Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BLING YOUR THING: Epic CHEESE (Aka Chicago Pizza)

It's National Pizza Month! (I'm all for that.) Are you a pizza lover?

When I was 15, I worked in a pizza parlor, and it has forever defined one thing: the world is incomplete without pizza. While living in NYC, I fell in love with their pizza pies--thin crust, just the right amount of sauce, wicked-awesome toppings, cheese... (Need I say more?) BUT pizza pie meets its true definition in Chicago.


That's two whole inches DEEP of cheese. (Aka, heaven.) Mmm... 

Here's the problem: I'm a consumer, not a maker. (Giordanos is my local source of heaven.) So here's a snazy tutorial to walk you through how to make it at home! *gasp* (Except he used preshredded cheese. DON'T DO THAT. They put potato starch on that stuff to keep it from sticking, and it changes the consistency of the cheese.)


Now, the biggest difference between restaurant pizza and homemade is the oven. (I kid you not--remember I worked in a pizzeria.) Home ovens have a limit on the heat they can produce, for safety reasons. Commercial ovens have no such restrictions. (Think 900 degrees Fahrenheit and up!) They cook a traditional pizza in 3 to 5 minutes. See the problem? 

Life hack! There is a way to modify your oven. *gasp* It deals with jimmy rigging the lock on your oven so that you can put it on "clean" and still use it to cook. (This can be dangerous.) Another option is to put your oven on broil for about 45 minutes before baking. We've done this. Pizzas cook in about 4 to 6 minutes and the crust is epic--but you have to use a high heat cooking stone because pans will warp.

Are you a pizza lover? Chicago style? NYC style? What's the best pizza you've ever had?


Crystal Collier is a cheese-loving blogger & author who pens out funnies, deep thoughts, and book giveaways. She's the author of the Maiden of Time series, a 2012 winner of PitchWars, and a 2016 IWSG writing contest winner. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

The third book in her Maiden of Time series releases November 1, 2016. Find her and her books online.

23 comments:

  1. Nope, sorry, not a pizza lover. I will eat one now and again, but I don't remember the last time we had one. Not only that, I find North American pizzas to be overloaded. I preferred the ones I ate in Italy many years ago although they might have changed these days too.

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    1. Well, there are other foods to love, I suppose. I love Italian pizza too, but it is SUCH a different beast.

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  2. Wow, my thighs got bigger just looking at that picture. lol

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    1. LOL. Try eating it and you'll never go back.

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  3. I adore pizza. Best food ever. I make it at home about once a week and someday I will have a brick pizza oven in my back yard. Someday.

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  4. Just watched the video, I've always been told NOT to roll the pizza dough out with a rolling pin, that it crushed it too much and you should toss or use fingers to spread it. What did they do at the pizzeria where you worked?

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    1. Chicago pizza crust is different than regular pizza dough. It's more pastry like, and thus the rolling. In the pizzeria we worked with traditional pizza dough, and yes, if you rolled it you'd ruin it. I'm a certified dough slinger. 3 feet of air--no kidding--in my dough slinging.

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    2. Impressive. That's a skill I have not mastered.

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    3. But you will, right? Just try making pizza for 3 to 8 hours five days a week for a year straight. You'll get there.

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  5. Love pizza! Had no idea it was National Pizza Month, though. Will have to remember to eat one this week, LOL.

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    1. Right?! I'm tempted to abandon the meal plan for tonight and order one.

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  6. I loved pizza back when I could eat it! I was a stuffed crust girl. It took a few years to stop being sad about it, but there are a few restaurants now that offer vegan cheese for us poor souls. Lol! You're totally right about restaurant pizza tasting 1000 times better than anything I can make at home. This also explains why even vegan cheese tastes better when it's freshly grated.

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    1. I'm so glad I was able to offer a tip to help with your cheese experience. And I'm going to loan you my time machine so you can go back and relive those pizza days. ;)

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  7. I'm drooling! I'm a huge pizza fan. Every Thursday is pizza night in our house. I usually share a four cheese pizza with my son since he doesn't like toppings, and I get all that extra cheese! I'm not a fan of Chicago style because I don't like a lot of sauce, and I definitely don't want it on top.

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    1. Yes! We used to have a pizza night because my son had late soccer practice, but we haven't had a steady eat out night for a long time. I miss it.

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  8. There is nothing quite as good as a reeeeeally good pizza. A pizza whose crust that's slightly chewy and has a nice yeasty taste. Good sauce that has a fresh tomato-basil taste, and isn't sweet or applied with a heavy hand. Top-notch Italian sausage, lots of mushrooms, a bit of green pepper, and LOTS of Mozzarella. That's my idea of a perfect pizza. (Dang you! Now I want pizza...)

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    1. Dang you--now I want pizza! LOL. Shame on us. We're a bad pairing, eh?

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  9. I grew up in Chicago and I always preferred the thin-crust pizza you could get at just about any neighborhood pizzeria. The thick crust is okay, but just occasionally. We're now able to buy frozen pizzas from the Home Run Inn, a south side institution. Not a deep crust, but lots of sausage, pepperoni, and cheese. The quality of the frozen pizzas in general has improved tremendously over the last twenty years or so.

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  10. When we dropped Caleb off in New York, we were trying to pick a place to eat. My husband suggested McDonalds! I was like, seriously, first dinner in NY? It has to be pizza at a little pizzeria, maybe with some Billy Joel playing in the background...

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  11. Mmm, pizza month. Maybe that's why I've been wanting pizza about every day this month. Heh. Okay, that just might be normal me. My favorite type of pizza is the stuffed crust.

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  12. I love pizza! And I'm not picky about where it comes from either--okay let me rephrase that I'm not picky about the style of pizza. ;)

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  13. I love all pizza. My ex husband (kids dad) is from Chicago and so is my best friend and roommate from college and they think it's the best pizza in the world. I've spent a lot of time in Chicago and I've eaten it a lot and I do like it, but I much prefer New York's ultra thin pizza. I also like the sauce on NY Pizza. What was the name of the Original Ray Cohen's or Ray something or other pizza that was so freaking delicious in NY. It was the best I've ever eaten. It was decades ago and then Ray's pizza popped up on every corner, but they didn't taste anything like the one I remember first tasting. Does anyone know what I am talking about.
    The Chicago Deep dish is making my mouth water now. I love that it is always extra saucy.

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