Saturday, February 09, 2008

Potato Pizza with Bacon and Rosemary (Page 198)

  • Date: Saturday, February 2, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Paul
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: C

I am running out of pizzas that sound good in The Book, but I am still excited about using my new pizza stone and baker's peel, so I made this pizza with Paul last weekend. Perhaps you have noticed that potatoes aren't on the list of possible toppings at Pizza Hut. Or Little Ceasar's. Or Domino's. You know why? Potatoes on pizza aren't good. Don't get me wrong: I love potatoes. I feel like I am betraying a lover by saying that there are foods that they are ill-suited for. But I write here to speak the truth, and the truth is that potato pizza is bad. For one thing, topping a bread with a layer of another starch results in an end product that is terribly starchy with hardly anything to contrast that. Potatoes also have so much moisture that the dough under the potatoes becomes wet and slimy, rather than a nice, crusty pizza crust. It's gross. The flavor of this pizza was my main complaint though. The potatoes dominated the pizza in a way that really didn't work for me. Paul, struggling for something nice to say about it, offered, "Well, it's the best potato pizza I have ever had...," a comment which only reflects his good sense in never before having eaten one. I wasn't going to eat the leftovers and Paul wasn't excited about them either, so I threw the remaining half-pizza in the freezer for Matty (who eats anything!). He arrived last night and immediately started rummaging for food. He found the pizza slices, and before I could even warn him they were gross, had helped himself. The mysterious thing: he loved it! Apparently he fell in love with potato pizza once in Rome (yes, there are people out there who think potatoes on pizza is a good idea, but you have to go to Italy to find them), and he claimed that this potato pizza, "Tastes just like it should." So there you go. It found a supporter. His lobbying changed my opinion not-at-all though. This pizza was an example of two things I truly love (potatoes and pizza) coming together to form something very bad. Eating this pizza was like watching two close friends suffer through a tumultuous and painful romantic relationship with one another.

This recipe isn't online.

Life lesson of the day: When one is going out hiking, and one is given a beautiful trail map, it is best not to leave it in the car. Late this afternoon Matty and I went to Brown County State Park to go for a hike. As it was late in the day, and we were looking for something not-so-strenuous, we picked a nice, short trail (3.6 miles). We looked at the trail map before we left, and then we were on our way. All was going well for at least the first 2.5 miles or so. We were having an enjoyable hike. The weather was gorgeous. It's a nice state park. But then, somehow, we got lost. This is not the first time this has happened. In this particular case, there was almost no excuse. The trail was beautifully marked throughout the vast majority of our hike. Yet there we were, with the sun slowly setting, lost in the woods. As it is winter, there was no one else in the woods with us. The only people we ran into couldn't tell us how to find where we wanted to go. In fact all they could tell us was that we had somehow wandered onto private property, which was the one piece of information we knew. So we picked a direction and kept hiking. Every time we came to a juncture a long analysis was followed by many brief excursions in various directions until we picked a direction to go. Eventually this algorithm worked. Just as the sun had disappeared from the sky we found our way. It was good too, because although I was suitably dressed for a late day hike, as the sun was going down the air was getting colder, and I was none too happy about the idea of wandering through the woods in the dark.

So in the future: the trail map goes in my pocket, not on the front seat of the car.


Daniel said...

This Thanksgiving, Silvia Due (Curly) came to my house and she made a kind of amazing bacon and potato pizza. So I think success in this area is possible.

Teena said...

Well eventually I will have to make my way to Italy and taste the real thing. Perhaps that will change my mind about potato pizzas!