I'm rounding home on my first week writing every day and it's been hard to both find something to write each day and not spend 3 hours writing something. For me, writing is often the exploration of an idea, so I often find myself getting lost in the process.
Since I love cooking I figured every Friday I'd write something food related since I have about 1000 posts in the hopper here and will force me to cook interesting stuff more often.
We almost always eat pizza on Fridays. Living in Brooklyn we had a litany of pizza places to choose from and it would usually end up as a win-win argument between one amazing place or another. When we moved down to North Carolina, I wanted to keep this tradition alive but didn't want to be eating Papa Johns or crappy pizza every week. While the pizza game in the Triangle has improved materially in the 15 years since I attended school here, I wasn't going to take any chances. I purchased an Ooni Pizza Oven an it's been fantastic and fun. Most Fridays, especially in the summer I'll fire up 3-4 pizzas on it, cursing and sweating the whole time like a real NY Pizza joint.
Now that winter is here, I'm less inclined to sit outside for an hour. Plus the cool weather is not the best pizza making conditions you don't want to put cold dough on the peel so I've been making pizza indoors.
In Brooklyn, one of our favorite places was Emmy Squared - which makes a Detroit Style square pizza. Detroit Style Pizza is a bit like Sicilian Pizza, but the crust is crisper and cheesier - almost fried. Instead of mozzarella, it's made with brick cheese - aged high fat cheese from 'sconsin thats kind of buttery and tangy . The standard Detroit Style Pizza, the plain slice if you will, is made with LOTS of pepperoni and you layer it on a bit like a Spumoni Gardens upside down slice, with a bit less sauce. You go pepperoni, cheese, sauce in 3 rows, and then more pepperoni. It's made in a 9x13 pan that you can pick up on Amazon for $30. The result is delicious.
The recipe I use is from Serious Eats. I was skeptical at first as it's a pretty short fermentation for the dough, but it came out fantastic. The fact that the rise is faster is just icing on the cake.
One of my favorite pies from Emmy Squared, however is not their classic pie but one they call "The Emmy" - a white pie topped with banana peppers, red onions, ranch, and served with a side of marinara.
It took me a couple tries but I was able to nail this pie. To make the Emmy you want to follow the steps for the regular Detroit Style pizza above but omit the pepperoni and sauce (or save the sauce for dipping). Then I add banana peppers and sliced red onion on top of the cheese and put it in the oven. I use a mandolin to slice my onions thin. Once it's out you can top it with ranch in a squeeze bottle. Note that their ranch is green. I'm not quite sure what makes it green. The last time I made it I didn't even have ranch but put sour cream, mayo, parsley, salt/pepper, and some lime juice in the food processor and it came out great. Tonight I'll try that with actual ranch, subbing out cilantro for parsley. Regular ranch would work fine as well. You can't really fuck up ranch dressing.