Friday, January 24, 2014

Apéritif Friday - Deep Dish Pizza, with Entertainment

Last Friday night, I came into the kitchen to music blaring (Springsteen, naturally) with this crackbrained scene unfolding:
And I knew immediately that Deep Dish Pizza Night was going to be a wild ride with the head-banded bandit and his bun-headed sidekick. They were clearly in rare form, perhaps making up for the fact that the real rocker in the house was out ice skating with his buddies.

Backing up a tic, we are still eating Paleo about 95% of the time. The only exceptions are pizza night, the occasional dark chocolate indulgence, and certain Apéritifs. Like the one I promptly poured for myself after seeing Mr. Musky's attempt at the twerk.
I revisited the cold glass website and liked this cocktail recipe, but lamented that I didn't have all of the necessary ingredients on hand. So instead I substituted a bunch of items and came up with a tasty winter treat. I'm calling it the Polar Vortex Manhattan.
1 oz. Makers Mark, 1 oz Cognac, 1 oz Sweet Vermouth, a spoonful of BandB, and a dash of blood orange bitters. Garnish with an orange or lemon twist.
Yummy. Warms all the way down to your toes. Sit back and sip with care, my friends!

So the Deep Dish. If you're not from Chicago and you've never had this, it really is not like real pizza, in my opinion. It's totally different. For starters, one piece and I'm done. Two and I'm regretful. Usually one piece and another bite is perfect. What I'm trying to say is that it's really filling.

And devilishly delicious.

My favorite thing about pizza night is that I get to be a full on spectator. Since I was running kids around town, Mr. Musky cranked the tunes and got to work earlier in the evening. Here's what he used to make the dough:

2 cups flour
3 Tbsp corn oil
1 Tbsp olive oil (not EVOO)
Pinch Salt
1 tsp yeast
1.5 cups water at 100 degrees

Mix 1/2 cup water and yeast, add oil and salt. Add a little flour to make a slurry. Then add the rest of the flour and water. Mix with your hands, and add more water or flour to get the right consistency - slightly sticky, yet all incorporated. Place in a bowl with plastic wrap in a warm spot (he put it on our cooktop) to rest and rise for an hour.

And here's his sauce, which is a bit chunkier than normal pizza sauce:

28 oz crushed tomatoes
14 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz can tomato paste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, microplaned
1/2 Tbsp Oregano
5 Leaves of Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Shallot, microplaned
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper

Mix crushed and diced tomatoes together. Add remaining ingredients and taste. Add more salt, pepper, honey or pepper flakes to taste.

Once I settled in with my Apéritif, he got down to business, starting with the crust.
After pulling back the plastic wrap, he floured his hands and incorporated a bit more flour into the dough to take out the stickiness. Then he pressed it into a springform pan that he greased with ghee. Butter also works, as would palm oil, coconut oil or vegetable oil. Just make sure the surface is coated so the dough doesn't stick.
After lining the pan with the dough, he placed sliced mozzarella cheese on the bottom.
Then came the sausage and pepperoni. And yes - the sausage is raw, thinly patted out, and lines the entire surface. I prefer smaller pieces of sausage, but am not complaining as I got to sit back and sip. Don't be concerned about the raw sausage though - it will cook long enough in the oven.
Next comes another layer of cheese, then sauce.
Mushrooms and spinach top the sauce, then shred some parmesan cheese and oregano to finish.
He popped it into a 450 degree oven. What to do for an agonizing forty minutes? Why, tell stories of course. Mr. Musky told his daughter an interesting story about Mr. Moby that involves Kryptonite and stage diving in the delightful town of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
He had her at stage diving.
And even demonstrated, in Ov Gloves. But I don't think Mr. Moby was wearing kitchen gloves when he stage dove. Or maybe he did. Har har.
And she had to text an unsuspecting gentleman likely sipping wine and watching soccer in Hampshire for proof. He would not confirm or deny any Kryptonite swashbuckling stories.
Finally, the unveiling! See why a springform pan is key? How pretty.
To prove that I really do exist on Pizza Night, and am not just relegated to snapping photos, here you go.
But oh. Ooey, gooey, buttery tasting goodness. The crust is crunchy and has just enough thickness to hold everything in. The sauce has a slight kick to it, and all of the ingredients and cheese smoosh together to create a feast for the eyes, and my belly.
Miller's drool pockets work overtime on Pizza Night.
While pizza number two cooked, the two Soul Train members got back down to business, entertaining the sole patron for the evening. This time to a sixteen-year-old's musical choice.
I don't think American Bandstand will be calling for our services any time soon.

Happy Friday, and thanks for reading!

XO,
Jen





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