Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Pizza Bread Throwdown

The Island King considers himself an excellent cook and for the most part he's right.

Now, I know everyone who read about our Yardtrash Smoked Chicken is laughing pretty hard right now but aside from a few failures he's really pretty good. And I'll be the first one to admit that he's a much better cook than I am.

One of his favorite things to make is Pizza Bread, which is something he whipped up as a late night snack for everyone one night. It was really good and the kids loved it so it has become a favorite meal in our house. Dad's Pizza Bread.

The other night the boys came home from my SIL's house raving about a pizza she'd made. The Youngest loved it so much he asked her to call me with the recipe, which she did.

The boys were going on and on about how good this pizza was and then the Youngest said "It was way better than Dad's."

Silence followed.

The Island King said "What did you say?" and the Youngest repeated himself, adding that this pizza was so good he wanted us to make it for supper the next night.

The recipe my SIL gave me sounded quick and easy so I decided to give it a try.

To which the Island King declared "I'm calling a Throwdown. You make hers and I'll make mine and we'll see who has the best pizza."

After I stopped laughing, I told him that he may not want to do this because if her recipe wins he'll never live it down. Then I reminded him that she's Italian and that he's a Redneck and those Italians have been making pizza a lot longer than Rednecks have.

He didn't care.

I made a quick run to the store for ingredients and then the Throwdown was on.

Italian ingredients...

Vs.
Redneck ingredients


The Italian recipe uses Focaccia bread - something new to me.


And the Redneck recipe uses an Italian bread loaf.

I know that's surprising and you'd expect the redneck recipe to call for white bread but we're sophisticated rednecks so we use Italian bread - unless we're out in which case white bread will work.

I diced 4 tomatoes, added salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning and then let them sit while I got everything else ready.

The Island King's recipe calls for his homemade red sauce.


Both of us were using mushrooms and onions so we put our Sous Chefs to work sauteing those.



I sliced the Focaccia, drizzled it with olive oil and then added the tomatoes.

And then added pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and mozzarella cheese.

Another drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkling of Italian seasoning and mine was ready for the oven.

The Island King's recipe is a lot more labor intensive so he put his Sous chef to work buttering the bread.

My Sous, having finished his work, is now busy eating the sausage.


Once his bread is buttered he adds garlic powder and then broils the bread to a golden brown.

Now it's time to add the good stuff. One advantage this recipe has is that each person's pizza is made to order. Each one gets a good amount of sauce and then everyone decides what toppings they want. You want pepperoni? How about mushrooms? Sausage, onion?



A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and then a thick layer of Mozzarella cheese followed by another sprinkle of Parmesan and they're ready for the oven.



We baked both kinds for about 5 minutes at 350 to warm the bottom and the toppings and then we broiled them until the cheese on top melted.

The Italian pizza.


And the Redneck pizza.




Then came the moment of truth. Rate the pizzas on taste and presentation.

On presentation, the boys picked the Redneck pizza as the best looking while the Island King, Island Girl and I all thought the Italian pizza was prettier.

On taste, all 3 of the kids liked the Italian pizza but preferred the Redneck pizza.
They like the sauce and even though the Italian version is not dry at all, it doesn't have that messy red sauce that kids love so much.

Then it was the Island King's turn. He ate both and then reluctantly chose the Italian version.

It's lighter and not as indigestion causing, artery clogging as the Redneck pizza.
He did add that on the other hand, sometimes an indigestion causing, artery clogging pizza is what you want and in that case the Redneck pizza is the way to go.

As for me, I am head over heals in love with the Italian version. It was light but filling, cheap, quick and easy to make and tasted SO good.

Overall, I'd say the Pizza Bread Throwdown was a success for the Rednecks and the Italians.

Later, the Island King came back into the kitchen and added a piece of swiss cheese to one of the Redneck pizzas

Melted it under the broiler

Topped it with a piece of garlic bread

And proclaimed it a Redneck Pizza sandwich.

For his dessert - half a bottle of Maalox.
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