I don’t care how old you get, there’s nothing like a PARTY with great friends and great food! We were invited to Gary and Karen’s house for a very special wine tasting and pizza night.
One of the wonderful things about living in Arizona is that almost everybody came from somewhere else. And they bring a lot of their favorites from other parts of the country. Our terrific friends, Gary and Karen, wanted to share with us their history with Buddy’s pizza from their original home state, Michigan. If you read my blog a few months ago about Lou Malnati’s from Chicago, you know I am fascinated by the history of different food origins. I wish someday I could get 4 or 5 Pizza fanatics in the same kitchen, each making their own version of their historical favorite from their part of the country. But alas, that’s probably not going to happen…..so we’ll just have to “settle” for spending a fabulous evening watching Guido (Gary) create his version of the famous Buddy’s. If you ever want to give a perfect party, here are some ingredients: Take some cool weather in the White Mountains, add a Homey, comfortable atmosphere, include plenty of Wine tasting, and invite lots of fun people (of all ages….) and you will have a perfect night! Oh well, I’ll just give you Karen and Gary’s number….. But hey! I almost forgot! The “Hook” is to have a theme, or some kind of special presentation. (It better be good!!). And a fabulous presentation it was! The secret to recreating a Buddy’s pizza, according to Gary, is the Blue Steel Pan. AND, the highlight of the whole deal is that Gary bought the pans DIRECTLY from the Buddy’s franchise. They resemble cake pans, square and a dark blue steel color. Gary’s has had plenty of wear and tear, which is probably another ingredient in the success of this dish. What makes this pizza different from others is that it is more of a Deep dish version, and the pan enables you to create a crispy bottom and edges. (Our favorite part!!)
Gary made several different versions, so I won’t really give you all of the ingredients, because you will make anything you like. But I will tell you that he made several versions of different pizzas with different ingredients, just as I’m sure you will. Above you see one with Ground beef (cooked) and one with Italian sausage (cooked). Of course there must be Pepperoni somewhere! One above has black olives, mushrooms and just a sprinkling of chopped jalapeños. The cheeses he used were mainly chunks of Mozzarella, but he mixes in White Cheddar or Monterey Jack. Of course Asiago, Parmesan, Romano are always welcome! That’s the fun of pizza. Your family can add their favorites. And the above red spots are the “dollops” of sauce he added to finish. Here again pick your favorite! Make your own!
So there you go! Have some fun with friends and spend about 100 hours of preparation! Oh! and about that finished product: Bake at 500 degrees (yes that is correct!)–but here’s where I’m guessing those pans help. You probably wouldn’t bake an average cookie sheet or pizza pan on that high a temperature. So I’d make one at about 425-450, see how it goes, and make adjustments. Karen says to bake them 15-17 minutes, turning half way through to be sure that middle crust is done. If you are lucky enough to have Buddy’s Blue Steel pans, go all the way for the 500 degrees!
LIFE IS GOOD. ASK ME HOW I KNOW….