Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Upcoming attractions

A new batch of frozen pizzas has arrived at my local Safeway, meaning it's time to update my pizza tests. Some of the brands I reviewed in the past are gone, and there's a whole bunch of new ones. There are four in particular that look interesting, and I shall bake each and every one of them for you and let you know exactly what my opinion is.

In case you were not around for the last batch of tests, the winner was the Freschetta Brick Oven Fire Baked Crust Italian Style Pepperoni. It had a wonderfully caramelized crust that was bready yet light, not dense, and which was perfectly offset by exactly the right amounts of tangy sauce, cheesy cheese, and tangy pepperoni so that no one flavor dominated the mix. Ah, pizza ecstasy! So anyhow, that tells you the criteria I use to judge pizzas. All pizzas I test are pepperoni, and each is evaluated according to crust (must be light rather than dense, have a nicely bready taste with a hint of caramelization), sauce (should be plentiful and tangy but not overwhelming), cheese (should be plentiful and have a pleasantly smooth and cheesy taste without being overwhelming), pepperoni (should be plentiful and tangy), and overall balance (no single flavor should overwhelm the pizza). It will be interesting to see how each of these new pizzas evaluate against the reigning champ by those criteria. This penguin is pumped at this excuse to maintain his pleasing penguin rotundity!

The other thing I'm going to do is a new entry or two into the Bachelor's Cookbook. Most bachelor cooking is rather unhealthy processed food leaning heavily towards chili mac, tuna casseroles, and hamburgers. But what happens if we make soy burgers? Can a soy burger be made as tasty as a beef burger? Can soy burgers be prepared in the microwave and still be edible? This penguin is decidedly curious to see what happens!

-- Badtux the Food Penguin


  1. Veggie burgers cooked on the BBQ are quite tasty! Slice of onion, tomato, mustard and relish (never ketchup). Perfect! Also, you must toast the bun.

  2. And tuna casserole is too healthy.

    And I'm married!

    JzB the "I'll eat anything"* trombonist
    * except shad roe

    WV: pantri sometimes it's just fate!

  3. I like the soy burgers with the portabella mushrooms.

    Put a big one on top.


    Of course, I do have my secrets to dress up soy.

  4. BT - Two questions, please

    Do the cats get to vote on the Pizza?

    Have you found a way to make frozen pizza taz deductable?

  5. HDB: I'll try the BBQ soyburgers as one option of spicing them up a bit.

    Jazz: the tuna casserole I make is mac'n'cheese with a can of tuna and a can of cream-of-mushroom soup dumped into it. Maybe that's a different one from yours?

    Suzan: Interesting idea. I'll pick up a couple of 'shrooms when I go to the store to get the BBQ sauce.

    TD: The cats ignore pizza. It's mere human food, of utter disinterest to their superior selves. And yes, frozen pizza can be deductible if it is a business expense -- i.e., is purchased by the business for consumption by employees upon the business's premises. My employer deducts their (frozen personal-sized) pizzas that way...

  6. Don't care, I make my own.

  7. While walking uphill, both ways, in the pouring rain undoubtedly. Using no tools other than a rusty knife and a chain saw.

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  8. Actually, my lovely wife makes the tuna casserole. Elbows or those spirally-looking noodles. Two or the kinds of cheese. Miracle Whip light. Tuna, fer sure. Include some Cut up veggies - carrots, green pepper, olives, rutabagas - it hardly matters.

    No idea about quantities or baking details.

    OTOH, here is my take on baked macaroni.

    JzB the pasta-loving trombonist

  9. Ahem.

    HERE is my take, etc.

    JzB the more tired than he realizes trombonist

  10. Morningstar Farms makes good veggieburgers, based on soy protein. Like fake meat. ex-Mrs. Bukko was a committed vego, and we ate a lot of them. With cheese, lettuce and tomato on top, you hardly knew the difference. That company also made good fake sausages, and their fake bacon, while having an odd appearance and overly crispy texture, was also excellent in BLTs. Didn't work so well in any wet preparation because it soaked up too much moisture. I'm not sure how easy it is to find them in the Bay Area. We were living in Gulf Coast Florida when we used to buy them, and the curren Mrs. B is not as big on carnivorae simalcrums.

    Down here, unfortunately, veggie burgers are literally that -- those things with a mashed potato base, spiked with bits of carrot, corn, green beans, and fried. They're everywhere, even on the menus of punk rock pubs, because there's a large segment of youths who are vegetarian for ethical reasons. Too bad the burgers are crap.

    I say "Why eat bad fake meat when you could have a felafel?" There are so many ethnic groups here with their own non-meat cuisine. We're spoilt for choice.

  11. Vegie burgers buried in fried onions and mushrooms. If you feel a bit adventurous, hit the onions with a bit of truffle oil. It's pricy, but a little bit goes a long way.

    BTW, chili is the best way to go with vegies burgers. Get a crockpot, fill it with onion, red and green pepper, mushrooms, and beans (I like pink and small kidney), put in broth, spice it up to taste, and let it go. Fry up the vegie burgers, cut/crush them up into little pieces, and dump them into the crockpot. Ignore crockpot for hours and come back to a pile of yummy (and actually healthy) goodness.


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