Sunday, February 12


i have some of the best clients out there.
no, for real.
they're not the richest,
and maybe their ideas aren't revolutionary,
but, still,
they get involved in the discussion.
oh. no. gross.
not about tattoos.
that's not what i want to talk about.
you should know better by now.
FOOD, dudes.
they get involved in the discussion about FOOD.
and they do so without any of the pretension that foreknowledge
of any of our subjects and topics would likely have imparted,
had they been warned that we were going to talk at length about pizza.
here's the thing-
it takes a little minute for them to realize that we're really actually
for really-realsies going to be talking about pizza for a while,
without their intentional attentions being overtly rerouted,
before the first five minutes are up,
we're talking about pizza,
and while the monologue is more cogent,
the dialogue is more interesting.
what most folks don't know about pizza is almost everything.
and i'm not giving lessons,
i'm gleaning data.
that's a thing.
did you guys know that most people i talk to about it
say they can only eat four slices?
that's so weak!
my client the other day was going to pick up a barbecued pulled-pork pizza
on her way back home after our appointment.
that got me thinkin', neighbors.
i mean,
we also bean the session by talking about ravioli,
and i do so enjoy a linear progression of foodstuff.
(also, i prefer a well-proofed pizza dough,
and mine wasn't quite all the way there yet)
so it was those ravishing ravs first, but then, it had to be barbecue pizza.
not grilled pizza.
there's four feet of hard-packed snow up in front of the doorway to the grill.
that's keep 'ti spring, kids.
barbecue SAUCE pizza.
you'll see...
right now, in fact, as you check the pee-eye-zee-zee-ayy-type teleport:

sourdough starter coupled with commercial yeast helps make that crust
get as crispy as all-get-out, but still allows for a little loft at the edges.
...and that's expert.
i'm steady effin' with my proportions.
only because i can,
and since it's just me home alone eatin' pizzas,
i can accept that it's not the same dough every time.
here's the rough estimates for the recipe, one more time:
2 cups of flour;
1 cup of semolina flour;
1/2 cup of white sourdough starter;
3 T olive oil;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
>1 T salt;
1+ cup warm water;
1 T packaged yeast;
2 tsp sugar;
^ bloomed for ten minutes,
poured into the mixer with all that other stuff,
and kneaded for five straight hard unyielding minutes.
bulked for 30-45 minutes,
punched down, and refrigerated for 24 hours,
before division into quarters, in plastic baggies,
for easily accessible premeasured preparation throughout the week.
that's not all that there is to consider here, kids.
a good crust is a must,
but the SAUCE is the BOSS, more than even springsteen ever could be.
real talk.
this quick-and-dirty barbecutioner's axe attack was too good, too quickly.
i think i may have to activate it again  and soon-
1/2 cup+ crushed tomatoes;
2 T white vinegar;
3 T molasses;
2 tsp chipotle chili blend;
1/2 tsp cumin;
1 tsp smoked paprika;
pinches of oregano, sage, ground mustard;
a splash of soy sauce;
black pepper to taste-
that simmers until it's doubly thicker and darker than when we began,
and that's all there is to it!!!
when did cooking get so easy, man?
i had four seitan nuggies left from last week's batch of spicy wingless fire.
y'wanna know why that's awesome?
because when sliced thin, they were the perfect size for putting on the pizza!!!!
i steamed some cauliflower for ten minutes, to soften it up,
and added that on top of the seitan,
which i was searing in a piping hot pan
in which i'd just finished caramelizing a couple small yellow onions in-
friends, it was a progressive sequence of flavor activation,
and it kept the dirty dishes to a minimum, too.
first those onions.
then the oniony olive oil and the seitan.
then the cauliflower florets.
and a splash of that sauce to coat 'em up, and keep it going.
the seitan was crispy, and saucy,
the cauli' was firm, but pliable,
and all of it was exactly what my pizza required to go straightaways to eleven.
cheddar and mozzarella daiya chee' went down first.
then the onions,
followed by a fistful of shredded baby spinach.
....a properly prepared base layer is mandatory.
if you're truly a pizza lover, you already know all about it.
over that went the sauce,
and the seitan, and that cauliflower.
but that wasn't all there was to it.
no way.
there are rules to this sort of sh!t, man.
red onion bits add some crunch.
fried garlic sprankles aren't permitted to be omitted.
and when it came out of that 490F oven, after about 15 minutes.
a zap of big, leafy, sexxxy cilantro gave us the perfect finishing touch.
it's never just pizza.
it's a conscious effort to make the new hottness happen in my hearth,
to make my house a homier hideaway,
to have my pie and eat it too.
i'm a happy hungry hermit for the few minutes it takes
to terrorize the whole damned thing.
i've got THE lamest day ahead of me,
and what's more,
i don't know what i wanna do about dinner tonight.
the wintry onslaught continues,
and the drive to work remains a real A*-hole.
it only gets worse on the way home, in the dark, on the frozen roads-
and when i get here,
i have to get something elite onto the stovetop before too long.
i'm just sayin',
if it's gonna be a big fat bummer of an afternoon,
and the morning is already half over?
the night times had better get it going on,or i'm gonna go off,
and yeti the eff out on a snowbank,
maybe dig a cave,
curl up, and hibernate for a few.
.....yeah, sure.
as if i could sleep in a snow hole,
when i can't even sleep in a toasty bed.
hey man,
i dunno.
it's all really happening.
the weather, the winter, the impending lovely love-centric holiday,
the dearth of dinner ideas.
i'm *this* close to going abominably snowman caveman cro-magnon
magnum-caliber mammoth monster mashing,
and if dinner doesn't come through my thoughts before six?
that yeti hole is sounding better and better by the second;
never quiet, never soft.....

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