Recipes can be so damn genteel sometimes, especially in the food porn-heavy cookbooks of recent years, where every egg is photographed as if from a golden goose and each step, each direction reeks of timidity. Batters are folded gently. Greens are dressed lightly. Soups are simmered slowly. Even Gordon-fucking-Ramsay keeps the cookbooks strictly PC. Why can't cookbooks and recipes have any balls?
New York superchef David Chang is anything but hesitant in his instruction, prefacing a recipe for Brussels sprouts in Momofuku by saying: “Basically, you can't fuck them up. Cook the shit out of them; just don't turn them to charcoal.”
But for all of Chang's strangely endearing swearing in Momofuku, he comes nowhere close to the fuck-all, snark-laden hilarity of Choire Sicha's recipes from The Awl, one of the finest pop culture-referencing, current events-covering and cat photo-posting blogs the Internets have to offer.
The Awl's recipes started popping up last November, with holiday-appropriate offerings such as Stop Being a Wuss: How To Make Pie Crust The Easy Way (“Are you one of those wimps who is afraid of a pie crust? Here, I will tell you everything you need to know right now, you whiny little girl.”), or the everyday-applicable How to Cook a Fucking Steak (“Go to the goddamn grocery and get steak. Yes, the grocery. A little ammonia is not going to kill you, you pussy.”). Both are simultaneously practical and absolutely hilarious, as are the rest in the (hopefully) on-going series.
The kind folks at The Awl gave Stick a Fork in It permission to re-post one of their recipes this week, so without further ado . . .
You know how long it takes to make a pizza? Ten minutes, you lazy little thing. Plus two hours. Sort of.
1. Put a almost-a-tablespoon, or at least a teaspoon, of sugar and some honey and maybe a little molasses in a measuring cup with 3/4 cup of hot tap water. STIR.
2. Add two packets of dry yeast. Don't stir. Let it get all foamy and gross, about 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Pour one cup of white flour and one cup of semolina flour onto the counter. WHICH YOU SHOULD
HAVE WIPED DOWN before you did that, or else there'll be garbage in your pizza.
4. It doesn't have to be white and semolina. Just two cups of flour. Half wheat? Half white? All white? Whatever you like! You only have cake flour? Who gives a shit! Do you think in the middle ages when they made flour products they had time to care what kind of flour it was? No. They were just trying not to eat rats.
5. Add a bunch of salt to the flour. I use like slightly less salt than I do sugar. I use a lot of salt and sugar. This is what makes it taste good, and go fuck yourself, Mike Bloomberg.
6. Make your flour pile into a volcano-crater shape. Pour some of your yeasty mess into the CALDERA. That's right. I said caldera. Mush it into the flour.
7. Continue until yeast-water is absorbed. Early on, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil too.
8. As with any dough? This should be pretty dry-firm. Not sticky. Not wet. You know. Doughy. ADD MORE FLOUR if you're soggy.
9. Make it into a ball, cover it in olive oil and put it in a plastic or ceramic bowl. Put saran wrap over the top of the bowl and put it in either: A) The turned-off oven, if the house is cold, B) Somewhere toasty and not breezy or even C) in the sun. Particularly if you are in a hurry.
10. Let 90 minutes to 3 hours pass. When it is all puffy and blown up like a Nerf soccer ball, take the saran wrap off and punch it like it's your ex's face.
11. This will be enough dough for two medium-ish pizzas, or one huge one, or one really thick one, or whatever. (Heh.)
12. ONE STEP SAUCE: Chop some garlic, throw it in a saucepan with olive oil briefly, maybe an onion or something, then put in a can or so of whole peeled tomatoes or you know some REAL tomatoes from “outside,” mash those up as you stir for a while, put in some oregano and I usually put in a little red wine vinegar or something tart and some honey, and some salt, obvs, and sometimes a little lemon peel. Let this cook down to a smooth pasty sauce-like thing. Basically you can put ANYTHING in this. Just don't let it be watery at the end.
13. MOST IMPORTANT PART. Turn your oven on to the CLEAN SETTING. If your oven is one of those that locks during this, find some way to psych it out. Self-cleaning ovens top out at around 900 degrees F, which is a little crazy. Try and get the oven to like, 600 degrees. As hot as you can get it.
13.5 This is my only concession to being a food bitch, because, honestly? A pizza stone really works. This should be in your oven getting hot. Don't have one? That's fine! You can use an upside-down cookie sheet, or any kind of tray–leave it in the oven, and you will throw the pizza on top of it when it's time to cook. Worse comes to worse, you are going to want a tray at the bottom if you just have to throw your pizza on the rack, because, OMG, stuff will leak down. Just find something flat that you can put some flour on and let get hot.
14. Get out your trusty label-less wine bottle, or if you are very fancy, your rolling pin. Throw a TON of flour around. Plop down half the dough, or all the dough, or whatever. Roll it out to something like the size of a pizza. Square, round, misshapen, whatever.
15. Sauce it. Top it. Twerk it.
15.5. No seriously you can put anything on this.
16. Gather up your pizza and have someone open the blisteringly hot oven and then somehow you will throw it in there without losing all toppings. This can and may go horribly wrong! So what!
17. Cook for 6 to 10 minutes. IT WILL LOOK LIKE PIZZA WHEN IT IS DONE. IT COULD NOT BE MORE OBVIOUS, ARE YOU A MORON?
18. Removal is also very frightening. I do not have a “pizza peel” because I am not a total homo, NO OFFENSE, so I use like two spatulas and then toss the pizza from the oven to the nearby counter (burning myself slightly on the way) where it is devoured like a lost rabbit at a junkyard dog party.