Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Duck Prosciutto Pizza

As I mentioned yesterday, with all this duck prosciutto what's an amateur chef to do?  Given it was a week night and when I bought ingredients I didn't know if the prosciutto would be good or not I decided pizza would be a good idea.  If the duck prosciutto had been awful, I could pivot to something else edible fast.  Thankfully it did turn out so I went with my original idea of duck prosciutto pizza with mozzarella, arugula, red onions, and balsamic reduction.

First I made the balsamic reduction which simply requires taking some balsamic vinegar, bringing it to moderate heat so it does reduce and then stirring in some sugar.  It take a bit of time, and I guess on proportions until I think it tastes right.  One word of warning, making balsamic reduction makes your house smell like balsamic vinegar, but it's worth it later on.  Once it had lost about 1/3 to 1/2 it's liquid and I'd added about 4 to 6 teaspoons of sugar I pulled it off the heat.  While I was letting that reduce, I sliced 1/4 of a red onion into thin strips.  Next, I preheated the oven to 425 degrees.  Why 425?  Because that's what the Pilsbury pizza crust told me to do.  Yeah, I took a big shortcut here, but again, it was a Monday night after work.  Besides the Pilsbury classic pizza crust is a great blank canvas to work on and far better then the pre-baked discs you'll find.

I laid out the pizza crust and once the oven was preheated I put a little olive oil on the crust and stuck it in the oven for five minutes.  After five minutes I added the onions, the mozzarella, and the duck then back in the oven for five minutes.  Finally, I pulled it back out and put the arugula on it an drizzles some of the reduction over it then it was back in the oven for a final five minutes.  This staged process was meant to do two things.  First, I was concerned the rich fat of the duck with render in the oven if left in for 15 minutes.  Second, I was concerned the arugula would wilt too much.  When it was all said and done, the first concern was handled, but the arugula was a bit too wilted.  Here's the finished product after I drizzled a bit more reduction over it.

As you can see, the arugula is quite wilted, but otherwise the taste was solid.  Erica made a salad with mixed greens, arugula, walnuts, blue cheese, apples, and cranberries to go with it.  We used the reduction as a dressing for the salad as well.  All and all a great meal.  The pizza took about 40 minutes to make and 25 minutes of that was reducing the balsamic.

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