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Entries in kitchen tools (1)


Cleaver Envy

Let's talk about cooking implements for a moment, shall we? Now, I know the above image looks a touch menacing. It is, after all, a cleaver. A very LARGE cleaver.

And did I mention that it is sharp? Very sharp.

Now, there are any number of things (menacing and non) that you could use this large, sharp cleaver to accomplish. For example:

Giving John a hair cut (it's getting long, and Aunt Emily is starting to call him "AC/DC" again).

Aerating the walls of your apartment.

Putting pleats in pants and skirts.

Vegetable tennis! (you need a pair and a willing partner)

Chopping things.

I would like to focus on the last item: chopping.

I was recently at Iaciofano HQ. Hoboken was evacuating first floor apartments (that's me) for Hurricane Irene, and since the town generally floods when someone spits in the street, I thought it wise to retreat to the bucolic 'burbs for a little Marmo and The Box time. With pizza, of course.

And so, with the power being out, we had nothing to do but fire up the grill and cook our pizza outside. In the storm. We are warriors, people. Food warriors with nothing but stupidity standing in the way of us and complete disaster.

Remember this?:

Well, we put it to good use as we threw raw pizza dough on the grill with reckless abandon. And tongs! But I'm not here to talk about tongs. It's the cleaver I'm after. After we cooked up these pies, I innocently asked if we had a pizza cutter. I was met with the following responses:

1. A look of disdain, because of course Iaciofano HQ has 3421 pizza cutters.

2. "Yes, but the cleaver works better!" (this from Marmo)

And she was correct. With one fell SWOOP, personal sized, fire-grilled pizza are cleaved in two...and then fours. It was magic. Just one CHOP! I rather enjoyed the chopping part, as you might be able to tell.

We made a variety of pizzas, here is one we have posted before: The Gruyere and Caramelized Onion (recipe here):

A few pizza grilling tips:

1. Make your dough according to this recipe.

2. Stretch out your dough onto a floured or oiled tray.

3. Brush both sides of the dough with olive oil.

4. Carefully place the stretched out dough onto a grill (heated to at least 500 degrees). You can use tongs if your dough folds over on itself while you are trying to plop it onto the grill.

5. Close the lid and cook for about a minute, but keep an eye on it, as you don't want it to burn.

6. Using the tongs, flip the dough over and quickly apply your toppings. It helps if you have your toppings ready to go and sitting in little prep bowls alongside the grill.

7. Drizzle with olive oil.

8. Close the lid and cook for a few minutes, checking in occasionally. Keep in mind the lifting the lid of the grill causes heat to escape, so try not to peek too often.

9. Slide your cooked pizza onto a tray using tongs.

10. Slice with a large, sharp cleaver and serve!

* Special thanks to Jameson Fink for the title of this post.