As a freelance writer for a local magazine, my favorite assignment EVER was a write up on a small town pizza joint.
APIZZA has authentic east coast style pizzas with crispy hand tossed crusts that were just a bit burnt in places (the mark of authenticity) and wonderfully unique ingredients like potato.
My favorite - Steak and Potato Pizza. Thin slices of potato with tender strips of steak and melty blobs of fresh mozzarella . . . pinch me now before a daydream-drool all over my key board and break my laptop.
Do you remember the movie The Princess Bride? Of course you do. Do you remember "The Machine" when the 6 fingered man cranked it all the way to 50 and just about killed Wesley? Who doesn't? Okay then - remember the scream, the gut wrenching, ear splitting, resounding sound that Wesley bellowed as 50 years of life was sucked out of his body?
That is the same sound I bellowed in the parking lot of the gym when I hear that APIZZA is closing their doors. That's right, closing.
AAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAhrg! (That's my Princess Bride scream again, only abbreviated. I'm sure you heard something like it last Friday way off in the distance.)
In an attempt to pay homage to a pizza that was life changing (I can never truly enjoy pizza again because of it), I created Meat and Potato Soup - a shadow of it's inspirational predecessor but fantastic nonetheless.
MEAT AND POTATO SOUP
1 lb lean ground beef
6 - 8 russet potatoes, cubed
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
Kosher salt and pepper
1. Brown hamburger in a large pot with rosemary, red pepper flakes, and pinch of salt and pepper. When cooked through, drain fat, remove from pot, and set aside
2. Place onion and garlic in pot. The bit of fat from the beef that sticks to the pot should be enough to saute vegetable in. However, if the onions stick, add a drizzle of canola oil. Saute until onions are translucent and tender.
Add potatoes and about 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, stirring every minute or so to keep from burning on the bottom. Try to let potatoes brown on the bottom before stirring each time.
3. When potatoes are tender, add meat and just enough water to cover.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until you are ready to serve. The potatoes will begin to fall apart a bit and thicken the soup. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper, adding more water as needed to loosen, and serve topped with a sprinkling of green onion. If you are freezing soup for later, add green onion to the soup.