I am not quite sure where to place this thread, so if it needs to be moved that is fine.
I have been playing around with various wines and spirits as ingredient pairings in different dishes. I am not sure how or why I started to mess around with different alcohols and foods–possibly to breakup the tediousness that come along with graduate school life. Regardless, below were several successful examples (to varying degrees) of some boozy pizza pairings that I made up last night for some friends. In all three examples, liquor was either directly added to the pie–sparingly though, much like one would apply a balsamic or olive oil, or indirectly as a primary component in another ingredient.
The dough formula for the pies below are: 85% KAAP, 15% Kumut–bolted through cheese cloth, 70% hydration, 2% SD starter, 2.3% salt, 20h rise at 68F and baked at 550F.
To the first pizza I added some caramelized onions, to which anchovies, beef demi-glace and marsala wine were added and reduced until syrupy. The cheese was a mixture of Comte and mozzarella. The pie was further topped with smoked and dry-cured bacon, as well as bread crumbs. This pie is definitely an umami lover dream, however I found it to be a bit too rich for my tastes.
The second pie was topped with sweet Italian sausage, mushrooms, green onion, and was lightly soused with Sambuca prebake. I was a little surprised that this flavor combo worked out as well as it did. Not only did the pungent sweetness of the Sambuca cut the fatty richness of the sausage, but flavors of the Sambuca paired nicely with mushrooms. After doing some digging, I found out that anise, fennel and mushrooms do share a common volatile compound, oct-1-en-3-ol that may explain why this combo worked out.
The pizza in the last two photos was our favorite: the pie was topped with mozzarella, soaked with Peat Monster Scotch Whiskey, and topped with shaved asparagus, smoked and dry-cured bacon–the cheese was a young Manchego. Admittedly, I have tried combo before. I am not sure why the peaty flavors and aromas workout so well with the bacon and asparagus, but I am definitely going to keep pie on my regular rotation.