Thursday, August 18, 2016

Week 32 - Inspired by Video Games

Shortly after they announced the "inspired by video games" theme for Week 32 of the cooking challenge, Pokemon Go was released. We were quickly addicted to the game and all the positive ways it was affecting society, and it was a no-brainer which video game we should be inspired by for this challenge. We didn't want to consider actually eating any of the Pokemon we had worked so hard to catch, so after some brief looking around on the internet, it became clear we should make a Poke Ball Pizza, which we paired with a salad so it wouldn't be absurdly unhealthy.

Usually when I roll out the pizza dough, it becomes vaguely like a rectangle, but we needed a perfectly round pizza this time, so I leaned towards getting a pizza kit. I guess I could have just gotten a round flatbread from Trader Joe's, but we went to Costco first, and I remembered they had pizza kits, so we went with that. The ingredients for our Poke Ball Pizza were:

- 1 pizza flatbread with 1 packet of tomato sauce from pizza kit ($1.95)
- 6 oz of quattro formaggio shredded blend (parmesan, asiago, fontina, provolone) ($2.50)
- 1.5 oz of pepperoni slices ($1.65)
- 1/2 can of sliced black olives ($0.60)

The amount to make the pizza (since the pizza kits went on sale at Costco for their organic summer coupon special) was about $6.70. Adding on the Caesar salad kit (also from Costco, more on that later), the total for dinner was approximately $10.49. For a quick and easy dinner where the only work I had to do was place ingredients on the pizza and stick it in the oven, and mix together a salad kit, it was absolutely worth it. Sometimes you just need an easy, convenient dinner.

In order to make the pizza look like a Poke Ball (and it wasn't perfect around the edges), I first laid down the pizza sauce and then a thin layer of cheese. The top half of the pizza got pepperoni on top of the cheese, the bottom half got another layer of cheese, and the middle got a string of black olives. It looked enough like a Poke Ball, even if after baking it, the cheese messed up the edge.

The pizza was pretty good. It was a little salty from the pepperoni and the cheese, but that was to be expected. Also, the salt helped counteract the pizza sauce a little, because that was a bit too sweet. The cheese was good as always (my favorite pizza cheese from TJ's). The pizza wasn't as crispy as we would have liked, but that was on me, since I didn't bake it long enough. (I did it for about 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees on a pizza pan, even though the instructions did that right on the oven rack. 15 minutes would have been better, as we tested later.) It was a fun experiment though, and it made us pretty happy seeing the Poke Ball come out of our oven as we sat in our apartment catching Pokemon.


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