Sunday, May 22, 2011

I fell in love/With the pizza girl/Now I eat pizza everyday, oh - Attemping my own Pi

Last night the Boy and I planned a rare night out - a movie and dinner out. The original plan was to go to an early movie and a late dinner, but the crowds ahead of us to see Bridesmaids changed things around. It wasn't even 7p and we had tickets to a 10p showing. Since we were in the CWE, it was one nice walk down Euclid to Pi for some pizza. And what delicious pizza it was. The hallmark of Pi, as far as I'm concerned, is their use of corn meal in their crust. It makes for a lighter, crunchier texture than standard pizza crust. So I felt a challenge at hand; I would try to replicate a Pi-style deep dish pizza. I didn't plan this out terribly well as I didn't acquire any specialty toppings, but I knew I had a variety of vegetables to use, if not any meat.

I made the crust using the special pizza yeast, basically following the directions on the packet except replacing about 1/2 cup of the flour with corn meal. I used a springform pan to shape and bake and it seemed to go together (with mushrooms, onions and spinach) and at least look the way I wanted. For the sauce, which tops the pizza (for those unfamiliar with Pi or Chicago-style deep dish), I just used a can of diced tomatoes in juice and added three cloves of garlic, a bit of sugar and some salt and cooked for about 15 minutes at a high heat in order to concentrate some of the liquid. The verdict is that, while the pizza tasted good, I still didn't have enough corn meal in my crust. Part two tomorrow night? I must buy a new springform, however, as I broke my vintage model tonight.

For a starter I dug up an old favorite I used to call the Fruit Bits Salad - lettuce, slivered onion, walnuts, cheese (supposed to be gorgonzola but I forgot to buy that so I cut some tiny cubes of parmesan), and dried fruit bits. For the dressing I like to cut bottled poppyseed dressing with red wine vinegar (let's say an 8 to 1 ratio), which cuts some of the sweetness of the dressing and the fruit.

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