What follows is a series of confessions that, against my better judgment, I’ve decided to reveal here out of excitement. Students with hot plates, take notes.
Unwise confession #1: Once or twice a year, I buy chain restaurant pizza. That’s only because this chain named after a miniature toga-clad murdered Roman emperor has pepperoni pizza ready to go for five dollars. It comes in handy when you haven’t met your sodium and saturated fat needs for the week. The flavor isn’t great, but it does the trick when you want hot salty meat and can’t stomach the idea of coming home just to braise those radishes you’ve been saving. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never gone home after a long day and thought, “Boy, I could really go for some braised radishes.”
Unwise confession #2: I crave reheated pizza more than fresh. It makes me feel young and carefree because I relive my college days when my diet was just that—reheated or cold pizza. Please don’t leave my blog. I’m going to braise organic radishes soon.
Unwise confession #3: I fried a cold pizza. Somewhere I’d picked up a tip that if you heat a pizza in a skillet, the crust crunches up and the pizza tastes better than if you heated it in the oven. That’s only partly true. The problem is that the cheese never melts, leaving you with a hot-crusted cold-topped pizza that you have to stick under the broiler to finish, which is more work than leftover five dollar dead emperor toga chain pizza is worth. But I wanted that crunchy crust, so I put a couple slices of pizza in a skillet over low heat. When the crust was done, I did something dangerous, even crazy: I flipped it over. It was a non-stick pan. How bad could it be?
I watched and waited for that sticky bubbling mess that you see in poorly constructed grilled cheese sandwiches. The fat rendered out of the pepperoni and fried the meat to a crisp. To my surprise, the fat helped brown the cheese and keep it intact. When I spotted cheese oozing out the sides, I flipped the pizza over again. The crust soaked up all the rendered pepperoni fat and browned into an even crunchier crust. I didn’t need batter or a deep fryer either!
Unwise confession #4: I bit into a warm layer of dough and cheese sandwiched between two hot layers of crispity crunchity pepperoni fat. It was great. I want to buy a pizza and let it go cold just so I can do it again and again.
But I’m not due for another chain pizza until maybe November. So until then, hello radishes!