Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cheap Bastid's "The World's Greatest Pizza"

You know, the best pizza we ever had was along the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas about 3 or 4 years ago. Man, this pizza was terrific. Know why? Because it was midnight (long past our bedtime) and we were starving from a day exploring all the way to Hoover Dam and then taking in the show in Las Vegas’ incredible and fun downtown—an area we found much more enjoyable than “the Strip”.

Anyway, we’d gambled just a bit and wandered up and down the street, people watching and taking in the entertainment. Then it dawned on us that we were hungry. Hungry? We were ravenous. And we were hungry for something quick and easy not something in a sit down restaurant or anything like that.

So, we stumbled across a storefront pizza joint—maybe 12 feet wide and 30 or so feet deep with just a couple of tables. New York style. The owner was behind the counter. And I told him we were starving. He must have seen many a tourist looking like us---tired, hungry and a bit bewildered. “Go grab a table and I’ll take care of you,“ he said. It was a slice and a beverage for $5. So we each ordered one. And we devoured them.

Then we ordered another round. And devoured those, too. I don’t even remember the name of the place or what kind of pizza it was—pepperoni, sausage, combo--just that it was a big slab of New York style pizza on a paper plate, hot with gooey cheese and it hit the spot for 2 starving tourists up past their bedtime. Carolyn (Mrs. CB) and I still talk and laugh about that as one of the finest meals we’ve ever eaten out together.

Anyway, we like our pizza. There was this joint about a half mile from our apartment called Sonny’s Back East Pizza. And this place had what is still arguably the best topped pizza I’ve ever eaten. New York style; no gravy (tomato sauce apparently to non-New Yorkers). And it was called the “Benedict Arnold”. One time the owner told me that the name came from a disloyal employee who quit and left them high and dry, short-handed, to go work for another pizzeria. So when they created this particular pizza they named it after him—Benedict Arnold. I call it the “World’s Greatest Pizza”.

This pizza is absolutely simple. It’s a combination of toppings that are easy and Cheap Bastid cheap. And what a flavor combination. Unfortunately, Sonny’s closed a couple of years ago. I’ve made it myself in several different ways—with homemade crust (the cheapest and most “labor intensive” but arguably the most satisfying), with Boboli crust (the priciest way) and with flat bread rounds used as individual sized (OK, 2 each for us) pizza crusts.

And that’s today’s Cheap Bastid recipe. The “World’s Greatest Pizza”. Ready? Here goes:

Cheap Bastid’s World’s Greatest Pizza

2 Roma tomatoes
Jarred sliced jalapeno peppers
Feta cheese
Pizza crust (home made, Boboli, flat bread)

Slice Romas thin. Then cut each slice in half. Chop the jalapeno peppers (I use about 4 tablespoons chopped up—but then again, we like heat). Make sure Feta is crumbled pretty finely and plan on using about ½ cup.

Prep crust. If home made or Boboli pop into the oven at about 450 for a couple of minutes with a super thin skim of oil painted on top with basting brush or your fingertips. If using flatbread put down a bit of oil and put on cookie sheet without heating first (otherwise it just gets too crispy).
Put a layer of pepperoni down—as much as you want. Lay down an open layer of tomato slices on top (not solid—about half the coverage as you do with the pepperoni). Sprinkle diced jalapeno on top of tomatoes—we like enough to guarantee 3 or 4 little ¼” pieces in each bite. Finally sprinkle feta over the top.

Pop into the oven for about 12 minutes if using homemade or Boboli crust (or a bit longer if needed) and for about 8 minutes if using flat bread. Pull pizzas out, let cool for a couple of minutes, cut and enjoy.
It’s that simple. Your mouth will be so happy with the flavor combination. It’s incredible. A bit of heat, a bit of cheesy feta bite, pepperoni and fresh tomato all competing in you mouth to create a tasty cacophony of flavor. Give it a try.

The Cheap Bastid Test: Here’s what’s cool. We got the pepperoni at the dollar store for $1 and we got the flat bread there too for $1. The feta was on special for $1.99 for a 4 ounce package and we used half a package. And the tomatoes are on special for 4 lbs for $1 (they’re usually $.77/lb. So, the total cost for the pizza was about $3.50-$4.00. Now, that’s pretty cheap for pizza.

That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful

1 comment:

  1. This looks so good! I'm going to try it.
    I actually enjoyed reading through this posting. Many thanks.

    Pizza Equipment