Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What to do with a chub of Salumi's salami?

I recently sent a very dear friend the most glorious gift anyone could possibly send: the gift ... of pork.  *cue the angels standing below the Salumi's flag, singing an aria chorus as they look up into the heavens*

Of course this friend doesn't truly know how glorious this gift is just yet.  You see, I sent this salami chub to a friend in Texas.  She has only tried salami from the local grocery store chain called H-E-B in Texas.  Obviously this had to be remedied!  Don't get me wrong, I still love H-E-B (and miss that place immensely!).  They're just not known for their quality salami.  Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I did her a true "favor" since she will be forever spoiled!

So she received her chub of Salumi's DaVino salami in the mail yesterday, and she sent me a message saying "It smells wonderful.  Now what to do with it?!?"

We-heh-heh-hell then.  First of all, the best thing to do with a perfect artisan salami chub is to cut it with a meat slicer.  If you don't have one, call around to your local deli or butcher and ask if they will cut it for you.  Some places will charge a nominal fee - $.50 or so - to slice meat.  You want to slice it very thin - thin enough where you can sort of see through it and you won't have to really bite down your teeth to cut through it.  You don't want it sliced so thinly that your slicer isn't able to capture a fully-round circle with it.  My slicer will do that with the lowest setting sometimes.  That's right, folks, I have a meat slicer in my kitchen.  I'm not even sorry.  I included a link for it in my widget below in case anyone is interested.

You can create a sandwich just like Salumi's would!  You can use sticcole or giuseppe bread (think: ciabatta bread).  Add some olive oil with some finely minced garlic as a base to the bread, add some olive tapenade, provolone cheese, lots of salami (maybe about 2 layers of very thinly sliced salami), some grilled onions and Italian peppers (pepperoncini's if you like them).

I would also strongly recommend putting the salami on a pizza.  My personal favorite combination is pepperoni, white onions, and some Italian sausage on it.  Need specifics?

Fine, you twisted my arm.  I am hereby giving you my pizza crust recipe.  That's right, my very own first recipe that I am sharing on this blog.  I am making blog history today!  Of course I reserve the right to perfect it and not tell you how I've tweaked it.  You get what you pay for, folks! :)

Larena's deep dish pizza dough

  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1 package of active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons if you use yeast from the jar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups of bread flour
  • extra olive oil for the baking pan
In a large bowl (preferably a KitchenAid stand mixer bowl), add your warm water, and sprinkle the yeast onto the surface of the water.  Let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is bloomed and dissolved. Basically you want to see lots of bubbles that moved around, and you shouldn't see granules of yeast anymore.  If the yeast is not dissolved at the end of the 5 minutes, stir it completely to finish dissolving.  Tip: If you have a clear glass KitchenAid bowl, it will be easier to see when it is fully dissolved.  Also, make sure your yeast is not expired!  If you use regular flour instead of bread flour, your crust will be just a little more tough.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar and whisk the ingredients together. 

Next, add your regular mixing paddle to the mixer.  Add in the dry ingredients and the olive oil to the bowl, and mix at a low speed for 1 minute.

Remove your mixing paddle and replace it with the dough hook.  If you do not have a stand mixer or a dough hook attachment, then you will need to start kneading old school style!  Knead using the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic.  This will take about 10 minutes with the stand mixer.  If the dough still seems too wet, sprinkle it with a little more flour. 

Lightly coat the inside of a large glass or metal bowl with olive oil.  Toss the dough into the bowl, and turn the dough until it is nicely coated with oil.  Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it in a warm place until it has doubled in size.  I recommend either putting it in a (clean) dishwasher near the heating element after it had finished a cycle (don't turn the dishwasher on while the bread is in there!), or you can heat your oven to 150-175 degrees, turn off the oven, and place the bowl into the warm oven.

Using a deep metal baking dish, coat the bottom of the pan with a bit of olive oil.  Tip: You do not want to use a glass baking dish because it will make the dough soggy.  A metal baking dish will ensure a crisp crust bottom.  Take the dough out of the bowl, and spread it around the bottom of the metal baking dish - to the edges - until it largely resembles the shape of your dish.  Press the dough all along the bottom of the baking dish to prevent bubbles.

For the actual pizza, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Coat with your favorite pizza sauce (according to your taste), lightly sprinkle some Italian herbs or Herbs de Provence, spread about 2-4 cups (according to your taste) of mozzarella cheese, and add the Salumi's salami, white onions, pepperoni, and (cooked and cooled) Italian sausage.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and has a few golden spots.  The crust should be a nice light golden color.


Today, a friend asked me for cookware recommendations.  I cannot recommend Viking and All-Clad enough!  Their stainless steel pans are awesome.  I am including a link below in my widget.  Don't bother spending the extra money for the copper core pans.  Maybe one day I will post a blog about what each pan is purposed for!


  1. Wow, very thorough and clean writing. Totally enjoyed reading it and will give your dough recipe a try shortly.