I have a confession to make: I’ve never been to New York City. Ok, yes, via Sex & The City, and yes, there was that one time, for work, when I was thoroughly convinced I could Carrie Bradshaw my way from publishing house to publishing house wearing 5-inch heels and pushing a clothing rack through throngs of (thoroughly annoyed) pedestrians all while wearing a handknit shawl and a maxi skirt on a so-humid-it-feels-like-God’s-breath-all-like-hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-on-your-face kind of day in late May. So yeah, I’ve been there. But not, like, for real, jaknow?
Until now. Ok not now, but in June, which is when we’re going for the first time together to celebrate my induction into middle age. I’m 60% stoked, 40% excited and 194% overwhelmed by the tremendous pressure I plan to put on myself to eat anything and everything I have ever seen/heard/read in/on anything, ever. No presh, I got this. I’m dialed. We’re totes set.
I mentioned this on Facebook, so I’ll be quick about it here, but what has me particularly wiggin’ at the moment is the fact that we haven’t booked rooms yet. IKR? We needtagetonit.
So you know what that means? Contest time!
I KNOW you guys are thoroughly knowledgeable on all things NYC, so here’s how to play:
- Comment below with A) a recommendation for an affordable (under $250/night?), well-located spot in NYC, including whatever notes are relevant to why it’ll rock our socks off and B) a recipe challenge you’d like to see come to life on the The Pig & Quill. It can be a Chopped-style challenge (dessert using cheese doodles, an eggplant and kitchen grout grease? My fave!); a dietary challenge (a la eggless egg salad); whatevs.
- If we book your recommendation, I’ll feature your recipe challenge on the blog and I’ll send you a Misc Fun Box full of Pig & Quill faves. Spoiler alert: I’m kind of obsessed with Trader Joe’s, so…
Don’t know a lick about NYC? Don’t worry! In the event that we book something other than what’s recommended here, I’ll choose a random winner from the comments, so make yourself known. Just leave your response before end of day Wednesday, April 3.
Easy right? So get on it. And tell your New York-savvy friends.
Ok, now that that’s over with, can we move onto pizza already? Not sure ’bout you, but I was bored to tears up there.
I was going to try to pull some fancy segue from NYC to pizza given the whole NYC pizza thing, but that’d be reaching, even for me. Why, you ask? Because the pizza below is so not New York-style pizza. According to Chris, it’s not pizza at all, but that’s based solely on the fact that it’s minus-pepperoni-plus-fruit, and he kind of has a point.
Maybe it’s not pizza. Maybe it’s crispy fluffy skillet bread. And would that be so bad?
Not when we’re talking about a chubby, wheat crust skillet-fried in golden butter and topped with crunchy fig jam, creamy cheese and sweet pears. A little savory thyme and subtle heat from crushed red chile and we’re in serious business.
A New York slice it’s not, but as I sat there last night, dragging the last bite of crust through the browned butter dregs in my skillet, I couldn’t help but wonder: if a pizza is this figgin’ delicious, do its origins really matter?
Figgy Brie & Roasted Pear Skillet Pizza
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 45 mins (including dough resting time) | Serves 4
Notes: Consider this pizza for your next party app, ladies lunch or light(ish) supper. Its simple charm, rustic presentation and gourmet flavors are sure to impress. Also, surprise, I picked up my pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, but feel free to make your own or use your favorite.
- 16 oz prepared fresh pizza dough, preferably whole wheat
- 2 med pears, sliced
- 2 T butter, divided
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup fig butter or jam
- 4 oz brie, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
Preheat oven to 425F. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and let sit for 20-30 mins.
Meanwhile, heat 1 T butter in a medium ovenproof skillet over med-high flame until butter is completely melted and just barely browning. Add thyme and pears and toss to combine. Place pan in preheated oven for 10 mins. After 10 mins, add salt, toss and return pears to oven for 10 more minutes. Set pears aside.
Bring a heavy cast iron skillet to temperature over med-high heat and add remaining butter. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 12-inch round. When butter is foaming and evenly distributed across pan, carefully place dough in skillet. Dough should sizzle slightly. Cook until crust is crisp and golden on the bottom (lift edge carefully with a spatula to check, if needed), about 5 minutes. Using tongs and a spatula, carefully flip crust.
Evenly smear fig butter across the cooked side of the crust. Top with roasted pears and brie and finish in oven until cheese is bubbling and golden, about 5 additional minutes.
Carefully remove skillet from oven, top pizza with chile flakes, cut into wedges and serve.