Chicago style

Pete-za Pete-za's been taking it easy lately.
I've been enjoying the idle pleasures of life.
In these idle moments, I find clarity.
The clarity to overcome a deep pizza funk (see previous post 3.18.08)

My original goal with this blog was to perfect a traditional Pizza Napoletana at home.

This requires an 800F+ oven. Not possible in my apartment.

As such, I began focusing on a more realistic goal:

Deep Dish Pizza

I've always liked deep dish pizza. Lou Malnati's, Gino's East, Pizzeria Uno, all pretty awesome as far as I'm concerned.

The best part is the pizza bakes at 425 degrees. Anybody can do that.

Many pizza snobs love trashing Chicago style pizza. Saying that at best Chicago pizza is a good casserole. This only slightly offends me as a Chicagoan.
I don't think it's worth comparing Chicago deep dish to thin crust pizzas (New York, New Haven, Neopolitan). They're completely different.
However, both can be made deliciously, involving essentially the same ingredients. So this blog will now celebrate pizza in all of it's delicious forms.

This is a photo of my new cookbook made by Cook's Illustrated. They have 4 pages dedicated to deep dish pizza. My deep dish challenge started here the other night.

We pretended what it would be like to make a pizza after the apocalypse (Earth Hour). I screwed the recipe up at least five times, but it still turned out great. It was incredibly easy, I can't wait to actually follow the recipe next time.

I'm going to try putting the cheese on the bottom next time.

Crust was too dense. I want it to be buttery and flakey.

I tossed some fresh basil on top.

More deep dish experiments and recipes this week.


Happy Easter

NOBUNNY loves you


Spotted Eagle Ray

Brought to you by wikipedia, MarineBio, youtube, Associated Press, Florida Museum of Natural History, and of course Google.
The spotted eagle ray, Aetobatus narinari, Euphrasen (1790), or bonnet ray, is a cartilaginous fish found in shallow coastal waters by coral reefs and bays, in depths down to 80 meters (260 feet). Spotted eagle rays can weigh 500 pounds and have a wingspan of up to 10 feet. They are known to occasionally jump out of the water but are not aggressive and use the venomous barb at the end of their tail only for defense.

For $110 you can own your very own spotted eagle ray jaw.

Some may confuse the spotted eagle ray with the bullnose ray. Which is a little ridiculous given
the bullnose ray's dorsal fin origin, which is significantly closer to the level of the rear margins of the pelvic fins than the spotted eagle ray's dorsal fin origin. What's even more ridiculous is that the bullnose ray isn't even found in the Gulf of Mexico or the majority of the Caribbean Sea.

The spotted eagle ray is distributed worldwide in tropical and warm temperate waters, even off the coast of Belize. (Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, Atlantic Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific west coast of the Americas).

Also called papagaio (Portuguese), it is listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

Also called the spotted whipray, they frequently form large schools during the non-breeding season.

Also called fai manu in Samoan, these wonders of the world are identified by the numerous white ringed spots on their blue dorsal surface.

Also called amak-e-khaldar in Farsi, they were originally described in the systematic sense in 1790 .


My fellow homemade pizza lovers, and bloggers of America...

I stand before you today, a man on an epic conquest.
A conquest, with the intent to lead me and my followers to the perfect homemade pizza.

My friends... America hungers, both literally and figuratively, for a delicious pizza to satisfy their hearts and souls.
America hungers for a recipe to entertain their pizza party guests.

This journey has helped me to grow as a person, it has helped me to learn about the many inequities of America's pizza parties.
Most importantly, this journey has allowed me to see my many shortcomings and failings as a pizza party host, and as a casual pizza maker at home.

Recently, my historic journey has had what many have considered a major setback.
What I am here to say is... what the cynics and skeptics consider a setback, I consider a breakthrough.
Those of us who have the hope and courage for a better pizza party are ready to learn and continue down the path towards this glorious celebration party.

The setback/breakthrough I am referring to came about last week.
As I was casually searching the internet for pizza inspiration, as I do every night, I came across an incredibly thorough recipe for pizza dough.
Instantly I knew this wasn't an ordinary pizza dough recipe. This recipe detailed the importance and unimportance of every ingredient. Years of research had been poured into it. It spoke of the failings of mainstream pizza dough recipes. It preached of the importance of yeast, bacteria, cultures, temperature, quality ingredients, and most of all superb technique.

When I first read through the pages and pages of this recipe, I screamed to the heavens, "I have found it!!! I have found it!!!". With tears streaming down my face, I proclaimed this recipe to be the holy grail of pizza dough recipes.

That was until I read more carefully. The message then appeared not as one of inspiration, but one of desperation. This recipe appeared to be informing me that I was a pizza chump, rather than a pizza champion. It told me that I had been misguided by mainstream pizza recipes, and that I was better off to stay misguided.
For what I would learn would send me to the lowest of all lows in my pizza making career.

I learned that I would never make a quality homemade pizza without an oven that can reached above 800 degrees.

The despair I felt at that moment left me in a terrible funk that was difficult to overcome. For my oven can barely sustain a temperature of 500 degrees, and my landlord is completely unwilling to install a brick oven.

But I am here today, to tell you all that I have overcome this great despair. I am ready to learn from my failings. I am ready to extend my journey years it will take to construct my own oven, one brick at a time.
And most importantly my friends, I am ready to continue blogging about this journey until I have served the perfect slice at the perfect pizza party.

My fellow homemade pizza lovers, I extend to you an invitation to the ultimate pizza party.

Thank you,
Pete-za Pete-za

Pete-za Pete-za to Deliver an Important Message on the State of Homemade Pizzas

Inspired by Barack Obama's major address on race in America, Pete-za Pete-za plans to address his shortcomings, failures and hope for better homemade pizza.

Stay tuned


George Bush at the Gridiron Dinner. March 8, 2008.

Attended by 600 of the most powerful politicians and journalists, as well as Bush and his 13 cabinet members. The event is traditionally off the record.
George Bush sang a song that made light of his many failures in office.

I spend my days clearin' brush.
I clear my head of all the fuss.
Like that big fuss over Harriet and Brownie.

Down the lane I look
and here comes Scooter,
finally free of the prosecutor.

For there's Condi and Dick,
my old compadres
talking about to me about some oil rich Saudi

Dick Cheney's strolling
with documents he's been withholdin'

Barack Obama on Ellen. October 30, 2007.
As a guest on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Barack shows off his dancing skills.