[Recipe] A Niman Ranch Pizza 20 Years in the Sausage-Making

We fancy sausage. Italian sausage. With peppers and onions. And some mozzarella and sauce too!

When it comes to sausage-making, we are all eyes if the link is Niman Ranch.  Over the years we have gotten to know Sarah Willis and her humanely and sustainably-raised beef, lamb and pork at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink and most recently Genuine Pizza® and Harry’s Pizzeria®.  We believe so strongly in Willis’ mission that we made a commitment last year to exclusively source all our pizzerias’ pork and beef from Niman Ranch and have since then rolled out new menu items like Italian Sausage Pizza so our guests have more ways to enjoy them.  On special occasions, we are able to experience the roots of where it all began in person and reaffirm why we do what we do in the first place.  Next month we will have another such opportunity at the 20th annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner celebrating the farmers living Niman Ranch’s mission on the ground with a feast cooked by a handful of its favorite supportive chefs.

Click here to watch culinary assistant Brandon Green make the sausage pie shine at Genuine Pizza Aventura.

“When I was first invited to visit the original Willis family farm and cook at the 2011 hog farmer appreciation dinner, going there and seeing where it all started that was the ah ha moment for me,” Michael explains. “We work really hard to operate our restaurants and create experiences for guests – and take care of our people. It’s all consuming. When we can get out and make a personal connection it really is everything, especially having enjoyed working with their ingredients for so long and in so many different ways.”

From September 6-9, Michael, Brad and I will make a trip to Iowa for a weekend of activities that connect the dots between source and recipient culminating in Saturday’s feast, a collaboration with chefs including Cal Peternell, Andrea Reusing, Ann Kim, Charles Phan and Todd Fisher.  Follow along on the Michael’s Genuine Instagram for an inside look at the people and the place that makes us feel good about this Italian Sausage Pizza in more ways than just taste.  Make it at home or enjoy it at a Genuine Pizza or Harry’s Pizzeria near you!

Italian Sausage Pizza with Peppers & Onions, Tomato Sauce & Mozzarella

Makes 1, 12-inch pizza

1 ball Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
1/4 cup tomato sauce (use your favorite)
4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup sliced roasted red bell pepper
1/4 cup yellow onions, sautéed until translucent
1/2 cup Niman Ranch Italian Sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick on the bias

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. Using the back of a large spoon, and starting from the center and spiraling your way out, distribute the tomato sauce in a thin, even layer. You want to see some of the dough peeking through. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top, then the peppers and onions and finally the sausage. Slide the prepared pizza onto the hot pizza stone or baking sheet and bake until the crust is properly browned, about 10 minutes. Check the bottom of the pizza to make sure it has been cooked properly—it should be rich brown and burnished. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut into slices. Serve immediately.

Pizza Dough

Makes enough dough for 4, 12-inch pizzas

½ cup (120 ml) beer, such as lager or pilsner, at room temperature
2 tablespoons mild honey
1 (1/4 ounces/7 g) packet active dry yeast
3 cups plus 6 tablespoons (455 g) bread flour, plus more for stretching the dough
1/3 cup (40 g) whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl

In a small bowl combine the beer and honey with 1 cup (240 ml) room temperature water. The beer will foam a great deal when being poured into the measuring up, so let the foam subside before adding more liquid to get to the right volume. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until it starts to foam, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine both types of flour and the salt. With the mixer running on low speed, add the oil, then the yeast mixture, increase the mixer speed to medium, 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 1 to 2 minutes. The dough should pretty sticky and stick to your hands and the counter. It should leave behind a sticky trail; if you think the dough is a bit too wet, it is probably just perfect. 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.

Gently punch down the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight and for up to 48 hours. (You can start the dough the night before you plan to make the pizza.)

Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a clean, lightly floured counter and knead gently for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal balls, about 8 ounces (225 g) each—the size of large tangerines. Roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm. Use immediately or wrap the dough balls individually in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks. If using right away, lightly dust the dough with four, and cover with plastic wrap to prevent the dough from drying out. Let the dough come to room temperature, for about 1 hour, before using.

Have Your Pizza and Make It with Chef, too, at Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz

 

We just can’t get enough and apparently neither can you! Michael is making the rounds – the pizza rounds – to host cooking classes with dinner included at The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants. Snag your spot before he runs out of gas!

Next up is our honest Italian spot for feel-good food — Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz at SLS Brickell in the heart of Downtown Miami. Whether after work with friends or for date night, this three course interactive meal experience including pizza-making session with Chef hits the spot. Tickets are now live here for his dinner and class on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30PM. Enjoy the following menu and be a part of the show with a spread of toppings to choose from for $105 all inclusive.  Learn to form and shape your own pizza — and only share if you feel like it!  No matter how you slice it, a night in good company and fun is ahead.

Pizza Making Activity Menu | served family-style

PASSED SNACKS bruschetta – eggplant spread – chickpea fritters
SALAD signature tableside caesar served with garlic croutons, anchovy and parmigiano
PIZZA make your own with assorted toppings
DESSERT chef’s choice, served individually
LIBATIONS welcome cocktail, sangria and beer

 

 

Schwartz Readies His Beachside Manor Announcing New Restaurant at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach

The back porch at lobby and restaurant level.

COMO, estás. Today Michael is excited to announce a partnership with COMO Hotels and Resorts to open a new restaurant at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach later this year in the Traymore Restaurant and Gin Bar space at 2445 Collins Ave. In addition to rolling out new breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch menus, The Genuine Hospitality Group will oversee food and beverage throughout the property including in-room dining service. We have already begun to immerse ourselves in this beautiful new environment and are inspired to be back on Miami Beach where the spirit and soul is layered and strong. Opening is planned in time for the 2018-19 season.

“For us, it’s always about more than the food. But the food is really important!” Michael explains.  “We feel a kinship with what the COMO brand represents.  There is a commitment to both personalized service and reflecting the location of the property and its history in the space.  It’s about a holistic approach to creating a thoughtful experience for guests.”

As restaurant people, we are driven by the opportunity to create and feed off this energy, whether it’s an experience inside one of our existing spaces or developing a new one.  Despite the many projects that come across our desks, there are few that make sense to pursue — the right mix of timing, inspiration and resources, and of course how it impacts our people and the growth of the business at large.

COMO Metropolitan’s terrace, fronting a boardwalk the runs north between beach and the backyards of the buildings down Collins Ave (here facing south)

Name and concept will be announced soon, with an approach grounded in food you can feel good about eating, natural and balanced with global influences. Michael will collaborate with longtime partners at award-winning design firm Meyer Davis Studio – designers of Amara at Paraiso and the forthcoming restaurant at Park Grove – to refresh the space, celebrating its art deco past and the integrity of existing design elements.

The view from the pool (behind) back to the hotel (facing west).

COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach is a 74-room hotel occupying an original 1930s building located in the heart of the city’s famous art deco district. The hotel has direct access to the beach and a private swimming pool, two restaurants, and a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape spa. Located on Collins Avenue and 24th Street, the views stretch across the Atlantic to the east or the Intracoastal Waterway to the west, flooding rooms with Miami Beach sunshine. Interiors are by the Italian designer Paola Navone, who preserved the hotel’s art deco heritage and contrasted it with an urbane, contemporary spirit in shades of peppermint green and dusky grey with surfaces of cool white marble and shining chrome. Traymore, the hotel’s headline restaurant, offers fine Floridian seafood and the signature Traymore Bar showcases over 30 artisanal gins. The COMO Shambhala Urban Escape spa features four treatment rooms and a rooftop hydrotherapy pool.

The COMO Group, headquartered in Singapore, represents Christina Ong’s unique vision of contemporary living. The Group encompasses the hospitality collection, COMO Hotels and Resorts, which offers personalised luxury travel experiences through individualised service, a commitment to holistic wellness, and award-winning cuisine. Each hotel is developed in response to the destination it inhabits. The Group also includes the international luxury fashion retailer Club 21, the award-winning wellness concept COMO Shambhala, and the philanthropic COMO Foundation. Get a glimpse of their beautiful destinations and follow along for the adventures on Instagram @comohotels.

Bowled Over By Inspiration? For Chef Bradley Herron, It’s Right Under Your Nose.

Tuna Bowl, constructed.

Ever made a “garbage salad”?  The Genuine Hospitality Group’s Culinary Director Bradley Herron has.  Head scratch?  It’s not what you’re thinking.  Or maybe it is?

Perhaps you’ve had this moment, too, standing in front of a refrigerator looking for something good to eat and the landscape is bleak — a few lonely remains, a couple of scallions here and a half a lemon there, the bundle of parsley looking more like a bushel, and mismatched jars with innards haggard like the end of the DMV line.  It’s the look of resignation.  But this is not what everyone sees in what’s left on shelves or hidden in the pantry. If you’re Brad, you just need a stainless mixing bowl and boom! You are the envy of the office with special requests for lunch.

“Cleaning house.  It’s how we like to do things here over the course of a week, and it’s how the tuna bowl happened.” Brad explains to me on the line at Michael’s Genuine last Friday. “I saw this bag of wild rice sitting around waiting to die and thought about what we could make with it.  It starts with what you have, not always what you can order, and goes from there.  We can supplement with a few special things and make something really delicious. Cooking creatively is usually always about cooking smart.”

Vegetarian’s delight — Grain Bowl with sprouts, calabaza, radish, avocado, sambal

Lunch’s Tuna Bowl, and its Grain Bowl counterpart at dinner, snuck up on the menu over the past couple of weeks and have been a big hit at the office and in the dining room.  On Friday, fresh yellowfin came very finely chopped with seasonings including sambal, an Indonesian chile sauce we love for its intensity of flavor (mostly due to fish sauce).  The bowl is then constructed with a foundation of mixed grains including wild rice, red quinoa and farro onto which sliced cucumbers and radishes, nice looking hydroponic arugula, shaved white onions, bean sprouts and alfalfa, butter lettuce and a hulking half scoop of cubed avocado are packed. A favorite Vietnamese dressing, also fish sauce based, nuoc cham, is drizzled liberally.  Last week, the Tuna Bowl popped on Instagram with tail feathers of green and purple on display in baby fire sorrel.

“Yea, and it’ll have different things next week, too,” Brad continues.  “It’s a different way of looking at the recipe development process — maybe even backwards from the perspective of someone who is used to looking up recipes in a book and shopping for ingredients to conceive a menu.  But it makes for an efficient and creative kitchen, and there’s no reason why cross utilization shouldn’t apply to the home cook looking to eliminate waste and maximize flavor. Lots of cost savings, too.”

Teach a man to load the ingredient wall — left to right — from ripe, to ripening. This process brings back of house and front of house together to make the dining room stand for something (beautiful) and function properly for cooks in need of ingredients as the tickets come in.

What initially piqued my interested in Brad’s bowls was the idea of what makes for a good one. There is a formula, and it’s not how your corner “poke” shop does it DIY, a recipe for over doing it. Simplicity and restraint, sure, but really it’s about one thing — balance. At Michael’s Genuine it produces successful menus from the practicality and practice of cross utilization and is the essential notion all of our Genuine kitchens are built on. This is why the bowl canvas is so apt.  For our cooks, this idea informs the roadmap for every single dish.  It’s about the interplay of texture, color, flavor and temperature to create contrast and, if not thoughtfully considered, is what can make or break even a technically perfect one.

Look for more bowl variations to come, as well as what’s new for Miami Spice beginning August 1, posted daily @michaelsgenuine and where we now have a video of the tuna bowl assembly.

Bowls on fire at MGFD. What combo is up next?

Amara’s Sunset Beach Party Sets Sunday Ablaze with Special Skewers, Champagne & More

Easy Sunday evenings begin on the bay. Following brunch on July 29, the Amara Beach grill gets fired up with special anticuchos skewers and beverage specials including $15 Champagne Veuve Clicquot “Yellow Label” by the glass.  DJ Savy Fontana will send us off into the sunset.  Reservations and walk-ins are welcome.

Enjoy the supplemental menu below available a la carte inside and out from 4-10PM — including bar, terrace, our beach lounge area and deck chairs.

At 6PM our regular dinner menu will join the party.  Call (305) 702-5528, email reservations@amaraatparaiso.com  or visit  Open Table to book.  Amara at Paraiso is located at 3101 NE 7th Ave (Paraiso District) Miami, FL 33137.