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Tagged ‘Chicago‘

The voice of a ghost rattling around in my head.

A Biographical Sketch

 

I was drunk for pretty much every waking moment from the age of thirteen until nineteen, including the irregular Eucharist I was badgered into on behalf of my dead Sainted mother. She was piety incarnate as far as anyone in the neighborhood was concerned, which is where I stayed mostly because wandering too far usually resulted in a split lip, busted nose and bruised knuckles. I guess the wandering didn’t account for it as much as the drinking, but hangovers never bothered me because there was always another flask on hand.

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passed down from the moors of Scotland

Well, I see I’m going to need to be extra diligent about posting on weekends when I don’t have a connection and I tend to be extra busy. Saturday brought a bit of idle time in which I became inspired to do my world-famous Chicago style pizza. This pizza of legend is something I really get a kick out of doing, and which most everyone who has had it really gets a kick out of eating. Sans kitchen, I’ve been hard pressed to do this since college, so for Saturday I commandeered Xiaoxin’s and ran by my place to get the extensive pizza making supplies which I own, and fresh ingredients.
Chicago Style Pizza is a dynasty in and of itself, so properly, I tend to make it quite the event, with invites, music and appropriate pontificating to build up expectations. Xiao and Heather had never had any before but I knew two pizzas was going to be too much for just three, so I called Megan and Jeremy as well, as they’d never hear tale of the glory of the pizza either. With equipment and ingrediants gathered, attendees set, it was time to begin.
Everything is from scratch and the real art of my CSP (Chicago Style Pizza) is the dough. When I undertook to learn the secrets of CSP I was very intent on getting as close to Pizzaria Uno/Due as I could. Quick search turned up about a bajillion ‘real’ Pizzaria Uno recipes, so each time I’ve made it I vary the dough a bit to try for different results. This weekend produced some of the best damn dough I’ve ever had, if I do say so myself. Which I readily do.

Once you finesse your dough, giving it a few beatings, massages and time outs pizza construction begins. CSP it like some sort of delicious bizarro anti-pizza built upside-down. Cheese first. And so much cheese it is. I actually went kinda light on the cheese here, because the collective cheese tolerance levels were a bit low, but you get the idea.

Next comes the toppings. I’ve done all kinds of toppings, but kept things simple this go round with one pie being classic pepperoni and the other being a veggie- onions, green peppers and mushrooms deal.

You really just want to cram in as many toppings as you can. You’ll notice my pie pans aren’t that big, only 9″- which is a small pizza. But there’s a reason they call ’em deep dish. So lots and lots and lots of toppings.

Then we hit up the sauce. And calling it sauce is kinda a misnomer. I use crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and a dash of garlic and onion powder. It’s really plenty. I have tomato sauce in the shot, but I grabbed that just in case I needed it, which I never do.

And that’s it, you pop these guys into a 500 degree oven for 25 minutes and bam. Now this isn’t a recipe and I’m not giving you the sekrets of the pizza or anything, but I might if anyone is interested. No shots of the finished pizza cause we ate that stuff like staving dogs huddled around the oven. And for five people eating, I still have about a whole pie left over waiting for me. The thing to do is, since it’s a good 2+ hrs prep time, once you get the pies into the oven you start scarfing the leftover toppings and stuff. Other serving suggestions- keep some ranch and bleu cheese nearby cause you really do end up with a lot of crust, which makes it perfect for dipping.

So, there’s a little photoblog about Nic’s Holy CSP. Those lucky enough to have experienced it themselves will tell you it’s damned good. Those unfortunates who haven’t may solicit my pizza skills with a brief 200-word essay on ‘Why I deserve Nicolle’s pizza’.