Crabmeat, Portobello and Truffle Oil Pizza

A delicious winner from our good friend (whom we haven’t actually met, yet) Emeril Lagasse. I promised Cath I’d make her a pizza tonight, but we weren’t quite sure what it should be. Thin crust, yes. But beyond that, I was going to do some brainstorming during the afternoon. Then, an email from my bride, asking me what I thought of this particular recipe. She meant for a dinner with her brother, I immediately knew it was going to be tonight’s menu.

The method of preparation for the crust was a little different than what we ordinarily do for a thin crust pizza, and I’ll admit I was a little nervous. Usually we bake the crust on one side, then flip it, add toppings and return it to the oven. This provides a very crispy, crunchy crust, and we’ve found it holds up very well to the ingredients without becoming soggy. For this recipe, we needed to roll out the dough, add toppings immediately and place it in the oven. I was a little apprehensive that we’d have a mess, but it turned out terrific. Kudos to Emeril, it turns out he knows a little something about cooking after all!

A thought about ingredients: The recipe calls for crab and gruyere cheese, but those can be a little pricey if you’re cooking at home. We often substitute an imitation crab for the real thing, and we find we like the taste; it’s often a little less “fishy”. That’s our call, you do what you need to do. Also, the gruyere was $18.50 a pound at the grocery store, so we opted to substitute swiss cheese instead. In our book the flavors are very comparable, and at one third the price.

The end result was terrific. The crust was light and crispy, and the mushrooms, swiss cheese and truffle oil lent it a very pleasant, earthy flavor. The crab was delicious, and it was almost the sensation of a crabcake pizza. It sounds strange, but it really works. We didn’t open a bottle of wine for this one, but based on the overwhelming earthy flavor I’m of the opinion that a pinot noir would be a nice match. Generally, crab would lead me to a riesling, but in this case the pinot would have been my choice. Can you go wrong? It’d take a lot of trying to go wrong with this recipe. It was fantastic!

Ingredients:

  • Basic Pizza Dough, recipe follows, or prepared uncooked pizza crust
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 1 large portobello mushroom (about 4 ounces), stem removed, wiped clean, and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Pinch salt and black pepper
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over to remove shells and cartilage
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions or chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cups grated tomme, taleggio, or Gruyere
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons truffle oil, to taste
  • Chopped fresh chives, garnish

Preparation:

Place a baking stone on the lower rack of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F.

Remove the dough from the bowl and briefly knead. Place on a lightly floured work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into a large round of desired thickness or make into 2 smaller rounds. Lightly dust a baker’s peel with the cornmeal. Transfer the dough to the peel. (Alternately, the dough can rest and then be cooked on a lightly oiled baking sheet.)

In a small bowl, toss the mushrooms slices with the olive oil and garlic and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

In another bowl, toss the crabmeat with the mayonnaise, green onions, parsley, lemon juice, cayenne, and a pinch of salt, being careful not to break up the lumps. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Sprinkle the tomme cheese evenly over the pizza, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Arrange the mushroom slices over the cheese. Transfer to the baking stone and cook until the crust is starting to turn golden brown and the cheese is starting to melt, about 6 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and arrange the crabmeat over the top of the pizza and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Return to the oven and bake until the crabmeat is hot and the cheese is bubbly, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and drizzle with the truffle oil, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve hot.

 

Basic Pizza Dough:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation: 

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.

Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Use as directed.

Yield: 1 large pizza crust, or 2 medium pizza crusts

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5 Responses to Crabmeat, Portobello and Truffle Oil Pizza

  1. Anna says:

    Thanks for the post. This is a pizza I will make!

  2. getinmebelly says:

    I’ve never heard of baking the crust half way and then flipping it before adding the toppings. Does this, in your opinion, make a better pie?

  3. Nate says:

    Hi Anna, thanks for reading! This was a “chew it slow and savor” pizza, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

    Hi getinmebelly (I love that name). My original pizza crust recipes came from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, or The Bible, as we called it. It called for browning on one side, flipping and baking the rest of the way, and it makes for a REALLY crispy crust. I guess it’s just how crispy you like it. We usually flip it, wash it in extra virgin, and apply kosher salt and cracked pepper, which you couldn’t do with this pie. If you look up a couple of the other pizzas on my blog you can see what I’m describing. It’s all good, to be sure. Thanks very much for reading and commenting!

  4. sister2u says:

    Hmmm…crabmeat on a pizza? Definitely new to me. I thought the same thing about pairing Riesling with crab, but you pose an interesting twist by suggesting a pinot noir. Glad it all turned out!

  5. Nate says:

    I’m most amused by the fact that you mention the crabmeat, but completely blow by the truffle oil ingredient as if you do that all the time! That’s the one that usually has people giving me the look. It’s pretty good stuff, though, well worth a try.

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