When “Stoner” Food Becomes Mainstream; The Evolution of The Munchies

We all have been there. It’s 1:30 a.m. and the bartender just called “last call”. Your party of weekend warriors have consumed the night and with the evening coming to a close, you say your farewells and your fellowship is dissolved until next weekend, where you will undoubtedly pick up right where you left off. Once you reach your humble abode, the first thing you do is hunt for food to abate the case of the “munchies” you have contracted from the nights festivities. The “munchies”, for those who don’t know is the ravenous state of hunger one acquires after a full night of partying, which in turn creates the urge to consume large amounts of junk food. Some of the best creations are spawned from the late night kitchen raids that are caused by this gastronomic state. Just look at some of the mainstream fast food chains. Taco Bell came out with the Doritos Locos, a taco in a Doritos shell.

In my hay days of burning the candle at both ends I had what were call “Crusties”. A pizza rolled up with your favorite toppings minus the sauce, cut into little rolls, baked and served with ranch or marinara. My favorite was the bacon and cheese. They were simply sublime. In this recipe I show you how to make my classic “munchie” cure.

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This pizza dough recipe is my go to New York style crust.  Making pizza dough is a two day process.  Yes, you can make pizza dough the day you need it, but it will never be as good as a dough that has properly fermented. It is also important to weigh the ingredients in baking, as different brands of ingredients will measure different if measuring by cups.  For example, a cup of Diamond Crystal kosher salt will not weigh the same as Morton’s kosher salt.  The pizza rolls are perfect for reheating in the microwave or even cold.  Obviously I wouldn’t recommend making these when you three sheets to the wind, but it’s your choice.

N.Y. Style Pizza Dough 

This recipe yields four 10 inch pizza crusts.

Ingredients:
28 oz of flour
17.4 oz of warm water
1 tsp of dry active yeast
2.5 grams kosher salt
2 tsp of honey
3 tsp of olive oil

Procedure:

Measure out warm water in a small non reactive container.  Sprinkle yeast over top and let sit for a minute to gently rehydrate.  Mix in olive oil, salt, and honey.  Let sit for 20 minutes to let the yeast start to activate.  Place flour in a stand mixer and add the water/yeast mixture.  Mix with a dough hook on low to bring mixture together.  Once incorporated raise the speed to medium high and mix for 6 minutes.  Place dough ball in an oiled container at least twice as big as the ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and set out at room temperature for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, place in refrigerator overnight.  At this point you can portion out 10 oz. for pizza crust or use for the following recipe.

Pizza Rolls A.K.A “Crusties”:

Ingredients:
1 N.Y. style pizza dough recipe
6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
3 Tbsp dried oregano
Your favorite pizza toppings, for mine I used about 15 slices of pepperoni for one and a half pound of cooked diced bacon and a cup of sliced mushrooms for the other.

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Procedure:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

After you have made the pizza dough recipe, take the dough out of the refrigerator and scale out four 10-12 oz balls.  Brush them with a little olive oil and then loosely cover them with plastic wrap and let them come up to room temp.  This makes it easier to stretch the dough.  On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out using a rolling-pin into a large rectangle approximately 12 inches by 18 inches.  Top the dough with about a cup and a half of mozzarella, a Tbsp of dried oregano and your favorite pizza toppings.  Remember less is more when it comes to toppings.  Too many toppings and it will be difficult to roll the dough.

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Brush the top of the dough with a little water so it will stick together when you roll it. Start rolling the dough from the bottom of the wide end of the rectangle like you were rolling a cinnamon roll.

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Make a quick garlic oil by blending a 1/2 cup of oil with one clove of garlic and a Tbsp of dried oregano.  Brush the roll with the garlic oil and slice into 2 1/2 inch pieces.  Bake on a parchment line sheet pan for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ranch or marinara sauce.

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