Friday, June 25, 2010

Alton Brown Takes a Second Look at Pizza

Alton's grilled pizza looks good!  Since I have both grills out for some experimenting lately, I may have to do a test batch and see how it comes out.  The only difficulty may be finding a bottle of malted barley syrup; never heard of the stuff.  For what was supposed to be a simplified and quick dish, why did he have to pull out an uncommon ingredient that most people are not going to have around?  I do have some stock-up shopping at the mega mart tomorrow, so hopefully they have it.

Flat is Beautiful follows Age of Asparagus as another good episode focusing on the cooking without too much interruption and/or overkill on the technical details.  The eggs Benedict show annoyed me a bit with the constant use of that damned big red timer.  I've been watching a lot of Jamie Oliver on the Cooking Channel lately and off the wall style emphasizes how overly complicated Alton can get on occasion.  Really, how am I supposed to drop a temperature probe into a pan that I'm holding on to and constantly whisking while moving it from burner to burner while poking the timer with my nose?  While I appreciate the precise measurement and timing required for baking; other dishes need not so much rigidness.  I try to enjoy cooking and too many rules makes it more of a chore or akin to homework.  I don't need to be told that half an ounce of this cheese and 1.5oz. of that cheese is the specified amount for my pizza; that's something better left to individual judgment.

That said; the methodology in this episode was much more compact than the original Flat is Beautiful, which Food Network had the sense to air right before for comparison.  You can really see how far Good Eats has advanced in the 9 years between episodes.  There's no more stop/start action and tangents int he middle of a process; the layout and transitions is much more fluid.  I also noticed that Alton pokes fun at himself in both; labeling himself a 'nerd' in the first and the into commentary in the second.  And, of course, the Emma Peel gag made it's way into both.  In Good Eats: The Early Years, AB mentions a fan gave him a peel engraved with 'Emma.'  I guess that didn't make it into the new show.

If I can get my hands on some malted barley syrup and, hopefully, find a bit of time this week, I'll try to get some pizza making pictures up.  Don't hold your breath too long, I may not get out to grill until next week since I work all weekend.

p.s.  For a little eye candy, here's some chicken yakitori I made yesterday:

From Alton Brown and Good Eats

Good night and Good Eats!


Lisa said...

I've heard of barley malt syrup for bread making before the new episode. I don't know if I can find it locally, but I would check health food stores or the health food section. You can also get it at King Arthur Flour online.

Anonymous said...

I just found a bottle at Whole Foods.