Tag Archives: turnng 30

Baby don’t you want to go?

“You better cut the pizza in four slices because I’m not hungry enough for six.” -Baseball Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra

Regions of the U.S. like to lay claim to their own pizza:  has its own concept of what pizza is supposed to be:  The thin, foldable New York kind, the grilled, veggie topped California kind, and my favorite, the deep dish Chicago kind.   After a weekend in Chicago where I somehow did not consume any pizza (blasphemy!), it was time to conquer it myself.


I did a lot of research before taking on this project.  I discovered there is more than one kind of Chicago style pizza.    Exhibit A: this restaurant is famous for its Chicago style pizza.  It has a crust on the bottom AND a crust on the top, along with the cheese-on-the-bottom-sauce-on-top layering that IS Chicago pizza. Exhibit B: This equally famous pizzeria however, does the crust on the bottom, sauce not cheese on top strategy, but with ONE layer of crust.  I’m pretty sure I’m the first one to realize this. Ok, not really, but its a distinction that’s never mentioned in recipes.  Huh.

Anyway, I watched a couple videos, read a bunch of recipes, even watched an episode of Bobby Flay’s “Throwdown” about Chicago pizza.  Then…it was go time.

I made my pizza dough as I would for a regular thin crust pizza, but substituted olive oil for some of the water.  Chicago crust is flaky and buttery not thin and crispy.  TIP: I got a hint that a spring form (cheesecake) pan works really well for deep dish pizza.

Crust followed by cheese. Yes! Cheese on the bottom.

Also, I have to admit: I broke another rule. I used cornmeal in the pan.  Apparently this is Chicago-style heresy (like cheering for the Packers) so don’t tell anyone.  But I fear sticking to the pan more than I fear wearing Crocs. So I went for it.

FIRST- the cheese.  “What,” you say, “Cheese goes last!”  Nothing doing my hungry friends.  Mozzarella on the bottom.  And not that shredded stuff either.  Sliced mozzarella. And lots of it.

Nothing says "Chicago" like pork sausage!

Next comes the meat. A patty of meat.  (Wow that phrase is unappetizing) You press the uncooked pork sausage on top of the cheese, making a full layer over the pizza.  Yes, uncoooked.  We’re going to bake this baby plenty long…it’ll cook in the oven.

Now the final layer: the sauce.  Chicago style pizza comes with chunky sauce.  And Mark Malnatti (from a family that knows a thing or two about pizza) uses uncooked sauce since it will be cooked in the oven.  Somehow, I never thought about this.  So, I used diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning mixed with tomato paste to make my own thick sauce.  Spread it over the meat patty (sorry) and sprinkle on some Parmesan and some Italian seasoning.

I'm officially hungry now.

Pop it in a 400° oven for about 30 minutes.  Let cool for a FULL five minutes before cutting.

The results?  Fantastic.  In fact, one of our dinner guests, a former city-of-big-shoulders resident went so far as to state “I would order this pizza in Chicago.”  And hell, it could win a pizza pageant with those good looks. We devoured it all, forks and knives flashing.  Don’t embarrass yourself by trying to pick it up.

UNFORESEEN BONUS: I kind of don’t want to admit this, but this is pretty easy. SHHHHHHH.  I don’t want to break the spell it casts with it’s ambiance of faux-complexity.  (Seriously though, make it.)

And I can pretty much guarantee you that my Chicago-born parents are going to be demanding this pizza after reading this blog post.  Except they’ll pronounce it as my “blaaahhh-g post”, since, well, they’re from Chicago.

xoxo Flyover Foodie

Ditka would be proud.

Update 1: List of 30….

30 Before 30….UPDATE!

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” -Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Quick update of where we are on our list:

  • 4 recipes done, 26 to go.
  • 1 underwhelming end result, 1 lovely housewarming gift, 1 delicious french sauce, and 1 fabulous piece o’ beef
  • 5 never before used ingredients
  • 1 indulgent dinner party
  • 1 1/2 pounds of butter used.  I know…you’re so impressed.

I haven’t been cooking as quickly as I had hoped….time to pick up the pace! My “2 recipes a week” schedule has been derailed by weekends pretending that I could still attend bachelorette parties/weddings and not feel almost 30 the following day.  But, don’t worry intrepid eaters, we’ll make it.  This will come to a more satisfying conclusion than LOST did.  Seriously…so many questions!!

And a friendly notice to our upcoming house guests, local friends, and dinner invitees: start fasting now…you’ve got lots to eat.  Also, please buy some more wine.

Here’s where we stand:

1. Paella– still pending

2. Crown Roast/Standing Rib Roast– going to require its own dinner party!

3. Gravy– I have a recipe chosen and willing participants!

4. Homemade pasta and Bolognese sauce – nothing planned yet

5. Potato Latkes– I’m thinking a weeknight dinner for this one.

6. Hollandaise Sauce Great success!

7. Duck l’Orange– have a friend who’s called “dibs” on this one for dinner.

8. Some kind of Curry A little underwhelming…but great leftovers!

9. Red Velvet Cake– 30th birthday cake?!

10. Real Fried Chicken– mmmmm, anytime sounds good.

11. Salmon on a Plank– perfect for a summer grill out.  Who wants in on this one?

12. Homemade Cinnamon Rolls– we have July house guests…so this will be perfect!

13. Soft pretzels– no plans yet

14. Lobster– a few friends pitched the idea of a “BYOL” party…which could be interesting.  Very interesting.

15. Soupe de poisson or similarly, bouillabaisse– still in the works

16. Chicago Style pizzanext week!

17. Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes– no plans yet…anyone want to plan a wine and dessert night?

18. A “Turducken”– making for a friends housewarming party in July

19. Sourdough Bread– may have to get the “starter” going next week

20. Shepherd’s Pie– no plans yet

21. Coq au vin– might be perfect for another round of house guests.  Guess people aren’t so much flying over as they are staying over…

22. A really, genuinely good casseroleWe’re armed and ready to deploy! Watch for it soon…

23. Pea Soup– waiting for a cool spell…it’s been too hot in flyover country!

24. Soufflé– gathered a few recipes, now I just have to work up the courage!

25. Real Gumbo– perfect for another group dinner.  I’m sensing trend here…

26. Tiramisu– maybe bring this along to book club?

27. Homemade Applesauce So simple. So delicious.  So….apple-y.

28. Polenta– weeknight dinner with the handsome husband

29. Beef Wellington Blown. Away.

30. Key Lime Pie– making for our 4th of July house guests…lucky them!

Set the table....it's time to eat!!

So: hit the treadmill…the next few weeks will be full of butter and deliciousness. Thank you to everyone who’s been reading….I’m having more fun than you can imagine!

xoxo Flyover Foodie

p.s. Hope you are enjoy the long weekend!

Making the Cut

“And, most dear actors, eat no onions or garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath” – Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Building a list of 30 recipes was more difficult than I’d thought. I got about ten down and realized I needed to ask the audience.  I got lots of great suggestions and the promise of one family recipe.  Annnnnd of course some silly ones.  You know who you are- Haggis?!  C’mon.   So here’s  how I weeded them out for purposes of “the list”.

1. Some things have been done.

I have conquered, with varying success, cheesecake, thanksgiving turkey, fondue, creme brulee, etc.  (pats self on back). When you love eating and buying kitchen tools, its inevitable that some things get crossed off the list.

2. Some required preparation that seemed borderline irresponsible.

Sushi is best left to experts…..yes, Hy-Vee, I’m looking at you.  I know a little about food and our house is equipped with proper refrigeration, but still.

Ceviche was also on my list at one point. Ceviche is raw fish “cooked” in acid from limes.  Fresh, light, delicious…and yet, what if its under “cooked”??  Poisoning of one’s handsome husband is typically frowned upon– better left to the lyrics of weird country songs by singers of questionable patriotism (oh relax..I’m joking!)

So we’ll stick with some less exotic cooking methods and keep ourselves a safe distance from the ER.

This should also serve as a fair warning for all of you thinking of deep frying a turkey.

Continue reading