Cold winter days and pizza nights are a natural partnership. With our frigid, gray weathers, I pulled out my tried and true pizza recipe on Friday night. The formulation has gone through some twists and turns over the years. Back in March, I began substituting whey reserved from ricotta making for water. It's a subtle change that gives the dough a little more character.
The only problem with this addition, of course, is that you have to have whey on hand to make this recipe. Me, when I now make ricotta, I divide the cheese by-product into small containers that I freeze. For those of you who don't have a stock of frozen whey, well, you were out of luck. That is until now.
Before I began digging around in my downstairs freezer, I realized something. We were using fresh mozzarella and it occurred to me the keeping water that I usually throw down the sink could serve the same purpose as my whey. I was right - a great discovery since I know that cheesemaking may not be everyone's cup of tea. Simply substitute the mozzarella water for either the whey in my recipe or the water in your ordinary pizza dough recipe. If you don't have a full cup, add tap water.
We make tiny little pizzas, eight in all, devouring six and leaving the final two for leftovers. Little pizzas allow the little locavore and I to come up with a number of combinations. On Friday, we topped them with a little bacon, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, roasted garlic, goat cheese and fresh mozzarella. With a salad on the side, it was a great start to our Wintry weekend.
-Melissa Graham is a former attorney and chef and owner of Monogramme Events & Catering, a boutique catering company specializing in seasonal and sustainable cuisine. She's also president and founder of Purple Asparagus, a non-profit dedicated to bringing families back to the table by promoting and enjoying all the things associated with good eating. When she’s not in the kitchen or the classroom, you can often find Melissa shopping at the Green City Market where she serves as the membership chair.