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Food for Thought
Wed May 2, 2012
Fry your pizza like they do in Micronesia
Full disclosure: I don't know whether or not they fry their pizzas in Micronesia. I just wanted a rhyming headline and I liked "Micronesia" better than "Spinal Anesthesia."* Who wouldn't?
Anyway, they have been deep-frying pizzas in Europe. Now the fad has moved stateside.
My Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson read about that and about pan-fried pizza in the April 17th New York Times Pizza issue and couldn't wait to try it out herself. I was dubious but she and her family seem to love it.
The short version, as she explains in this week's segment, is simply to shape the dough and pan fry it for a minute or two on both sides in a little O-oil. Then put on the toppings and bake it off as usual. It's not that I'm all that big a purist about pizza but this seemed over the top to me.
"Why fry it?" I asked.
"Makes it crisp," she explained.
"Do you use a baking stone? A baking stone gives you a crisp crust."
No she doesn't. And now I remember why. In a casual conversation a few weeks ago I mentioned that I had dropped my trusty old baking stone and watched it shatter. The exact same thing had happened to her and we. think it was even on the same day. What're the odds?
Elsewhere in this week's I mentioned that the pizza-frying process sounds a lot to me like that for Chinese Scallion pancakes. They're a little more complicated to shape and really nothing like pizzas, fried or otherwise but lots of fun to make and eat and are the perfect accompaniment to my Steamed Minced Pork with Salty Egg recipe.
Of course no discussion of dough and hot oil would be complete without mention of Sherman Alexie's account of The Fry Bread Riot in his Smoke Signals.
*Stop sneering: If you can come up with a better headline that rhymes "pizza" please post it below. Winner (if any) scores an Official Jazzoid Jar Opener autographed (though not personally) by me, Dick Stein.
"You better cut the pizza in four slices because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."