Our Authors

8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams, 2013

Every year I like to recap the eight pizzas that really took hold of my imagination. Here are the eight pies or slices that I keep thinking about weeks and sometimes months after having eaten them. (With a very special bonus NINTH pie this year.) More

Video: How the Sausage Pizza is Made at Maria's Pizza in Milwaukee

Photographer and writer Michael Berman of Pizzacentric visits Maria's Pizza in Milwaukee and comes away with a great blog post and a video that sheds some light on the pizzamaking process there. (Not that it's a huge secret, since the kitchen is open to one and all who dine there.) Maria's is one of my all-time favorite pizzerias. Nice to see the Pizzacentric treatment of it. More

Quick Game Day Appetizer: Garlic-Knot Monkey Bread

I've got to thank Kenji for this idea. He suggested a garlic-knot monkey bread as a Home Slice topic, saying it might be good to do before the big game on Sunday. The byword here is EASY. This is almost a twist-and-dump thing. You could make your own dough for this (here's a suitable recipe), but I just used store-bought pizza dough from the freezer section. You'll need 2 pounds. (Most store-bought pizza doughs I've seen come in 1-pound portions, often 2 to a package.) More

Paulie Gee to Open a Baltimore Location with 'Pizzablogger'

Popular Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee's will open a branch in Baltimore in 2013, Slice has learned. Paul Giannone, whose transformation from IT manager to renowned pizza-maker is well-documented on this site (among many other places), is partnering with Baltimore local "Pizzablogger" (who asked to remain anonymous), at what will be called Paulie Gee's Hampden. More

Gift Guide: For the Pizza-Maker

Some of these are stocking-stuffers, some are pretty pricey, but most are somewhere in between. What they all have in common is that I have turned to these products again and again in my own pizza-making life. I hope your pizza obsessive—novice or veteran—appreciates them as much as I do. More

Use Your Potato Masher To Break Up Ground Meat in the Skillet

@ftmftm: I've also used my Rolls to mash potatoes. Overkill.

Use Your Potato Masher To Break Up Ground Meat in the Skillet

Yeah, I've been meaning to get one or breaking up tomatoes. Maybe this gives me an excuse.

Use Your Potato Masher To Break Up Ground Meat in the Skillet

This would necessitate me buying a masher -- unless I could get the same results with my potato ricer. ;)

A Day in the Life: Ed Levine, Serious Eats Overlord

This is great! Good to year from you. I know you're busy overlording, but I wish you had more time for posting! SE's been looking/reading great lately. Lots of compelling stuff finding its way into my social streams!

A Day in the Life: J. Kenji López-Alt, Chief Creative Officer

THIS POST NEEDS UPDATE, SF KENJI.

Use Your Cast Iron Pan and a Tortilla to Make World Class Bar-Style Pizza in Under 12 Minutes

UGH, the bane of the name "Serious Eats." I've always thought someone (SE Overlord Ed Levine?) needed to write a post detailing the origin of the website's name so that editors/writers could link back to it in these situations.

I was there when that name came into existence. It's not "serious" in the sense of "weighty" or "gravitas" or "not frivolous."

One of SE founder Ed Levine's catchphrases is "Now that's some serious X!" Where X = "pizza" or "barbecue" or "apple pie" or whatever.

By that definition, "Serious Eats" can be about anything that is seriously delicious. Which this so-called "bar pizza" looks to be (despite the fact that it is not a true bar pizza crust and that to get truly serious bar pizza, you should try visiting a certain pop-up pizzeria-within-a-pizzeria).

If you were to go look at Kenji's body of work for this site -- and at the history of the site's content in general, you would see a good mix of the high and the low. And I would argue that the well-considered kind of "serious" food -- the homemade stuff, with real ingredients and good technique -- far outweighs the quick-make / semi-homemade stuff or the jokey/lowbrow stuff.

Use Your Cast Iron Pan and a Tortilla to Make World Class Bar-Style Pizza in Under 12 Minutes

I'll have to link this up to my dad, who shocked me a few years ago when he revealed he no longer made pizza dough for homemade pizzas but instead used flour tortillas. His, I believe, were made completely in the oven. This technique produces a better looking pizza than his method.

I'll have to say that anyone who says this isn't real pizza can have all the "real pizza" they want. MORE BAR PIZZA FOR ME AND MY PUB-PIE COMPATRIOTS.

Also, re sauce. I'm of two minds. I think this style calls out for a more herbed, cooked sauce (and is what I use), but an uncooked Neapolitan-style is fine and may be a whole different animal altogether. Heck, I'd like to try it and just might.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: The Toll of Owning Your Business

What McWolfe said, and ditto on the example you're setting for your daughter. I, too, want my daughter to see her old man doing something he loves and pursuing a dream rather than sitting in front of a computer all day. Glad you had the time to share these thoughts. Hope this isn't the last of 'em now that you're big time.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Tomorrow's My Grand Opening

Good luck! Wish I could be there tonight -- can't wait to check it out. Hope you keep writing, but it sounds like you won't have time for a while. CHARS!

Cast Iron Cooking: The Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots That Will Forever Change How You Entertain

Yeah, I immediately thought of the mini Lodges! I will keep this in mind. I've got a running list of possible appetizers that are bar-friendly. For pizza go-withs (apps, desserts), I'm usually not a fan of MORE BREAD, but knots are pretty classic and easy enough to use existing dough, prepped items, so…

Cast Iron Cooking: The Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots That Will Forever Change How You Entertain

Thanks, Kenji! I was already thinking of stealing, er, I mean, adapting this recipe. Now I see I have tacit permission!

Watch This New York Chef Make a High-Class Cheez Whiz

Hmmm.... Thinking of adapting this as a pizza topping. Wonder how long it keeps in the whipping siphon.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: My Lease Safari

Love it! Particularly interested in this topic! Timely. And puts some humor into an otherwise stressful situation. Cheers!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

"I've just gotten quiet."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLLLLLL Never thought I'd hear that from Dennis.

@Irene: Nick Solares left SE a few months ago. He's working at Eater now.

Where to Eat Frozen Custard in Milwaukee

Spacca Napoli's Jonathan Goldsmith on Italian Culture and the Power of Pizza

Amazing guy, fantastic interview. I finished it with the feeling of ... "IS THIS GUY FOR REAL?!?" He had so many great things to say I'm kind of left speechless here.

Robyn Lee Is Leaving Serious Eats a Mere 7 1/2 Years After She Got Here

Admit it, DOREK, the only reason you made that comment ^ was to see IF ROBYN WOULD RESPOND. ;) LOL.

Robyn Lee Is Leaving Serious Eats a Mere 7 1/2 Years After She Got Here

Robyn Lee Is Leaving Serious Eats a Mere 7 1/2 Years After She Got Here

End of an era. Truly. You're the last of the old guard at SE. Gonna miss your shit on the site, but I know where to find you... BWHAHAHAHAHAHAH, yes, I know where to find you, Robyn Lee.... [Looks around, regains composure ...]

Adam Kuban's Bar Pie Pop-Up: Feeling Like a Proud Papa

@nzmick: That's EXACTLY the texture I'm going for and that we hit when we're on point. It's maybe a little less crackery than the cracker crusts of the American Midwest, but it's uniformly crisp, almost crunchy AND foldable. And, yeah, I think I recognize your screen-name from Tumblr.

Basic New York-style Pizza Dough

Paulie Gee's Five Must-Eat Pizzas Across NYC

Wish I could have made it! I haven't done a five-borough pizza tour since the early 2000s. Looks like it was a lot of fun.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

SPYBUBBLE GRATIS.

Gadgets: Colorful, Disposable Paper Bakeware That Works Like a Charm

These are great. Would be fun for a party, wedding/baby shower, or what have you. Puts a little decorative twist on baked goods for special occasions.

Adam Kuban's Bar Pie Pop-Up: Feeling Like a Proud Papa

Just wanted to jump back in here to say thanks, Ed, for the kind words. I couldn't have done this without many lessons I learned at Serious Eats from you, the most applicable here being to have a clear vision that you can articulate and to bring on board people who can help you realize it. I was lucky to find Matt and Emily and Tim and the EMILY staff, who helped make the test run what I would deem a qualified success.

I would just point out that I'm not trying to be better than any of the places mentioned in this post. Many of them are my inspiration, and it's thrilling to be mentioned along with them. I'm just trying to take elements of different pizzas I've loved over the years and synthesize them into something that I hope is uniquely my own. Not everyone will get this style of pizza, but I hope that for those who do, it meets their approval.

And now ...

@scott123: Don't worry, you're not saying anything I haven't thought about. If I could snap my fingers and summon dark pizza magic, I'd be working with a bank of Pizzamaster electric deck ovens -- or similar (Cuppone or Veroforno). I'm of course extremely grateful that Matt & Emily offered their space and oven to do this in. They saw me mention in My Pie Monday comments and on my Instagram captions that I was looking for a venue, and they offered early on. I wasn't even sure that we could do this in the wood-fired oven, and then when the initial test-fires worked on one pizza at a time, I was unsure we'd be able to work at volume. That's what this event was for -- to simply see if we could do 3 or 4 at a time and how long that would take per round. Your estimate 45 pies an hour is very generous. At present speed/process, I would put it closer to 15 an hour. It takes us about 10 to 11 minutes per round, soup to nuts -- rolling dough, topping, cooking. You're right, there's no way I could do this in a WFO during regular service at a PG's Portland. I'd have to get a separate set of ovens to do this as a special pie or as "bar pie night." It's not that I'm in love with the wood oven for doing this -- I do not romanticize the wood oven. It is the right tool for a very specific kind of pizza. Deck ovens, as you point out, are the tool for bar pies. At one point, David Sheridan did offer to let me test my recipe in his oven during his off hours. I may still take him up on that to see how I'd have to modify the technique/recipe. All the rest of what you say is spot on.

@Elizbeth, Shimpiphany, Famdoc: Thank you! It's nice to see longtime commenters offer kind words.

@jimmyjo: You are probably right. And if you represent even 1% of people's opinions, it is probably going to have to come down to me shaving. Great. I won't be able to hide my double chin...

@lemonfair: I think Ed is right on ignoring conventional wisdom, and putting heart and soul into something. But I think that the side of Restaurant Road is also littered with the wreckage of people's hard work and passion and heart and soul. I am cautiously optimistic about pizza entrepreneurship, which is why I'm doing things slowly and trying to absorb as much wisdom as I can. That is, I am trying to temper my enthusiasm.

@dhorst: I think patience comes with time and age. Which is unfortunate, because the older you get, the more you realize how fleeting this all is -- our existence, our worlds we build around us, the best laid plans of mice and men...

@bobfole: Thanks!

@egadman: You were around late last year for me talkin' and talkin' about my bar pizza recipe. Yeah, it really is about time.

@jim s: DAMMIT. "No shoes, no shirt..." They never said anything about pants!

The Food Lab: 7 Old Wives' Tales About Cooking Steak That Need To Go Away

I'm not generally a negative person, and my normal reaction to seeing misinformation spread through the internet is to simply try and dilute it by spreading some verity and beauty—I've produced more than my share of articles about how to grill steaks (baked up and backed up by real science and research, no less!) in the name of truth and pageviews, and if you want to take a look at those, you can scroll on down to the bottom of this article for some links. But today, I'm fighting back for once. We're going to put to rest seven of the most stubborn myths about grilling steaks, and hopefully come out the other end as better—or at the very least, slightly less frustrated—people. More

Pizza Is...

The slap of the dough on the table
More than the words on a label
Tomato sauce, cheese
Napkins and grease
A whole pie or more if you're able More

Bread Baking: Cocktail Rye Bread

In our house, cocktail rye was typically served as the base for chopped chicken livers or cream cheese, always served open-faced, kind of like the untoasted rye version of crostini. The smaller size of the loaf always made it seem fancier to me. More

Brooklyn: Everything On The Menu at Best Pizza

Opened just over a year ago, Best Pizza has fast become one of our favorite pizzerias in New York, and yeah, it's mostly because they serve some of the tastiest by-the-slice stuff around. Since opening the shop, the menu has expanded ever-so-slightly to include sandwiches and a single salad. But man, oh man what good sandwiches those are. Check out everything they've got on the menu. More

Bread Baking: Fast Buttery Buns

Bread snob that I am, there are times when all I need is something simple. Something that can be made quickly. But even when I'm in a hurry, I'd prefer that the resulting bread isn't completely bland. Sometimes that means I'm a little more generous with flavor enhancers. Like butter! Just a little extra. Y'all. More

What to Expect at a Neapolitan Pizzeria

Things I've overheard in a Neapolitan pizzeria lately:

  • "Oh, wow, there's not that much cheese on this."
  • "They're pretty small. You could probably eat one yourself." (Waitress to customer.)
  • "You can't really pick it up."

I guess that even after the great pizza renaissance of the 2000s, Neapolitan pizza is still new to some folks. And, whatever, that's cools. I just figured I'd try to demystify it a bit if you've never had it.

Update/note: This post is geared toward folks in the U.S. or elsewhere who have never tried Neapolitan, Neapolitan-style, or Neapolitan-inspired pizza. It does not pertain to actual Neapolitan pizza in Naples, Italy.

More

5 Can't-Miss Korean Eating Experiences in Flushing

Visitors to Flushing, Queens might think of the neighborhood as primarily a Chinese food destination, but the world of Korean options is vast and diverse. Our intrepid Flushing explorer Chris Hansen has tracked down massive goat feasts, pork belly cooked on your table, killer Korean barbecue, and more. We asked him to pick his five favorite finds so far; check out his can't-miss Korean eating experiences in Flushing! More

Pizza Obsessives: Frank Pinello of Best Pizza

If you were at Sandwich Fest two weeks back, you most likely picked up an amazingly delicious meatball sub from Best Pizza. After running into Pizza Obsessive alum amusebouche1 at the festival, I couldn't get those hot seat questions out of my mind. Luckily, I was able to find a willing interviewee in pizzaiolo and Best Pizza (reviewed here) owner Frank Pinello. More

Building a Pizzeria: Closing in on Opening up

Building this pizzeria has been a complete whirlwind since June 1, and even as I type this post, my notepad is sitting next to my laptop, yearning for my attention. My apologies to all the Slicer's that have been following along and patiently waiting for my next post, but I should let you know this is very likely my last post before opening day, which is scheduled for... drum roll please, July 5th. More

Grilling: Roasted Corn Relish

I loved how this all came together. The first taste was of sweet and tangy corn, but the sweetness slowly fades, giving way to the heat from the jalapeno and an earthiness from the chili powder and cumin. The "relish" can double as a dip for tortilla chips, salad topping, or taco condiment—it'll add excellent flavor to whatever it touches. More

How to Make Pizza Monkey Bread

Monkey bread. Because kids go ape over it. You know what else they go ape for? Pizza. Let them help you make pizza monkey bread and they'll go positively King Kong in the kitchen. Making this stuff is way easier than making pizza, too, since you don't have to worry about stretching the dough or precise cook times. All you'll need are these recipes for dough and pizza sauce as well as and some Parmesan, mozzarella, and fresh basil. More

Koshary: Feeding a Revolution in Cairo

Liberation requires massive amounts of strength. Without discounting the passion that alone has fueled millions into a weeks-long protest, it is clear that Egyptians also rely on another direct source of energy. And that is a deceptively simple comfort food: koshary, the legendary dish that every Egyptian can both wax poetic on and furiously debate the merits of. More

Cook the Book: Pickled Ginger Peaches

To those of you not familiar with this classic Southern pickle, adding copious amounts of vinegar and sugar to perfectly ripe summer peaches might sound a little strange. But bear with me here—the combination of vinegar, sugar, and a few choice spices turn summer peaches in to a spectacular pickle that can be enjoyed well after peach season is over. More

Bread Baking: Peanut Butter Graham Crackers

While today's graham crackers aren't the same as ones promoted by 19th century diet reformer Sylvester Graham, they're still a relatively healthy option, with lots of fiber from the whole wheat. But that's not why I eat them. As far as I'm concerned, graham crackers are the perfect vehicle for peanut butter. The majority of graham crackers around here disappear under a smear of the stuff. To me, that's the perfect quick and satisfying snack. But why stop at putting peanut butter onto the graham crackers? Why not put some in the crackers as well? More

Where's the Beef?

The beef's right here, suckas! After lots of talk and little action, A Hamburger Today—in a bare-bones, not-much-to-look-at-yet version—is open for business. This is, in restaurant parlance, a soft opening, meaning that we'll be posting here on the down... More