Pizza

Around my house, pizza is our go-to dish for those Friday, hallelujah-that-week-is-over-and-I-don’t-feel-like-cooking nights (admit it, we’ve all had those).

Because there are men in my household, pizza is required to include as much meat as possible. But sometimes you get bored of a meat, meat, meat and meat pizza with extra meat and you crave something different. Fortunately, the basic premise of a pizza (a piece of dough with stuff on top) lends itself to all sorts of permutations: some good, some not-so-good and some that make you question the future of humanity.

A pub near my house offers The Big Matt: a pizza with lettuce, pickles and ground beef, which tastes just like a similar-sounding burger. Except that it’s flat. And pizza-like. However, once you get beyond the disconcerting sight of fresh lettuce atop a pizza, it tastes much better than you’d think.

The internet is a treasure trove of pizza ideas, and proof, yet again, that some people have far too much time on their hands. From the Food Network’s website come these gems:

  1. Poutine Pizza – Can’t decide between pizza or poutine? Pizza Hut’s poutine pizza is topped with ground beef, fries, gravy and cheese curds. Skip the carbs and just have a heart attack now.
  2. Corn Dog Pizza – Terrifyingly enough, I’ve seen two versions of this abomination online: Pizza Hut’s creation, which has hot dogs nestled into a corndog-batter crust, and a version that simply places full-sized corn dogs onto a cheese pizza.
  3. Mac-and-Cheese Pizza – No. Just no. This is wrong on every conceivable level, and grounds for justifiable homicide.
  4. Dill Pickle and Hummus Pizza – I like pickles, and hummus on pizza wouldn’t be that much different than hummus with pita bread. Depending on how much wine I’ve had, I could potentially try this.

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to make your own pizza, and top it with whatever your twisted little palate desires. I polled the Red Table Chefs for their pizza pointers, and here are their words of wisdom. Personally, I’m going to camp out at Chef Leslie’s until he makes me dinner:

From Corporate Chef Ray Burke – Blended cheese! Full-fat Mozzarella for creamy texture, Edam for flavour and Emmental (Swiss) for an unidentifiable texture that puts the pizza over the top!!

From Executive Chef Alf Leslie – My favorite is a Margherita pizza. I make my own fresh Mozzarella , tomato sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, a thin crust baked at 550 degrees (or hotter if you happen to have an oven that’ll do it), and fresh basil added right as it comes out of the oven. If you want, you can also add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The fresh Mozza is the only way to go and you should use it within 20 minutes of preparing it. You can purchase a cheese making kit online, it only takes about 20 minutes to make so you can make it while your dough is rising.

Do you have a question for our Red Table Chefs? Send it to: info@redtablefoods.com.

Jeannette Giesbrecht
Red Table’s food blogger, Jeannette Giesbrecht, has written for a number of newspapers and lifestyle magazines, including Lethbridge Magazine and Kelowna Magazine. Her favourite comfort food is a medium-rare ribeye steak with a Caesar salad and a glass of Malbec.