One of the best things about making your own delicious pizza at home is that you get to choose exactly what ingredients you use and combine them however you like!
However instead of just cutting them up and chucking them on, there are a few simple methods you can use when preparing your ingredients that will really bring them to life, both in terms of flavor and in presentation. Today we will look at a few different tricks to use when preparing ingredients.
Finely sliced onion rings are a common ingredients on a lot of my home made pizzas. But there are two very different ways to prepare this ingredient. If sliced and scattered over the pizza raw, white or brown onions give a crisp texture and a refreshing, tangy bite when the pizza is eaten. However, you can also prepare onions by precooking them though! To precook onions, slice and add to a frying pan with a dash of olive oil. Saute over medium heat until the onions are softened - we are not looking to color the onions at all, just sweat them a little. For an extra flavor kick, try adding a crushed and chopped clove of garlic, and a little salt and pepper. Onion prepared in this way will still have a little texture, but they will be softer than if they were added raw. However the flavor will be very different - you should now get a sweet taste that might work better with the ingredients on your pizza! When deciding what method to use, think about the overall impression that you want to create with your pizza, as well as what would work with the other ingredients.
There area couple of tricks that I like to use to really bring chicken to life. The first is called 'brining'.
Brining is done by soaking any meat in a mixture of salt and water, sometimes with other flavors added as well. The salt tenderizes the meat and also adds extra flavor. Don't worry about the chicken becoming too salty with this method, most of the salt will be left in the water.
250 ml water (1 cup)
Juice of 1 lemon
15g salt (2 1/2 tsp)
1 clove of garlic, mashed
1 tsp fresh or dried chopped Rosemary leaves
To brine the chicken, mix all of the above together. You can use more or less rosemary, lemon, garlic, and other herbs depending on taste or what is called for in your pizza recipe.
Then just add as much sliced chicken breast fillet as you want to use. This quantity should be enough for at least 2 breast fillets. Stir the mixture well, cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using. Shake of any excess liquid before using on your pizza.
The other method I use to improve the appearance of chicken fillet is to quickly grill the fillets in a griddle pan before I slice it up and use it for a pizza topping.
I just preheat the griddle pan fairly hot, brush it with olive oil, and cook the chicken for a minute on each side - just long enough to get nice marks. You aren't trying to cook the whole fillet here, as it will finish cooking in the oven.
Once you have nice marks on the fillet, remove from the heat and rest on a cake rack so that the fillet can dry out a little. This stops your pizza from becoming soggy.
Finally, slice the grilled fillet into smaller pieces and use on your pizza!
Hopefully these tips give you something to think about when next preparing your own home made pizzas.