Last Saturday night we had "Guys Night In" pizza cooking competition.
Wal and Q vs. Uncle Mike and Splitty the Maul.
It was a culinary slugfest. The Lloyd boys are a couple of tough hombres.
They also had us outnumbered four arms to two.
To even out the playing field, I made a pot of pizza sauce for all to use.
Iron Chef: Pizza Battle was on.
Q went right to the meat bin. He came out with pepperoni, Italian sausage, and ham. He got to work on his crust, deftly rolling out a medium crust.
Wal on the other hand opted for the old classic, cheese pizza. In a surprising and bold move, he grabbed the sharp cheddar. He got to work on his crust, opting for a more rustic looking presentation.
Citing our shortage of arms, I opted for a prepared flatbread crust. My chioce was to go vegetarian, hoping to upset the heavy meat pie and the non-traditional cheese entries.
In what could only be called a moment of inspired genius, Splitty broke out the Cuisinart electric ice cream maker/freezer.
It was "Game on!" for the four of us.
Q and I had made some chocolate custard earlier. We modified the recipe to use 1.5 teaspoons of all natural vanilla extract and .5 teaspoon of almond extract, giving the mixture a "Rocky Road" flavor. We were planning to let it cool for use the next day.
Splitty made his move for it.
Sadly, Splitty's lack of arms and hands made it impossible for him to complete his mission.
By going outside the defined menu, Splitty had violated a couple of basic rules in the Iron Chef: Pizza Battle.
I had no choice. I disqualified Splitty.
Splitty immediately filed a, "What in the cornbread Hell?" based appeal.
It is a tactic that has had some success in the past.
I considered his appeal carefully. I gave it all the time such an appeal warranted prior to rendering my decision.
It was the longest two seconds of Splitty's life.
The verdict came down: "Pizza competition. DENIED!"
Splitty just stood there dejected, staring at the ice cream maker, and thinking what might have been.
Wal, inspired by Splitty's move outside the box, grabbed some deli turkey. His entry would now be a turkey/cheddar pizza.
In a competition filled with big moves, this would prove to be among the biggest.
Team Lloyd looked at their pies, realized they were where they wanted them to be ingredient wise, and took them to the oven.
Q went first, followed by Wal. These were big pies, only one could fit in at a time.
Gotta tell you, the aroma was most pleasing. With Splitty out of the competition, I was going to have my hands full.
Q's "Meat Lover's Extreme".
Pretty good looking pie isn't it?
Wal's "Turkey Cheddar Surprise".
Enormous eye appeal, great use of available ingredients.
Uncle Mike's "Red Bell Pepper Onion Flatbread".
I was pretty happy with it, but was clearly outgunned by Team Lloyd.
It was just a matter of which of the Lloyd pies would top the other.
We took them to the table.
The sampling began in earnest.
Splitty, still distraught over being DQ'ed, stayed behind in the kitchen with his newest friend, "Freezy the Custard Boy".
The voting was close. Very close. Q's pizza had great texture and balance of flavor. The Italian sausage complimented the ham and pepperoni beautifully.
Wal's on the other hand was a breath of fresh air. The sweetness of the turkey, the mellowness of the sauce, and the sharp tang of the cheddar was almost irresistible.
By a voice vote of two to one, Wal's pie was declared the winner. Q came in second. My entry received no votes, not even from me.
The guys did an outstanding job.
They're good kids on their way to being outstanding adults.
With mad pizza making skills.
Not a bad way to spend a snowy Winter's evening.
I've had a lot of nice evenings recently. I even got to play with a new toy the other night.
That's going to have to be a story for another time.
Splitty's standing here reminding me this post is about the pizza competition.
Mauls hate being DQ'ed.
Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.
Air Traffic Mike, ret.
I Know DKDC
2 days ago