Friday, August 7, 2009

The Great American (Italian) Pizza-off

As promised, I present to you the pizza-off, a result of far too much sibling rivalry.  My brother and I got right to work trying to out-cook each other when we got back from a full day of touristing around NYC (yes, I'm using it as a verb. Don't know or care if that's actually done).  My brother's girlfriend is operating as assistant and judge.

Below: us toiling away in the kitchen.

We made two pizzas each. My first one was a classic potato pizza, no sauce, seasoned only with rosemary and salt.  

I added some mushrooms and cheese to the far corner of it, and then popped it into the oven.

My brother decided to go with a thin crust cheese and mushroom pizza as his opener.  We got a picture of it pre-mushroom. We also got a picture of it post-mushroom but he's pretending to lick it so I decided to spare you.

Not to be outdone, I created a thin crust mushroom pizza of my own.  After all, I needed to clearly demonstrate that my pizza was far, far superior to his and what better way to do that then to create a better version of the same pizza?  We have a very healthy relationship.  He is helping me photograph my rolled out dough below.

I got another photo right before it went into the oven.  I added some potatoes to one corner, and used the last of some (possibly already expired) goat cheese in the middle of it.  

Right about the time my 2nd pizza went in, my brother's pizza was ready to be taken out and eaten.  So we did.

It was good. I was nervous.
Both of my pizzas were ready to sample at that point too.  I threw a piece of thick crust potato mushroom and thin crust mushroom on each plate.  

While the thick crust pizza is juicy and rich (and is compared both to quiche and shepherd's pie by my brother and gf), it is declared too un-pizza like, and the real test rests in the thin crust.  For fairness' sake, you can see below a side by side comparison of both of our thin crusts. Mine is the slightly crispier looking one on the left.

They are both delicious.  We are all in an agony of indecision.  What to do now? Hey, my brother still has to make his second pizza.  Chocolate pizza! Heart shaped chocolate pizza. This is inspired by our visit to Chocolate By The Bald Man a couple days ago. His girlfriend helped to carefully place each marshmallow on top of the pizza, using the utmost self control in the process. Below are the raw and cooked pictures. There are also some peanut M&Ms in the corner.

After we eat this, we all die.  We are dead.  For the sake of being able to record this for posterity I choose to run away from the light and re-enter my body.  The chocolate pizza was amazing.  Really good.  

But none of that brings us any closer to declaring a winner in the pizza-off.  On the basis that the final pizza, however good, is just as un-pizza like as my thick crust, I am declaring a tie.  My brother's thin crust was cheesy deliciousness, while mine tasted a little bit more of crispy olive oil and was just as good in a subtly different way.  Each of our 2nd efforts were totally different but still eagerly appreciated by all.  I guess we'll just need a rematch next time he visits.  I'll be ready for him.

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