Gotham Pizza Sicilian Pie

So Cheesy.

So Cheesy.

Sicilian Pie has always been the 2nd option for me.  I just love going for the thin crust pizza instead… if only there was some kind of happy medium you ask?

Booya!  Check out the Sicilian pie at Gotham Pizza!  (144 Ninth Ave NYC)

The pie had a tangy herbed-up and well-seasoned sauce, a nice cheese to sauce ratio, and a delicious crust that while still retaining the doughiness of the typical Sicilian square in the middle, was mostly crunch on the outside. I think we found some proof here.  Also, (very important in NYC) the delivery was super fast, no annoying calls on the cellphone asking for the floor number or to be buzzed up.  At 17 bucks plus tip, you barely need to go over 20 bills on this one (unless its raining and you’re feeling pity for the delivery guy).

Thinner than a Berry!

Thinner than a Berry!

 

 

 I was amazed at the thinness of the crust, it was thinner than my Blackberry.  I am used to Sicilian pie being like a big heavy dough ball with cheese on top.  More like a pizza cake instead of a pizza pie.  This slice was definitely a happy medium.  So I say nicely done Gotham!  A ringing endorsement for your Sicilian slizz!  Proof!

Negative Proof Rant of the Day

Talk about a negative proof… The LA times is reporting that some schlemeil is trying to profit by bottling New York City tap water and selling it back to the consumer.  While I do concur that NYC tap water is way better than say… New Jersey water, I’m pretty confident that you can get the same quality tap water locally just about anywhere.   

The environmental implications are outrageous.  The company “Tap’d NY” plans to drive trucks around the metro area and ship this tap water to local NYC merchants.  Talk about wasteful.  All this just so some poor sap gets ripped off having his own water sold back to him in a plastic container.   It really annoys me that landfill space would actually be used to house bottles from this completely ludicrous repackaging of tap water.  It reminds me of when Mr. Burns shut out the sun to sell  back atomic energy on The Simpsons.  At least instead of just being evil, Mr. Burns has redeeming qualities like hilarity, unlike the turkey that came up with this idea.  There is nothing funny about “Tap’d NY” besides the absurdity that someone might actually buy one of these things.

Another thing I would like to mention is that I have turned the faucet on in Manhattan and seen brown water ooze out after a rainy week.  When the reservoirs get swelled you are often advised by the city to NOT drink NYC tap water.  There usually are contaminants and germs swimming around in it.  Hepatitis A, Yum.

Save your buck fifty and invest it in a reusable canteen.  NEGATIVE PROOF!

The Salad Days

salad-1

 

I’ve been addicted to salads this week.  This is my usual: feta cheese, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, romaine lettuce, salt and cracked black pepper.  Everything was purchased at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange.   Usually I throw a few pepperoncini and olive leaves (from the Oasis falafal joint in Williamsburg) on here too, but I couldn’t resist eating them up before I snapped this picture.  Proof.

Another Winner

SuperSatta!

SuperSatta!

Kings County NYC.  That means Brooklyn ladies and gentlemen.  Let’s take a journey deep into the 2nd most populous borough, because within these far-reaching neighborhoods lie some of the best food treasures of NYC.  For instance, the Bayridge/Dyker Heights area of King’s County, NY is the real deal if you want Italian-American food.  I bought this sandwich at Pasta Fresca Ravioli (6406 11th Avenue, Brooklyn).

Pasta Fresca Ravioli is a great old-school Italian market.  Homemade pastas and sauces line the shelves.  You can also purchase huge tins of olive oil, jars of peppers, and boatloads of cheeses that are all imported from Italy.  They make their own dry and fresh sausages.  I highly recommend the thin ringed chicken sausage.  Cook that up with some broccoli rabe and you will be in business. 

Entering the store you just know it’s a great local spot.  The warning signs are all there. You see the old Italian grandmothers cuing up for freshly made sausage and bread to make into their evening meals.   The cannolis are ready to go at the counter, waiting to be filled with mascarpone cheese.  The old guy behind the counter seems to only communicate in Italian sign language.  I always feel like I should be carrying paint cans down the street with the Saturday Night Fever (which was filmed in Bayridge) soundtrack in the background.SuperSatta2

They also make sandwiches to order.  In this neighborhood of Brooklyn you still need to grab the roll from the front of the store and bring it back to the deli for them to put it together for you.  Just like in the olden days!

This sandwich has store-made spicy soppresatta, lettuce, roasted red pepper, oil, vinegar, and homemade mutz (Mozzarella cheese)… and of course its on freshly baked Italian bread.  A masterpiece.

My point is this: make the trip into the outer boroughs good readers!  It is here that you will find the best eats in the city.  Soon I’ll be taking a trip to Hoboken (the 6th borough) for my favorite sandwich of all time, the hot roast beef and mutz.  Stay tuned!

Thursday Grill a Chef Q and A

As an ongoing feature here on Proof Pudding, every week we are asking a chef your food questions.  Check out the “Grill a Chef” post on 1/27. 

Proof Pudding:  What’s a good way to spice up a grilled cheese sandwich?

Chef: The last grilled cheese sandwich I made I used some really good leftover macaroni and cheese with cheddar and Gruyere and just fried that up on bread in butter.  Another good method is to mess around with cheese combinations and condiments.  Brie with jams or chutney would work.  Also you could think of using a more ethnic flavor and make a German-style grilled cheese with Swiss, Sauerkraut, caraway seeds and Russian dressing on pumpernickel.

Wow, macaroni and cheese on a sandwich, why didn’t I think about that?  The German one sounded amazing too…  Maybe substitute the pumpernickel with a big soft pretzel.  Hmmmm…  I think I’m going to have to try all of the above.  Proof out!

Salt and Vinegar… Peanuts

*Keep a Frosty Brew within Vicinity of Bag

*Always Keep a Frosty Brew within Vicinity of Bag

What’s better than a salt and vinegar potato chip you ask?

A salt and vinegar peanut!  Remember on Cheers how that inspired beer-drinker Norm would always be chomping away at beer-nuts and swilling mugs of frosty brews?  Because of him, I always thought that the peanut might be the perfect combination to drink beer with.  However, I found the peanut kind of boring when there is no flavor involved. 

Luckily, the British did it!  They invented a peanut with the incredible saltiness of SALT, with the tanginess of the vinegar!  It makes a perfect combo any time you want to imbibe a few lagers. 

However, I was turned onto this treat by some good friends in the UK, and this bag was an import.  It seems like very few vendors in the USA carry them in stores.  Good news though, apparently there’s a company in Virginia that can ship them right to your door!  Make sure to have a case of Yuengling ready when the mail comes.

The Machine’s Monthly Bacon Blog

For those of you who might not remember fellow Proofer “The Machine” has joined a bacon of the month club.  Below is his first of twelve featured bacon reviews to be delivered to all you good proofreaders here at Proof Pudding!

Take it away Machine!

Hola Proofmeister, Machine here.  Checking into Proof Pudding with my first Monthly Bacon Blog! 

Since this was my first month of bacon bliss, a few details are in order.  Early last week I received an email alert letting me know that the pork was in transit.  I eagerly awaited the package, tracking its every stop on the USPS website.  The last time I watched pork travel across the country this closely was when I went to see this.

And then it arrived.  Carefully packed into the cardboard box was a silver cooler case and ice packs.  Even before I unearthed the treasure hidden deep within this icy cocoon a strong maple scent emanated from the box.  I dug further and was faced with 1 lb of…

Dan Philips Special Brown Sugar Hickory Smoked Country Bacon
Dan Philips Special Brown Sugar Hickory Smoked Country Bacon

 

Bacon Artisan Dan Philips describes it as such….

State of Origin: Kentucky
Tasting Notes:  This is my own, secret, private cure.  Only Charlie Gatton and I know the recipe.  I set out to custom design the perfect bacon and I think this is it.  It has an incredible balance between sweet, hammy pork flavors and salty, savory flavors.   The flavors are intense and the meat is succulent.  A bold new bacon that stands up and says ‘Eat me!’

Fry Like Bacon You Little Freshman Bitches!

Fry Like Bacon You Little Freshman Bitches!

Included with the Bacon was a suggested wine pairing as well as a recipe for bacon wrapped shrimp.  However, it being my first foray into the club I decided I wouldn’t get too fancy and quickly got out my trusty frying pan.  After all, true bacon must be able to stand on it’s own.

I took 4 generous slabs and dropped them in the pre-heated pan.  Immediately, the bacon had a great sizzle and aroma as it cooked.  While it is not normally my preference I decided to go for well done bacon, allowing the bacon to fry for about 7 minutes.  As this cooked I whipped up a four cheese omelette, filled with mushrooms, onions, and green peppers.  A small dollop of sour cream and salsa on the side and voila! 

So how was it?  First I should mention that while I went for the extra crispy the slabs did not suffer from a George Costanza pool moment.   Of course, some shrinkage was to be expected during the cooking process, but by no means did the bacon shrivel up.  That being said, 4 slices was even more than I needed, so i shared the extra slice with a fellow bacon enthusiast.  At first bite the bacon’s saltiness came through, followed by the flavor of the pork itself, and ending with a very slight hint of maple.  The dominant salty flavor returned soon after.

Sizzle

Sizzle

In order to compare the bacon I will be using a scale from 1-10.  However, on a scale of 1-10 ALL bacon rates as a ten.  Don’t forget, its bacon we are talking about!!!!  Therefore in order to differentiate, I’ll award or deduct points based on a variety factors.

I thought Dan Philips Special Bacon was delicious.  That being said, I found the salty flavor as the most dominant, and at times it slightly overpowered the pork flavor.   Additionally, the maple aftertaste offered a sweet balance to the salt, but this was only fleeting as the sweetness faded rather quickly.  While this may be attributed to my choice of crispy bacon, just a second or two longer with the savory maple undertones was needed. bacon-m1

 

Therefore:
– 1 over saltiness
-.5 could have benefited from a maple bump.

…giving this bacon a solid 8.5, more than enough to earn the Machine seal of approval!