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~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (10/15/10) ~

Culinary Q & A #2

Today is Friday and I am pleased to report this is a week that has had a happy ending on all fronts:

First and foremost, all 33 Chilean miners (along with their 6 rescuers) have been reunited with their families and are pretty healthy too.  I'm proud to say I watched all 39 be safely returned to the earth's surface!

Secondly, since Penn State doesn't play football tomorrow,  I stepped away from tailgate fare and cooked some great Fall meals which got plugged into my new Category 19:  Just Family-Style Family Dinners.  From my blog's stats, it seems that more than a few of you are liking that category and are anxious to try some of the recipes.  All three thusfar:  Apple-Braised Pork Pot Roast w/Apple Pan Gravy, Veal Chops Braised in Tomato-Basil Sauce and My E-Z "Real" Roasted Chicken Breasts & Gravy got almost as many hits as David's Penn State Pita Pizza did a couple of weeks ago.  Once again, if you have any special requests, let me know and I'll cook it up and get it posted for you ASAP! 

Thirdly, Kitchen Encounters had one great question, followed by feedback regarding last weeks ~ Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza ~, recipe found in Categories 2, 17 & 19.  Here we go!

Q.  Jesse asks (in regard to the Dutch oven used to prepare Apple-Briased Pork Pot Roast):  I have a 10" cast-iron camp stove, which essentially functions as the exact same type of pan except:  #1) it is cast-iron; #2) the sides aren't exactly straight; and, #3) you can use the lid as a skillet.  Can I use this in place of a Dutch oven?

A.  Kitchen Encounters:  I am familiar with the Lodge cast-iron camp stove and it is a great piece of equipment.  It really doesn't matter if the sides aren't straight.  Two things do matter.  #1)  The roast should fit easily into the bottom of the pan.  Since your pan is 10" at its base, make sure you tell your butcher you need a roast no more than 9 1/2" in length.  #2)  When the lid is placed on your camp stove, it must close tightly without touching the top of the roast.  The roast will not brown properly unless there is some clear air space between it and the lid.

C.  Jesse says:  I made the Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza.  It's like a meat pie.  It's wonderful and it will feed 8 people easy.  I followed the crust recipe without exception and it worked great.  This took longer to make than it seemed it should have, but I can totally see how if you've done this a couple of times you could get this in the oven in an hour or so, and with a little practice, I probably could have banged a lot of it out while the dough was rising.  The 12" cast-iron skillet worked great too, but there is no way on God's green earth, even after resting it for 30 minutes, that you are getting that Pizza out of the pan in one piece!

Chicago Pizza alla Jesse A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Thanks so much for the feedback and for e-mailing this picture of your Chicago pizza, which came out FABULOUS!

For those of you looking at this pizza picture, look very closely as Jesse's pizza is still in his 12" cast-iron skillet here.

I can only imagine how hard, even impossible, it is to remove the pizza in one piece from the skillet.  Because Chicago pizza is so thick, that is why the traditional pans have a removable bottom.  That being said, after resting it, I'd probably recommend that you cut it into quarters or eighths while it is still in the skillet, then remove the pieces one at a time.  And remember, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is supposed to be ooey-gooey-oozy and served very hot.  Most people eat the first half of their slice with a knife and fork.  By the looks of your pizza, I am certain you had no complaints!!!

Have a great weekend everyone, and once again:  To leave a comment or ask a question, simply click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Commentary and Photos courtesy Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)


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