Monday, August 17, 2009

Turkey Pizza

We love pizza. Who doesn't? But there are precious few places in town that make a decent pizza. So, most often, we (and by "we", I mean Jhan) make our own. This particular turkey pizza was one of the best we've eaten.

Turkey Pizza

The Food

Going out for Pizza can be a bit pricey in these days of furloughs and job cuts, so I've taken to buying the little bags of fresh pizza dough at Trade Joe's ($1.19). These are easy to use and particularly the herb flavored crust is great. While the dough is resting (20 minutes) I scavenge the pantry and fridge for toppings. Once the 20 minutes are up, I roll out the crust and add sauce, spices and toppings. A little drizzle of EVOO over all and into the oven for about 12 minutes. The fresh dough and spices make the kitchen smell great and it makes a beautiful and tasty meal.

Making pizzas at home has led me to really experiment with toppings, and I've found that some of my favorite fixings are rotisserie chicken, fresh mozzarella slices, roasted asparagus and kalamata olives - not all on the same pizza but it's tempting.

For our most recent pizza we were out of all of chicken, so I sauteed some ground turkey breast with fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, dried oregano and crushed red peppers. The meat took on a spicy sausage like flavor - yummy (and low in fat too). I sprinkled chopped garlic, sliced crimmini's, olives and chopped fresh basil over the meat and pizza sauce. I mixed Mozzarella with some shredded Jack and Cheddar cheeses and added a touch of garlic salt, a drizzle of EVOO and into the oven. This was one of our best pizzas - Tony finished the last two slices and never even offered me a bite. :( !

The Photography

Turkey Pizza

OK, I know I'm probably headed for a rut, but while I was at Barnes and Nobles last week, I was perusing the Michael Mina book, and got to really admiring the simplicity of the photography. Everything was shot high key, white backgrounds, no props - just food on white plates. Simple and clean: it was all about the food.

For this pizza, I wanted to focus on the dish. I used the long rectangular glass plate as a way to contrast the triangular shapes of the slices. I love this kind of compositional stuff. The photo, above, was a simple foreground-background combo, but I also played with shooting at odd angles, below.

Turkey Pizza

I love the cleanliness and simplicity of this set. I did have to chop some basil at the last minute to add a bit of extra color.

The Lighting

Turkey Pizza Lighting Set up
I'm beginning to love having three lights now. For this shoot, I aimed one flash at the back wall, and shot the other two side-by-side through a large reflector. That gave me really even bright lighting that obviates the need for props. Very clean, very simple.

Lessons Learned
  1. Simple is good
  2. More light is good
  3. Playing with geometric shapes is fun
  4. Don't forget to add a bit of contrasting color!

1 comment:

  1. I like the last shot because the crust is slightly out of focus and it emphasizes the toppings a little more. Composition wise, I like the second. It feels like I could actually grab a hold of that slice and partake.