A mere month ago, I was saying that I wasn't going to enter "that Project Food Blog thing" because I didn't think I'd get very far. Amazingly, here I am, halfway through, with FIVE challenges under my (ever-increasing) belt.
Thank you all for your incredible support, links, tweets, and votes!
This challenge, to "create a twist on pizza" really had me stumped. I make pizza all the time, and have created many a "twist" on pizza in my day. Goat cheese, caramelized onions and mushrooms? Yep, been there. Folded over like a calzone? Sure.
Since I've done the traditional pizza thing, after much discussion with multiple people, I opted to be a bit more untraditional. FoodBuzz said that they are defining pizza as "a solid base, sauce, and at least one topping." This got my gears going.
I wanted different but not disgusting. I wanted interesting without being predictable. A few suggestions later, and I had my inspiration.
None other than my favorite food.
Sushi holds a very special place in my heart for many reasons, only one of them being that Adam and I got engaged at our favorite sushi spot. A sushi restaurant was where I used to go with my friend James when I needed a break from home; I'd go for sushi with my dad when I was home from college; I'd go to the lone sushi place in my college town with roommates and we'd pretend we were back home. I fell in love with Adam over sushi... ok, enough sappiness.
First, I created a homemade wonton-type dough to create my solid base. I used a simple recipe found in a multitude of places which created a silky-smooth dough that was very easy to roll out.
Easy Wonton Dough
* 2 c. all purpose flour
* 1 egg
* 1/3 to 1/2 c. water
* 1 tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. When combined, continue to knead about 10 minutes.
Form into a ball and allow to rest at least 30 minutes.
While this doesn't have to rise like yeast pizza doughs, the gluten still needs to relax to allow it to be rolled thin.
Next, I made a batch of sushi rice. It's not as easy as it might seem! The right rice had to be purchased, then washed and drained appropriately.
Then I cooked the rice in our rice cooker. And it was still watery and the grains were waterlogged, so I had to start all over. The second time though, it was right.
The process of making the sushi rice into the deliciously sticky food I know and love wasn't nearly as simple as I thought either. The vinegar mixture needed to be heated then cooled, and then
stirred folded into the hot rice without actually stirring in a conventional way. Then, the bowl of rice had to cool to room temperature.
While the rice cooled, I rolled out and cut my wonton crusts. They were quite thin, and I baked them at 350*F until crispy.
When we were ready to eat, I assembled my toppings and made my sauces.
I purchased three colors of tobiko (flying fish eggs), wasabi powder, avocado, tuna, salmon, shrimp, shredded nori (toasted seaweed) and kewpie mayonnaise (in the cute red-topped bottle). This mayonnaise is what gives Japanese mayonnaise-based sauces their special flavor. It's a touch sweeter and a little more liquid than regular mayo.
I made spicy mayonnaise with 1/2 c. kewpie mayo, 1 T. sriracha (rooster sauce), and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. I mixed up some wasabi paste with 1 Tb. wasabi powder and about 1 tsp. water, and then mixed that into kewpie mayonnaise for a wasabi mayo. The fish was sliced, and, throwing caution to the wind, I assembled our pizzas.
Pizza 1: Wonton crust topped with sushi rice, chili mayo sauce, fresh yellowfin tuna, avocado, orange tobiko, and wasabi mayo.
Pizza 2: Wonton crust topped with sushi rice, fresh salmon, red and green tobiko, and chili mayo sauce
Pizza 3: Wonton crust topped with sushi rice, wasabi sauce, boiled shrimp, avocado, red, green, and orange tobiko, chili mayo sauce
Not only were these pizzas beautiful, but they were absolutely delicious! I've never made real sushi for myself, so to embark on this adventure while putting such a twist on it was a little scary. I think though, I was quite successful on both accounts: a twist on pizza AND delicious sushi.
I had some fun with the remaining fish and rice:
And I'm spent. This ピザ (pizza) took all the energy I had!
Voting will begin on FoodBuzz at 8 a.m. CDT on Monday, October 18 and I'd appreciate your support! Thank you all in advance!