Saturday, 17 December 2011

Homemade Pizza

Pizza #1 Slightly deformed, potentially incestuous. Still tasty.
I've been doing this blog for nearly two years now and in that time I've eaten a lot of pizza; and as we all know, with great eating comes great learning. A bit like how Vikings would drink the blood of their enemies in the hope they would absorb their fighting knowledge, like a more gruesome Highlander, I feel I've digested enough pizza to now know what I'm talking about. What I'm trying and failing and getting distracted by Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery to say is that I think I've now eaten enough pizza made by other people to have a go at making it myself. If my Father were alive and literate, I'm sure he'd be hugely disappointed that this will be the greatest achievement of my twenty-five years.

Pizza #2 Getting better, maybe the result of a coupling of greater distance. If the last one was brother-sister, this is maybe cousin-cousin? Maybe even second cousins, or is that me being big headed?

Whenever I'm feeling unsure what the right thing to do is, or lost like a lamb with no shepherd, there's one book I turn to for advice, spiritual support and hope for Mankind's salvation. I think we all know what I'm talking about, Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals. Seriously, the recipes in this totally make up for Jamie's multitude of sins. Which I've handily listed right here:

  • He dresses like a rich, fat, fourteen-year-old on non-school uniform day (i.e. he's making an effort, but it's still gone horribly, horribly wrong).
  • He calls everyone 'brother'. He is way too white to do this.
  • His haircut is so, so awful, to the point that it almost excuses those dreadful trucker hats he keeps wearing.
  • When he's tasting something he does that thing where he rotates his finger because he's concentrating on the flavours so much. This annoys me because I've started doing that when I cook, and I hate to think I'm that easily influenced.
  • His wife is too beautiful.
  • He cried a lot on his American show and made us, as a nation, look weak and badly dressed.
  • He opened a shop near my Dad (who's not really dead or illiterate FYI) where people learn to cook a meal then buy all the ingredients for it. This feels too smug and makes me want to riot a little.
But, like I said, all those perhaps over zealous criticisms are forgiven because this book is so handy. Particularly it's recipe for Cheat's Pizza. I guess it's called 'cheat's' because you cook the pizza in a frying pan not in a wood-fired oven. This annoyed me because I only found that out after I'd bought and installed a massive wood fired oven in my tiny kitchen. It's huge, it blocks the kitchen door and I think my flatmate Jack is stuck in there because I haven't seen him for a few weeks and there's a weird(er) smell coming from the other side.

Pizza #3 This guy's parents met online, they're both really good looking and from entirely different countries. Actually one of them was black. Yep, that's right, this pizza was so good, it was mixed race.

Basically you fry the pizza for 10 or so minutes then stick it under the grill for 5 minutes. It tastes pretty good and is really quick to make. As you can see from the photos my pizzas, like my belly, are getting steadily rounder. I've tried to give these pizzas a fair and unbiased score, it wasn't easy, but I think you'll agree this is what they deserve:

10 out of 10

Thursday, 17 November 2011

!!! Faux-Posh Pizza Double Review !!! Maximum WOW !!!

So it looks like fancy pizzas are the new 'in-thing' in the mass pizza delivery world. How exciting. Call your children to tell them. If you don't have children that's fine, just record a video of you telling them to show your future baby the moment it pops out of your/your wife's/your girlfriend's/some girl's vagina.

At least this is the information I'm gleaming from Domino's and Pizza Hut's recent foray into 'not-obviously-crap' pizzas. I like the idea of companies watching the rise and fall of pizza trends. I'd like to think there are such things as pizza trends. It's nice to imagine they have charts and graphs measuring the popularity of various toppings all pinned up in their boardroom, so they know what kind of pizza is most likely to be the biggest thing on the pizza scene since someone decided to stuff a crust. There must be countless meetings where a bunch of pizza bigwigs discuss what new, so-hot-right-now, pizza is going to be the pizza equivalent of the music industry's seemingly relentless attempt to cash-in on the pedo-pound. They're searching for their very own Justin Pizzber. That's not a great pun, but I needed to lighten the mood quickly because mentioning pedophiles is rarely good for morale.

ANYWAY. Here's a couple of pizzas that, despite the fact they were obviously thought up in a horrible, corporate factory somewhere and are made of shit, are trying to convince me they're Fancy-Pants McCheese. Like they think I'm stupid. I'm going to prove I'm not stupid by writing about them. Could a stupid person write an irritating, pointless review to be read by perhaps a dozen people? I think not.

Domino's Gourmet Range: Rustica

So this is Domino's attempt at class and it's a bit like the pizza equivalent of MTV's G's to Gents. Did you ever watch that? It was like a hip-hop version of Tool Academy. You didn't watch that either? Good for you. Basically they just took a bunch of loser dickheads who all thought they were major players in the game and told them to start wearing ties. Not that that's bad advice, it's just that some people look so uncomfortable in a tie you wish they'd take it off because it's making your neck itch. 

That's pretty much what's going on here. Domino's are dressing one of their regular pizzas up in a fancy suit and telling me he's a changed man. As if just because they're using 'SunBlush' baby tomatoes, the maxi-stodge base isn't going to turn my belly into the digestive equivalent of a motorway pile-up. As if having something as unconventional as spinach on there is going have me reassessing my belief that all Domino's ingredients are actually made from the same Play-Doh-like substance and all the guy at the shop has to do is paint the different toppings the right colour. No way buddy. Not happening dog. I'm like the girlfriend of a recently released convict who got banged up for domestic battery. "You ain't never getting in this house no more! No way, no how!"

Pizza Hut: Primo Italiano

'Primo Italiano'? Seriously? That's the best name you could come up with? It sounds like when you're on holiday and your Dad talks in an accent because he thinks that will help locals understand him. If that has ever happened to you, then don't worry, I don't know that because I was hiding behind a lamp post, watching, while your Father argued with an Italian traffic warden outside the airport. I'm not stalking you, or following you and your family and that dipshit boyfriend of yours around while you're all on holiday. That would be weird. Anyway, plane tickets to Tuscany are too expensive at this time of year and I know you might think you saw me when you were at that market trying on that bracelet but try and remember I have a very generic face. It could have been anyone. Anyone except me.

Anyway, this pizza can do one. It's like those guys that go to bars alone in tacky suits and sit there sipping a lime and soda and barging their way into girls' conversations. They reek of cheap perfume and I imagine they get home at 2am and try and call their mother and when she doesn't pick up they have a crank and stay up all night entering those TV roulette shows. I feel sorry for those guys. I don't feel sorry for this pizza though because it's just a pizza and therefore has no feelings, only cheese.


When you polish a turd all you end up with is a polished turd. Which admittedly is better than a normal turd, (it's all nice and polished for God's sake!) but it is still a turd and you wouldn't want to put it in your mouth. Which is exactly what I did with these two pizzas. But then I am by no means a good example of someone who makes sensible decisions concerning what to put, and not put, in their mouth (not much homo).

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Princi: White Cheese and Smoked Ham

Princi is a bakery on Wardour Street. I like it because it's simultaneously classy and cheap. Sort of like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. What gives Princi the edge over Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman is that, as far as I know, Richard Gere was not involved at any point, and had nothing to do with the production of my pizza. That was a good call, managers of Princi. Before they opened they probably had a meeting debating whether or not to have a Richard Gere themed restaurant, mercifully they decided against it. They didn't even opt for a subtle compromise, like a loaf of bread shaped like RG's big, smug, face. They took a staunch 'No Gere Here!' policy, and it paid off. As far as an extra point being added to their score on a lame, little pizza blog that is read by precisely no one of significance* can be considered 'paying off'.

I got this pizza on a Tuesday night, and even though it was only a Tuesday, Princi was totally full and there was nowhere to sit. So my companion and I decided to find a nice park bench and have a late night, urban picnic. I'd never noticed this before, but the West End of London is severely lacking in the park bench department. We literally walked around for about forty-five minutes, and literally did not see a single bench. Literally, literally. In fairness this was only a minor inconvenience. Grumpy, middle-class white boy had to sit on the curb to eat his fancy pizza, boo fucking hoo, but it did make think how tough it must be being a homeless bum in that part of London. Sure there are probably shelters for them to sleep in, but I imagine those places have a bit of condescending view on all the crack and smack that I, as a homeless bum, would be looking to score.

*If you are reading this and consider yourself significant, please give your reasons as to why and, if I find them convincing enough, I'll happily send you an apology, hand-written in blood (not my own).

7 out of 10

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Ecco: Margherita

On Drury Lane there's a little cafe with a sign outside offering 11" pizzas for £3.50. Normally I'd see that and do a little scoff because, for £3.50, you usually end up with a lump of bread that's been soaked in floor cleaner and liquid heart disease. However I was right to stifle my scoff. Partly because I was by myself, and what kind of jerk stands outside a quiet cafe in the middle of the afternoon making audible scoffing noises? That would both look weird and be weird. People walking past would think "Why is that guy staring at that sign making those odd throat noises? He must be a weirdo" and they'd be right. That's one reason it was a scoff-free experience, the other is that Ecco make a bloody nice little pizza. Really gooey.

I like gooey, sloppy pizzas. I like when holding it all together actually takes serious concentration and if you're not careful your fingers take a long, sticky trip down Hot-Tomato-Cheese Road. That's quite an unlikely name for a road and probably doesn't exist, but if it does and anyone lives there, let me know so I can come and live with you.

I don't think you should be able to hold a pizza upside down above your head without getting a messy head massage from uncle gravity. This is perhaps not a test that should be carried out in real life because the only possible outcomes are either that you have a pizza made partially of glue or you get a unusually tasty new hat. Definite lose-lose. Yummy pizza guys, nice work!

8 out of 10

Friday, 5 August 2011

Tesco: Spicy Meatball Calzone

This seemed a bit posh for Tesco, but then in my eyes not living in a car with your wife-sister-daughter-mum is a bit posh for Tesco so maybe I'm a little bias. I hate shopping at Tesco. I'm not some anti-capitalist, burn 'em down revolutionary. I'm more than happy paying for Mr and Mrs Sainsbury's eighth summer holiday of the year, and I'm pretty sure I'm putting the Morrison's kids through higher education, but Tesco just feels evil. I think it's the font. I also don't like the slew of faceless celebrity voices that keep telling me 'every little helps.' Whichever way you look at it, that's a horrible slogan. Either it's really patronising, and suggesting that the huge, unbearable awfulness that is my life is, albeit briefly, relieved by the infinite benevolence of Tecso's 2 for £4 offer on Innocent Smoothies, or, and perhaps more sinisterly, it's implying that 'every little' purchase is inching Tesco closer and closer to some nefarious goal. Like there's the equivalent of Blue Peter's Totaliser in their head office, except evil, filled with blood and covered in skulls. Actually, I think I was right the first time, it is the font. Also, is there a more boring colour scheme than red, white and blue? I'd be more into a subtle range of greys and beiges. Patriotism, shmatriotism.

This was actually not bad, and I think it only cost about £3. That's pretty good for what is essentially a fancy, unorthodox pizza. What's fun about calzones is the way that, because all the toppings are compressed together, they burst in little pockets of tomato and cheese when you bite into them. Mmmm. That was definitely the sexiest sentence ever written in the history of this blog.

7 out of 10

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pizza Hut: Sizzling Sweet Chilli

Sshhh. This review is being whispered to you because I ate this while watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in a friend's living room. It was quite a small living room, there were about seven people there and as I was the only one who'd ordered food I felt bad because I was making a lot of noise while people, about 50% of whom I knew, pretended the volume of the TV was enough to drown out me wafting the cardboard pizza box around and chewing like a lawnmower. It wasn't. If they'd been a gullible bunch they might have thought Voldemort had cast a 'Super-Irritatus-Soundius-Everywherio' spell on Harry and the gang. However they didn't think that because I make a point of not hanging out with morons. Although we were a bunch of twenty-somethings getting emotionally involved in a Harry Potter movie, so maybe I do. Buckbeak... :,(

I've had bad experiences with spicy pizzas in the past. Sadly not exciting 'bad experiences', like attempted murder or heartbreak, only pedestrian ones like them being too spicy. Thankfully this pizza was spicy enough to warrant a "Woah, this guy's zingy", without becoming a "I can feel my brain sweating out of my nose, I'm going to stop eating so I don't die." This is a delicate balance to get right. I should point out those would have been internal thoughts and not said out loud, especially to group of already annoyed half-strangers, and especially not half way through arguably the best Harry Potter film of them all, and especially not when I was so hungry doing anything with my mouth other than eating seemed inconceivable. Especially, especially.

Sometimes I get like that, where I have food and I'm so hungry that literally all I can think about is eating. Things like breathing, manners and snogging hotties take a few steps down the priority ladder. The amount of times I've had to pass up smooching some next-level babe because I had pizza to eat is higher than you'd think, (assuming you'd guessed a negative number).

7 out of 10

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

La Formachetta: Casareccia

I've put 'Casareccia' in the title of this post because that was the pizza I ordered. The pizza I ate and the pizza in the photo is not a 'Casareccia' it's a 'Ortolana'. Which, if you ask me, (which you didn't, I'm just pre-empting your curiosity, you're welcome), sound more like Lamborghinis than pizzas. But then that could be down to the Italian-ness of the names. And when you're as pig-headed as I am, buying supermarket own brand tampons* would sound like describing how a girl's cheeks glisten like rose petals in the fresh morning dew,** just so long as you said it in Italian.

* F.Y.I. "Ciao, vorrei acquistare questi tamponi super economic per favore?"
**"Mi piace il tuo boobies"

I'm getting a bit distracted from explaining why the pizza listed wasn't the pizza eaten. The explanation's pretty simple. Dumb waiters. I'm not talking about the little lifts used to transport food, although they had those as well. They had both types of dumb waiters, the useful kind and the useless kind. If they also had a waiter that was literally unable to speak then that would be great because then they would have the full spectrum of 'dumb waiters'. It could be like a dumb waiter museum. That would be a good day out, perhaps a potential date spot. Preferably take someone you don't want to go out with anymore but are too scared to dump.

Anyway the idiot shmuck with the notepad brought me the wrong pizza, I told him it was the wrong pizza, he told me it wasn't, I told him I'd ordered one with sausage and this had aubergine and aubergines aren't sausages, he didn't believe me and then I noticed I had about 15 minutes to eat it anyway as I had places to be. So I put down the gun and let the hostages go. It's cool, we still keep in touch.


Friday, 10 June 2011

The Haggerston: Margherita

If you've never been, the Haggerston is a pub in Dalston. In fact, even if you have been it's still a pub in Dalston. It's location is in no way dependant on your attendance. That must come as a relief, to know that you are in no way responsible for the livelihood and well being of one of my many local drinking establishments. Or perhaps not, maybe its highlighted the true magnitude of your insignificance, to know that you, a self-aware, semi-capable human being are powerless to have any real effect on a pile of bricks. Maybe you could burn it down? Molotov cocktails through the windows? All that alcohol must be a fire hazard, and think of what it would do for your sense of self-worth. I expect you'd finally feel ready to audition for X-Factor or something. Don't though, (burn down the Haggerston or audition for X-Factor), I have a couple of chums that work there and I'd hate to think of them jobless/dying in fiery agony.

It would also be a shame because the pizza's are pretty good. They're kind of sloppy in a good way and the margherita's only £5.50 or something. And there's chilli oil if you're so inclined. They do a bunch of wacky toppings like pear or artichokes. I don't like artichokes, they're wankers. More like artiNOPES! Geddit?!?! If you didn't understand, let me deconstruct that shit little joke for you like it was a brand new set of reverse-Lego. Consider this a little peek behind the curtain to see how the magic happens:

Phase 1: Realisation I don't enjoy artichokes. I find them tough to chew and rude. They are rude vegetables. If they had the facilities to ignore more me I'm pretty sure they would. - I decide to illustrate this fact in pun form.

Phase 2: Gestation Having realised and accepted my negative feelings towards the vegetables I look at ways to subtly work this into word play of some kind. Fartichokes? Too childish. Although, obviously, bloody funny. Something less toilet orientated....Aha!

Phase 3: Actualisation Thus artiNOPES is born. Like a human birth there is a lot of blood, screaming and women in pain.

Now you know the extreme lengths that I go to for all these crap jokes. Gratitude please. Or money. In fact forget gratitude. Gratitude can't earn me Nectar points.

The other thing I like about the Haggerston is that there's a little room before the toilets where both the girls and the boys queue up. It's separated by communal sinks and I always think must be a great place to chat to ladies. Classic lines like "Washing your hands are you? Why? Did you accidently piss on them?" or, directed towards some hottie mid-queue, "Hey, so what are you here for? Poo or a wee?" have, as of writing, gained me precisely zero girlfriends. I'll let you know if that changes.

8 out of 10

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Trattoria Da Luigi: Spicy Sausage

Story time! Actually wait, that's misleading. Calling this a story implies there's some kind of drama or suspense involved, or it has even the tiniest amount of narrative drive. I wouldn't want to lead anyone on by suggesting something like that. I'll be more specific and try again:

Dull story time! A few days ago my friends asked me if I wanted to meet them for a lunchtime pizza. I'm not going to tell you what I said because you should really be able to make a fairly educated guess by now, in the same way you should have caught on to the predictability of the 'sticking hands in flames = burns', and 'large Nazi memorabilia collection = a lot less custody' patterns of cause and effect. They told me to meet them at "The Il Baccio pizzeria on Stoke Newington Church Street". However, and I'm ashamed I haven't noticed this before, there are four different pizza places with 'Il Baccio' signs on that road. It is possible that there are more than four pizza places vying for the title of Church Street's premier Il Baccio, but I had to wander around three of them looking like I'd been victim of a particularly unimaginative prank before I found my chums.

See what I mean about dull stories? How uninteresting was that? The concise version of that 'story' would be: It took me longer than expected to find the restaurant. Snawn* or what? I feel sorry for my Grandchildren, they're going to hate hanging out with me. I'll be the senile, grey-haired equivalent of Nytol. I probably don't need to worry about Grandkids just yet. I hear to get to that point you need to cross the 'kids' barrier first, and to get to 'kids' you need to cross the 'fertile, vaguely consenting woman' barrier. Neither of which looks like it will be happening any time soon. Anyway this pizza was actually really tasty, and totally worth the wandering.

*To snore and yawn simultaneously.

9 out of 10

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Homa: Calzone

If I was a travel card I’d want to make sure I was valid in zones 1 – 'Cal'. ßWhat a shit opening joke. I was going to make a funny about the Kenny Loggins song, you know the one from Top Gun and substitute “Highway to the dangerzone” to “Highway to the calzone” but it didn’t have enough syllables and doesn't really work phonetically due to pronunciation issues. When it comes to shoddy puns about 80’s power pop let it never be said I’m not a stickler. I don’t imagine anyone has ever actually said the words “that Joe guy can't stickle for shit”, which I guess means people are abiding by my wishes. Thanks guys, let’s keep a lid on this ‘non-stickler’ nonsense. I don’t want to get some kind of reputation.

I like to think of calzones as the Italian Cornish pasty, in the sense that they are like a pastry parcel filled with lunch. It’s quite telling as to how much classier Italy is than Cornwall based on what constitutes ‘lunch’. In Cornwall you open up your pasty and you get a lump of ground up meat and carrots, in Italy you get tomato sauce, cheese, ham, mushrooms, a bit of basil, maybe some olive oil.  This comparison is basically a less funny and more specific version of Homer’s (the Greek poet) “White people have names like Lenny and black people have names like Carl” joke, except it would be “Italian people have things in their pasties like mozzarella and Cornish people have things in their pasties like mincemeat.”

Speaking of the famous yellow fat dudes, (not Jackie Chan you racist pig, he's not fat) these guys are pretty big fans of Homer, so much so they named the restaurant after him. However they obviously went over budget and could only afford an ‘A’ and not an ‘ER’ for the sign. I like this because it gives everything a bit of an urban edge. It’s basically a hip-hop/Simpsons themed restaurant. I went there once before, for brunch, but I just had a fry up, not pizza. If you’re the kind of person that has pizza for brunch then you’re sick and probably know where Maddie is.

8 out of 10

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Perfect Pizza: Sheer Perfection

I'd seen a few Perfect Pizza shops around town and had written them off as existing about one rung below Domino's on the ladder of 'gross pizzas'. That's a pretty bad rung to be on, in fact I'm not even sure it's still part of the ladder. It may just be lying on the ground at the foot of the ladder, probably in a puddle of muddy water. Despite my reservations I decided to give it a shot on the glowing recommendation of my flatmate. New rule: Never listen to my flatmate.

For £22 we got two large pizzas, chicken wings, potato wedges, garlic bread and some dips. In fairness that's a pretty good deal, here's a list of those things ranked in order of how much I liked them:
1) Chicken wings.
2) Potato wedges.
3) Garlic bread.
4) The dips.
5) The pizza.

Like my old Gramps has never said, nor will ever say because he's not from the old West, "When dips trump pizza, shit ain't right".

In the photo, if you look closely, you can kind of see the cheese is shining a little bit. I don't want shiny cheese. Shiny cars, shiny shoes, shiny shins, fine, shiny cheese, not so much. Also, and maybe I was unlucky and this was just a one off, but I think the guy that made my pizza ran out of tomato sauce and the only thing he had to replace it with was salt. Loads of salt. Luckily for me I'm not a slug because this pizza would have shrivelled the shit out of me. Not that having to spend the rest of my life unable to eat this pizza because it would now be fatal to me would be the worst thing about waking up to find I'd become a slug. There'd be loads of other drawbacks, like not having legs, or eyes or arms or no slime. I think perhaps I (and possibly all of us) take not being slimy for granted, we shouldn't, we're so lucky to be able to live slime-free lives. Think about that. Jah bless.

3 out of 10

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Indo: Forestiere

Indo is either a pub or a bar in Whitechapel. I'm not sure which because it looked like a pub in the sense that there were old wooden tables everywhere, it was dimly lit and a man brought his dog in but it may have been a bar because have you ever heard of a pub with a name like Indo? I was there because it was a friend's birthday and it serves pizza, both valid reasons to leave the house.

They have a classic, old-fashioned wood fired oven that churns out crispy pizzas every fifteen minutes or so. Slightly irritating however is that this oven is apparently only big enough for one pizza at a time, so considering there were about a dozen of us, pizzas came out at a slow enough pace to leave each person taking turns being the solitary pizza eater, while everyone else had to sit around watching them chew. It's almost as if Indo never considered the possibility that more than one person could come in and actually want to eat pizza at the same time. Maybe, prior to my friend's birthday, their clientele consisted solely of sad, hungry loners. Not such an unreasonable theory, Whitechapel does kind of bum me out. I can imagine if I had to spend a lot of time there my sadness, loneliness and hunger levels would increase at a similar pace. I think it's because the pavement's so wide it feels a bit like you're adrift in some dismal, concrete desert, that and all the sirens. So a desolate, urban wasteland exclusively populated by crime and accidents. Cheery stuff.

The Forestiere was a simple enough affair, ham, mushrooms, onions and an egg. Good old eggs. I'm getting into eggs on pizzas. Do you think chickens realise how lucky they are that people value their menstruations? This is a little gross but, girls, would it ease the cramping and moods or whatever if someone were to write you a charming letter once a month whole-heartedly thanking you for your used tampons? Would that make all the bleeding a little more bearable? Bear in mind I'm not offering to write these letters, I'm speaking in hypotheticals, don't send me any creepy, damp parcels. They definitely won't get opened.

7 out of 10

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Chicken Nugget Pizza

I've begun the last few posts apologising for my lack of activity and blaming laziness. I'm not going to do that this time because it's been over a month and apologising for being that negligent would be like apologising to a grieving mother after you'd mowed down her baby boy in your Fiat Punto with a box of Miniature Heroes. So in conclusion, I'm an awful person and I don't deserve your forgiveness.

This is my friend Cassie and she really likes chicken nuggets.

Her thirst for the little lumps of pulverised chicken guts is funny because Cassie is a girl and I'm disappointed every time I remember Cassie's pockets aren't filled with moonbeam lollipops or marshmallows made by unicorn babies. There's probably just some spare change, a cigarette lighter or lint in there. I'm just guessing, I've never asked because "Hey, so, what's in your pockets?" is a question only friendly muggers or a drunk Gollum could get away with asking.

Cassie fucking loves chicken nuggets. If it rhymed and she had more pop culture relevance, 50 Cent should have substituted his "Love you like a fat kid loves cake" line for "Love you like Cassie loves chicken nuggets". Were I ever to be dangling off one side of a bridge and there was a single chicken nugget hanging off the other and Cassie only had time to save one of us I wouldn't fancy my chances. I feel a bit silly using the word 'fetish', but I don't think phrases like 'keen interest' or 'enthusiasm for' quite convey the severity of her passion for chicken nuggets, so I'm going to have to go with it. Cassie has a chicken nugget fetish.

We had a conversation about how great a pizza with chicken nuggets would be that went exactly like this:

Cassie: Wouldn't a pizza with chicken nuggets be great?

Myself: Yes Cassie, it would.

So we made one. Here's a recipe that's easier to follow than Charlie Sheen's Twitter. (See, I haven't been locked away in an Eastern European prison for the last six weeks, I still know what's up).

1) Nuggets take longer to cook than pizza. To ensure both finish cooking at the same time, cook the nuggets on their own a little first.

Here are some nuggets about to be put into the oven. The more astute amongst you will notice a distinct lack of pizza.

2) Once your nuggets are half cooked stick those squishy little dickheads on a pizza and put it all back in the oven.

If you compare this photo to the one above, you will see that the quantity of pizzas present has increased by precisely 1.

3) Eat the bastard.


Sunday, 30 January 2011

Top 1 Pizza: Meat Lover's

I grew up in Oxford and went back this weekend because my friends were putting on a night that we all used to go to when I was a young 'un. This night's heyday was about five years ago and most of my memories of it involve rolling around on broken glass and hi-fiving people after they'd been sick. Sorry Jesse Lacey but I'm glad I didn't stay 18 forever. That said, drinks were drunk and fun was had and this was the flyer:

Anyway this is all sort of irrelevant because if this blog starts becoming more about my issues with my ever escalating age and less about pizza then it's gone horribly wrong and I should just give up and move to Egypt. I feel the most interesting/least uninteresting thing about this pizza is that it was a lesson in context, in the sense that despite being no better than your average 4am takeaway sludge-fest, there were outside factors that lifted this pizza out of the cheesy mire and into genuinely non-awful territory. A victory for crap pizzas everywhere, Lord knows they needed one.

These contributing factors were three-fold. Firstly I was really quite drunk, and as a result more positive and enthusiastic about things like spicy beef and BBQ sauce. Secondly, it was fucking freezing and the two slices I scoffed in the shop before running home acted like an electric cheese blanket for my belly. And finally when I convinced my friend to let me into his house with a subtle, yet assertive amount of knocking, I had to eat it on the stairs because that was the only floor space not occupied by irritated, nagging bodies. It was completely dark on the stairs, which meant I was able to redistribute the energy I'd normally spend on using my eyes to my taste buds, which gave everything a little more oomph. I don't want to give this pizza more credit than it deserves, it was way too cheesy and it's name has overly homoerotic undertones. To be honest it was just well timed, that's all, but then so was Woodstock so I guess I shouldn't really dismiss it on those grounds.

7 out of 10

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Pizza Sandwich

When I first had the idea of making a pizza sandwich I imagine I was equal parts hungry and smug. In retrospect, next time I'm feeling 'smungry' I'll listen to the little voice that's telling me what a disgusting slob I am and that I'd be better off eating an Elevenses breakfast bar and shutting up. Sorry blood pressure, it wasn't anything personal.

Here's a bit of context to hopefully pry the tiniest bit of sympathy out of you: I was really quite hungover and there were two Morrison's thin and crispy pizzas sitting in my fridge looking sad no-one was eating them. Pizza empathy got the better of me and I decided I couldn't stand idly by and do nothing about this, but with two pizzas and only one slot left in my daily meal allowance it was like Sophie's Choice but with toppings. The solution to the two pizzas, one plate dilemma seemed obvious at the time, but looking back I now see it was the culinary equivalent of deciding the solution to itchy mosquito bites is shotgun shells.

If you're ever faced with the unlikely situation of suffering from a split personality where one identity is Kevin Spacey in Seven and the other is the fat guy that Kevin Spacey kills with baked beans in Seven then here's the recipe for a slightly less boring alternative to beans for your psychotic, biblical suicide:

Step 1) Get two pizzas that are the same size.

Step 2) Put them on top of each other, one face down, so the toppings are touching.

Step 3) Cook them.

Step 4) Eat them.

Step 5) Hate yourself.

I did this at about 4 in the afternoon, felt dreadful for the rest of the day and had to go find a dark corner in the street to make myself vomit that evening at work. GOOD TIMES.

NEVER AGAIN out of 10

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Pizza Quest Sells Out

I have a friend who works for a clothes company called Lazy Oaf. They've got a jumper that's covered in pizzas, so knowing I'm partial to pizzas she decided it would be best for everyone if I had one.

This is it:

It's a bit like that Simpson's Halloween Special where Homer gets his head transformed into a giant donut and he keeps nibbling himself, except 80% cotton is perhaps less tasty than a genuine pizza so it's unlikely that I'm going to start ripping chunks out of my belly and eating them, at least not in public.

They also gave me this little pizza necklace:

The necklace is pretty shiny and I don't know if it's too girly for my hairy, man-neck, but free stuff is always appreciated so I can't really complain. If this whole pizza thing goes too far and I start a crusade against crime as a pizza-themed vigilante then it's good to know I already have most of my costume sorted out. I know it's not on the same level as having your parents gunned down in Crime Alley but my phone got nicked the other day so I also have a tragic origin story prepared. Thinking about it, perhaps it would be irresponsible for me NOT to become a pizza themed super hero. The Mozzarella Avenger? The Scarlet Slice? Suggestions welcome.  

Lazy Oaf also asked me some questions, so if you fancy exploring the deepest recesses of my psyche in my most revealing and shocking (read: first) exposé yet, looky here.

If he were still alive, Henry Rollins would be so mad at me.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Domino's: Duluxe with Double Decadence 'Basil Burst' Base

I've been really lazy and not put up a review for a while. I'm not going to apologise, I don't owe you anything, I never agreed to do these at a specified rate, so leave me alone and please stop hassling me about it.

Obviously no-one has actually hassled me and there have been precisely zero concerned e-mails asking if I'm OK or if I've choked on a stuffed crust or OD'd on cheese or some other Darwin Award worthy death. I'm fine, no need to worry non-existent fan base.

Speaking of bases, Domino's have got quite creative with their previous 'Double Decadence' idea, which, in case you're blissfully unaware, is when they slip a thin layer of cheese between two thin crusts effectively turning the whole thing into a giant, revolting sandwich. The Domino's creative team, no doubt operating from a dark tower lined with human heads on spikes, in a forest filled with bats,  have taken this concept one step further, (which, if you're keeping track, is two steps too far). So now, instead of just boring old cheese they've generously given us the option of the 'Basil Burst' base. Despite sounding like a headline in the obituaries section of the CBBC newspaper, it is in fact something far worse and not nearly as funny.

I didn't actually check the ingredients of the 'Basil Burst' filling, but I don't think I need to because I'm fairly sure it would look like this:

Soap (64%), Salt (22%), Green Plasticine (9%), Regret (5%), Not Basil (>1%).

Basil Burst eh? More like Basil Worst! Don't worry, my New Year's resolution is to finally come up with one genuinely funny joke. I think I'll manage it eventually, I've got a good feeling about August.

2 out of 10