It’s funny but most of my outings, even when totally directed at something other than food, leave a food imprint on my memory.
Every year I go to the Pasadena Showcase House of Design to tour a multimillion dollar mansion, gawk at the over-the-top rooms that each designer showcased, hang out with my mom and eat a light dinner at the on-site catering provided by a local restaurant.
Ok…I must digress for a moment…the best, best room ever was a bathroom with a motion sensor toilet, flusher and lid. Everything about this toilet was Jetson’s style. It was CRAZY and hysterical, and of course, there was a phone in there as well. I mean who doesn’t want to chat away and use the toilet at the SAME TIME?!
Now onto the food…I know toilet talk is not a great lead-in to food but it is what it is. Well, last year, I ate something totally memorable at the Showcase House…it was a Wolfgang Puck Cold Smoked salmon pizza.
I can’t remember for the life of me what the Showcase house itself looked like, what style it was in or anything else about that evening, but I DO remember sitting on the lovely patio, breeze blowing, and taking bite after bite of that tender pizza crust with luxurious layers of pink smoked salmon on top of a tangy, dill infused cream cheese.
Oh yes, I have brought you that recipe here and now and it is everything it is cracked up to be—you might even say it is SMOKIN’! Sorry…I love my puns…it’s in the genes. I just can’t hold back. It’s like having a fully loaded water gun and then putting it away without pulling the trigger.
This weekend, it was 98 degrees in sunny California, and I had an unused ball of pizza dough just sitting in my fridge, waiting to be asked to the dance and I had the perfect partner to set it up with…smoked salmon. I rolled out the dough, popped it in the oven and whipped up some lemony dill cream cheese.
I slathered on the cream cheese, layered the beautiful smoked salmon across the topped and sprinkled dill and capers over the whole thing. Ideally, some thinly sliced red onions would have been added as well, but I did not have any so they weren’t.
To complete my plate, I threw together a strawberry-blueberry spinach salad and served it with some refreshing and sweet pineapple spears. While the scorching air was making everything melt outside our personal haven, everything inside was so cold, sweet and delicious. My husband said that he felt like he was on vacation and eating at some nice little cafe. How sweet!
If it’s he!!ish hot where you are, maybe you could throw together this smoked salmon pizza. Use a precooked crust if you want to let the oven remain off, your kitchen stay cool and let the salmon be the only thing that is smokin’ !
Smoked Salmon Pizza
A pre-cooked pizza crust, recipe below
1/2 cup cream cheese (light is fine)
1 T. juice from a freshly squeezed lemon
2 t. fresh dill
3 to 4 ounces smoked salmon
2 T. capers
1/3 -1/2 of a red onion, sliced thinly
Fresh dill for garnishing the top
Taken from Wolfgang Puck via the Food Network
1 package active dry or fresh yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
For the crust: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4-cup warm water. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. (The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients, and process until the dough begins to form a ball).
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled).
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees OR GRILL IT on the BBQ (my new favorite way to cook and eat pizza…See Simply Recipes for a great how-to). Roll out your dough onto a well-floured pastry board to the size of your pizza pan and place the dough onto a spray coated pizza pan. Cook your pizza crust alone for about 20 minutes. It should be firm and a little golden.
Cool the crust completely (I put mine in the fridge for about 20 minutes so it got nice and cold). In the meantime, put your cream cheese, lemon juice and dill into a food processor and process for about 20-30 seconds until creamy and well combined. When the crust is cold, spread your cream cheese mixture over the entire pizza. Layer slices of the smoked salmon over the top and sprinkle with the capers, sliced onions and remaining dill. Slice and serve. This is very nice for an appetizer if you make little pizzas!