Monday, August 20, 2012

Pizza Week Guest Post: Refrigerator Pizza

Chef Dad's proud to introduce Ric Granryd!
Ric Granryd is a soccer coach in Austin and the director of operations for the Austin Aztex soccer team (USL).  He has coached teams at the college level in California, Wisconsin, Ohio and Missouri.  He was also a professional goalkeeper along the way.  Ric is my son’s goalkeeping coach and for those in the area I recommend him highly.  He is also a husband, a father and a When Dad Cooks fan.  He has a pizza story to tell that sounds like something Chef Dad would do.  Remember guys, owning up to mistakes is entirely dependent on whether they are disasters or flavor enhancers.

When I finish all my jobs during the day (coaching the next generation of keepers, making sure the Aztex stay on schedule and on budget and a few other things) I relax by cooking.  Cooking and wine that is.

A once or twice a month meal is the refrigerator pasta or refrigerator pizza – when I will literally take leftovers and anything else we have in the fridge and make a pasta dish, casserole or assemble it all on the HEB (Texas grocery chain), 2 for $5 frozen cheese pizzas (we like crispy crusts, and these make for great crusts – without making it yourself). 

Anyway, a couple nights ago was a refrigerator night.  I needed an “overall flavor melder” and made a dark red, pungent-tomato sauce, by taking the strained liquid from a can of Italian-style diced tomatoes and simply adding tomato paste.  Oh yeah, as that was cooking on the stove, I got involved in NCIS Los Angeles and forgot to turn down the heat.  So, I had a little burn action at the bottom of the pan (not real bad, but a little black) – and stirred it around in there.  Man…it was really, really good. 

My wife thought so too and NCIS caught the bad guys.  All in all, a great night.

Chef Dad: So, there you go. Start with a bare bones cheese pizza (2 for $5 at our local HEB here in Austin) and use a simple pizza flavor blender to marry the basic pizza with the toppings you pulled from the fridge.  Ric uses the strained liquid from a can of Italian diced tomatoes and simmers it with tomato paste.  

And hey, if you get wrapped up in gunfire and car chases, don’t worry if the sauce gets a little crispy.  Stir it in and you get that smoky flavor you always wanted.  As they say in software development: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.  

No doubt it was a Cro-Magnon guy who invented cooking by dropping some meat into that new-fangled fire thing while watching The Flintstones.

Next up on Pizza Week – Weird Wednesday: Why does pizza get delivered?

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