Monday, May 01, 2006

Pizza Recipe

One of the things that I like to make is pizza. I'm not as thorough as this guy, but I still enjoy it. When I have time to make whole wheat crust, that's the best. Sometimes, though, I end up buying a ready-made crust from the grocery store. I don't like buying ready-made crust for anything -- whether pizzas or pies -- but at least it's better than buying a ready-made pizza. Half a loaf is better, or something like that.

Here's what I made this weekend that was just delicious. First, the sauce. The best recipe for sauce that I've found so far is this one, which I made without the anchovy sauce or the cayenne pepper. Then I caramelized about three onions by letting them stew in a little oil and sugar for probably 20 minutes or so. (I was making three 12-inch pizzas, by the way).

At the same time, I grilled a few chicken breasts on our George Foreman grill, and then sliced them into small pieces. And all the while, I had cut up some roma tomatoes, covered them with garlic salt, and was letting them drain on paper towels. (Putting fresh tomatoes on pizza will just make it soggy unless you drain the water out). As for the cheese, I chopped up some whole-milk mozzarella -- the kind that is soft and comes in a large lump.

Then I cooked it at 550 -- the highest that my oven will go, unfortunately -- until the crust started to brown and the cheese looked good and melted.

I guess that's not much of a "recipe" -- too much eyeballing and guessing. But that's how my wife and I end up cooking a lot of the time.

Which reminds me, I'm not nearly as good at eyeballing as my grandfather was. He could measure things without using a measuring cup. I remember one time when I was a kid -- probably 10 or 12 -- and I was making some biscuits. My grandfather was making something else in the kitchen at the same time. I needed to measure out 1/2 cup of shortening to cut into the flour, but I couldn't find the 1/2-cup measure. I made some remark about not being able to find it, and then my grandfather said, "How much do you need?" "1/2 cup." He dipped a kitchen spoon into the shortening can and said, "There you go." I remember thinking, "No way. That's not going to be right." So I kept looking, and finally found the measuring cup. I put the shortening in it to double-check, and sure enough, my grandfather was right on the money. I was in awe. Of course, he had been cooking for about 60 years at that point.


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