Thursday, June 10, 2010

New York Pizza Rocks!

   Round one, pizza number one and the vote goes to Francesco.  Francesco is the one who wrote the book called Making the Ultimate Pizza. I followed it to the letter and the results were amazing. I had instant memories of eating pizza in New York some 16 years ago with a bus load of school kids Sheri and I were chaperoning.  The dough is flattened out by hand after it had its second resurrection of a couple hours. It's placed on a screen and baked at only 475º for 10-12 minutes minus the pizza stone. The cheese bubbled and boiled as I watched through the oven door. Upon pulling it out, it sets for about 30 seconds then you cut it and serve.  No crunch whatsoever when I cut it and a little flimsy up front probably from leveling the dough a bit too thin. (My fault).
  In assembling it, I scooped on about 4 large spoons full of Francesco's sauce and covered it with shredded mozzarella on one half. The other half I loaded up with precooked NY sausage, a few pepperoni and some sliced red onion. Then I covered it all with sliced Provolone cheese. The Provolone helps to make a smoother and creamier cheese sensation, which it did. My first bite was cautious as I didn't want to burn my lips but there it was, the OMG factor! That was the cheese side! The dough was surprisingly light, airy, almost sweet and quite soft like bread. I would have eaten every bite but Presley was just as interested in it as I was. He gets a bite of the end crust and he knows it. The sauce was barely noticeable and certainly didn't dominate but played a perfect harmony to the lead performance of the dough.
   The next slice was the side with the goodies. People, you don't understand. If you're sitting here reading this and not looking up an authentic New York pizza place right now then there is something wrong with you! Just do it! Words can't express how perfect this combination of flavors really is. 
   My last dog, named Solvang, that passed away 2 years ago was my buddy and cookie connoisseur. He was a Golden through and through with a wicked taste for cookies. He could sniff one out of your upper pocket or chew one out of your coat left on a bed. He was very trainable because he loved cookies so much. He would stop in the hall where the coats were hung and sniff out the coat with a cookie in the pocket then bark. His very existence, we believe, was to consume cookies. You didn't tease him with cookies because he took cookies very seriously. Once a vendor at a pet store gave him a vegetarian cookie and he spit it out. We tried to feed it to him again and again it came out. It was a bit embarrassing for us but Solvang had spoken. He knew his cookies! We used to joke that he'd sell his mother for a cookie. Mom, if you are reading this, it's a darn good thing I can make this New York pizza myself and don't have to sell you for an authentic tasting New York Pizza. 
   However, we are only partially through this taste test as we have two more pizza recipes to test before the final verdict is in. As for right now, if a New Yorker walks up to you and tells you New York has the best pizza on earth, just smile and say, "So I am told." Then give him a dog cookie and say, "good boy."

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