Go Deep or Go Home: The Art of #Chicago Style #Pizza

What do a deep dish pizza and a magician have in common?  They both have good taste!  Ok, that was a stretch but did you  know magicians could have more than just doves up their sleeves?

Recently, Now We’re Cookin’ invited members of Chicago Food Bloggers (including lucky saucy us) to learn to make the Chicago style pizza at their Evanston cook space.  To our surprise, instead of pulling rabbits out of hats, our chef, a professional magician, pulled a fantastic pizza out of the oven.

Chef Brian Kirshenbaum keeps his pizza dough straightforward (yeast, warm water, all purpose flour, cornmeal and oil) but sneaks in one secret ingredient (since a magician can’t reveal all his tricks).  He demonstrated the proper way to press down the dough into a deep pan with the slight of a hand.

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Next, he created the sauce by squeezing the juice from fresh whole peeled plum tomatoes and sprinkling in fairy dust…or spices (oregano, black pepper, salt, and garlic) as we non magicians call them.  Then guests partnered up and got to work pressing their own pizza dough and prepping their chunky sauce.

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Finally, the show came to it’s climatic point as fresh deli sliced mozzarella was pressed on the bottom.  Guests picked up to 3 vegetables/meats to fill their own pizza.  We shuffled through the ingredients and chose spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and few thinly sliced fennel.  Veg head Monica loaded up on the plants and a dash of spice instead of sticking with just the traditional thick chunk of gooey cheese (Mon is not fan of xxxtra cheese but will eat deep dish to support her city).

Finally, we spread the chunky tomato sauce over the top of the pizza and sprinkled Parmesan cheese and viola; a magic Chicago pizza appeared :).  Notice the delicate saucy finish.  As we marveled at the fresh flavor of the pizza, Chef BK astounded us with magic acts to titillate our other senses.

 

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We had a blast learning from Chef and Illusionist Brian Kirshenbaum at Now We’re Cookin’.  And now Mon loves Chicago’s own deep dish pizza!

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Meatless Monday: Roasted Broccoli Sammiches

Bored of boiled broccoli, all soggy and bland?  How about some roasted broccoli with flavor!  We’ve been hooked on oven roasted veggies this year and have no intention of ever looking back. We made two versions of roasted broccoli that can be eaten alone or even added into a sandwich (think cheesy melty panini).

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Baked Broccoli Cheese Sandwich

Modified from here.

Serving 2 people.

Ingredients

  • 1 small sized head of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • whole black pepper, grounded to taste
  • Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread
  • 4 whole wheat bread
  • Smoked gruyere cheese (also available at Aldi)

Directions

  • Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  • Cut broccoli.  Put into a round tupperware.  Add seasonings and oil and mix it.

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  • Spread out on a baking tray.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Spread lightly Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread on 4 whole wheat breads.
  • Add 1 sliced smoked gruyere cheese on top of coconut spread on each of two sandwiches.
  • Add the roasted broccoli to each of two sandwiches.

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  • Put in a panini maker or grill on stove.

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For a more spicier flavor as a snack or side dish.

  • Same as above plus
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • red chili pepper flakes, to taste
  • cayenne pepper or chile arbol ground, to taste

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Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and it’s ready to eat!  Now excuse us because its dinner time.  Broccoli ahoy!!