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8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams, 2013

Every year I like to recap the eight pizzas that really took hold of my imagination. Here are the eight pies or slices that I keep thinking about weeks and sometimes months after having eaten them. (With a very special bonus NINTH pie this year.) More

Video: How the Sausage Pizza is Made at Maria's Pizza in Milwaukee

Photographer and writer Michael Berman of Pizzacentric visits Maria's Pizza in Milwaukee and comes away with a great blog post and a video that sheds some light on the pizzamaking process there. (Not that it's a huge secret, since the kitchen is open to one and all who dine there.) Maria's is one of my all-time favorite pizzerias. Nice to see the Pizzacentric treatment of it. More

Quick Game Day Appetizer: Garlic-Knot Monkey Bread

I've got to thank Kenji for this idea. He suggested a garlic-knot monkey bread as a Home Slice topic, saying it might be good to do before the big game on Sunday. The byword here is EASY. This is almost a twist-and-dump thing. You could make your own dough for this (here's a suitable recipe), but I just used store-bought pizza dough from the freezer section. You'll need 2 pounds. (Most store-bought pizza doughs I've seen come in 1-pound portions, often 2 to a package.) More

Paulie Gee to Open a Baltimore Location with 'Pizzablogger'

Popular Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee's will open a branch in Baltimore in 2013, Slice has learned. Paul Giannone, whose transformation from IT manager to renowned pizza-maker is well-documented on this site (among many other places), is partnering with Baltimore local "Pizzablogger" (who asked to remain anonymous), at what will be called Paulie Gee's Hampden. More

Gift Guide: For the Pizza-Maker

Some of these are stocking-stuffers, some are pretty pricey, but most are somewhere in between. What they all have in common is that I have turned to these products again and again in my own pizza-making life. I hope your pizza obsessive—novice or veteran—appreciates them as much as I do. More

Real Texas Nachos

I don't care if you're supposed to add meat and/or refritos or what not. As a nacho minimalist, I find this recipe to be perfect. The freshly fried tortillas clinch it. All the best parts of nachos without the extraneous bullshit that renders them soggy faster than you can say "Don't Mess with Texas."

(Separate note to @tom dunne: Italians invented pizza [as we know it], which is just as bad for pizza and "authenticity" debates as Texans are over nachos, brisket, chili, queso, Tex-Mex, etc.)

Is It a 'Plain' Slice, a 'Regular' Slice, or Something Else Entirely?

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

Also try NY Pizza Suprema near Madison Square Garden!

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

@Glutenboy: I should have probably also tacked on more to the disclaimer saying that you shouldn't read too much into this as any kind of portrait on the state of pizza in general. This is simply 8 pizzas that REALLY stood out in my mind at the time. I went through all my Instagram pics dating back 12 months and picked the top 8 that caused me to say "OH! YEAH. THAT was a great pizza." IIRC in 2014 I didn't eat that much New York-style pizza. There's still some good stuff out there, but I think the kind you describe is now few and far between. Where my head is now, it's not the thing I'm most deeply interested in. In late 2014, I was eating a lot of wood-fired pizza and a lot of different types of pan pizza -- and that's pretty much still where I am right now.

Williamsburg Pizza (Williamsburg, LES)
Best Pizza (Williamsburg)
Patsy's in East Harlem
Di Fara (really it's its own animal at this point)
Joe's (Greenwich Village, East Village 14th St.)
Pizza Cotto Bene (Gowanus)

Homemade Bagels, à la Jo Goldenberg

@beuteiful: Dunno. Never tried it. Wouldn't hurt to try, no?

Homemade Bagels, à la Jo Goldenberg

@ftmftm: Thanks for the kind words! It's always fun to get an email notification from a satisfied bagel baker! Yeah, I think I didn't do the salt by weight because it ends up being such an insignificant amount to weigh for.

Ed Levine on Josh Ozersky: A Well-Fed Life Cut Too Short

Thanks for writing this. You captured what it was about Josh and his writing that made him larger than life. He held no cows sacred and a fair amount of them delicious.

The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography

Nice work! Please do a follow-up for smartphone food photography! So many BAD PHOTOS of food on Instagram. People need to up their game. Help 'em!

Mama Rosa's Minis: Scary Pizzas with Cheese that Does Not Melt

@SeberHusky: Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I don't own a pizzeria ... yet. Maybe I should reconsider that path? I'll try these your way next time I grab some. Hasta la pizza!

Cook's Illustrated's Thin-Crust Pizza

Probably will be fine, @pogoman. ...

"If you’re using active dry yeast, your recipe may tell you to proof it. It's not strictly necessary, but if you have any question at all about the freshness of your yeast, the following process will prove that it's alive and ready to go.…"
Source: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/yeast-dough-tips.html

Step Aside, Old Chili Powder: How to Prepare Whole Dried Chilies for the Best Powder and Puree

AWESOME! Muchas gracias, amigo!

Recommendation: Wear gloves!

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

@Farro: it actually adjusts as the item is cut. It's hard to explain, but trust me, you will get most of the potato out of the potato. With onions, I actually have to discard some of the slices because I'll have inadvertently sliced too near the root end and gotten unsightly/wrong-sized chunks.

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

I own both the OXOs recommended here and routinely put them through the dishwasher, no gucks fiven. They work fine after many washes and many uses. I use the big OXO for onions and the little one for mushrooms.

Homemade Bagels, à la Jo Goldenberg

I made them New Years Day, too, SusanT! And I shaped them lousily too! HNY!

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

Thanks for all the kind words, folks. I miss Slice, too, but I understand why SE made the consolidation. Slice had a good run, and I'm proud of the work that was published during that time. And I'm more pleased with the lasting connections it helped foster among pizza lovers and pizza makers over the years. Heck, the very path I'm on right now would not have been possible without Slice and the support Slice got from SE in its heyday. I do miss having a place that sifted through and filtered the pizza news/trends/happenings of the day and presented them in a single place. Not every post was a hit, but I think there were way more hits than misses, so there was a good track record, in the end.

I guess to address some of the comments above, yeah, I understand why Menkey would wonder why this material is here -- and without the context of Slice or its historical significance, I get why Menkey is confused. It's not really the kind of thing SE publishes anymore. So if you're a new reader, it's like, "WHO IS THIS GUY AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?!" Truth is, I anticipated that reaction, which is why I tried to re-introduce myself at the start of this post. And to address the other concerns people are having, yeah, I didn't get to that diverse a geographical region in 2014. NYC, parts of New Jersey, and SF were where I traveled -- oh, and Kansas City, but I skip pizza there in favor of barbecue, so ... *IF* I end up posting 8PTHMD 2015, I'll have to make sure to more strongly word the disclaimer about WHERE I ate pizza. Anyway. BLAH BLAH BLAH.


Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

I actually had a pretty hard time narrowing down the list, and this ROBERTA'S pizza was just about on there:

Stuck around after my radio appearance to have my #weeklypizzalunch (for dinner) at @robertaspizza. Here, the Axl Rosenberg: sauce, mozzarella, hot soppressata, mushrooms, and jalapeños. #pizza #nycpizza #nycpizzagram #pizzagram #pizzaporn #foodporn #onthetable #omnomnom

A photo posted by Adam Kuban (@akuban) on Oct 10, 2014 at 9:14pm PDT

And the truth is, it was a spectacular pizza and reminded me of what a magical place Roberta's is. I hadn't been in ages, and the pizza had gotten even better since whenever that was ... AND the atmosphere was as energetic and infectious as always.

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

@mjb700: I have a slice like that! I usually include one slice/pizza every year that I've only SEEN but haven't yet tasted. A slice/pizza I dream about trying. I didn't have room to add it this year, but if I DID HAVE ROOM ... That pizza would be ...

Norma Knepp's Detroit-style pizza at ROOTS MARKET, LANCASTER PA

Here's a good blog post about it: http://mainlinepizzaquest.blogspot.com/2014/12/pizza-genius-normas-pizza-roots-country.html

How to Make a Pizzarito

@Dom Inoh: You're really combing through the archives, aren't you?!?

Pizza Hack: Is Copper Better Than the Baking Steel?

Awww, man. I had a bit of a nostalgia trip seeing the name "Ratbuddy" in this post.

Pizza Obsessives: David M. Cavanagh (aka 'dmcavanagh')

@jim s: Yeah, to borrow Tupper's words from some talk we had going on Facebook, "he was an opinionated SOB," and he got my goat more than once or thrice, but he held the site to a high standard, and I would often try to write posts that would pass muster with him in mind. I wish I would have kept in better touch with him in these last few months, but it looks like he took things offline, I hope to commune with friends and family IRL and do what he loved most in the time he had left.

Thank you, also, for the kind words about M'sP. It has been incredibly fulfilling bringing this thing from the seed of an idea to where it is now. In the early days of my recipe development, I kept thinking to DMC's advice about patient experimentation and testing only one variable at a time. For all my other pizzamaking endeavors, I was all over the map. For bar pizza, I did what David suggested and methodically tested different ingredient variables until I got to where I was happy. I wish I could have invited him down to NYC for a pop-up.

Pizza Obsessives: David M. Cavanagh (aka 'dmcavanagh')

UPDATE - 2014-11-03: I'm sorry to report that David M. Cavanagh passed away on Saturday, Nov. 1 after a battle with cancer. He was a HUGE presence on Slice/Serious Eats during Slice's salad days, and I will miss him. Eat a slice in his honor tonight, folks.

Use Your Potato Masher To Break Up Ground Meat in the Skillet

@ftmftm: I've also used my Rolls to mash potatoes. Overkill.

Use Your Potato Masher To Break Up Ground Meat in the Skillet

Yeah, I've been meaning to get one or breaking up tomatoes. Maybe this gives me an excuse.

7 Old Wives' Tales About Cooking Steak That Need To Go Away

I'm not generally a negative person, and my normal reaction to seeing misinformation spread through the internet is to simply try and dilute it by spreading some verity and beauty—I've produced more than my share of articles about how to grill steaks (baked up and backed up by real science and research, no less!) in the name of truth and pageviews, and if you want to take a look at those, you can scroll on down to the bottom of this article for some links. But today, I'm fighting back for once. We're going to put to rest seven of the most stubborn myths about grilling steaks, and hopefully come out the other end as better—or at the very least, slightly less frustrated—people. More

Pizza Is...

The slap of the dough on the table
More than the words on a label
Tomato sauce, cheese
Napkins and grease
A whole pie or more if you're able More

Bread Baking: Cocktail Rye Bread

In our house, cocktail rye was typically served as the base for chopped chicken livers or cream cheese, always served open-faced, kind of like the untoasted rye version of crostini. The smaller size of the loaf always made it seem fancier to me. More

Brooklyn: Everything On The Menu at Best Pizza

Opened just over a year ago, Best Pizza has fast become one of our favorite pizzerias in New York, and yeah, it's mostly because they serve some of the tastiest by-the-slice stuff around. Since opening the shop, the menu has expanded ever-so-slightly to include sandwiches and a single salad. But man, oh man what good sandwiches those are. Check out everything they've got on the menu. More

Bread Baking: Fast Buttery Buns

Bread snob that I am, there are times when all I need is something simple. Something that can be made quickly. But even when I'm in a hurry, I'd prefer that the resulting bread isn't completely bland. Sometimes that means I'm a little more generous with flavor enhancers. Like butter! Just a little extra. Y'all. More

What to Expect at a Neapolitan Pizzeria

Things I've overheard in a Neapolitan pizzeria lately:

  • "Oh, wow, there's not that much cheese on this."
  • "They're pretty small. You could probably eat one yourself." (Waitress to customer.)
  • "You can't really pick it up."

I guess that even after the great pizza renaissance of the 2000s, Neapolitan pizza is still new to some folks. And, whatever, that's cools. I just figured I'd try to demystify it a bit if you've never had it.

Update/note: This post is geared toward folks in the U.S. or elsewhere who have never tried Neapolitan, Neapolitan-style, or Neapolitan-inspired pizza. It does not pertain to actual Neapolitan pizza in Naples, Italy.


5 Can't-Miss Korean Eating Experiences in Flushing

Visitors to Flushing, Queens might think of the neighborhood as primarily a Chinese food destination, but the world of Korean options is vast and diverse. Our intrepid Flushing explorer Chris Hansen has tracked down massive goat feasts, pork belly cooked on your table, killer Korean barbecue, and more. We asked him to pick his five favorite finds so far; check out his can't-miss Korean eating experiences in Flushing! More

Pizza Obsessives: Frank Pinello of Best Pizza

If you were at Sandwich Fest two weeks back, you most likely picked up an amazingly delicious meatball sub from Best Pizza. After running into Pizza Obsessive alum amusebouche1 at the festival, I couldn't get those hot seat questions out of my mind. Luckily, I was able to find a willing interviewee in pizzaiolo and Best Pizza (reviewed here) owner Frank Pinello. More

Building a Pizzeria: Closing in on Opening up

Building this pizzeria has been a complete whirlwind since June 1, and even as I type this post, my notepad is sitting next to my laptop, yearning for my attention. My apologies to all the Slicer's that have been following along and patiently waiting for my next post, but I should let you know this is very likely my last post before opening day, which is scheduled for... drum roll please, July 5th. More

Grilling: Roasted Corn Relish

I loved how this all came together. The first taste was of sweet and tangy corn, but the sweetness slowly fades, giving way to the heat from the jalapeno and an earthiness from the chili powder and cumin. The "relish" can double as a dip for tortilla chips, salad topping, or taco condiment—it'll add excellent flavor to whatever it touches. More

How to Make Pizza Monkey Bread

Monkey bread. Because kids go ape over it. You know what else they go ape for? Pizza. Let them help you make pizza monkey bread and they'll go positively King Kong in the kitchen. Making this stuff is way easier than making pizza, too, since you don't have to worry about stretching the dough or precise cook times. All you'll need are these recipes for dough and pizza sauce as well as and some Parmesan, mozzarella, and fresh basil. More

Koshary: Feeding a Revolution in Cairo

Liberation requires massive amounts of strength. Without discounting the passion that alone has fueled millions into a weeks-long protest, it is clear that Egyptians also rely on another direct source of energy. And that is a deceptively simple comfort food: koshary, the legendary dish that every Egyptian can both wax poetic on and furiously debate the merits of. More

Cook the Book: Pickled Ginger Peaches

To those of you not familiar with this classic Southern pickle, adding copious amounts of vinegar and sugar to perfectly ripe summer peaches might sound a little strange. But bear with me here—the combination of vinegar, sugar, and a few choice spices turn summer peaches in to a spectacular pickle that can be enjoyed well after peach season is over. More

Bread Baking: Peanut Butter Graham Crackers

While today's graham crackers aren't the same as ones promoted by 19th century diet reformer Sylvester Graham, they're still a relatively healthy option, with lots of fiber from the whole wheat. But that's not why I eat them. As far as I'm concerned, graham crackers are the perfect vehicle for peanut butter. The majority of graham crackers around here disappear under a smear of the stuff. To me, that's the perfect quick and satisfying snack. But why stop at putting peanut butter onto the graham crackers? Why not put some in the crackers as well? More

Where's the Beef?

The beef's right here, suckas! After lots of talk and little action, A Hamburger Today—in a bare-bones, not-much-to-look-at-yet version—is open for business. This is, in restaurant parlance, a soft opening, meaning that we'll be posting here on the down... More