Date: Jun 26th, 2006 7:23:55 pm - Subscribe
There are times in my food life that I think pizza is the ultimate in perfect food. You can make a whole meal on a pizza crust and eat it with your hands over a napkin, making dish duty irrelevant. I'm not sure about anyone else, but I think eating anything with your hands is quite wonderful, you get a sensory overload like nothing else. And licking your fingers saves paper in the trash, right? We're thinking economically here!
Pizza is one of the most popular foods in America. Recent findings believe that a typical American family consumes pizza at least twice a week. Given the astronomical amount of frozen pizzas available, I would think that the majority of them are coming straight out of the freezer. And takeout tops the list as well, but in my food world, the best pizza is made right in your own kitchen. When I have the time, foresight, and inclination I can make a really delicious pizza crust in the bread machine which yields two wonderfully chewy crusts. But given the fact that those three rarely align in an ideal world, the Boboli pizza crusts and sauce packets are a huge advantage for a time strapped meal. Plus, they are really darn good!! I tend to like a pizza sauce that isn't too sweet or too thick. A lot of pizza places will ladle it on so deep that the toppings get lost in the cloying, sticky mess. A thin veneer of sauce over a crust rubbed with cut garlic cloves makes for a divine flavor, and allows all the taste of the toppings to burst free in your mouth. The more I make pizza, the more I realize that less is best when it comes to toppings. Not only does the pizza get too heavy with a lot of topping, but often you bite into a slice and the toppings come off in a landslide of molten hot flow. Pain is not a good way to start a meal. And to hold on toppings, I have found that sandwiching them between layers of cheese provides a kind of 'pizza glue' mentality to the toppings. They tend to stay put. Place a small amount of cheese on top of the sauce, then your toppings and then more cheese. Oooooohhh.....cheeeeeeeeese!!!! Gotta have lots of cheeeeeeeese!!!! Whats pizza without that loooooooong string of hot mozzarella between the slice and your mouth???? It ain't really pizza!!! Of course you can't tell I like a cheesy pizza, can you?
I tend towards being a pizza purist when it comes to toppings. If I could, I would eat a sausage pizza with green pepper and black olives whenever I could and nothing tastes better than that. However, that tends to run under the 'bad food' category. So I have taken to making pizzas like that for G-man, and creating amazing gourmet pizzas for my sweetheart and I. He always prefers a meat-free pizza, so I oblige with combinations of whatever of the following I have on hand: roasted red peppers, sun dried tomato, pesto, fresh mozzarella, kalamata olives, sauteed zucchini, roma tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and roasted garlic. The more creative, the better. Our favorite pizza is listed earlier in this blog- the amazing, award winning, awe-inspiring Pesto Vegetable Pizza. Heaven on a crust! Food Utopia! The nice thing about the veggie pizzas is that they don't leave you feeling full and bloated.....well....unless you eat the whole thing, which we try really hard not to do. You also feel like you are doing something nice for your body. The first bite into that golden crisp crust unleashes a flood of flavors over your tongue. Crunchy, chewy and tangy, like a over-zealous tango on your tongue. Little hints of garlic explode over the juicy tomato slices and tiny hints of basil dart in and out of each bite. Peppers crunch, olives zing and the cheese forms around it all like a comforting blanket of flavor. Every bite seems different, yet it all melds together into a flavorful rhythm unique to the combinations on the crust. There are a few pizza places in theTwin Cities that I think serve amazing pizza, and I wouldn't hesitate to eat a delectable pie at any of them, but when I really want a pizza to make my mouth happy, I will unload my creative flair in my own kitchen much to the delight of the enamored men in my life. My homemade pizza came off the grill outside the last time I made it, adding yet another flavor component to an almost perfect pie- the smoky outdoor flavor of the grill. I didn't think it could get any better, but obviously I was mistaken. This took the pizza to new heights, and if I get any higher I might have to share some with God. Hmmmmm.....maybe I should make more!
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