Monday Meal: Chicago Style Pizza

Lots of people tell Chef he should have his own cooking show.  He’s comfortable in a kitchen, he knows what he’s doing, and (though I can hardly believe I’m admitting this publicly) he’s funny.

I told Stephan on Monday that if he did have a cooking show, he should call it “The Improvisational Chef.”  That’s because he doesn’t usually follow written recipes.  He has recipes in his head, but he adjusts them as needed, tasting as he goes along, and changing things to fit his mood or the ingredients on hand.

That said, I can’t give you a recipe for Chicago-style pizza.  Chef admitted he was making what he thinks of as Chicago-style, but he isn’t sure what exactly makes it Chicago-style.  He was thinking of when he lived in Chicago and he would go to this restaurant called Lou Malnati’s.  He said the pizza was amazing, and he and his friends would always get the chocolate chip pizza for dessert.  So that’s what Chef was going for when he made this meal.

He started with the dough.  When I make pizza dough, I use a recipe out of The New Betty Crocker Cookbook that I got back in 1997 or so.  It’s in the recipe for Calzones, and it’s a wonderful crust.

Chef didn’t use that.  He used the recipe in his head.  It was really yummy.  (The crust, not his head.)

Then he made the sauce.  He used equal parts canned diced tomatoes and canned stewed tomatoes.  He seasoned it with an Italian seasoning mix and some salt and sugar and love.  It was a little bit sweet and very delicious.

We used a whole bunch of meat. Ham, pepperoni, and Polish sausage.

And a whole lot of veggies.  Red onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

And cheese.  We used Colby and Farmer’s cheese.  Mozzarella would be good, too.  We actually sliced the cheese instead of grating it.  At first, I thought that was weird, but as I was eating, I was glad we did it that way.  It seemed cheesier, and there was better coverage all over.

What Chef knows about Chicago-style pizza is that it’s deep-dish and made upside-down.  So directly on top of the crust goes the cheese, then the meat and veggies, and the sauce on top.

Here it is coming out of the oven.

It was amazing.

Chef’s dad actually called it “the best pizza I’ve ever had.”

We all ate so much we were stuffed.

But then… dessert!

Use some chocolate chips…

And some chopped pecans…

And make a big chocolate chip cookie.  Bake it, and then top it with ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry.

This was also amazing.  Soooo rich and gooey and good.

And of course, even though we were stuffed, we had to eat this too.

The really cool thing is that because we didn’t have very many people show up, we had a lot of leftovers.  We put the extra pizzas and cookies in the freezer, and we’re having this again next week!  Yahoo!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tracy
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 10:16:03

    That pizza looks delicious! I’ve never tried true Chicago style pizza before!

  2. rita
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 10:46:27

    By way of your photo & word description we get to enjoy the meal all over again; the memory is beautiful!

  3. Kim
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 21:10:58

    Pizza here has slices of cheese rather than grated. Also slices of lunchmeat. Regular slices. Big slices. It’s a little weird (imho). Very little sauce, sliced meat and cheese and usually five olives (pits still in) placed strategically around. You can get other toppings but that’s the standard pizza. It’s okay but gotta admit here’s one area where I prefer something U.S. style. Lots of sauce, lots of toppings, lots of cheese.

    BTW, we had pizza on Monday night too 🙂 American (but not Chicago) style.

  4. Talley Mac
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 23:49:19

    all i have to say is, um, YUM!!!

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