Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pizza pizza


My pizza travails continue. I had no idea I was so picky about it, or (more to the point) that its construction was so location-specific.

You’ve heard of Chicago-style pizza? Perhaps eaten a pie at Pizzeria Uno, or the (in)famous Deep Pan Pizza chain in London?

I thought that kind of pizza was just a gimmick specific to a certain restaurant, or to a few restaurants in Chicago—an illusion perhaps influenced by a long-defunct Boston restaurant chain that purported to serve an “English pizza” (soft crust, topped with cheddar cheese) that I’ve never seen anywhere else. I didn’t realize Chicago-style (mainly the buttery biscuity crust, not necessarily the deep-dish part) is the way people prepare pizza in a significant portion of the United States. I didn’t understand, when I went to New Mexico to visit my brother-in-law seven years ago, why he insisted we eat at the New York-style pizzeria he had found. I thought he was just happy to have found a good local pizza place. I didn’t realize it was possibly the only New-York style pizzeria in greater Albuquerque



I know better now. I only wish I liked Chicago-style a little better than I do. But it just doesn’t do it for me.

Friday Pizza Nights have been on hiatus during the transition, but after too many Chicago-style crusts in the last few weeks, the craving for thin-crust pizza has gotten too strong to ignore. So they’re back, and better than ever, thanks to the addition of a Caesar salad featuring the best—and easiest—homemade dressing I’ve come across so far.


Friday pizza night: components
Pizza
- New-York- (or Boston-) style dough: basic bread dough
+ grated mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice

Salad
Croutons: cut some good bread into small cubes; toss with olive oil and garlic; toast in a very low oven or in a skillet on the stove until golden and crispy
+ chopped romaine lettuce, grated parmesan or romano cheese, and lots of freshly ground black pepper

4 comments:

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm not a thick crust pizza girl, either. We have ours thin and crispy, although I'm quite partial to the Italian ones at our fave pizzeria which have the soft, foldable crust. I do love how the traditional Italian style has become known as "New York style".. :)

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

I know...it's so Amerocentric of us. But would you believe I had no idea about this until I landed in this part of the world? When I thought about it at all (which I didn't), I thought it was just "pizza" and that "Chicago-style" was this weird localized aberration. If you'd asked me three months ago what "New York-style" pizza was, I wouldn't have been able to tell you.

Diana P. said... Best Blogger Tips

A friend of mine has just taught me the secret to making great pizza is keeping it in the oven a LOT longer then I would normally be comfortable with. I like doughy pizza, but I have to admit, this tastes much better.

I have also recently learned that sundried tomatoes burn on my pizza when I use this new method, but that good mozzeralla (in tubs, with milky water, not plastic/preshredded) works MUCH better, especially when used in moderation.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Diana - so how long? Enquiring minds want to know!

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