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Cooking for Ninjas: Pizza

Every so often, my brother asks me if I’ve written anything involving ninjas. This is probably not what he meant.
 

Hey there, Hungry Ninja. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you’re hungry, but pizza? Pffft. That’s not ninja food. Because, after all, the origins of the ninja path and the pizza foodstuff do not coincide. They don’t even run parallel. Different continents (more or less). Different hats. And when the ninja masters of yore threw around objects, I’m sure you’d tell me, they were far pointier and deadlier than pizza dough. I agree with you, Hungry Ninja. So I can see where you’d get this idea:


 

It’s perfectly understandable. But Hungry Ninja, I am here to tell you that contrary to initial judgments, pizza does indeed fit quite well into the ninja lifestyle. Let’s look at how.

Now, the beauty of pizza, Hungry Ninja, is that it lends itself to a myriad of interpretations and toppings. But before we delve into that aspect, let’s discuss another one of pizza’s strengths: it can be prepared in stages, thereby fitting itself quite easily into the busy ninja lifestyle.

First, you will need some pizza dough. Since you are a ninja, this will be easy to acquire. On a day when you are not vanquishing enemies, you might decide to set some time aside to make your own pizza dough, but this is not strictly necessary. Frozen dough is found at many grocery stores. Alternatively, suppose one of your nemeses is a baker. Time your defeat of the baker just right, which of course will be no problem because you are a ninja, and snag up some rising pizza dough as part of your spoils.

Once you have your dough, you will need to let it rise. This may seem like an onerous, time-consuming task, but keep in mind that you do not have to be present. Use the time for further training in your ninja arts, strike fear into and/or disembowel another mortal enemy or three, wash your ninja hood, or get started on the toppings for your pizza. The toppings are where you can really let your ninjahood shine!

Suppose during the dough’s rise, you do indeed venture forth to vent your fury upon an adversary. After you have proven triumphant (which of course you will because you are a ninja), don’t be too quick to dispose of the carcass or display it as a warning to all who would defy you. Instead, take a step back and think, What might go well on my pizza?

Hungry Ninja, I herewith humbly offer a few suggestions.

Drain a bit of your opponent’s blood to use on the pizza either straight or as a tasty reduction sauce. But don’t stop at the blood; if you were able to resist tearing the still-beating heart from your adversary’s chest, instead take it to cut into chunks for your pizza. Likewise, you may do this with the liver, kidney, or brain–

Whoops! Maybe not the brain, unless you a Hungry Zombie Ninja.

Other options, and what’s pictured below, include chicken sausage, fresh mozzarella, green onions, and garlic scapes.*

*Ingredients perhaps more suitable if Mrs. Ninja will also partake

 Now that you have your toppings ready, let’s return to the dough. After its rise, you will need to stretch it out.

Ninja Tactic! For a circular crust more so in the shape of a yin/yang symbol, oil the outside of a bowl, place it on the counter upside-down, and let gravity, which is not your mortal enemy, do the work.

Dough Tactic!

Now’s a good time to preheat your oven, if you haven’t already. You’ll want it at 400 degrees F. (And I know ninjas are probably more likely to use Celsius. But you are a ninja, so you can figure out the conversion.)

Double Ninja Tactic! Use a pizza stone, and store it in your oven. Not only will your oven heat more evenly and provide your pizzas with a crisp crust (because soggy bottoms should have nothing to do with ninjas); it may come in handy if ever under attack in your own home. Say you are cornered in the kitchen. Your enemy does not know that you have a solid disc of stone in your oven. You may use your ninja reflexes to yank open the oven door, remove the stone, and fling it at your nemesis, speedily decapitating him or her. Of course, if the oven has been on the stone will be hot and may perhaps burn you, but you are ninja and so can take it, while doing further harm to your enemy. Win-win for Hungry Ninja, lose-lose for your unwise ninja enemy.

Hot stone ready for use in decapitation or pizza-making!

Your stone should heat, ideally, for around an hour. Then parbake your pizza crust for 6-8 minutes. This will ensure that the crust is baked through and does not have a doughy center after you’ve put on the toppings. Doughy centers should also have nothing to do with ninjas.

So now your crust is parbaked. You may wrap it in plastic and freeze, particularly if there is a certain foe whose heart you feel would make a sublime topping but whom you haven’t gotten around to dispatching yet, busy ninja that you are, or, if you are ready, top it with your ingredients. Turn up your oven’s heat to 450 degrees, and bake until the crust is golden brown and the adversarial blood sauce is bubbling.

Not adversarial blood but still tasty!

And there you have it, Hungry Ninja–pizza! I hope you now see just how easily pizza can work for you. Ingest your enemy’s life force and enjoy!

Disclaimer: This ought to go without saying, but this post is written for entertainment purposes only. I do not advocate using pizza stones to decapitate people, and cannibalism is just icky.

 

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