Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Bowl Super Foods

We decided to make Super Foods for the Super Bowl. And what's more super than pizza?

After all, New York is known for its pizzas, and I was pulling for the New York Giants because Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard were on my fantasy football team this year and they both play for the Giants. (Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis - RB for the Pats - was also on my fantasy team, but he didn't give me as many points as Cruz and Ballard.)

Here's how you can make your own Super Pizzas:

Step 1. Get your wife to buy all of the ingredients for you ahead of time. You don't want to be stuck "making groceries" (as we say in South Louisiana, for no reason whatsoever other than it's funny) the day of the game.

Step 2. Get your wife to take out all of the ingredients for you. Also have her preheat the oven to the correct temperature.

You can optionally do these first two steps yourself. I'm basically not capable of doing this myself, and my wife knows this so she just handles it for me.

Step 3. Make the dough in advance. We used yeast from a California Pizza Kitchen package. We chose California Pizza Kitchen in order to make our pizza non-biased towards any particular football team, even though I was pulling for the Giants.

I was in charge of making dough for our pizza, and I screwed up royally: I used a whole cup of water instead of a half cup of water when mixing in the yeast. When I poured my water into the rest of the flour and mixed it in, it was all watery. The end result? We had to add more flour and yeast, which resulted in more dough, which resulted in MORE PIZZA.

See how I turned this tragedy into an inspiring story of perseverance? I'm like the Rudy of pizza.

After you've made your dough, put it in a bowl greased with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We don't want that skank olive oil that's been all over the neighborhood - we want the Extra Virgin kind. We have to eat this thing, after all. Let the dough sit in the fridge for two hours, then "punch" it down (while insulting its mother), then put it back in the fridge again until it's time to use it.

Step 4. Roll out the dough for your pizza. Alternative name for this step: Make a gigantic mess in your kitchen.

This step is the most fun, because this is where you get to use a big roller. Holding a roller is a very manly thing to do. Think about it: If anyone comes by you while you're cooking, you can always bonk them on the head; or, if you prefer, you can simulate sex acts with it. Either way, both activities are what is to be expected from a male making pizza in his own kitchen.

Just be warned: your wife is equally capable of assaulting you with the roller. Stay at least six feet away while she's working, especially if she's helping you with your pizza because you are, like me, completely incapable of doing it yourself.

Because Betty fixed my watery dough by adding more flour, we had extra dough. That meant we could make extra pizzas. We decided to make some mini pizza pockets. They started out like this:

We just cut the dough into football-ish shapes, put some pizza sauce down, sprinkled on a few miniature peps, then added a dash of cheese. Then we covered the whole thing with another layer of dough. You can use a fork to make little bird's feet (as I call them) in the dough, to keep the top and bottom together. Here's what the insides looked like before we cooked them:

And here's what they looked like when they were finished:

Dip those tasty pigskins in pizza sauce and you've got yourself a party snack that both tastes great and can also be thrown in a spiral!

Step 5. Put the pizza in the oven for 10 minutes, then eat it. Most cookbooks leave off the part about eating it, but we here at the Tantrum have your back!

OK, so I said that we had more pizza dough due to my miscalculation with the yeasty water. It's true. We had enough dough to make three pizzas, so that's what we did. Our first pizza was in the form of pizza pockets, as shown above. The second pizza was a giant football.

Here's a "Before" picture, to show you what we were going for:

And here's our "After" picture:

Close enough for us!

In between was basically a lot of me asking Betty how to do stuff. Like, should I have put the Pam cooking spray on the pan before putting the dough on it? (Yes, she sighed, as she fixed my mistake for me.) Should I put the pizza on the top or bottom rack? (Bottom, she sighs, as she fixes my mistake for me.) Oh, I forgot to set the timer, can you check the pizza for me? (Yes, she sighs, as she handles this for me.) I asked another thousand questions, but can't remember them all, otherwise I would list them here. I was pretty pathetic about the whole thing.

Our third Super Food pizza was a pepperoni pizza with bacon. We had eaten grits earlier in the day, and Betty and I like to add torn up bacon to our grits. I made an insane amount of bacon, but my kids ate it all. I didn't mind because I was happy to see them eating at least something, but I was in the mood for bacon all day. And since Betty denied my request to smother her with bacon later in the evening, I had to go with bacon on my pizza.

For dessert we had strawberries and chocolate. If you're wondering, yes, Betty also denied my request to smother her with this later in the evening. (I wanted to make a life-sized chocolate statue - what were you thinking???)

The best part about making pizzas today was the quality time with my family. Betty helped me every step of the way, my kids helped to pour in all of the ingredients and mix everything in, and my parents helped to eat it while keeping the kids entertained.

As for me... well, we made three pizzas today and couldn't eat them all. But writing about them has made me hungry. So I guess it's off to have a late night snack! And the next time I make homemade pizzas, I'll need to remember to add that extra half cup of water to the yeast!

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