Friday, October 12, 2007

Who Needs Take-Out

Honestly, other than the time and maybe convenience that take out pizza provides, why on earth would people rather eat some cheap rendition of pizza with "hut" in the their name, or a company that should be making board games?

This crust is more heavenly then any greasy pizza chain could possibly hope to replicate. And more over, you choose the amounts of ingredients. I love my pizzas piled up with toppings, and a nice thick crust on the end. Take-out is blasé. I'll pass Papa John. Thanks, but no thanks.

I always wonder why people seem so inspired to pick up the crap that all these fast food places dish out. Ok, now, I admit, every once in a blue moon, I end up at one those joints wanting a greasy oily burgery burger, but I more than not regret it afterwards. Err...rather my stomach regrets it...

It certainly could be the huge amounts of salt that chains use in all their food. I mean, lets get things straight, salt makes things taste good. The salt aggitates the taste buds on your tongue, which in turn makes them more receptive to flavors. But sometimes, I wonder. The other night I was re-reading a book called "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell, and the selected chapter was curiously on taste tests and the aptitude for people to choose certain products over another based on the snap judgements from things like labels, advertising availability, and strangely... packaging. The tests were done with E&J Brandy, and Christian Brothers. Through a series of tests, they had fangled out the plausibilty that people were choosing E&J over Christian based solely on the packaging of the product. Rather tragic, I'd say.

So what about pizza? Chains may have more of a hold on the market through advertising and brand name recognition than just flavor profiles by themselves.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if food was solely about the pallete. Unfortunately, and no matter what anyone else tells you about "plating doesn't matter, it's all about the taste," it simply isn't true. Looks matter. Especially when it comes down to which foods people are going to eat, and more importantly, like.

I know, I know, I wish it wasn't this way, but I really can't argue anymore from some purist stance. People are just way too swayed by aesthetics. So I'll try and accomodate. For you. Don't thank me, it's the least I can do.

Back to creations.

During my little wait for the dough to rise, I made a little trip to the Socorro Brewery to pick up 2 growlers of their oh so delicious pumpkin beer. God, I love pumpkins. It's seriously my favorite ingredient ever... for right now. I have a whole slew of pumpkin goods on their way. It would make me hungry all over again if I hadn't stuffed my face with pizza just moments ago.

Better than the HUT Pizza:

Oven at 375 F.

1 Cup Luke Warm Water
3 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 T Sugar
1-2 T Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
Bread Flour (we'll to portions later...)

Combine the water and yeast to dissolve. Add the sugar and let proof for about 10 min or until foamy (this is to give the yeast a little boost).
Add in the oil and the salt.

Now here's the flour part... Add flour and knead until the dough is just minorly sticky, but still holds its shape and is relatively smooth. Essentially, you're just adding a little bit less flour than you would for making a regular hearty loaf of crusty bread. This will come in handy when spreading the dough out for the crust.

Let rise until doubled in size.

1 lb Pork
1/2 Onion diced
2 cloves Garlic
As much Red Pepper flakes as you can endure
2-3 Spoonfuls of Green Chile
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatos crushed with your hands (oh goody, sloppy fun)
2 T Tomato Paste (so your pizza isn't drippy)
1/4 Cup Parsley loosely chopped
4-5 sprigs of Basil loosely chopped

Fry up that pork and onion in a hot skillet until brown.

Add the garlic, flakes and green chile, and set aside off the heat.

Pour your mixed crushed tomatos and tomato paste over the top while you spread out the dough.

Dump your risen dough on a well floured surface, or even just on your baking stone which has been dusted with cornmeal. Stretch and pull the dough untill you've covered your stone or have it as big as your little heart desires.

Add the pork and tomato mixture. cover with basil, and parsley. Then cover with the cheeses.

Bake in oven for about 30 min until crust is crusty, and cheese is just beginning to brown.

No comments: