Pesto in Your Pie Whole | A Slice of Harry’s Pizzeria® at a Whole Foods Market Near You This Summer

Harry’s pesto pizza has been a staple on the menu at Michael’s American pizzeria since day one. Might have something to do with his favorite ingredient!

Sometimes things start from a seed and grow in the right ways when you care for them, like our partnership with Wellness in the Schools.  It’s especially gratifying when the results are sweetened by a delicious and surprising biproduct, like the Harry’s Pizzeria® Pesto Pizza turning up at Whole Foods Market’s South Florida stores beginning this weekend!

As fearless founder Nancy Easton’s New York City-based non profit heads into its second school year of work here in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, we are more poised than ever to improve cafeteria food one lunch at a time working with a task force of local chefs.  Thanks to shared values — and love of good food — we found ourselves at the table with Whole Foods Market, even matching its pledge of 5% of sales on January 10 to raise a combined $44,000 and further WITS’ penetration down here.  Huge thanks to Michael and Harry’s Holdings CEO Sunil Bhatt for their commitment to this cause!

In the spirit of getting to know each other better and having some fun since, well, that’s what summer is for, you can now enjoy the Pesto Pizza by the slice and whole pie available for purchase at all 13 Whole Foods Market Pizza Bars from Palm Beach County down to Miami-Dade.  Pick up a recipe card to try your hand at home with all the ingredients, including dough, heirloom tomatoes and Mozzarita mozzarella, sourced right there in the store.  You can also purchase Michael’s dough fresh at all three Harry’s Pizzeria locations.  Thank you to the Florida region’s Carlye Wisliceny, marketing field coordinator and Brian Collaro, prepared foods coordinator and WITS Chef, for the opportunity.  It’s been a fun exercise pulling it together, and we couldn’t do it right without The Genuine Hospitality Group’s culinary team to support on recipes and training from chef Megan Hess in-store.  For participating Whole Foods Market stores near you including hours, visit its website or your nearest Google toolbar.  Make sure to tag #summeratharrys, @wholefoodsmiami and @harryspizzeria to share your slice of the pie!

When Harry Met Pastrami, Back by Popular Demand!

We’ll all have what Coconut Grove is having.

PASTRAMI GATE!  The Katz’s Pastrami Pizza on Rye Crust that Michael conceived for our American pizza joint will now be available at all 3 Miami locations beginning Monday, July 17 until Sunday, July 23, after Chef had to make a call to owner Jake Dell for 150 more pounds after selling out at the Coconut Grove restaurant during its limited run this week. We re-upped to make sure we were covered through the weekend and also convinced Dell to fly down Tuesday to make the rounds in person and learn how to make the pizza from the master himself.  So much for keeping kosher in the 6th borough!

Breaking pastrami news in today’s New York Post.

Join us to celebrate “Pass the Pastrami”, as New York City’s iconic Katz’s Delicatessen shares the Jewish Deli love across the country this summer with celebrity chefs creating a signature Katz’s-inspired dish for their menus. Get Michael’s before it’s gone!  For hours, directions and contact for all Harry’s locations, visit harryspizzeria.com/locations.

And mail order your Katz’s favorites here too, FREE SHIPPING NATIONWIDE, to get your fix on repeat.  The item we are using is the Whole Pastrami, cheekily advised as for professionals only, noting “Katz’s only recommends whole pastramis for those who know how to carve pastrami as it is a delicate process.”  In true Michael fashion, “Do you know what you’re doing?”  If you do, this recipe is for you!

Give the people what they want!

Pastrami Pizza

Makes 1, 12-inch pizza

1 ball Rye Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
8 ounces shredded gruyère cheese
2 ounces sauerkraut
3 ounces Katz’s pastrami
1 scallion cut on the bias for garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 500F.

Place pizza stone or baking pan on the middle rack and preheat it along with the oven for at least a good 20 minutes.

To prepare 1, 12-inch pizza, dip the ball of dough into a little flour, shake off the excess, and put the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough with your hands, turning the ball as you press down the center. Continue spreading the dough into a 12-inch circle either with your hands or a rolling pin. Leave the dough slightly thick so the topping does not seep through. Dust a pizza paddle (if you don’t have a paddle you can use a rimless cookie sheet as a substitute) with flour and slide it under the pizza dough; it’s easiest to top the pizza with the dough already on the paddle. In a small bowl make your mustard sauce by combining the spicy brown mustard, mayonnaise and whisk together with the buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper. To build the pizza first spread the mustard sauce on the dough, then evenly distribute the cheese, sauerkraut, and pastrami. Slide the pizza onto a pizza stone that has been pre-heated and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. Garnish with scallion and serve immediately.

Rye pizza dough

Makes 4, 12 inch pizzas

½ cup lager or other light style beer
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1, 7 gram packet active dry yeast
1 pound bread flour, plus additional for stretching
1/3 cup dark rye flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Combine the yeast, honey, beer and 1 cup water in a small bowl; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. With the mixer running on slow speed, add the oil, the yeast mixture, and mix until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand for just 1 to 2 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky. Gather the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat with the oil. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Knead the dough gently on an unfloured surface and divide into 4 equal balls, they should be about 8 ounces each and the size of large tangerines. Roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. The balls can now be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or wrapped and frozen for up to 2 weeks.

[Recipe] Mango Upside Down Cake

Whether you are following your nose and creeping front yards to forage the perfect specimen, or running and hiding while trying not to squish the rotten ones, no one can escape mango season in South Florida. It’s here!

Michael surprised us this morning with the fruits of his Graham tree home-baked into an upside down cake.  Crumbs are about all that’s left!  “It’s no Haden, but my kids love when I make this cake, so I brought you guys some!”  Graham is a fiberless cultivar that originated in Trinidad and became popular nursery stock tree in Florida for home growing due to its fine flavor and good disease resistance. It was even selected as a curator’s choice mango for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s 2008 mango festival. Not bad!  

Fresh fruit caramelized and embedded in rich buttery cake makes a great dessert any time of year, especially this time.  The beauty of this one-pan cake is its simplicity: you don’t even need a cake pan.  When people take their first bite, the reaction is always the same: oh my God! It’s great with a scoop of basil ice cream as a point of contrast to the caramelized to the point of almost burnt brown sugar… or just plain vanilla will always do!  Enjoy this oldie but goodie below, from Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat.

Mango Upside-Down Cake

Serves 8 to 10

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 1-pound firm-ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½ inch slices
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
2⁄3 cup buttermilk
Basil Ice Cream (recipe follows), optional

Put a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the 4 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, stir in the brown sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks like caramel, about 5 minutes. Swirl the pan around so the caramel covers the bottom completely. Remove from the heat. Tightly fan the mango slices over the caramel in concentric circles to cover the entire bottom, overlapping the slices.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat the softened butter with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed. Gradually sprinkle in 1 cup sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in the buttermilk, then add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring to incorporate.

Beat the egg whites in another bowl with cleaned beaters until frothy.

Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and continue to beat until the whites hold stiff peaks. Gently fold half of the beaten whites into the batter with a rubber spatula to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whites; it’s okay
if some white streaks remain.

Pour the batter over the mangoes and spread evenly to the edges of the skillet. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside rim of the pan to loosen it from the sides and make sure the cake will come out easily. Set a serving plate firmly on top of the pan and carefully flip it over to invert the cake onto the plate. Cool before serving with basil ice cream, if desired.

[RECIPE] Spring or Summer, Salad is always in Season

Courtesy GQ.

It’s peach season, the star of this new salad at a Harry’s Pizzeria® near you.

“Restraint. Use a couple of ingredients and keep it simple—that’s sort of my philosophy, not just about food but in life,” Chef recently shared with Lang Whitaker from GQ when he asked what the secret was to great salad. “Salad in particular is a delicate thing. I think it’s about the simplicity and the restraint, and then of course proportion is really important, and not overdressing the ingredients.”  Lang also has a point. Writing on (and in our case working in) the food biz requires some strategy if you’re going to be surrounded by all sorts of delicious treats all the time.  Salad can be one of those things.  I like Lang’s — every day for the last few years, he has eaten a vegetarian salad for lunch. Boom. Keeping it simple. Check out his full story “The Easy Secrets to a Good-Ass Salad” here (also with an addictive salad dude GIF on repeat) and since we’ve shared the recipe for Fi’lia’s Caesar salad before here on the blog, try this beauty from Chef’s cookbook, as pomegranates start showing up in the market to put the principles to work at home.  Since persimmon is a fall ingredient, don’t try to find a good one. Customize! Opt for Florida or Georgia peaches, coming into season now.

#MGFDsalad is a beautiful hashtag. Click to see why.

One of the most stunning images from Michael’s Genuine Food, Credit Ben Fink Photography

Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Crumbled Ricotta and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

A salad of unusual qualities, this vividly colorful combo celebrates exotic autumn fruit of persimmon and pomegranate. The combination of tastes is awesome: peppery watercress, sweet-spicy persimmon, tart pomegranate seeds, and salty cheese, all held together by a tangy vinaigrette. Leftover pomegranate vinaigrette will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and is goes great with grilled meats.

Serves 4 as entrée, 8 as starter

1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed (about 4 cups lightly packed)
2 medium heads frisée (about 8 cups lightly packed)
2 ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced (see Ingredient Note)
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup Pomegranate Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/4 cup crumbled firm Fresh Homemade Ricotta salata or store-bought ricotta salata
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

In a mixing bowl, combine the watercress, frisée, persimmons, and shallot. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the pomegranate vinaigrette, tossing with your hands to dress the salad lightly and evenly. Divide the salad equally among chilled plates. Top with ricotta and pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette​

Makes about 1 cup

2 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour the pomegranate juice into a small pot and place over medium-low heat. Cook until the juice has reduced to 1/4 cup and is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl or mason jar, combine the cooled pomegranate syrup, champagne vinegar, balsamic, olive and canola oils; season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk or shake to blend and dissolve the salt; reserve at room temperature until needed. Keep any leftover vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

[Recipe] Vidalia Onion Marmalade is Sweet on the Cypress Burger at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink

Genuine Burger Month continues its weekly special burger rotation May 8-14 with a true keeper, the Cypress Burger.  The meat is ground chuck 75% fat, 25% lean, with dry-aged beef trimmings that build deep umami flavor in the patty.  What’s stunning about the burger isn’t necessarily that the blend is particularly ingenious, rather how the few special elements it is built on come together to create magic when they’re enjoyed in unison.  The Cypress Burger is so much more than the sum of its parts: cheddar-like Jasper Hill Landaff raw cow’s milk cheese and the Vidalia onion marmalade that it smothers, jacked up on the best caramelizing onions we know.  No added sugar necessary!

Due to the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986, Vidalia is a Trademarked name and an onion can only be called a Vidalia if it’s grown in one of the 20 Georgia counties designated in the act.

The original sweet onion has been cultivated by grower artisans for more than 80 years, a discovery of Great Depression era farmers who were trying to find a new cash crop suitable for Georgia soil.  Vidalia onions became the Official State Vegetable of Georgia in 1990 and get their sweet flavor through the perfect combination of mild winters and low sulfur soil, the unique terroir surrounding Vidalia, Georgia.  It’s only available from April until August, making it a special nearby summer crop when it’s slim pickings down here in the South Florida fields and tropical fruit trees are at their peak.  Over 80,000 Vidalia onion seedlings are hand-planted per acre translating into about 5 million 40-lb. boxes sent out across the country and into Canada each year.

Enjoy the Cypress Burger’s unique combination of specialty ingredients next week at lunch and dinner, between a hard roll bun skewered with a cornichon.  You may find it hard not to sit in admiration like its butter lettuce and sliced heirloom tomato do to the side.  Ok, maybe not that hard!  Follow along at #mgfdburger #genuineburgermonth and #onlyvidalia.

Deeply delicious onion marmalade fresh from the range chills out in the walk-in cooler.

Vidalia Onion Marmalade

Built on the recipe for caramelized onions that form the base of the dip for Thick Cut Potato Chips and decorate Chicken Liver Crostini at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, this condiment has many applications beyond a burger topping.  But we challenge you to find one more epic!

Makes 1 quart

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Vidalia onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions along with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally and cook until the onions are deeply golden brown and caramelized, roughly 20 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to allow the onions to burn. Add the red wine vinegar and stir to deglaze until the liquid cooks off, about 3 more minutes. Set aside and let cool.