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September 15, 2009

Pierogi Pizza
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 11:39 PM *

Take pizza dough. Make it flat and circular in your favorite way.

Take a mess of sliced onion. Fry in a whole lot of butter. Place on the pizza.

Mix mashed potatoes with shredded white cheddar cheese. Cover the onion layer with a layer of mashed potato mixture.

Sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 500° F until browned.

Slice and serve it forth to great applause.


Cooking with Light (Recipe Index)
Comments on Pierogi Pizza:
#1 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:11 AM:

You know, I think my household would eat that.

Then again, they also happily eat cooked frozen pierogi with onions, which are a lot less work.

#2 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:24 AM:

Oh. My. Ghod.

I was sad about missing the local Ethnic Festival (I was in St. Louis that weekend) because I always get pierogis at the Ukranian booth.

I may save that down to the desktop and make it. Om Nom Nom!!!

#3 ::: Lizzy ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:39 AM:

And don't forget to reorder your Lipitor, because you're going to need it!

Sigh.

#4 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:53 AM:

Hmmm. My wife's folks are Polish. My brother-in-law's folks are Italian.

This might just work.

#5 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 01:00 AM:

And I have a bomb-proof pizza dough recipe:

1 1-2 to 2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
about 1 cup water. (add it slowly. it is enough when all the flour mixes up.)

I always make sure the yeast is okay by putting a bit of the water, the sugar and the yeast into a small bowl and letting it bloom. If the yeast is okay, it bubbles up.

Put all ingredients into a KitchenAid or other mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead until the gluten develops. (I pull off a bit of dough and see if it can make a 'windowpane" with the piece of dough).

Let it rise until doubled, punch it down, put it on a pan, add toppings and bake at 500 degrees until golden brown and crunchy.

This recipe also makes three personal pizzas of rather smaller size.

#6 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 01:53 AM:

What would be an appropriate meat to add to the recipe? Fajita steak?

#7 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 02:13 AM:

Earl,I think crumbled browned hamburger, if I'm thinking of the right sort of meat-filled pierogi.

#8 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 02:34 AM:

Rikibeth, I'm with you. First meat I thought of.

'Course, hamburger is quite often the first meat I think of.

#9 ::: Alan ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 03:53 AM:

Some of the applause would be from your heart surgeon's investment adviser.

#10 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 04:49 AM:

It doesn't need a huge amount of fat to fry those onions, and I think I would try something other than butter—sunflower or olive oil, perhaps.

abi, this is one of those recipes you don't eat every day.

Folks shouldn't get too hung up on fats, unless they have a specific medical problem. There is, for instance, some bad science surrounding cholesterol dieting. Our own bodies make the stuff, and a low-cholesterol diet doesn't make much difference. High-cholesterol eating, on the other hand...

#11 ::: Matthew Daly ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 05:04 AM:

My only suggestions to @4 is that it can be a pleasant change to let the dough rise a second time after it has been rolled out, and that pizza pans are evil and wrong. Get a pizza stone* and a peel and your crusts will always be fully baked. Some people are fans of using semolina or something like that to get the raw crust to slide off the peel into the oven, but I find that a sheet of foil is much more reliable and doesn't hurt the heat transfer from the stone to the bottom of the crust at all.

* And when I say "pizza stone", I mean a $3 unglazed ceramic tile from your local home improvement store, not a $30 unglazed ceramic tile from your local kitchen supply store.

#12 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 05:47 AM:

I have a suspicion that relatively few British electric ovens can reach 500F.

It's 260C, and the Gas Mark scale doesn't go that high. Which maybe explains something about pizza in the UK.

#13 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 09:33 AM:

I wish I could eat potatoes. This recipe sounds absolutely heavenly.

#14 ::: Liza ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 10:02 AM:

That sounds remarkably similar to the tarte flambée my mother made a few months ago. Not identical, but similar. (I got to have some, and it was yummy.)

#15 ::: Goob ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 10:21 AM:

A Pittsburgh classic; there are many eateries (pizza or otherwise) in the Steel City that will merrily deliver these. Homemade is always better, though.

Of course, there are also a non-trivial number of corner pizza joints that will serve up (with equal merriment) pies with fries on. For that is how we roll: with fries on.

#16 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 10:29 AM:

Goob @ 14

If you're the Goob from HeyItsFree.net, I'd just like to say your site has saved me a fair amount of money. I know it's unlikely, but I'd hate to pass up an opportunity to say thank you if you are!

#17 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 11:00 AM:

Goob, I was just going to say how much this recipe made me miss Pittsburgh. Now you've made it worse.

Anyway, pieroghis need a nice glob of sour cream on top, maybe chives and crumbled bacon too.

#18 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 11:08 AM:

Oooh, this could be good!

For what it's worth, the pierogi recipe my Polish grandma passed on to me is still one of my favourite things to cook, and once I figured out that frying the pierogi in butter after cooking them in water is not just what you do when you want to warm the dish up the next day, this recipe skyrocketed to the place of "tastiest thing I can cook".

Since I've been with my Polish girlfriend for half a decade now I've also had the chance to taste more authentic pierogi at HER grandma's place, and I must say I prefer my grandma's recipe. In short, what actual Poles put in their pierogi is "farsz", a mixture of shredded cabbage, mushrooms, and other vaguely communism-coloured things. My grandma's recipe calls for nothing but glorious minced meat.

In short, it goes a little like this: make dough from flour, water, eggs. I always improvise on the quantities. Roll out. Use very big glass to stencil out circular patches. Season minced meat to taste, put blob of same on each patch. Then close the patches, creating semi-circular pockets. You may need to wet the edges to make them stay closed. Plop in boiling water, cook. When they float they're done. And then, of course, comes the refrying, which previously I only used to do to warm them up. Wait for them to cool down / dry a little, then fry them in a pan. Serve with melted butter poured over.

My grandma also made sweet pierogi (with all kinds of jams or freshly picked berries or even with sweetened soft white cheese, "quark"), but for the life of me I cannot remember ever eating pierogi with farsz. It must be said that my grandma moved to Germany twenty years before I was born, so maybe her recipes had just become teutonified. If so, thank god for that.

This pierogi pizza here though does sound very interesting. Then again, if you place it before a Pole they'll probably just drown it in ketchup like they do to most pizzas.

No, really, I like Poles!

#19 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 11:20 AM:

Ginger @ 12... I wish I could eat potatoes

Dare I ask why you can't?
Or is the reason too horrible tuber?

#20 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 11:28 AM:

Serge @18:

Darn it, that made me spudder.

#21 ::: Adam Rice ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:10 PM:

I don't know. I just don't know. At the local farmer's market, there's someone selling macaroni pizza. This sounds like a product of the same impulse, to stack starch on top of starch, with some cheese for good measure.

#22 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:30 PM:

Adam, #20: Nothing to add, but I must say that the synergy between your name and your comment is amusing!

#23 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:37 PM:

In short, what actual Poles put in their pierogi is "farsz", a mixture of shredded cabbage, mushrooms, and other vaguely communism-coloured things.

Well, it depends on the Pole. My Polish best friend's mother prefers to make pierogi ruskie, which just have potatoes, cheese, and onions in. Serve with sour cream and crumbled bacon.

I am trying to get less fat rather than more fat, but if I were going to get fat, pierogi are what I would use to do it. Om nom nom.

Other good Polish things include szarlotka, which is sort of an apple meringue pie. In the recipe from the aforementioned mother (who got it from her mother, who most likely got it from hers), you use relatively little sugar in the dough, and no sugar in the apples, so it's a low-sweetness dessert. I love this.

Also, poppyseed cake. Also less sweet than American cakes. It is possible it might cause you to fail a drug test, though -- you eat a lot of poppyseeds.

(The internet seems to favor different variants on both of these recipes than that family makes. Poppyseed cake was definitely a cake at their house, for example, not a bread, which is what you get if you search "Polish poppyseed cake." I wonder if this is regional variation or what.)

#24 ::: Ellen ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:49 PM:

Not sure I'd call this pizza, but I anticipate my household will be calling this dinner later this week. Perhaps with the additions of crumbled bacon to the toppings and some sour cream mashed into the potato to get the full pierogi flavour.

Thanks for the idea.

(Now I'm also wondering how many different English spellings there are of perogy, pierogi,...)

#25 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 12:58 PM:

Butter? Butter? Surely you jest. Wouldn't lard be the proper fat here?

(Based entirely on the meals I ate in Poland, one memorable one of which was kasha with slightly-rancid bacon grease; I think, had the grease not been rancid, it would have been quite good.)

#26 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 01:03 PM:

While eveyone here seems to be turning their pierogis into pizza, I took the time a few months back to turn my pizza into pierogis, trying to imitate the (undoubtedly ersatz) things a campus-area bakery sold when I was a starving student.

I too have a bomb-proof pizza dough (nicked from the Tassajara Bread Book, substituting unbleached all-purpose for any specialty flour, baked at 425). I made up a skilletful of fairly spicy onion and ground beef, added a bit of beef-flavored cream gravy, wrapped it up in rounds of dough, put the joins on the bottom, added a bit of egg wash, and baked at 425 for around 25 minutes. Successo! Big bready torpedos you could pick up, filled with spicy juicy meaty goodness.

#27 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 01:08 PM:

Serge @ 18: Who tattled?

Seriously, I get heartburn from any form of potato. Naturally, I discovered this just before a trip to Ireland. It's been nearly 5 years now, and the heartburn is gone -- and so are the potatos from my diet. I miss them, I really do.

There's a Greek restaurant nearby that makes the most excellent-smelling fries I have ever had to transport in the car. I had to make sure my family consumed those leftovers ASAP because the entire refrigerator was smelling way too tempting.

Sweet potatos and other vegetables make for good fries, though. I yam happy with those.

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 01:15 PM:

Ginger @ 26... I yam happy with those

No angry eyes?

#29 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 01:30 PM:

I'm partial to pear, gorgonzola, carmelized onion and walnut pizza. Made without tomato sauce.

My pizza dough now is pretty simple -- it's the basic pain de campagne from Reinhardt's Bread Baker's apprentice. Mix flour salt, yeast and water the night before, knead it a bit, then do it again the same day. Knead together and a couple hours later, you've got pizza dough. (And bread dough. I make enough for a few baguettes too.)

#30 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 02:01 PM:

Recipe tested.

I haven't been forbidden the kitchen.

Very filling.

#31 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 03:57 PM:

Goob@14: A Pittsburgh classic; there are many eateries (pizza or otherwise) in the Steel City that will merrily deliver these.

And indeed, this recipe made it into our house via our elder son, who recently did a stint in Pittsburgh at Carnegie-Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center.

#32 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 04:44 PM:

You have just described the "mashed potato pizza" served from BAR's brick oven in downtown New Haven.

#33 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 05:11 PM:

I am really amazed that this is not on any pizza menu that I am aware of here in Cleveland, where the pierogi is a staple food. I may have to have a talk with some pizzeria-owning friends...

#34 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 05:22 PM:

Rikibeth: Plz to give heads up when you make this, so I don't make it in the same week and kill the golden goose.

Also, I may be committing sacrilege here, but if it's a Polish pizza thing, wouldn't the appropriate meat be kielbasa cut in pepperoni-thin slices? Just sayin'.

And also joann, pizza x pierogi = mini calzone?

#35 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 05:24 PM:

You left out "fold in half & crimp the edge" just before "Bake...". But I suppose flat would be just about as good.

#36 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 05:27 PM:

Mark, this one's all yours, I'm going to stick with box pierogi. I don't have a good pizza pan.

#37 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 05:49 PM:

Mark #33:

Well, sorta calzone, but ... sorta not. Calzone, to me, has tomatoey stuff in it, whereas my thing doesn't. Maybe I'm just under-calzoned; my major exposure was via the pizza cart in front of the art building in grad school, probably not a particularly authentic source, but a definite lifesaver when you've got three-hour seminars back-to-back.

Anyway, this did an excellent job of reproducing what had been sold as "pirogues" a couple of decades earlier.

#38 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 07:09 PM:

joann, IME calzones have meat or pizza-friendly veggies and cheese inside with tomato sauce on the outside for dipping or pouring over. YMMV. Anyway, the things you made do sound tasty.

#39 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 07:34 PM:

Eric @ 28:

I have fond memories of pear, gorgonzola, carmelized onion and walnut pizza. There's this place in Arlington, Mass., that makes it. (Adrian doesn't eat dairy anymore, even in those quantities, so we no longer go to that restaurant; there are lots of other good things we can eat, so it's only a small deprivation, but it was a nice thing.)

#40 ::: Nancy ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 08:13 PM:

I've had potato pizzas at a couple of pizza places; generally they had thinly sliced potato, garnished with spring onions and bacon.

#41 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 09:30 PM:

Dave@11: Are British industrial ovens no more vigorous than the home models? Most of the pizza ovens I've seen in the U.S. look to get rather hotter than a home oven (for which 500F is about the maximum).

This sounds good, especially with some of the suggested garnishes, but I'd have to find several friends to eat it with.

#42 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 10:30 PM:

The next variation may be 'shepherd's pie' pizza. (More veggies on the pizza.)

#43 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2009, 11:04 PM:

Town Hall in Minneapolis makes a loaded potato pizza with the addition of cheddar, bacon, and green onion, and sour cream to dip it in.

If I wasn't trying to go low-gluten, I would so be all over this. I may have to dig out the zucchini pizza dough recipe. While it won't be the same, it will at least be coeliac-friendly.

#44 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 01:22 AM:

Mark, #33, Mini stromboli?

#45 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 02:25 AM:

Calzones? Ricotta and Mozzarella filling, and the carnivores often add some thin-sliced Italian ham variant. Tomato sauce belongs on the outside, and it's optional. Too bad nobody west of the Mason-Dixon line seems to know about ricotta pizzas.

Back when I lived in Jersey, the local bars often had pierogi, usually deepfried but sometimes sauteed, usually potato or potato-cheese filling and sour cream and onions on top, and you could get them frozen at the grocery.

Friends of mine are renting a house which has a big wood-fired pizza oven in the back yard. They had a pizza party last year, and the oven was about 1050F when I arrived; pizzas cooked in about a minute. Later on, when it had cooled to a mere 800 degrees, it still worked ok, but the cooking process was now almost slow enough to see.

#46 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 03:06 AM:

CHip, I think the term you want for the UK is "catering ovens". A quick check suggests they can be run at higher temperatures. The last Pizza oven I saw was pretty much in the middle of the room, rather than intended for a fitted kitchen environment, and I suppose that changes the safe maximum.

The old oven in this house was not, I reckon, well-installed: poor ventilation and some stupid electrical wiring.

#47 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 03:42 AM:

Not sure where the best thread is to ask this: has something happened to break the Making Light syndication feed to Live Journal? (This is probably a horrible way to describe the problem, but I'm not at all sure what goes on behind the curtain.) None of the posts since 9/11 have been propagated there.

#48 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 06:47 AM:

Hm, where I come from, a Calzone contains a pile of cheese, a pile of ham and a healthy gloip of (spiced) tomato sauce, followed by folding up and crimping the edge shut. Usually the crimp is done so it forms a decorative "comb" over the baked result, but sometimes it is folded right in half and the crimp is in the same plane as the bottom of the oven.

Sometimes served with sauce poured over it, sometimes not. Also comes in a plethora of variants (with or without meat sauce; half-baked, with kebab/gyros meat and salad...).

Meh, now I am craving a GOOD thin-crust Döner pizza.

#49 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 07:52 AM:

Ingvar, salad? Seriously? That's different. What I'm used to is basically a small pizza folded over with the sauce on the outside (or on the side) - all the toppings you can get on pizza, with perhaps the signal exception of pineapple, can be had inside. But salad, as in leafy greens and sliced raw veg? Hrmm.

#50 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 08:11 AM:

Mark @ #49:

The "half-closed" is only folded up along the "edges" making sort-of a boat. That goes in the oven, with tomato and cheese, then comes out to be filled with freshly-cut doner meat, salad, onions and a hotter tomato sauce, then served on a plate. Most scrumptious it is, but I am (alas) in the wrong country for them, so I shall just have to suffer.

#51 ::: John Hawkes-Reed ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 09:04 AM:

Heather Rose Jones@47: It seems that all LJ syndication has been hosed since the 12th.

#52 ::: Hmpf ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 09:55 AM:

@Daniel Klein: You don't happen to be born in Germany, in the mid to late 70s, and now live in Canada, do you? Because if you do, you may be the person who planted the seed for turning me into a life-long sf fan in kindergarten (Frankfurt, ca. 1980)...

(I know it's unlikely. It's not that rare a name... *g*)

#53 ::: Hmpf ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 10:01 AM:

Addendum/correction: I think it may have been later than 1980, actually - but not much later, as I think I started school in 1983. But I think the period of astronaut games was probably nearer to 1983 than 1980, as those were fairly complex games.

#54 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 12:52 PM:

John @ 51

Ah, you're right! (I don't have many syndicated feeds, so this was the first one I noticed.) Never mind, then. I'll poke at the problem at that end. Sorry to have interrupted the pizza!

#55 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 04:27 PM:

Now, potatoes are one of the things most notably missing from the list of pizza ingredients. So this cannot be a pizza (see also, Reinheitsgebot; beer could not include non-beer ingredients).

It might possibly be interesting flat bread food, though.

(It's an important distinction; if I go to dinner expecting to have pizza, and find I'm in a place that doesn't actually have pizza, but only exotic forms of flat bread food, it can be hard to adjust enough to enjoy something from their menu, even if there are things that would have been great if they didn't come to me as a nasty shock.)

#56 ::: Liza ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 04:36 PM:

sisuile @ 43: Would you be willing to share the gluten-free zucchini pizza dough recipe? (I also Googled and found some, but I'd still be happy to see yours.) Regardless, thanks for mentioning the fact that such a thing exists.

And I'll have to try Town Hall sometime, I've never been there. (I'm not the no-gluten person in the family, so it would be safe for me.) Have you tried Pizza Luce's baked potato pizza? I hear they have gluten-free crusts available if you go the right day of the week.

I miss Willington Pizza's red potato pizza. Unfortunately I don't think one would still be good by the time it got to me from Connecticut.

(I see that by the end of my comment I had moved entirely off into potato-pizza land. Yum.)

#57 ::: Liza ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 04:38 PM:

DDB @ 55, you see that I entirely disagree with you about the suitability of potatoes as a pizza ingredient, Reinheitsgebot or no. Es gibt kein Gebot gegen Kartoffelpizza!

#58 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 04:45 PM:

David D-B #55:

If it's on pizzas at a local pizza joint, then surely it's pizza? Potatoes and goat cheese. Mmm.

#59 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 06:38 PM:

Isn't pizza "baked flatbread with toppings"?

Surely New Jersey Tomato Pie isn't the only pizza in the world.

#60 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 08:01 PM:

Pizza is a baked flatbread with toppings. It does not follow that all baked flatbreads with toppings are pizza.

My personal definition of pizza includes the crust, tomato sauce, and cheese. Everything else is optional.

#61 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 08:03 PM:

Mary Aileen@60: My personal definition of pizza includes the crust, tomato sauce, and cheese.

By that definition, white pizza isn't pizza, either.

#62 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 08:55 PM:

Debra Doyle (61): You're right. By my personal definition, white pizza is not pizza. It may be tasty, but it's not what I consider pizza.

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 11:30 PM:

Speaking as a guy who used to work at a pizzeria: A stone is good. Best is a stone, a hot oven and an expanded mesh pizza screeen (not one of the pierced ones). Let the dough rise twice, and get the oven to at least 475F. If you can, get it to 550 (commercial pizza ovens go to 575F, and we ran at 525; but a home oven has a lot more distance between the roof and the floor, so as hot as it will go.

"Soak" the oven for an hour before the pie goes in, and open the door for as little time as you can manage.

Caroline: The middle of Europe is gloriously mad for poppyseed. I've had it in blini, plaszcinti, strudel, cakes, breads, and rolls. It's been sweet, non-sweet, moist, dry, a filling, an inclusion and a topping. I love them so, and they were all good.

As to definitions... Lots of things are pizza. I think pizza has to be savory, and pineapple is an abomination. It's still pizza, but it's pizza which I can't eat.

#64 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2009, 11:36 PM:

I can see a pizza with pineapple - unsweetened, preferably fresh - and cubed ham. Or maybe with sausage.

It isn't kosher in any sense of the word, but it tastes good.

#65 ::: tariqata ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 09:38 AM:

My preferred pizza dough is from The Bread Bible (Rose Levy Berenbaum version): 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp instant yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar tossed together with a fork; sprinkle on 1/2 tsp salt and mix it in; add 1/3 cup room-temp water and mix quickly with a spoon to form a rough dough. Fill a 2-cup measuring cup with a few tsp olive oil, add the dough and turn it to coat with the oil. Let it rise for an hour (or put it in the fridge for up to 24 hours), then gently spread it out on your pan and let it rise for another hour (while your oven pre-heats to 475F). This takes me about 5 minutes to make and it has never failed me.

And my very favourite calzone filling involves spicy garlic-mashed potatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. So, so good.

#66 ::: Pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 03:55 PM:

Hmmm. I think my household would look at me strangely and ask if we were out of curry, since we are of the strange breed ('Canadians', from a certain point on the socio/economic/urban scale) that considers 'curried' to be the natural state of pierogies.

Although, having moved to the UK, I must say that smothering them with stilton and asparagus, when it's in season, is delicious as well.

#67 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 04:00 PM:

When I indulge in perogies, I go all out. I buy canned beets, sauerkraut, sour cream, onions for sauteing. Hot butter is involved as well.

I'd certainly try pierogi pizza, but without the extras it wouldn't seem like pierogis.

#68 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 04:40 PM:

Pizza certainly is baked flatbread with toppings. But that is a description, not a definition. Not everything that meets that definition is pizza.

I spent 20 years eating pizza happily, where the definition was fairly stable. The proportion of crust to filling to cheese varies some, so the overall thickness varies rather a lot, but there was no doubt that they were all closely related foods.

Then I met some of the abominations the Brits were perpetrating in that area, all of which were horrid. And then yuppie pizza started becoming more common here, and generally same thing, horrid.

As result, I've developed fairly strict rules on the topic. People can eat any kind of flat bread food they want, and I eat many kinds that aren't pizza myself (spread refried black beans on a flour tortilla; add half an onion, minced. Shake on plenty of Crystal hot sauce. Put on a good deal of shredded cojack. Cover with a second tortilla. Nuke for 4 minutes. This concoction is known in our household as a "tor-tuh-la", i.e. the phonetic pronunciation of "tortilla" rather than the Spanish. It's obviously of the quesadilla family. It's obviously not of the pizza family.) But I'm holding the line on what constitutes a pizza.

Just because everybody and his brother calls any drink served in a martini glass a martini, do you accept the new definition?

#69 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 06:28 PM:

DDB @ 68: What's your definition of "pizza"? Does Byerly's pesto pizza count? (I remember it fondly from a couple of Minneapolis cons.)

#70 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 08:55 PM:

DDB: the cheese-thingy you describe isn't pizza.

Pizza (per my definition) needs to have a leavened bread as the base. It ought to be large enough to feed more than one person (though, "personal" pizzas aren't wrong, they just aren't "classic").

It should be a dinner food. It has to be open-faced, and baked.

It needs a sauce (usually, though I've much enjoyed them without) and seems a bit off if there is no cheese.

If the sauce is tomato, it needs oregano.

After that... pretty much anything goes.

Your mileage, as stated, varies.

#71 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 09:01 PM:

Terry, I agree with everything except the "dinner" part. It may start out as dinner, but leftovers are breakfast!

#72 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 09:44 PM:

TexAnne (71): And when you have pizza for breakfast, it should not be reheated.

#73 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 10:24 PM:

Mary Aileen, 72: I make exceptions for cold winter mornings that otherwise require grits (which are also usually leftovers.)

#74 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 10:44 PM:

This is starting to read like the pizza version of the "it isn't a real bagel if it has X in it" argument.

Me, I think I'll go for "pizza with/without X counts as 'real' if it appears as one of the listed pizza offerings on a pizzeria menu otherwise dominated by the standard cheese-tomato-and-optional meat variations."

#75 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2009, 11:59 PM:

I see that Christine Lavin has a new CD scheduled for release in November: Cold Pizza For Breakfast.

#76 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2009, 04:28 AM:

TexAnne: Yes, pizza can be breakfast, just as hashbrowns and eggs can be dinner.

Debra Doyle: My tastes on pizza are fairly catholic, but tortillas aren't in the same category.

#77 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2009, 07:21 AM:

Oh, just remembered another MOST scrumptious concoction (o far only spotted in one place, in Nyköping, in a smallish mostly-restaurant that does pizza on the side). The "plank steak" pizza.

Now, a "plank steak" is an odd creature to start with. Take a decent beef steak, place it on a thick cooking board (usually oak), pipe dense mashed potatoes around the edge. Place this in the oven and cook it until the steak is done as you prefer it. Then place a healthy dollop of Sauce Bearnaise in the sauce hole bored in one corner.

The "plank steak pizza" uses a pizza base (covered with tomato sauce and cheese) instead of the board, thin-cut steak strips instead of the steak, but still has the piped mash around the edge. It still has Sauce Bearnaise on it, but poured thinly all over instead of in a dedicated receptacle.

Since it has potatoes on it, it probably doesn't match the (seemingly strict) Dyer-Bennet pizza criteria, but as the potatoes are more there for garnish than anything else, I still consider it one.

#78 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:03 PM:

Joel@69: Pizza is flat bread food made only from pizza ingredients.

Potatoes, green peas, and barbecue chicken ARE NOT pizza ingredients. Anchovies, unfortunately, are; I just don't like them. Neither ham (including "Canadian bacon") NOR pineapple are pizza ingredients. Olives (I hate the green ones), green pepper, onions, Pepperoni, and sausage are.

Shrimp are not, though I rather like some things that would otherwise be pizzas were it not for the shrimp.

I think the tomato sauce is basic, defining. So flat bread food without it cannot be a pizza.

I resorted to "pizza" without cheese when my mother was using cheddar. Good cheddar doesn't melt all that well, and the flavor is not very compatible with tomato sauce or pepperoni.

#79 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:06 PM:

Terry@70: And when in the day does "dinner" occur for you? :-)

I'm not really sure if my favorite pizza has a leavened crust. It's made by Greeks, and the crust is almost cracker-like in its thinness. The edge doesn't puff up the way Italian thin crusts do.

#80 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:08 PM:

Doyle@74: Sweet bagels! Ham and cheese bagels! (I seem to have rather traditional taste in bagels, though not due to early exposure before they became mainstream or any cultural connection to the bagel-inventors.

#81 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:29 PM:

My pizza rules:

It must have a flat, roundish crust. Roundrects are acceptable if that is the shape of the stone.

It must have mozzarella cheese.

It must not be combined with other words, such as bites, burger, or chip.

Tomato sauce is optional, as I've had enough good tomato free pizzas to consider them canon. (e.g. margarita, garlic, pesto, etc)

It must be on my plate. (I am dismayed that the last slice of sunday's pizza has escaped the fridge. I was hungry just now).

Sunday's pizza was an example of this. Tomato, basil and garlic, all from the garden, and goat mozzarella from a friend. Very local, very good.

#82 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:40 PM:

No, eric, MY pizza rules! Yours drools!

Oh wait, you meant...never mind.

#83 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:44 PM:

David, #68/78: With all due respect, this sounds very much like the gentleman who argues that the ONLY proper serving of beer is a (Imperial) pint -- that a half-liter isn't enough, and a whole liter is too much, but a pint, ah, that's just right. That to which you are personally accustomed does not necessarily have the force of natural law.

#84 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:02 PM:

David Dyer-Bennet @ 78: Can I interest you in a membership in the King Canute Memorial Society? If we have our next meeting over dinner, we can start with discussing "a martini is gin and vermouth, dammit" over drinks and move on to the definition of a proper pizza over the meal.

Although, as a Californian heretic, I'd have to stay mostly quiet during the pizza discussion. (I think goat cheese and zucchini make a delicious pizza, which probably disqualifies me from any pizza purist debates.)

#85 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:04 PM:

Lee@83: Oh, I'm reasonably flexible on quantity. Anywhere from "a great plenty" to "far too much" pizza is very pleasant indeed.

It's just that, if I want pizza, a hamburger won't fill the bill. Or a steak. Or sushi. Or gyros. They're not pizza.

#86 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:09 PM:

Lexica@84: Thanks, I'm already a member of the Humpty Dumpty society, which mostly covers my needs for language help.

I'm particularly unhappy about goat cheese on "pizza"; it has a nasty texture when heated, and I don't really find the flavor works very well eithyer. I'm a big fan of the Greek salad made with cucumbers, onions, tomatos, and feta cheese (which is properly a goat cheese, though most cheap instances aren't), but that's cold, not hot.

#87 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:12 PM:

Is the KFC "Double Down" sandwich actually a sandwich? Is the essence of "sandwich" the layering, or the bread, or something else? Or is there no essence, and the term can be used decoratively (like "Martini")?

#88 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:17 PM:

Feta should be a sheep cheese, with some goat possible. I've gone off feta on pizzas after having one too many really bad 'greek' pizzas at pizzerias.

I like goat chevre on pizza, but only for some types, and it has to go with what we're having. Mushroom, chipotle, and chevre is good. With tomatoes, not so much.

Goat mozzarella is nearly indistinguishable from cow, other than it doesn't set off the kiddo's excema. Not saying that it's the same, but if you tasted it, you'd be placing it in the mozzarella spectrum, and not 'not mozzarella -- what the hell is it' spectrum. It's one of the things that's on the list of things to learn to make.


And the most important of my pizza rules is that it's my pizza. Hands off. You get your own slice.

#89 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:19 PM:

(and in a collision of threads: the zucchini martini)

Gin - cold.
Vermouth - a splash.
Wave a zucchini near it, then drink martini.

Doesn't use much zucchini, but it makes you feel better about them.

#90 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:24 PM:

David, #85: You've misinterpreted my point. Just because something isn't in the limited range of pizza toppings you happened to grow up with doesn't make it "not a pizza ingredient", and doesn't make a pizza made with it "not pizza". (And on what planet are ham and Canadian bacon not standard pizza toppings, anyhow?)

There are a lot of things I won't eat on a pizza, but I don't try to claim that having them makes it not a pizza; that's "a pizza I don't like".

#91 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 06:22 PM:

Lee, I think you misinterpret David, not in content, but in tone. Look at what he says at 86, when he says he's a member of the Humpty-Dumpty Society. (I don't know if you remember that it was HD who insisted that "when I say a word, it means what I mean it to mean.")

I think David is mugging the kind of self-righteous "I am the arbiter of identity for all things, or at least pizza" that you think he's doing for real, and he's doing it at least partly for humorous effect.

#92 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 06:26 PM:

David 87, if you take the etymological definition, it's only a sandwich if you can eat it while playing Whist. I think you have to be able to hold it in one hand, with your cards in the other, and not set either down until the hand is played and the sandwich consumed.

Etymological definitions are stupid, but they're funny. For example, did you know that nothing is a template unless it's a small temple?

#93 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 06:31 PM:

Why Pierogi Pizza is pizza:

The very first sentence of the recipe is, "Take pizza dough."

It is made of pizza dough. It is shaped like a pizza. It is cooked like a pizza in a pizza oven. It is served like a pizza. It can be purchased in restaurants that specialize in pizza. It is commonly called a "pizza" by those who eat it.

#94 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 06:40 PM:

But James, they're being insidiously deceived by the International Jewish/Polish/Homosexual/Socialist/Space Lizard Conspiracy!!!!!1111!!cos²Θ+sin²Θ!! Don't you realize what's happening to our wholesome Amurrican pizza?!?!? And if you eat that kind of so-called pizza, a death panel of Pizzaros (Spanish guys who make pizza) will kill your grandma!

#95 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 06:47 PM:

Conspiracy!!!!!1111!!cos²Θ+sin²Θ!!

*sporfle*

WIN.

#96 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 06:55 PM:

Now don't take this thread out on a tangent.

#97 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 07:00 PM:

Oh, eric, don't be such a cissy. The arc of the thread will go however it will. I think you're just being obtuse; go lie down on your cot and breathe deeply. I'm hoping my guardian angle will save us from a protracted pun-off.

#98 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 07:01 PM:

Still, eric, I have to say, that was acute remark.

#99 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 07:06 PM:

All this may be a sin that the thread is spinning out of control.

#100 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 07:14 PM:

Don't make me go hyperbolic on you.

#101 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 01:40 AM:

We had accord and focus, but Latus wrecked 'em.

#102 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 02:13 AM:

I was thinking about how Rule #34 might apply to pizza, and found out that people have indeed been experimenting with poutine pizza....

#103 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 12:08 AM:

You know, historically pizza was the Italian equivalent of a taco; tomato sauce didn't show up until the 17th century or thereabouts, cheese until the 19th, and it otherwise had on it whatever it had on it. Perhaps fish tacos aren't real tacos as far as the pedants are concerned (Mexicans would certainly demur)?

Mine typically are either tomato or pesto based, with some combination of tomato, peppers, onions, spinach, and broccoli. (No meat; given that I (try to) keep kosher, when the choice is between meat and cheese the cheese wins.) Mozzarella cheese, sometimes accompanied by others if I'm short. I have a marinated mozzarella log waiting to be used on the next one, mmm.

#104 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 12:49 AM:

geekosaur @ 103

Oddly enough, a Mexican (not sure if he's naturalized American or not, but almost all of his family is still in Mexico and he visits them whenever possible) coworker of mine, when I mentioned fish tacos, looked disgusted, and said that fish tacos aren't REALLY tacos. I presume that means his family is from a region of Mexico that doesn't do the fish taco thing; I know he's told me the state he's from, but I can't remember it.

As someone from the Chicago area, I'm strongly inclined to agree with DDB about what's "real pizza", except that I'll allow ham-and-pineapple even though I purely hate that set of toppings.

Perhaps I should say that all those weird toppings, like barbecued chicken for instance, aren't "Chicago pizza". Which is saying something, since there are three different styles of Chicago pizza. (Thin crust, deep dish, stuffed. Our thin crust is different from New Haven thin crust and New York thin crust. I'm not sure if it's different from San Francisco thin crust, or if the San Francisco pizza I had was just an unusually awful sample.)

Note that I've had some very nice non-Chicago style pizzas, but you'd never find barbequed chicken on a proper Chicago pizza.

#105 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 01:11 AM:


DDB When does dinner happens, usually between 5-11 p.m. Breakfast happens whenever I happen to eat my first meal of the day.

I like my pizza to taste good. Some things are, too me, nasty. Doesn't mean they aren't "pizza" it's just that they are pizza I don't like.

Take, for example, the mango. I find it repulsive. I cannot abide it. If you put it in a fruit salad, a marinade, a chutney, I will not enjoy it. Those things are, no matter how unpleasant I find them, still fruit salads, and marinades, and chutneys.

#106 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2009, 02:28 PM:

I made this, with a layer of ground/minced beef (fried with bacon and garlic and seasoned well) between the onion and the potato.

It was very good but everyone immediately exclaimed "Wow, you made Cottage Pie* Pizza"! This is probably not helped by the fact that I make my Cottage Pie with cheesy mash.

Still, it made for a lovely meal. Another win from Making Light. ;)


*Like Shepherd's Pie but with beef instead of lamb

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