Friday, December 26, 2014

Fig, Gorgonzola, Prosciutto and Arugula appetizer pizza

Fig, Gorgonzola, Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza
I hope everyone's enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, and if you're one of the very lucky ones - you're NOT going into work today?? This guy will be in his office, but only for a short while. Before I go though, I have to tell you about this pizza I made last night, as an appetizer to Christmas dinner!

They say imitation is the fondest form of flattery, right?  Well some time ago (last summer) I tried the fig & gorgonzola pizza at Jamestown Fish - a local spot located shockingly - in Jamestown, RI.  As creative as I like to get in the kitchen - when it comes to pizza, I usually tend more to traditional themes. But I've become quite a fan of blue cheeses and arugula in recent years - and I had to try it - and I loved it.  Fast forward to this week, when a friend invited me to Christmas dinner at her family's house, and said I could bring a cheese & cracker plate... my response was, Ok, but you do know, I will have to expand on that a little.  No sooner had I said it - than re-creating this pizza came to mind.

I couldn't remember the whole thing, I knew there were figs, gorgonzola, and arugula (which a glance at their online menu will provide) but my brain and chef-sense wanted more salt (prosciutto & parmigiano) and some caramelized onion to boot.  Not having fresh fig handy, and going for a salty-sweet theme anyway - I opted to use a good fig spread (Dalmatia.)  Here's how you do it!


  • A good gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbles or block
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, I recommend a block, not grated
  • (1) med-large sweet white onion - caramelized!*
  • (3-4) slices of prosciutto**, sliced in small strips
  • (1) bag fresh Arugula
  • Pizza crust (any you like - I used a thin, whole wheat)
  • A good EV Olive Oil (optional - white truffle oil)

Instructions (this is as easy as it gets):
  • PREP the crust by lightly oiling the top-side with the oil you chose
  • cover with a thin layer of your caramelized onions
  • cover the onions w/ a good layer of crumbled gorgonzola (or bleu)
  • cover the pizza w/ 1/2-tsp sized dollops of fig spread (see photo)
  • chop the parimgiano in v. small (1/8") chunks - you want those "blasts" of salt
  • scatter the parmigiano chunks and the prosciutto strips (don'a be shy!)

  • BAKE the pizza according to the needs of your crust (it's all about the crust!)
  • If you are using store bought, it may be pretty quick, which is fine.
  • The toppings will be hot, melted, and yummy-gooey in 10 min in any case.
  • When it is near done (check every 5 min or so) remove from the oven.
  • Cover with a layer of arugula, and drizzle with a little more oil
  • The White Truffle Oil is a really nice touch here and sure to impress.
  • Return to the oven just to wilt and even slightly crisp the edges of the Arugula
  • Remove, slice,*** and enjoy!

    *  caramelize the onion properly, google for instructions if unsure
  **  for a pizza such as this, a little thicker sliced (typ of grocery store prosciutto) is Ok
***  and for the love of Pete, please don't be a communist... always cut a round pizza in
      triangular slices, NOT squares!

Thank you for keeping up with Café 146 - I've appreciated all the compliments and am glad some of you have found a few original recipes here that you like - and have hopefully had some fun too.  And of course it's my responsibility to remind everyone not to forget - that to know good food is to be close to God.

À Salut!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Prosciutto-Avocado breakfast sangwiches

I don't know what it is, but I sure do love me some avocado lately. After a productive morning, I decided to make myself a "cross cultural" breakfast sandwich with the last 2 farm-fresh local eggs I had in the fridge.  Quick inventory of my "fixin's" revealed a few slices of fresh proscuitto, some shredded mozzarella, my last tablespoon of Parmigiano Reggiano, and half an avocado... oh yeah, I can taste this comin'...

So, I made this with Pepperidge Farms thin sliced Oatmeal bread, but whatever you like will do.  I'm a bread-a-holic truth be told, and I usually like the bread to be well-represented in my sandwiches.  But here, I liked the way the mild tastiness of the Oatmeal bread and it's thin slices really took a backseat to the salty prosciutto and parmigiano, and also the smooth flavors of the avocado and mozzarella.  To do this, is simple:


  1. Slice the avocado to as thick as you want it, I like ~ 1/4" thick.
  2. Fry the egg(s) near your liking in a little olive oil.
  3. Cook them almost, not all the way, and flip earlier than you usually would too.
  4. Top the egg(s) with the mozzarella and parmigiano, in the pan.
  5. Immediately the egg & cheese to a plate, add salt & pepper, and cover with a lid.
  6. The egg will continue to cook slowly, and the cheese will melt under the lid.
  7. You better have the coffee on by now, I'm assuming I don't have to tell you that part?
  8. Prepare the sandwich by now adding a little butter to the pan, and your bread.
  9. Place the prosciutto and avocado on top of the bread and adjust heat as necessary.
  10. Lift the lid on the egg(s) - oh, would you just LOOK at that, yum!!
  11. Place the egg on the bread, and top with another slice.
  12. Proceed like grilled cheese, flipping when your bottom slice of bread is golden,
  13. DON'T press down - you have golden yokie goodness to look forward to!
  14. Flip gently and brown the other side, adding a pat of butter if needed,
  15. M'adonne that smells amazing by now, huh ?!
  16. When it's done - give it a light press with your spatula and pop the yolk(s)...
  17. NOW QUICK - get it out of the pan, and onto the plate, and slice it open.
Now have a look at that - there should be perfect, golden yolk all over your plate, glistening over warm prosciutto, melted mozzarella, soft smooth avocado, all accentuated by classic parmigiano reggiano!  (Next time I'll be adding a slice of ripe tomato, by the way!)

Mangia bêne, and always remember - to know good food is to be close to God!