Deep Dish Pizza, Ben Folds & the Suburban Zombies of The Santa Clarita Diet

SCDHi there! Thanks for stopping by for another menu. We are going to be discussing the Suburbs in this entry – as well as making some deep dish, watching Drew Barrymore become a zombie and listening to Ben Folds criminally underrated Rockin’ The Suburbs. Lets get started.

Dinner:

Who doesn’t love Deep Dish? I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I think I have put together a decent recipe for a homemade pie. We are going to make a meat lovers pizza because Zombies love meat – duh. FYI, all of the meat was purchased at Thurn’s, a butcher shop/pork store that has been operating in South Columbus since 1867.

Let’s get started, but first pay homage to SCD by pouring a Zombie Dust from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.


This delicious American Pale Ale has a medium body, the right amount of hops, is citrus forward and has a very slight splice. It is hard to come by in Ohio (hence the stock photo), so if you find some please let me know!

It is pizza time. Let’s start with the sauce.

SAUCE:

  • 1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry Spanish red wine (Tempranillo or Garnacha will help with the smoky flavor)

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate.

CRUST:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 packet instant yeast

IMG_3519

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Sriracha (optional – I like my crust a little spicy)
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup warm water
  1. Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer or if you are insane, by hand.
  2. Let ingredients mix on low for about 10 minutes or until ingredients become balled together.
  3. Place dough ball in buttered bowl and cover for two hours.


Now it time to prepare the crust. Clear an area to use and sprinkle area with All Purpose Flour.


Roll, roll, roll and roll some more. For at least 5 minutes.

Grease 14′ pie pan with 3 ounces of olive oil so that crust doesn’t stick.

Spread crust to edge of pan and cover for 30 minutes.


While crust is expanding, cook bacon and sausage. Also, preset oven to 425 degrees.

  • 1/2 lb Thurn’s smoked bacon
  • 1 lb Thurn’s smoked sausage

Cook, drain and set aside.

I cannot stress the next part enough – bake your crust for 10 minutes.

The good people at Meister’s in Grandview let me in on this trade secret. There is no link to their website and no current social media available, as they are much too cool for that. I will say that Meister’s is my favorite Deep Dish in Columbus, and it is also a great place to watch a Browns, Cavs or Indians game.

After removing your crust from oven, lightly brush the crust with olive oil.

Next, top the crust with 1 lb of sliced mozzarella.


Now, top cheese with 40-50 cervelat.


Make it rain meat by topping cervelat with sausage and bacon.


Top sausage and bacon with sauce.


Insert pizza back into still heated 425-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Re-insert pizza for five minutes, remove, sprinkle with basil and let sit for five minutes.


This should be a smoky, meaty and cheesy affront to thin crust.

Deep Dish Edited-3563

Serve the pizza with a nice Montepulciano D’Abruzzo,  preferably this Galasso.

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It has soft tannins, a medium body, opens up nicely and at under $10 won’t break the bank. Megan and I are big fans and always pick up a bottle at House Wine.

This blog isn’t fancy and the point has always been to give pointers on how to have a fun and inexpensive evening at home (well that and to give me a legitimate forum to hear myself talk), so pour another glass and let’s watch some Netflix!

SHOWTIME

Let me start out by saying the Santa Clarita Diet isn’t for everyone. It is a gory, silly and fun satire. SCD is a zombie show that is hungry for brains and appreciates a viewer who uses theirs.

What SCD does particularly well is follow, what I call, the Rule of Romero. For those who don’t know, George A. Romero invented the modern zombie genre. His masterpiece Night of the Living Dead was an allegory for racism. His follow-up was Dawn of the Dead, which aptly compared the typical 1980s American consumer with a zombie. All of Romero’s zombie follow ups had themes and critiqued different aspects of American/global society.

What Romero knew is that great zombie entertainment is never about the zombies. Great zombie entertainment uses its canvas to paint a picture about society, hence the Rule of Romero. SCD doesn’t take itself as seriously as Romero, but also doesn’t waste the opportunity to lampoon with impunity.

Without giving too much away (this plot is set in the first 10 minutes) Drew Barrymore’s character Sheila becomes undead. She doesn’t become a brain-dead, drooling ghoul but ironically is invigorated with physical, mental and spiritual energy. She uses her new energy to bring the spark back into her long-term marriage to husband Joel (Tim Olyphant), become a better mother and conquer her snooty clique of suburban mothers and lawn obsessed neighbors. Of course, she still does crave flesh.

As Joel and Sheila look for a cure to bring Shelia back to ‘life’, they realize that their marriage hasn’t felt alive in years and this is where the fun begins. SCD follows the Rule of Romero well and while the viewer never forgets Shelia is undead, the focus is never completely tethered to this point.

Put your reservations aside, don’t over think it and enjoy the ride. SCD has 10 episodes that average 25 minutes so it is easy to binge – especially if you enjoy satire and gratuitous gore.

Nightcap

Let’s pour some Suburban Corporate Craft Beers –


… and crank up this classic!

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It should be noted that this photo was taken in my suburban man cave, located in Hilliard, Ohio. That’s right, I live in the suburbs.

Released, unfortunately, on September 11, 2001, Rockin’ The Suburbs is not exactly a concept album but the songs are definitely connected by what it means to be an American living in suburbia at the turn of the 21st century.

This album was certainly an ambitious project. Folds wrote all songs, played most instruments and was a producer.

Some of the highlights are:

  • Zak and Sara a poppy tale of young love set against the backdrop of a music store.
  • Fred Jones Part 2 – the saddest song ever recorded. This minor key piano masterpiece tells the tale of Fred, who is forced to retire from his newspaper job and go home to his lonely suburban existence.
  • Not The Same – a great arrangement and a story about partying, religion, drugs and starting life over. It has also become a staple of Folds’ concerts. Check out this clip to see why.
  • Perennial proposal/wedding first dance The Luckiest is a beautiful tune that I am sure you have seen in a television program or movie montage.
  • The title track is a funny, satirical jab at American culture. It is a rock song that pokes fun at those artists who rely on studio magic while particularly taking aim at late 90s Nu Metal acts Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot. The video is magic.

So there you have it – a perfect menu for an entertaining night at home, wherever your home is. I hope you enjoyed and if you make the pizza, please leave a photo in the comment section!

ADDITIONS & SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Megan and I invited our friends Tom and Audrey to our house for this dinner. They make any evening better all the while making you feel older. 8.5/10, I would invite them for dinner again.
  • Olyphant and Barrymore have real chemistry and are a lot of fun to watch.
  • If SCD has a breakout star, it will be Skyler Gisondo. Gisondo plays the bumbling and nerdy neighbor boy Eric and steals almost every scene.
  • Mary Elizabeth Ellis shines as Eric’s mother Lisa. It is great to see her display her comic chops in a vehicle that is not Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • The September 11, 2001, release date of Rockin’ The Suburbs has certainly affected its notoriety.
  • When I lived in Philadelphia, I took the train to NYC to see Ben Folds live in Central Park. I was lucky enough to run into him before the show and we spoke for a few moments. I told him how his music helped me cope with the loss of my father the previous year. He seemed genuinely flattered and could not have been more down to earth.

SCD

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