Archive for the ‘Pizza’ tag
There are thousands of recipes for pizza dough. Everyone has their own proportions of flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt and oil. I’ve been using one that I found a long time ago that used two types of flour, but over the years I have phased out the two-flour aspect of the recipe out of laziness, and it seems to be just fine. I’m not a pizza purist; I simply go with what works. This dough makes a great thin-crust pizza, and is especially good if you use it the next day, or freeze it and use it later. Another thing that pizza purists would probably yell at me for is the fact that I use a rolling pin on my dough to make it the right thickness. I’m sure the Grimaldi’s guys would have a field day with that one. In any case, it works for me, and that’s what it’s all about. Do what works.
On Thursday I took a trip out to Brooklyn to see Malcolm Gladwell and Chuck Klosterman speak at a small gallery under the Manhattan bridge with a couple of friends. The plan was to meet for a beer, check out the speaking gig, and finish off the night with a trip to what is arguably New York’s best pizza shop: Grimaldi’s. Nestled under the Brooklyn bridge, Grimaldi’s has been a New York institution since the first pizza joints opened up in 1905. It boasts one of the city’s oldest coal fired pizza ovens, and one of only a handful still in existence today. For pizza nerds, there is really no alternative to the coal fired oven. The smokiness and crispiness that the ovens impart to the pizza cannot be recreated by any other means, apparently. The older the oven, some say, the more the flavors of generations of history are baked into the pizza. I have heard that New York City (for good reason) no longer allows new coal-fired ovens to be built (and hasn’t for quite some time), so they are relatively rare, and worth seeking out.
While we were eating the conversation inevitably turned to the subject of what the “best” pizza in New York is. Grimaldi’s topped everyone’s list, for sure, but the more remarkable thing was that everyone agreed that it’s much harder to even find a decent slice of pizza in the city than it is to determine what’s the best. For a city that purportedly invented the thing, there sure are a lot of hideously crappy pizza places out there. Just off the top of my head I can think of at least 6 places within a 4 block radius of my apartment that are just terrible. Only one stood out as even decent. You’d think by now people would be able to get it right, or at least palatable. Needless to say, having Grimaldi’s pizza is a treat for me.
I had planned to take lots of photos, and post a photo essay on Grimaldi’s, but as I lined up to take a photo of the coal fired oven I was told in no uncertain terms that there was NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED. So you, my dear readers, are looking at ILLEGAL PHOTOS. These are the lengths to which I am willing to go to bring you the real stories, the real truths, and the really poor quality iPhone snaps:
Yesterday I was reading a post on Lifehacker about how to repurpose common kitchen items and get more use out of them. One of the simplest suggestions was to use your cast iron skillet to cook deep dish pizzas. I used to love Uno’s pizza when I was little (I know, I know…if you are from Chicago you will immediately tell me about how terrible it is) so I thought I’d give the cast iron skillet pizza a try.