Sorry for the photographic sloppiness... if I want to get the pics ever so I can post them, I gotta take them myself with the phone, which usually means hasty, blurry, dark images that are shot poorly. One of these times I'll get someone to cooperate with me and either use my phone or help me get things properly documented.
Anyway, a couple of notes:
+ I loved the same day dough - not saying it's better than the 2-day I first learned, but I'm very thrilled to once again find that it's totally a doable thing to spontaneously decide to make pizza on a given night and have it come out just fine.
+ I loved the frozen Grande! - it's been almost exactly 2 months since I put it in the freezer and while it may have lost a little something, the cheese is so good that it's hardly noticeable (at least to someone new to the cheese who doesn't work with it regularly)
+ I sauteed my mushrooms for the first time... when I took them out of the pain, straining them was quite an issue, so after running through a handful of paper towels, I decided to put them on an aluminum foil sheet and toss em in the toaster oven on the lowest setting (275 F) for what ended up being probably a half hour before I needed them. The result was actually what I was looking for - they were not dried out, but they had lost their serious WETness.
+ I made bacon pizza for the first time... I've never even EATEN bacon pizza, so making this was even more of an experiment to me. The bacon itself was a nicely made bacon by Applegate Farms with fewer added death-causing agents and such, but was a thick-cut, which we (the tasters) all felt was a bit detrimental. Next time I'll undercook it a bit and go for the thin cut. I'm also open to the idea of making more small pieces to distribute around the pie.
+ I used grated cheese for the first time! This was inspired by NY Pizza Suprema whose pizza I just tried for the first time a few days ago - 8th ave by 31st near Penn Station for NY oriented folks who haven't gotten around to it yet. Great, great slice.
Now, I've never been one to put grated cheese on anything for the most part, but have always used it for my more Coal-ish pies when I have it on hand. I don't really ever reach for it particularly much in my own cooking and my feeling towards it ranges from "tolerating" to "liking" in other foods depending on the application. Or so I thought!
After visiting NY Pizza Suprema where they generously dust a paremsan or romano or something (anyone know?) over the sauce before adding the mozz, I realized that an old familiar flavor of certain pizzerias that I do quite enjoy is our good friend grated cheese! So I had to try it on my own, and while I'm not sure that pecorino romano is #1 for this application, it was certainly close enough to let me know that I really like it as an undertone to the grande.
+ I used sugar in the sauce for the first time. While I'm not someone who avoids added sugars by any means, I certainly do try to avoid them where I can, so I mostly think of holding them back and not having a lot of sugary foods as my way of cutting them out. So, naturally, I never added any to my tomatoes before. This time I tried it, just a little, enough so that I could taste it when I had the sauce straight (maybe not enough to affect the pizza though), and I have to say that I couldn't really tell the difference yet. Jury is still out.
- the frozen Grande was frosty and required a bit of extra layer, putting it out on paper towels and trying to deal with the frost. This ended up amounting to about 10 minutes of simple efforts and I'm okay with that since it means being able to buy a block of grande whenever I want and just using what I can of it. I'd imagine if I had a means of vacuuming the bag shut when freezing it, I'd eliminate this problem.
I'm trying to think if there are any other notes from last night's pies that I can share for anyone who may be interested at some point. These were both 4-5 minute bakes, the bacon closer to 5 especially so it could get a little more color on the cheese and edges (never really came through on the edges).
Alright, well that's it for now.