Friday, May 22, 2020

Kroger 3 Minute Microwave Pizza (Supreme)

Kroger's "3 Minute Microwave Pizzas" have been a fixture in my freezers for a long time.

For one, they are always on sale for 89-99 cents at Kroger supermarkets. Every once in a while, you will find them as low as 75 cents. (This is when I buy between five and ten of them, depending on how much freezer space I have at the time.)

For another, they are good. Not great, but definitely good.

And, perhaps most importantly, they hit the spot perfectly when I have been drinking.

My favorite of the pizzas is this supreme variety. They are roughly six inches wide.

Which means they fit very well in my air fryer. That's right, the air fryer. It's much faster - and slightly better - than the oven.

And it's 100x better than the microwave. If you care enough about frozen pizza to read this blog, you probably already know this, but I'm going to write it anyway: THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY TO MAKE GOOD FROZEN PIZZA IN THE MICROWAVE.

What I usually do is cook the pizza at 330ΒΊ for five minutes and then turn it up to 400ΒΊ for two minutes. This one cooked a little bit longer during the second stage.

Because I was drunk.

Whatever.

I cut the pizza in half and then cute one of the halves into four slices, either as is or with some hot sauce.

What do I do with the intact half?

Glad you asked.

 I slather it with Trader Joe's garlic sauce.

The fold it in half and eat it like a taco.

I hope these pizzas never disappear.

THE RATING: πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•(sober)

      πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ• (drunk)

Friday, May 15, 2020

Kroger Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza with Chili Flakes

Kroger makes those "Private Selection" pizzas, including the Cuban one I wrote about recently, and they also have a line of pizzas bearing only the Kroger label. (They is a pepperoni one that I will write about one of these days.)

The "hot honey pepperoni pizza with chili flakes" sounded promising, and not just because they use lowercase letters.

 There was a noticeable amount of chili flakes scattered across the pizza. I had high hopes.

First, the good: the crust was better than average (for frozen pizza, of course) and the pepperoni was higher quality than I was expecting.

But, unfortunately, the whole thing was bland. There was no spice to it whatsoever. I honestly have no idea if freezing chili flakes robs them of their spice (though I doubt it). But there was none.

This could have been a surprisingly great pizza. But it was not. It was not bad, just... pointless.

THE RATING:πŸ•πŸ•πŸ• 

Friday, May 8, 2020

Trader Joe's Organic Woodfired Sicilian Style Pizza

Yes, another Trader Joe's pizza. You are probably tired of reading about them. I'll be honest: I'm tired of writing about them.

In the last month, I've made a couple of trips to grocery stores other than Trader Joe's - including a truly disgusting trip to Walmart, but that's a story for a different forum - but mostly, I've only been going to TJ's. So these are the only pizzas I have been buying.

The Organic Woodfired Sicilian Style Pizza" is nothing too challenging - red peppers, provolone and mozzarella cheeses - with one exception:

It also includes a tube of olive oil with red pepper flakes to drizzle over the pizza to spice it up. We'll get back to that.

As has been occurring frequently with Trader Joe's pizzas, the topping are assembled in a rather hasty manner.

Unlike most Trader Joe's pizzas, which cook quickly in a 425-450ΒΊ oven, I cook this one at a lower heat (about 365ΒΊ) for a longer period, to allow the balls of mozzarella to melt.

The cheese and peppers are a good combination, but not particularly flavorful. The sauce is more robust than most TJ's pizzas, tasting strongly of roasted tomatoes.

If this is all the pizza offered, I would not buy one again.

Which is why they thoughtfully included the spicy olive oil.

And make no mistake, this stuff is spicy.  If you are averse to spicy food, I would advise you to stay away from this oil completely. However, if you love spice, as I do, do not hesitate to pour the whole thing over your pie, because in addition to being spicy, it is also very tasty.

It's not a great pizza, but it is great for what it is: a low-priced (as are all TJ's pizza) and tasty break from the regular cheese and Margherita pizzas that I usually purchase there.

Next week, I promise I will visit a different market and buy two or three non-TJ's pizzas to write about in the coming weeks.

THE RATING: πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

Friday, May 1, 2020

Trader Joe's Pizza Margherita

This is the one, folks.

This is the pizza that started my love affair with Trader Joe's frozen pizzas. It could be argued that this pizza - along with the Argentinean red shrimp - is more responsible for my love affair with Trader Joe's itself than anything else.

You see, back before I was a famous frozen pizza blogger, back in the middle of the first decade of the century, I worked a quite ordinary job. It paid just well enough to allow me to go out drinking five or six nights per week. (I would say six or seven nights per week but I didn't really go out Sunday night; that was more of a day-drinking situation.)

I often would get fast food on the way home. Then, for some reason lost to history, I decided to try Trader Joe's Margherita pizza one day. Not only was it very good, but it was only $3.99.

I could just keep a bunch of these in my freezer and not have to worry about getting fast food at night, I thought to myself.

So I did. And I would eat this pizza at least twice per week.

These days, it's probably once every few months. But it deserves on a spot on this website.

I'm not sure if I've ever noticed this "Imported from Italy" wording before. I mean, I must have at some point, but I am truly not sure.

Someone asked me why I am so critical of the appearance of frozen pizza. And it's a fair question; if something tastes good, should I really care what it looks like?

But this pizza is a good illustration of why I am critical. If Trader Joe's can make a pizza this attractive at this extremely-low price point, there is no excuse for frozen pizzas that cost $7-10 to look so sloppily thrown together, as they often do.

After ten minutes in a 425ΒΊ oven, this is what comes out.

Is it the most exciting pizza you'll ever see? No. But a great Margherita pizza doesn't need to look fancy. Its beauty is in its simplicity.

And it is a very tasty pizza. On occasions that I have fresh basil - quite often in summer; almost never the rest of the year - I will add torn leaves to this pie. But even without, the combination of the cheese and tomato sauce is wonderful, reminiscent of bruschetta.

It is also my favorite of Trader Joe's pizza to enjoy with wine. Many years ago I brought a cooked and refrigerated one of these on a wine-tasting picnic in the Sierra Foothills southeast of Sacramento. It was a wonderful choice.

If this pizza were a few dollars more, it would probably receive a three-slice rating. But for $3.99, combined with all the wonderful memories, this was inevitable:

THE RATING: πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•