As is probably self-evident from this blog, I love pizza. I have always loved pizza and I will always love it. There are not many things about which I can say that. Pretty much baseball, road trips, Van Morrison, the '57 Corvette, the 4th of July, The Great Gatsby, and pizza. That's the list. I have sworn I would never drink beer again and called the Lakers "the most disgusting team I have ever seen" (actually, that was just a couple days ago.) But I have never not loved pizza.
From weekend lunches at King Arthur's in Arcadia to high school afternoons eating 15 slices at Shakey's lunch buffet to a trip to New York when I was 28 where I ate pizza at 2 A.M. every night, pizza has been a part of my life more than any food. The first time I realized I love cooking was when I was 14 and I used to make myself a barbecue chicken pizza every Monday night during Monday Night Football.
The best slice I ever ate was at Totonno's, one Friday night in New York. Even if I hadn't just come from my first trip to Yankee Stadium, where the Angels beat the Yankees, it would have been the best. The worst slice I ever had was at the L.A. Farmers market, a sludge-like puddle of grease and hard cheese on top of a crust the consistency of a book. It is the only slice I can every remember throwing away after one bite.
Since the discovery of Fresh & Easy's $1.29 dough, and my purchase of a pizza pan at Macy's, I make pizza at home with great regularity. During the Lakers game last night I came up with a couple ideas. I caramelized onions in my Sicilian chili oil and fig balsamic vinegar. When they had cooked down I added a healthy splash of Central Coast Syrah and cooked those on a pizza with some goat cheese. I thought I had some fresh basil in the fridge, but I was wrong, so I sprinkled some dried basil over it. Obviously dried is nowhere near as good as fresh would have been, but it added a little something.
I roasted some red peppers in the oven for about half an hour. I slathered the second dough with pizza sauce (Fresh & Easy's pizza sauce is less than two dollars; both of these pizzas, which fed me, Elizabeth and our friend Tracie, cost about 5 dollars total) and peppers and baked it. I added some oregano to this second pizza.
Both pizzas were great, although we all liked the onion and goat cheese the best. And the Lakers won.