Pizza Night

Unseasonably cold in Houston for the longish MLK holiday weekend. So we decided on Saturday Pizza Night with the kids, and two pots of chili on Sunday in order to have leftover for lunches during the week. That plan morphed into inviting family friends over late Sunday afternoon to watch the football games. None of which changed the menu, but I did replenish the excellent grape tomato dish.

Pizza Night
  • Jicama and Cucumber with chili and lime, Gourmet Cookbook
  • Marinated Grape Tomatoes, Gourmet Cookbook
  • Veggies & Dip for kids
  • Seasoned Pizza dough from Cooks Illustrated (garlic, pepper, herbs de Provence)
  • Toppings: pepperoni, crumbled bacon, ground pork, potato, garlic chicken, Sichuan flavored pork, chopped rosemary, tomato mushroom quick sauce, mozzarella, asiago, gruyere
The marinated tomato recipe required peeling grape tomatoes. At first I had no inclination for this tedious task, but looked out the window at the raw sky, back toward the family room at golf coverage from Palm Springs, and decided to pull up a stool and peel tomatoes (after a 3-4 second plunge in boiling water, then to an ice bath of course). A pint of tomatoes were tossed with 1-2 T vodka, 1 t rice wine vinegar, 2 T sugar, a little salt and the grated zest of a lemon. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Doesn't keep well overnight - but if attempting, drain the marinate before storing.

As it turns out, the peeling step is the secret to this dish. The outer surface of the peeled tomato soaked up the marinade, which is sublime. Would also make a stellar garnish for martinis or bloody mary's, but the short shelf life makes this a special occasion treatment.

Pizzas made:
  • Alex & Amy: Meat lovers with pepperoni, bacon and pork
  • Potato, bacon and rosemary - thin slices, a little Asiago cheese sprinkled on top, S&P
  • Mulch Pizza: Sichuan pork (Chinese hamburger mixture), light mozzarella base, light sprinkle asiago
The Chinese hamburger pizza arose out of a post-sleepover breakfast discussion among Nora and another Girl Scout, who were extolling the edible virtues of Girl Scout cookies in favor of the mulch sold by Boy Scouts. On the spot I pictured "Mulch Pizza" with a topping of ya cai (pickled mustard greens), ground pork, onion, garlic, Sichuan pepper oil, black vinegar, Zioa Zing rice wine and lots of dark soy sauce - to create a tasty, but dark and crumbly topping.

Mulch pizza was good, but the pizza of potato slices with bacon and rosemary was the clear cut winner.

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