The Organic Pizza Company

The Organic Pizza Company. Who/What is that? It’s a great take and bake pizza company and if you’re near a Denver metro location, pick up a pie for dinner.
Our private tasting event at the OPC’s new location in The Spire building started with a pizza making demo. It is all done by scratch- dough and all, and there aren’t any crazy funky ingredients either. The Organic Pizza Company makes pies like you would at home and they source organic ingredients.
We headed to a private dining area and were greeted with lots of good wines.

Then the pizzas started coming…

I ate a few pieces and got caught up in conversation. I soon realized that all of those wines were not some random wines for us to taste. The Organic Pizza Company partners with local liquor stores to provide pizza buyers with wine pairing suggestions for each pizza. I love this idea! You can plan an affordable pairing base on some great suggestions from wine enthusiasts.

I think the wine pairing idea is so good it’s copy-worthy. Really. Copy-worthy. Consumers often like a little help with this part of dinner, so I like that The Organic Pizza Company has thought this out.

They offer a gluten free pizza with Udi’s gluten free crust. I had a slice and it was really good. You can order any one of their pies gluten free.
At first, I payed a lot of attention as each pie was presented.

And then I got so caught up in conversation I found myself snapping photos way after people had served themselves.

In the end- I not only had a great time meeting people, drinking wine, and eating great pizzas… I got to take one home with me to bake on my pizza stone.

I ordered the Norwegian pie that comes topped with smoked salmon. It baked up nicely and my hungry man, who had not been eating pizzas with me all night, was happy I came home with dinner. The pizza baked well according to their baking instructions, and to me, that’s the most important part. It’s good to know that the pie actually bakes at home the way it is supposed to.

There are currently two Organic Pizza Company locations-
Denver Highlands- 4500 W 38th Ave 303-561-1111
and downtown Denver- 891 14th St 303-534-2223
They also deliver within 2 miles of their locations.

Pizzeria da Lupo, Boulder

Anyone following the food scene in Boulder knows that we now have more phenomenal pizzerias per capita than anywhere outside of Italy.  Where did I get that statistic? I made it up, but it seems to be true lately.  In my latest taste-test of our primo-pizzerias, I went to Pizzeria da Lupo, which is located right next to Larkburger in the Village Shopping Center.  Where is that?  It’s where McGuckin’s is, silly.
Anyway, let’s get back to the pizzeria…  Walking in, this place felt like a pizzeria.  I don’t know how to describe that exactly, but there was a familiar feel to the open kitchen, small tables, and unpretentious decoration.  I could have been in a pizzeria back in Jersey as a kid.  That’s what it felt like, I suppose.
But, unlike a kid, I started with some wine…
I tried the Cinquepassi Negroamaro from Puglia, Italy.  I can’t recall ever trying this variety before, so I went for it.  Good choice.
I also really liked that they gave us a small plate with some sea salt, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, and shaved parmesan.  That is exactly what you need with pizza and it was great to have it right there to pinch some if you wanted it.  Nice touch.

We started with the shaved brussel sprout, pecorino, and walnut salad.  It was great, and I’d order it again.  I eat enough “standard” salads at home, so it’s always nice to order something different when we go out.

We also split the burrata.  I’ve realized that if I go somewhere and burrata is on the menu, I order it.  Pizzeria da Lupo serves burrata with pistachio, lemon confit, caper agrodulce, and flatbread.  As I was eating it I wished I had ordered a few servings of that for dinner.  But then… the pizza arrived.

We got two pies: I wanted the bianco, which was topped with house made mozzarella, reggiano parmesan, ricotta, and arugula.  They served the pies on cool two-tiered wire racks.  Another nice touch.

Kevin had the pancetta pie topped with bacon, caramelized onion, and scamorze cheese.  He basically said it was one of the best pies he’s eaten outside of Italy.  But, mind you… we’ve only been to northern Italy and over-indulged in northern style pizza.  Looks like we need to travel to the south for traditional Napoli pies to make an educated comparison.

And now… for the most important detail of a pizza… the crust.  Pizzeria da Lupo is doing something right because their crust is light and airy with just enough crunch and chew to make it almost addictive.  Even when I was full I went back for one more slice.  And then when we got home with left-overs I went back again for my last slice.  Come to think of it, it would be nice to have another slice right about now.
So go check them out.  Pizzeria da Lupo is new, so give them a try.  
2525 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302. 
Order some pies and let me know what you think.

Olive Flatbread

Is it pizza or is it flatbread?  I don’t really know.  I think I’d call it pizza if it had one or two more ingredients on it, but this simple pizza-like flatbread was just brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with Spanish Roasted Black Olive Sea Salt (which you can find, of course, at Savory Spice Shop), some sliced olives (I got a mixed container of olives from the olive bar at Whole Foods), and some grated parmesan cheese.
So, maybe it’s a flatbread.  But, I used a pizza crust recipe…. hmmm… 
For my crust:
In a large pyrex measuring cup, mix 1 1/3 cup warm water, 1 TB yeast, and a spoon full of sugar.  Let this dissolve and sit for approximately 10 minutes.  Your yeast should get nice and frothy, which lets you know it is alive.
In your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, measure out 3 cups unbleached bread flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, a pinch of sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.  Mix this for a few seconds with the dough hook before slowly adding the liquid and a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Knead this in the mixer, adding a little more flour as needed, for 10 minutes or so until it is a nice, smooth dough ball that isn’t sticky.
Then cover the bowl- I usually put wax paper over the bowl and then cover that with a dish towel.  Place the bowl in a warm area (not a hot oven) to double in size over the next hour or so.  Then, punch it down and start rolling out crusts, or flatbreads.
I like baking my pizzas and flatbreads on a baking stone in a 425 degree oven.  They cook in no time. Enjoy!

French Bread Pizza

Sometimes dinner needs to be fast, and French Bread Pizza is a great fast fix.

What I have here is some fresh French bread, layered with thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, some sauteed yellow onion, buffalo mozzarella, and basil. Delicious.
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