The place where pizza comes to be written about

Micky Worthless and budget pizzas

Pete’s note: One of the more happier happenings of my recent life has been my discovery of the Don’t Flop rap battle league, in which I am proud to say I have now become an active participant. I’ve made a great many friends through the league, too many to mention in detail, but one of the main ones is Micky Worthless, who is not just a brilliant battle rapper and very funny man, he’s also a thoroughly genuine and adorable bloke. Micky is unemplizzle – that’s “between jobs” to me and you – so I asked him to give me his guide to pizzas when there’s not much cash in one’s pocket. He did not disappoint…

This man is a genius

I was gonna take a picture of this pizza I was eating for lunch but forgot to until the last bite. It was nice. I got it half price at Tesco. I don’t normally buy the Pizza Express ones but I saw it on offer and thought “fuck it” and got it. Normally I buy Iceland pizzas because they have good variety for cheap money or Sainsbury’s do a BANGING stonebaked pizza for £1.60 so I normally go for the Chicken or Hawiian one of that.

This is some of the pizza that Micky had for lunch today

I eat pizzas way too much. I love them because they are easy and they taste good. You just throw it in the oven and BOOM. 15 minutes later you are eating a good old dinner. Buy some coleslaw for like 46p and a tin of macaroni and you are set for about £2.50. I eat pizza so much, I got embarrassed to eat in front of my flatmates. It was like a pizza habit I was trying to hide. Every time I was going in the kitchen, one of my flatmates would say “what you having for dinner Micky? Pizza?” and everyone would laugh. It was kinda funny at first then it got mad corny and played out but it kept coming up. I got so sick of that joke. Kinda like the Mexican jokes in my battles.

I never really liked Mexican pizzas. Chicken fajita pizza? Nah man, sounds like a mess to me. I don’t dig seafood either. I just read Cashmore’s entry about seafood though. He seems to like it! Barbecue sauce on pizza is okay, but it’s overrated.


Filed under: Guest drops, My favourite pizzas

It’s here: the barbecue stuffed crust from Dominos, y’all!

I feel like I have let you down. I really do. Because this week something new, something momentous, something motherfucking EPOCHAL hit the pizza world, and I didn’t even know it was coming. In fact, if I hadn’t gazed idly upon my Twitter feed at about 4.45 in the PM on Monday, I would never even have known. I would never have known to discharge my work responsibilities as quickly as I could, nor to sprint to the station as fast as my corpulent dough-swollen legs could carry me. I would never have known to push people out the way, hurl myself through the door of the first train south, and bribe the driver to go barreling through red signals to get me home faster. Basically, on Monday, I had no idea that Dominos were unveiling a new, barbecue and mozzerella stuffed crust on that very day. And I call myself a pizza blogger with an ear to the grapevine? I’m a fraud.

She is giving me evils because I am a fraud

Anyhoo, self-loathing aside, I was straight back to Cashmore Acres and on the blower to my local branch of D-Spots (that’s my cool hip-hop nickname for Dominos, which I have just this second come up with and never used before in my life) to test out this new crust of theirs. To insure myself lest it turn out to be a disaster, because heck, some ideas just sound better on paper than they do in the real world, I ordered a medium with spicy sausage and beef, and then popped open a Shiraz to wish it down. And within the stated half hour, this bad boy showed up.

My first ever barbecue stuffed crust pizza

Well, at the risk of starting to sound like some kind of brainwashed Dominos cult member who works 20 hour days in the communal fields harvesting chorizo all day for the good of the community, they really have hit the ball out of the park with this one. Chiefly because, well, it’s a stuffed edge pizza with barbecue sauce and mozzerella in it, what could possibly have gone wrong? Just look at it. Look at its sensual response to the Cashmore pinch. And look at that juicy sweet beef too. And who’s that peeking in coyly from both sides? Why, it’s Mister Sausage!

Squeeze me, for I am good

So, yeah. Completely fucking amazing, 10/10, pizza delivery will never be the same again, etc. But just to confirm that I am absolutely positively not in the pay of Dominos, here is an image to end things that will once and for all confirm my absolute impartiality. Barbecue stuffed crust, people. The future is now.

We will not be accused of favouritism

Filed under: My favourite pizzas

If you want the pizza of your dreams… you’ve gotta Do It Yourself

I like seafood. I like pizzas. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that I like seafood pizzas. How much do I like them? I like them so much that I would punch a corgi to death on live TV, on the day of the Queen’s Jubilee, naked except for one injudiciously positioned bill-sized envelope complete with plastic window for the address, so you can basically see everything anyway, if there was a seafood pizza at the end of it. I LOVE SEAFOOD PIZZAS. Have you got that?

However, because I live in England rather than one of the world’s civilised nations, my options for seafood pizza from a regular delivery outlet are not great. None of the major retailers do decent ones (Pizza Hut doesn’t do one, likewise Dominos, likewise Papa John’s) and even if you are NOT one of the major delivery outlets, your idea of a seafood pizza probably means tuna (which I don’t like), anchovies (which will stink your flat out) and prawns.

That is not what I want on my seafood pizza. Yes, I want prawns, but I want lots of them, a veritable carpet of the little pink fuckers, effectively forming a second “sauce” between the tomato and the major toppings. Then I want squid – and I’m not talking about horrid rubbery rings of calamari, I’m talking fat, meaty chunks of squid the size of meatballs. And then, above all, I want scallops because scallops are AWESOME. But where am I going to get a seafood pizza like this? Why, with all that going on, I’m going to have to make it myself!

So I made it myself.

This is the pizza I made before it was was cooked on my dead fancy pizza stone

At the moment, Sainsbury’s do a mighty fine pizza base from which to work from, just the right thickness to be indulgent but to still allow you to think you are pursuing a healthier option. So I used one of those on top of my fancy new pizza stone, which is already starting to yield results. After a thin layer of pizza sauce, on went an almost complete blanket of tiny ickle prawns, and then oodles of squid and ten scallops, pre-fried to the point that they were sealed and edible. Then some olive oil, chilli flakes, a little bit of grated Gran Padano and onto the by-now-piping-hot pizza stone for 12 minutes at Gas Mark 7. And here’s what came out the other end.

Look at me! Look at how delicious I am!

Now, I know I would say this, I KNOW that I would. But for the expenditure of about £6.50 and the minimum of effort, I got the pizza that I have been more or less dreaming of constantly for the last several months (even while awake and in conversation with other people), and enough leftovers to do it again with anchovies two nights later. Dicing with food poisoning, yes, but it was worth it and besides, I could do with losing the weight. This just goes to prove two old sayings: firstly, that if something’s worth doing, you should do it yourself, and secondly, that scallops are THE FUCKING NUTS.

Did you hear that? I just said something nice about you.

Filed under: How to..., My favourite pizzas

A Christmas pizza and an ambition fulfilled!

I’ve done it.

You see before you a very happy and proud man, or at least some words being typed by a very happy and proud man. You see, in addition to hoping that I could one day produce a pizza blog that was fiendishly brilliant in its execution and monolithic in terms of the hits it attracts (both aims which I have achieved with ruthless efficiency), I have always wanted to make my own pizza, from start to finish, with no help from anybody. And then eat it. And, although this may not sound difficult at all, we need to remember that a) my other half is much better at making pizzas than I am, and b) I am a man.

But I did it last night. And, more to the point, I did it in style, and did so with a seasonally-appropriate mode of presentation too. Last night, I made a – if I dare say so myself – completely magnificent Christmas Chicago-style deep dish pizza, stuffed hilariously yet deliciously with turkey and pigs in blankets. And it was a triumph, ladies and gentlemen, a ravishing festive triumph. I ate 70% of it, by way of proof, and the serving size is RIDICULOUS.

If you are in this photo, then please be aware that you are a topping and act accordingly

And here’s how I did it. First, I knocked out the dough according to the method laid down by Jamie Oliver, which is just how we do dough. Stick a base in the Cashmore 9” springform pan with a little overhang. A layer of mozzerella on the bottom (to be honest, I made a bit of a booboo here and used sliced buffalo mozzerella and didn’t squeeze out all of the liquid first, so there was a tiny bit of milky leakage when I made the first cut, but this is justified by the fact that I got to use the term “milky leakage”) and then in piles the meat. As I mentioned, this was turkey, in the form of some Bernard Matthews slices – I KNOW this is not ideal, but they did the job nonetheless – and some pigs in blankets, which were in this case party chipolatas wrapped in half-rashers of pancetta.

Pigs in blankets looking all snug in their pastry futon

On goes the lid, lots of knife holes to let out the escaping fumes, a layer of tomato, basil and chilli, and then another shredded ball of buffalo mozzerella and some grated parmesan and we’re ready to spend 40 minutes in the oven at 190 degrees.

Look at you, all warm and toasty

After twenty minutes, I covered the top of the pan with foil to present the cheese from over-browning, and dead on forty minutes I popped open that springform motherfucker (inappropriate swearing alert) and out came THIS.

Hi there everybody! I am Pete's Christmas pizza and I am the most delicious thing ever!

And when I took a slice out of it, I was met by THIS sight.

Plump sausages! Juicy melted cheese! Ay papi!

And THIS is what a slice of it looked like. And I can tell you that it tasted like sausagey, hammy, turkeyesque Heaven, and with the tree at Cashmore Acres twinkling prettily and a glass of Syrah in my hand, it finally kickstarted the Christmas spirit inside my weatherbeaten, cynical old heart. Once again, pizza is proven to be a force for good.

Four of these = happy Pete

And it keeps well too. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: tomorrow’s breakfast, today.

Son, you're headin' for a reheatin'...

Merry Christmas! Don’t worry, I’ll be posting more stuff, it just seemed appropriate to say that now. To end, here is a rare picture of me looking proud and happy, to communicate the concept that my Christmas deep dish pizza made me proud and happy.

Seasonal joy and goodwill to ALL!

Filed under: How to..., My favourite pizzas

In praise of the Pizza GoGo Alligator

You know you want me, don't you? Well, COME AND GET ME!

There are times in a man’s life when he craves a warm glass of Chateau Neuf Du Pape in a 5 star Sicily hotel, and others when only a cold pint of Strongbow in a rough-as-boots Wolverhampton pub will suffice. Likewise, there are times when a man craves the company of a witty, intelligent woman, but also times when he just wants to get off with a random in a minidress behind a bottle bank. And so it is with pizza – sometimes you may crave a wood-fired oven effort bestrewn with fancy toppings like rocket and rucola, but there are also times when you want to get nasty.

Well, on Wednesday, I decided I wanted to get nasty.

Before you start thinking that 12 Inch Pete Treat is about to go all “erotic confessional” on you all, I am still, sadly, referring to pizzas when I speak of nastiness. And when I want to get pizza-nasty, I ring up Pizza GoGo in Streatham and order their Alligator. Ah, Pizza GoGo Alligator, how I love thee! Basically, an Alligator is Pizza GoGo’s version of the all-the-meats pizza – crispy bacon, pepperoni, salami, beef and garlic sausage. It is not a pizza with a great deal of finesse, and indeed on occasion it can leave a greasy residue on the bottom of the box, as befits its nasty nature. It varies wildly in quality from branch to branch – good news for anyone who is serviced by the Sydenham branch of GoGo, because their Alligator absolutely rules the Earth – but the Streatham branch provides a very good (by which I mean, downright filthy) Alligator. Just look at it up there! That’s Wednesday night’s one, by the way. Look at all that meat!

Add a garlic and herb stuffed crust to the mix (GoGo’s stuffed edges are surprisingly un-nasty and bring a little refinement to proceedings, like finding out that the tattoo on the back of that random in a minidress is actually a quote from Sartre) and you really do have yourself a winning nasty pizza. I recommend you order a couple of GoGo’s agreeably fiery chilli dips too. The good thing about the GoGo sizing system is that the large is never quite enough – it’s not particularly, well, LARGE – so you have to go XL, which means 15 glorious inches of nastiness to enjoy. You won’t eat it all, but the Alligator lends itself particularly well to breakfast reheating.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Pizza GoGo Aligator. Baby, you are NASTY.

Filed under: My favourite pizzas