with a little more flavor so she cuts the water with equal parts milk, adjusting the butter accordingly.  Keeping an eye on moisture content and knowing what to look for at the various stages of cooking will yield the right result.  She likes to finish cooking it by drying it as much as she can on the range.  Looking for a film to form on the bottom of the sauce pan, MJ then takes it just a tad longer over the heat.

“I’m looking for it to become dry enough to sustain the structure of the dough when I add the eggs later,” she adds.  They’ll be tempered with the help of the whiz of a gigantic paddle in the smaller (30 quart) of her two Hobart mixers and a paint job she learned back in culinary school — spreading the dough on the sides of the mixing bowl to let just the right amount of steam escape before adding the eggs so they incorporate perfectly.

“When you are trained originally in pastry you start with traditional French patisserie to learn the basics,” MJ reflects.  “I always rely on the foundation of the technique, but it’s the instinct for cues in the behavior of the technique that develop over time and serve to make a recipe really work.”

Gougères

Yields about 3 dozen

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 scant cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cups gruyère, shredded
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

Pre-heat oven to 375° F.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat bring salt, sugar, milk, 1/2 cup of water and butter to a boil, mixing to combine with a wooden spoon.  When a froth begins to form, turn the heat to medium-low and add the flour.  Mix with wooden spoon continuously for 3-4 minutes or until a light film forms on the bottom. Keep stirring vigorously for another minute or two to dry the dough so it easily pulls away from the pan.  It should have a smooth, paste-like texture. Remove from the heat.  Using the wooden spoon, scoop the dough and spread on the sides of bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  This will allow just enough heat to escape before adding the eggs to ease their tempering.  Add the eggs one by one and beat until the dough is thick and shiny, making sure that each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next.  Don’t worry if the dough looks like spaeztle as the eggs are beaten in, this is normal; the dough will come together again.  Let the dough sit for a minute, then beat in the grated cheese. You’re looking for the dough to form a stiff “V” on the paddle, then you are ready to pipe.  Using a rubber spatula, scoop dough into a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip for better control when piping.

Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper — if you are using parchment, you can pipe a small bit of dough on the corners and in the center of the sheet to use as glue for the paper.  Pipe about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère leaving about 2 inches between the mounds. Sprinkle each with a little parmigiano.

Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees F.  The initial blast of heat will activate the steam and make them rise, then lowering will dry them out without burning them.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the gougères are golden and puffed.  You an also pull one from the oven to test for moisture inside and continue to bake accordingly.  Serve warm, or transfer the pans to racks to cool.

[RECIPE] Oven Roasted Gold Bar Squash with Arubella Cheese, Prosciutto & Soft Herbs

Gold bars ahead!

“Quality is never an accident,” chef recently scribbled on his office closet door.  When we speak of what quality and its companion, creativity, mean in a kitchen or to dish creation specifically, out of the box thinking, big ideas and originality come to mind.  But would it take some of the magic away if what is really at play is much more grounded?  That instead of some high falutin divination, it’s a process — not unlike recipe-writing itself — that is detailed in every way.  I am starting to see it as an algorithm based on timing: what is seasonal, what is available and what is the context.  This produces the best creativity, and when the chefs nail it, it falls into focus.  A dish becomes instructive and expressive of the approach.  The why is in the how.

Words to stand by, and for, at The Genuine Hospitality Group.

Take Oven Roasted Gold Bar Squash with Arubella Cheese & Prosciutto, little bundles of the perfect, simple bite and part of the first course of next Wednesday’s Rancher Appreciation Supper at Harry’s Pizzeria® in the Design District.  As culinary assistant Megan Hess explains, “This dish is an opportunity to highlight three ingredients that each work to add something to the equation. The squash is something seasonal and fresh. Belgioioso’s Arubella cheese – think Taleggio – shows up all over the menu at Harry’s, from pizza to salad, so we wanted to rethink its potential and uses.  And the prosciutto, while we would be happy eating it out of the package, is something we don’t get to use everyday in the restaurant nor as an ingredient in a dish. It works great here to wrap it all together.”

Enjoy our calculations in your home kitchen, but first get a taste of the gold standard by purchasing tickets here!

Oven Roasted Gold Bar Squash with Arubella Cheese, Prosciutto & Soft Herbs

Serves 4 as an appetizer

10-12 baby squash, preferably Gold Bar
1 cup shredded Arabella cheese
½ pound sliced Niman Ranch prosciutto
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup picked parsley
1/4 cup picked cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Cut each squash lengthwise. Sandwich some cheese in between the zucchini halves, pressing and shaping to secure. Wrap each bundle with a piece of prosciutto. Place each stuffed squash on a sheet tray about an inch apart, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and prosciutto has lightly crisped. Toss parsley, cilantro, lemon and olive oil in a bowl. Present squash family-style on a platter topped with soft herbs and serve immediately.