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Chicago pizza

I like both Chicago thin (hint of crunch to the crust and square slices make a difference...) and deep dish, but I prefer deep dish. Something about the thick, rich sauce being on top makes it all the more gooey, which I love.

I ordered one tonight here in Nashville (from the one place that makes them; sad) and this one was pretty good -- they didn't overcook the crust, the cheese/sauce blend was just about perfect, and the sausage was excellent.

The GF and I ate five of the eight slices of this large deep dish. (well I ate four. hehe)

We've ordered the chi-style thin crust (16") from this place and ate the whole thing. I look forward to putting a smidge of olive oil on it and sticking it in the oven to bring it back to life for lunch tomorrow.

I love chi-style deep dish... so much more flavor than NY-style...

Jan 28, 2011
prezbucky in Chicago Area

best national brand peanut butter?

Jif smooth -- nice rich, peanuty flavor.

To me, Skippy is really dry and bland... and Peter Pan is too sweet.

Kroger makes a decent (and cheap...) PB as well.

I'm not a big fan of the all-natural PBs -- bland and coarse/grainy.

Maybe I'm a fan of molasses and sugar, or at least the proportions present in Jif.

Jan 25, 2011
prezbucky in General Topics

US Supreme Court: NY pizza infinitely better than Chicago

I lived in Chicago (Irving Park/Lake Shore area) about a decade ago, for a year, and I absolutely loved the deep dish -- Lou Malnati's, Gino's East, Giordano's, even Uno (even though they put the cheese on top...) were all excellent. It's apples and oranges:

- If you want a light meal you can take on the go, get NY style
- If you like thick, rich sauce and a thick slice in more of a sit-down dinner feel, Chi-style is for you.

Chicago-style flavor is a far more rich, robust slice. Cheese on the bottom, sauce on top. If you like rich tomato sauce and oregano, it is absolutely superior to NY style. NY style is more about the portability and the cheese.

Jan 25, 2011
prezbucky in General Topics

Bolognese Sauce: How do You Make Yours?

Maybe those recipes with more of a tomato base and the use of Italian herbs/seasoning should be referred to as hybrids... maybe known as "Neapolitan Bolognese", which covers the heavy reliance on the tomato and seasonings of the sauces of Naples (and southern Italy in general) and the beef/milk/wine of the Bolognese.

Neapolitan Bolognese -- that's what I'll call my sauce henceforth. hehe

Jan 25, 2011
prezbucky in Home Cooking

Bolognese Sauce: How do You Make Yours?

C Oliver

I did try it using crushed tomatoes instead of spaghetti sauce. Here are the differences I noticed:

- At the meat/milk stage, I actually added a tablespoon of tomato paste. This turned the milky white color pink (which makes sense...).
- As stated, my tomato base (aside from the paste...) was a 28 oz can of Red Gold crushed tomatoes.
- The sauce was a bit more "red" than it is with spag sauce -- when I use spag sauce as my tomato base, it's a nice red-orange color: spag sauce + milk + beer or wine.
- The sauce did need more sugar, and I added enough to cut that raw tomato acidity, but on my first try I didn't quite make it equal the flavor I get with the spag sauce... doesn't mean I can't keep working on it.

Isn't this topic supposed to be about our own recipes? I have done some reading on Bolognese, and in Bologna, these are the requirements:

- Beef
- Some type of pork (I have used bacon before, and it works)
- Milk
- White wine (my beer is a bastardization of this, but it works for me)
- Some tomato (I like tomato, so I use a full, robust tomato base)
- Other assorted veg (namely carrots and onions and maybe complete mirpois with celery. I've tried it with celery -- to my mouth it doesn't do much; if I have celery I'll dice and add some, and if not, no biggie).

I add oregano, basil and garlic (at least) because those are classic Italian seasonings that (to me) are assets in any tomato-based pasta sauce. Rosemary is nice too, and just smelling Thyme makes my taste buds hard (hehe). These are flavor enhancers. What is wrong with them? Did the fine folks of Bologna say, "No, we don't need no stinking Italian seasoning!"?

The Bolognese essentials are mentioned above; if YOU like a bit more tomato or perhaps some seasoning, go for it. Eat what tastes good to you, not what someone says should taste good.

Jan 25, 2011
prezbucky in Home Cooking

Bolognese Sauce: How do You Make Yours?

I'll try using crushed tomatoes on my next attempt. To suit my taste, I'll likely end up adding more sugar and herbs/garlic.

I really like the flavor of mine the way it is (using spag sauce as the tomato base), but who knows... I might not know what I'm missing.

One thing is sure: if I can make a reasonable facsimile using crushed tomatoes, I'll gladly stick with that route, for two reasons:

1) A can of crushed tomatoes is cheaper than a jar of spaghetti sauce, and the extra sugar/herbs/garlic I'd add likely wouldn't offset that price difference... and
2) The crushed tomatoes are likely healthier than the spag sauce... no preservatives or other questionable stuff.

Thanks for the tip!

Jan 21, 2011
prezbucky in Home Cooking

Bolognese Sauce: How do You Make Yours?

I've made my "quick" 2-hour version with white wine and beer. I like both, but i actually prefer the beer bastarduzatiob... try this out!

Beer Bolognese
- 1 cup diced carrot and onion (small dice)
- 1 lb ground chuck or 1.25 lb ground beef
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 standard-size jar of spaghetti sauce
- 12 oz. milk (I use 2%)
- 6 oz. beer (I use lager or pils)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- Sugar, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, S&P to taste
- 1 TBSP Oregano

1. In a very large pan, sauté the onion/carrot in olive oil, about 8-10 minutes, on medium heat. Set the cooked veggies aside.
2. Cook the beef in that same pan and drain it.
3. Re-add the veggies to the meat. Season this with a bit of S&P, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Add the milk and diced tomatoes, stir well, and reduce the heat to medium- low. Cover the pan and let it sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the beer (or white wine... but try the beer!). Stir, cover and let it sit for another 20 minutes.
5. Add the spaghetti sauce. Re-season and test it -- if too tart, add a good pinch of sugar. Add the oregano and perhaps more garlic or Italian seasoning, to taste. Stir well and put the cover back on. Let it sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. A light simmer is okay, but do not let it boil.
6. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and remaining (2 TBSP or so) of olive oil. Stir well. Cover and let sit another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Cook about 12 oz (dry weight) of pasta -- I use spag, penne or rotini
8. Drain the pasta and incorporate it into the sauce.
9. To put it over the top, cover the pasta/sauce mixture with a quarter-inch layer of mozzarella or Italian cheese mixture... stick it in the oven (uncovered) and broil it, until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown.

Serve with more Parm and enjoy! Makes about six-seven pounds; costs about $6-$10, depending on location.

***Edit: 1 teaspoon of Oregano... not a TBSP. Unless you absolutely can't get enough oregano. hehe

Jan 20, 2011
prezbucky in Home Cooking

Nashville, TN Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza?

I have had the Chicago-style deep dish from Chicago Style Italian Beef (Nolensville Rd), and it is the real deal:

- Cheese on the bottom
- Then the meat/veg
- Sauce on top

That is Chi-style deep dish. This one is decent by Chicago standards: I can taste the oregano in the thick, rich sauce, which I really like... but the crust was just a tad chewy. But... it is authentic, and (to my knowledge) it is nowhere else in Nashville, so I am grateful.

Re: Obie's deep dish
-- Obie's makes (or made, anyway, when I lived downtown a few yrs ago...) a decent deep dish pie... but it's not Chicago-style deep dish. If you want Chi-style, try the place on Nolensville Rd.