How often does anyone like to experiment with new or unusual tastes or things you might not otherwise associate with pizza?
Being that I work for a locally owned (one shop) pizza place I’ve tried the following.
The most recent was a chicken fried steak pizza with a base of mashed potatoes, country gravy, chicken fried steak and light cheese. Not bad.
What my co workers have dubbed the Big Tex with a base of chili con carne without beans, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, corn chips, bake then top with fresh onions. Good reviews from co workers.
A Beef strognaoff pizza with a base of cream of mushroom soup/or beef gravy, steak strips, mushrooms, onions and a smoky flavored cheese like provolone or gouda. Serve with sour cream. Good but I’m still working on it.
A french fry pizza, though I think I’ve seen something similar here. Base of fry sauce, french fries, cheddar cheese, a light dash of Cajun seasoning, and optional onions.
Chicken salad pizza. First you bake the crust to a golden brown, then top with chicken salad and a bit of bacon. Kind of light and refreshing during the summer.
There has been talk of a beef pot roast pizza with red potatoes.
So what about you?
How fertile is your creative mind when it comes to concocting ideas?
If you offer a shift meal, check out what your long time employees are making for themselves. When I worked at the chicken wing joint anyone who’d been there more than a year was totally burnt out on the food, yet the shift meal perk was still so useful that we’d improvise whatever we could from what was available. If anyone from corporate had payed attention, they could have saved their test kitchen a lot of time coming up with new menu items and perfecting them, we made everything from buffalo fries on the simple end to chicken wraps, burritos and a passable tandoori chicken out of what we had out of sheer boredom with the standard food, it was lots of fun. The Big Mac and the Philly Cheese Steak were both bored employee creations, so there is a precedent here for successful items being born out of shift meal burnout, it’s a fertile ground too often ignored by people in the business.
Most recent creation that I’m going to add to the menu has hummus for a base, with baby spinach, tomatoes and red onion. The hummus tastes amazing if you use a decent quality, everyone thought this healthy topping was actually some other kind of rich cheese because it was so creamy.
I have an employee who loves to make a “Loaded Baked Potato” pizza. It has regular sauce, potato wedges, bacon bits and onion. I tried it and wasn’t to fond of it.
MMMM. Gonna hafta try that hummus pizza! Do you use any cheese at all on it?
As for the "Loaded Baked Potato pizza I can see where the sauce may conflict with the taste. I tried a version that starts with a base of mashed potatoes and/or cheez whiz, bacon, broccoli, cheddar and mozz. Bake then serve with sour cream.
It’s pretty good actually.
Remember we’re not actually “open” yet, but I do host “tasting” parties or gatherings as we assemble our menu. Some of the more whacky combonations I have done were the “pot roast” pizza; done either with a gravy/sauce base, the pot roast sliced thin, onion, pre-roasted potato, garlic, then lightly cheesed. This one might work after SEVERAL more reincarnations.
I’ve played with the “loaded baked tater” idea and think this one may show up in at least a rotation of “specials”. The best I did was with a garlicky white sauce base, sliced roasted/seasoned potatoes, red onions, bacon, and season chicken brea$t or ham. I did a sour cream “drizzle” on it after it was cut.
I’ve already written about my “jerk chicken” pizza but it’s good enough to get a spot on our eventual menu. World Harbor Jerk sauce for a LIGHTLY coated base, seasoned chicken brea$t, red onion and cheese. Then when cut I do a drizzle of the same jerk sauce and serve. Try it! I’ve added pineapple and jalapeno on occasion when feeling it too with good results.
Okay, here’s one I like to make around this time of year. We live on the Oregon coast, so I get some fresh dungeness crab, saute it in butter, and use it with our garlic-ranch sauce, onion & mozz/monterey jack. Yum, Yum!
I think I’ll try that garlic mashed potato pizza next.
I do put a 50/50 shredded blend on it, but not as much as a normal pizza. My concern is drying out the hummus and veggies if I don’t put the cheese on it. If I could come up with another option, that would be a pretty healthy little pizza.
While trying to bake dough to make “bread” for the side of a pasta dish, we discovered that our dough would form a pocket just like a pita. We stared at what rolled out of the oven for a few minutes like dogs hearing a strange sound before deciding to cut it in half and stuff food into it. My business partner made his half into a Gyro pocket. I took my half, mixed chicken with tzatziki sauce and some other toppings, and made the best chicken-salad sandwich I’ve ever had.
Someday I’ll roll it out as a limited-time offer. Someday.
We have a smoked salmon pizza which had a philly cream cheese base. This tended to dry out a bit so my daughter experimented by mixing the cream cheese with sour cream. It is now pourable rather than the previous spreadable and it has added immensely to the taste and reduced the drying. She also added english spinach which has improved the pizza greatly as well. Top with red onion rings an cappers and lightly drizzle garlic infused olive oil once it is cooked.
Other base sauces we use are Tikka Marsala Cook-In sauce which we spread as the base sauce, topped with a light layer of mozz, then add diced chicken brea$t (come on censors this is a food product so why censor it ??? :x ), sliced red onion and pepperdew (a type of small bell peppers but which are sweet and only very mild. Finish off with a swirl of youghurt when it comes out of the oven.
As well as different bases we also have a roast pizza with Lamb in Aussie bush spices, red oniuon rings, thing slices of potato, chunks of roasted pumpkin amd finished with a swirl of thick mint sauce after cooking. This sell extremely well and at $20 for a 13" is a great sale.
What I tend to do is get an idea of a new pizza and if I don’t have a recipe I google it a a recipe. I did this when I wanted to do some Greek style pizzas. I googled “Greek Cooking Recipes” looked at ones I liked and saw if I could adapt them to pizza. I then work at it until perfected then do taste testing in the shopping centre we are in and get feedback and re-work it until perfected for release.
It’s funny what you can come up with and we are now finding that our sales are leaning towards the more exotic type pizzas which are different from anyone else. The beauty of these are that you use minimal but high end toppings that give out a great taste sensation. Even the herbs/spices we use on these are around 2 to 3 times more expensive than others available but the taste they give out make it worth the expsense. We source ours from a speciality spice house on the other side of Australia that only a handfull of people in our part of the country would have heard about, (and I mean only a dozen or so people). This gives us a marketing advantage and allows us to put out a product with specific spices no-one else has.
Keep working on trying different styles. Look at recioe books, food mags etc and see if there is something that sounds real tasty and try to work it into a pizza recipe.
we do a Caribbean Twist Pizza that is a huge seller
we also dress up the Hawaiian with Almonds and coconut then dust with cinnamon
our loaded baked potato pizza is pretty good we use a cheddar cheese base for a sauce thin sliced potatoes and ham and bacon…served with sour cream
chicken Alfredo pizza my question is does anyone know about sauerkraut and Canadian bacon…possibly our neighbors to the north?
It is not my most popular combination we do sell a few…most people at first say YUK! but after they try one they are ordering one. The kraut draws from the Canadian Bacon & so it is not the bitter vinegary you are expecting.
Back in my previous life we had a young lady who faithfully ordered a kraut, Canadian Bacon, & pineapple every Sunday night. (The dorms didn’t serve Sunday dinner as a concession to the locals) It was the one pizza besides anchovie that I couldn’t bring myself to try, but now I’m rethinking…what could it hurt?
We just rolled out our newest creation and it features sauerkraut…
Wurst Pizza Ever
MUSTARD CREAM sauce and mozzarella cheese are dressed with sliced BRATWURST, SAUERKRAUT, fresh sliced ONIONS and GREEN PEPPERS. Only a pizzeria as crazy as Averâ€™s would be willing to claim having the Wurst Pizza Ever on its menu!
A limited-time offer. Try one before itâ€™s gone!
The flavors are big and bold (and mustardy, very mustardy). I’m hoping that Sauerkraut will be the next “must have” unique topping and is popular enough to keep on our menu.