Saturday, November 11, 2017

home made char siu 叉燒 pizza

I was at Trader Joe and I saw these prepared pizza dough. There are three kinds, an organic white, wheat, and white flour. The choice is easy and I picked up 2 bags of one made with white flour. I didn't have any plan as what kind of pizza I would make.

A week would go by and the two bags of pizza dough threaten to balloon the bag. I decided to make a pizza with what I have in the refrigerator and freezer. I decided to use my home made char siu 叉燒 as pepperoni. I wanted a tomato sauce base so I made that too from canned whole Roma tomato. What about cheese? I know mozzarella would work best with the char siu. The problem is I don't have any at home so I used what I have, blue cheese and Parmesan cheese. I knew using blue cheese is pushing the envelop.

I pulverized the whole tomato in a processor and then reduced it in a saucepan to concentrate the sauce. I used a mixture of dried herbs and added a little salt, all guesswork.

I just use canned US plum tomato; I would prefer Italian one if they are not that expensive

The greatest challenge in pizza at home is achieving a pizzeria-like crust without burning the cheese and toppings. I can tell you pizza stones don't work and you will just be wasting your money. To achieve the pizzeria-like crust you have to employ a bit of engineer's ingenuity.

First I use a pizza screen to support the pizza in the oven. It is the best technique and they are extremely cheap and easy to use. The pizza screen won't help you much to get the crust to achieve just the right degree of brownness, but it will adequately bake the crust without burning the toppings.

My trick is to finish the pizza crust in a cast iron skillet. This two step process will give you very close to pizzeria-like crust, without a real commercial pizza oven.

this is my version 0.5 char siu pizza

it is actually very tasty but the blue cheese overwhelms the char siu

Still with the second bag of pizza dough I decided to take a trip to Trade Joe and pick up a bag of mozzarella cheese. This time I would use two cheeses - mozzarella and Parmesan.

a little of char siu goes a long ways for this medium size pizza

spread the home made tomato sauce

next top with thinly slice char siu

lastly spread the mozzarella and then follow with Parmesan; the cheese help protect the char siu from burning; I baked in convection mode at about 325F for 8 minutes

As my skillet cannot hold a medium pizza I cut the pizza into 4 pie slices. The side benefit of having a pale crust is on the second meal the pizza will taste as if it is fresh out of a pizza oven after being browned on a cast iron skillet.

sliced up and ready to finished off what I plan to eat in a skillet; the pizza in the photo is darker than it really is

no oil is needed and just a few minutes under medium low heat and I achieved version 1.0 perfection

the result is one of the most delicious pizza giving the run for the money with my local Escape From New York pizzeria

Unlike pepperoni using char siu results in a much healthier pizza with very little pork fat.

genuineness crab with shiitake mushroom lo mein; it is most unusual and very delicious and almost decadent given lo mein is suppose to be an affordable fast food

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