We like pizza at our house. We especially like Chicago-style pizza, what with one of us being from Chicagoland and all. In fact, the last time we visited the Windy City, we indulged in a late-night snack at Pizano’s despite relatively sated appetites. “Let’s go get a pizza,” I’d suggested when we found our time unexpectedly unspoken for. Chris hesitated. Hesitated! “I’m not really hungry,” he offered. “Neither am I,” I agreed, “but how often do we get to eat Chicago pizza?” So out we went. That’s how much we like pizza.
You know who else likes pizza? Our new president, a Chicagoan himself. So it made sense to commemorate his inauguration with homemade Chicago-style deep dish. Well, that an abundance of crisp, local champagne — an otherwise odd pairing that perfectly encapsulated the celebratory and egalitarian spirit of the day.
But back to the pizza: I’ve always assumed the deep dishes of gooey cheese and thick, crisp crust that arrive bubbling at your table were a complicated enterprise impossible to re-create at home. Not so; you can make deep dish pizza in your own kitchen.
Yes you can.
I’ve developed a bit of a thing for this baked pumpkin. It all started back in October. We’d planned a Halloween party and I had my heart set on baking something — maybe soup — inside a pumpkin, mostly because I thought it would look cool. But really. Who wants to stand around at a party eating soup? So I scrapped the baked pumpkin idea and then, when Chris got sick, the party itself. Which worked out rather nicely, because you know what’s great for sick people? Soup.
I’d originally intended to fill the pumpkin with cream and gruyère, but my cheesemonger sent me home with three other fancy cheeses and this recipe in Gourmet persuaded me to add bread to the mix, making the resulting dish less a soup than a warm bowl of soft, gooey cheesy goodness.