Imitation Creation, Recipes

Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

There are only two times in my life where I’ve felt so gluttonously full that I thought my digestive system was near shutting down. The first involved consuming two Chipotle burritos in under an hour. If anyone ever asks, it is 100% possible to get drunk off burritos.

The second involved the first trip to San Francisco that Tina and I ever took. I need to point out that this second occurrence was not a result of being full from one meal. Nope. Rather it was a slow build throughout the day starting with breakfast and ending with a regret-filled dinner. My fingers ache just thinking about having to type it all out…

  • Bacon, egg and cheese croissant
  • Mango smoothie
  • Porchetta sandwich
  • Pizza w/ yukon gold potatoes, parmesan cheese, and bacon,
  • Spicy Korean chicken tacos w/ pineapple
  • Fried chicken
  • Cheeseburger w/ white cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg
  • Herb fries
  • Bacon-wrapped dates
  • Curry deviled eggs
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Chocolate cream pie
  • Grapefruit sorbet
  • Raspberry cream soda

That day involved a lot of snacking, a couple of lunches, and a dinner with unnecessary appetizers. We struggled to walk out of the restaurant after dinner and collapsed once we got back to our hotel. We were able to try a lot of food in a short period of time, at the expense of what could have been our final day on this earth. We, of course, survived our first-world problem of consuming too much food and lived to tell about it.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

One might think that gorging to that extent would link those foods to the pain and thus create negative connotations to the individual foods that we ate. One might think that consuming easily thrice our recommended daily caloric intake would kill any future cravings of those infamous foods. One might. But one might be wrong.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

It’s hard to have a bad meal in San Francisco (or any part of California), so we had like seven great meals that day. And each part brings back fond memories, but there was one item in particular that we could not stop thinking about:  Yukon Gold Potato Pizza.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

The pizza came from a small stand at a farmer’s market right outside of the Ferry Building. I honestly don’t remember the name of the company, I just remember there being orange somewhere in the logo. But they had a portable pizza oven, which created an alluring smell of fresh crust and melty cheese. The menu had a few standard options, but one clearly stood out:  Yukon gold potatoes, Parmesan, rosemary, and bacon.

Putting potatoes on pizza isn’t some grand creation, but it was new to us. When we returned home we tried to find an equivalent, but failed and gave up the search pretty quickly (partially not wanting to tarnish the memory with a mediocre east coast version).

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

After a couple years, we finally realized that we could just make the pizza ourselves. So, after years of our tastebuds lamenting the loss of this potato-topped pizza, we took destiny into our own hands.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

“Pizza ready, yet?”

You could certainly make this in the oven on a pizza stone–it’s definitely easier–but there’s something awesomely primitive about cooking a pizza over an open fire.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza


Pizza Dough – Makes 2 14″ inch crusts

  • 3 1/2 – 4 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water 110 degrees
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Packet Active Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus 2 teaspoons
  1. Combine the water, honey, salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and active yeast in a bowl, preferably one with a spout for easy pouring later. Leave this to proof for approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place 3 1/2 cups of bread flour in a mixer fitted with the hook attachment.
  3. Once the yeast has fully dissolved into the liquid solution (it should float to the top, creating a spongy top layer), turn the mixer on low and pour the mixture in.
  4. Allow the dough to mix on medium-low speed until it pulls aways from the sides and rolls into a ball. If the dough doesn’t pull away from the sides, add more bread flour by the tablespoon until you have the proper consistency.
  5. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly into a ball. Place in a large oiled bowl (remaining 2 teaspoons), cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until double in size. Approximately one hour.
  6. Once the dough has risen, split into two equal portions, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for ten more minutes.

Pizza Toppings

  • 3 – 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • 1 Cup Thinly Sliced Yellow Potatoes
  • Rosemary Garlic Oil (ingredients below, recipe to follow)
    • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
    • 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
    • 4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
  • Sea Salt & Dried Rosemary, to taste
  • Optional:  Bacon (we made ours vegetarian-friendly, but you don’t have to)


  1.  Make the pizza dough per the instructions above, or buy a pre-made dough from your favorite grocery store.
  2. While the dough is rising, make the Rosemary Garlic Oil:  Cook the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, red pepper flakes and sliced garlic on medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until the garlic just starts to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Get your charcoal grill ready. We have a 22-inch Weber kettle grill we use with this chimney starterfire starter cubes, and Kingsford charcoal.
  4. Here’s where a pizza peel might come in handy. If you don’t have one, a cutting board or flat baking sheet should work well, covered with enough cornmeal that the pizza dough slides of easily. Spread out your dough (toss it if you dare) into the shape of your pizza. Brush with the olive oil, cover lightly with cheese, and add the sliced potatoes making sure none of them overlap. Finish by brushing the potatoes with more oil and topping with rosemary and sea salt.
  5.  Slide the pizza directly onto the hot grill and cover for about five minutes. Since all grills are different, you might need to baby sit your pizza. If the heat is uneven, rotate once throughout to even out the charring.
  6. Once the bottom crust has some nice dark color, remove from the grill, and broil on high in the oven for about three minutes.
  7. Slice and eat immediately!

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

Imitation Creation, Recipes

Peach Pie with Candied Rosemary

Peach Pie with Candied Rosemary

It was June 25, 2013.

Dirt from Muir Woods stained our clothes–a tailored suit for me and a wedding gown for my bride–and our stomachs were in a constant state of growl. It was late and we were tired. And VERY hungry.

Our elopement was far from a traditional wedding, so we had a lot of memorable surprises on our wedding day. Since we “ran away” to California, we didn’t know our officiant or photographer very well. Rick Kaplowitz, our officiant, turned out to be a sweet, thoughtful gentleman who customized the ceremony to fit our vows. While Ryan Polei was an organized, talented photographer, and such a nice guy that in under 30 seconds we felt like we had known him our whole lives. The rain was another surprise, which luckily stopped just in time for our ceremony and helped fuel some epic fog. And little did we know that on this special day, one of the final surprises would reveal itself in the form of the greatest peach pies our moufs have ever experienced.

peaches and rosemary

After having fun and dancing in the redwoods, we headed to downtown San Francisco for dinner at Wayfare Tavern. The food here was not a surprise, as we had eaten there once before and experienced some of its famous fried chicken during a prior gluttony filled visit. I’m not sure if it’s a saying (or a sign of good luck that I made up), but I’m 99% sure that if you eat the equivalent of a whole fried chicken on your wedding day, then you’ll have a long and happy marriage. Just to be safe, I ordered and ate all of said chicken. Tina enjoyed a sweet pea ravioli that was so artfully plated that it belonged on a wall at SFMOMA. And those were just the entrees which we devoured AFTER several light, buttery popovers, a few deviled eggs, and a burrata appetizer that would have been fit for a royal wedding.

peaches and rosemary

We were clearly too full for dessert; another spoonful of food was sure to send both of us into a Thanksgiving worthy food coma. HOWEVER, we couldn’t NOT take a peek at the dessert menu. That’s when we both saw it…

DARLENE PEACH PIE | Frog Hollow organic peaches, brown butter ice cream, rosemary sugar

No words needed to be spoken between me and my new wife. She knew I was going to order it. And I knew that she knew that I was going to order it. I promptly told the waitress to box up some Darlene Peach Pie. I thought about sneaking a bite, but it arrived to the hotel minifridge without a blemish. Apparently, I can occasionally exercise restraint.

peach pie

We ended up eating the pie and ice cream the next morning after breakfast (because even breakfast needs a dessert). Although it was a day old and cold, it was still remarkable. It was everything a peach pie should be. The peaches were plump with little filler, letting the natural sweetness and flavor of the bright orange flesh shine. As much as I love pie, rarely have I experienced a pie filling that gives me the feeling as if I were eating the fresh fruit. I assume peach pies don’t grow on trees, but this tasted so good that only the earth could have made it. (If anyone knows where I can get some peach pie seeds, please let me know.)


Let’s not forget about the rosemary! I can’t think of a better complementary herb to peaches than rosemary. Herbaceous, sweet and crystallized from the sugar. Do you, Peach, take Rosemary to be your lawfully wedded pie wife? I certainly do.

candied rosemary

And it all came together with that brown butter ice cream. Come on! This dessert should be illegal. But I’m glad it’s not, because otherwise I’d find myself at the center of a police chase crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. So, while many couples have memories of smashing cake and buttercream into each other’s faces on their wedding day, we ended our wedding celebration by (what should be a new tradition) eating peach pie after breakfast in our hotel room. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Except maybe next time I’d order TWO pies.

precooked pie

Since there is only what feels like a three-day window for good, fresh peaches in Virginia, we haven’t had too many opportunities to recreate this dish. Fortunately for us, this year mother nature was kind, so our area has been cranking out good quality peaches by the basketful.

peach pie rosemary

peach pie

pie from above

The recipe below is a modified hybrid of several different recipes that we found online. Recipes and inspirations include Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust, Smitten Kitchen’s peach pie filling, and of course no part of this “imitation creation” recipe would be possible without Wayfare Tavern.


Pie Crust (Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust from

  • 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) COLD Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup COLD Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 6-8 Tablespoons Ice Water

Pie Filling (Smitten Kitchen)

  • 3 1/2 Pounds Fresh Peaches (approximately 7 medium)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Starch

Candied Rosemary:

  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  1. For the crust: We’re no strangers to Ina Garten’s recipes and her “Perfect Pie Crust” is definitely a winner. Consistent, tasty, and most of all easy. If you’re looking for a flaky, no fuss pie crust Ina’s will certainly serve you well.
  2. For the filling: It is too often that peach pie fillings are overly sweet and texturally gloppy, but not this one from Smitten Kitchen. It has the perfect balance of sugar and just a hint of cinnamon to highlight the natural peach flavor.
  3. For the candied rosemary: We’ve never candied anything before…ever. I’m not even 100% sure that this is proper candying technique, but it was delicious and served our purposes just fine. Start by combining the rosemary, water, and sugar in a small saute pan and bring to a boil. Carefully watch and stir the mixture until it reduces slightly and resembles a very thick syrup (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let it cool and harden while you prepare the pie filling.
  4. For the pie:  Place the bottom crust in a 9-inch pie pan leaving about a half inch over the edges for crimping. Place the peach pie filling inside (no need to bake the bottom crust first) and cover the top with the remaining crust. Fold the edges of the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust and seal together by either crimping with your fingertips or by using the prongs of a fork. Using a sharp paring knife, create a few steam vents in the middle of the top crust making sure they are big enough so that the dough doesn’t seal back together when it expands in the oven. Next, break-up a small portion of the candied rosemary in a blender (a coffee grinder also does the job). Brush the top crust with heavy cream and lightly sprinkle the blended candied rosemary mixture on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 for about twenty minutes or until the crust begins to brown. Reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for another 35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  5. Let cool for 3 hours, then serve each slice warm with extra candied rosemary and your favorite ice cream. Brown butter ice cream works best, but we’re still working on finding a good homemade version to post on the blog.

True Confessions:

  • What’s with all the books in the pictures? Wayfare Tavern has a masculine library kind of vibe, so we were aiming for that. Grab a pipe and slice of peach pie.
  • I made brown butter ice cream, too.  But I screwed it up, so it didn’t make the cut. It tasted great, but it was gritty. Whoops. I have since learned the ways of Jeni Britton Bauer and believe my next batch of ice cream will be better than Wayfare Tavern. Yeah, I said it.
  • We ate the pie before we got a chance to snap a sexy pic of a single slice with peaches oozing out. So, as a bonus how about an action shot?

Animated GIF of Peach Filling Being Poured into Pie Crust

Imitation Creation, Series

Imitation Creation

“Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Like my fellow Shaw said, one of the best ways to learn about food is to try and recreate it. In a series of “Imitation Creation” posts, I’ll be attempting to recreate some of my favorite dishes that I’ve come across while traveling, watching TV, or from not-so-secret family recipes.

Future posts will include Wayfare Tavern Fried Chicken, Avatar’s Pumpkin-Chicken Enchiladas, and the ever-comforting Boudin Bakery Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup.