Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Big Reveal

One of the great things about having little kids is that you are their hero and they think you can do anything. It's a precious small window of time when you're amazing and the things you do are cool, rather than lame and dorky, which is how they perceive you in about 5 years.

Many people don't know this about me, but my children can testify that I can make a penny (drumroll, please) disappear! It was a magic trick that they loved me to do over and over, whiling away the time in the doctor's waiting room or making bedtime stretch out. Obviously, I can't reveal how the trick is done, but I'll give you the set-up. The child places a penny in my cupped hands, closes them together, then taps three times on the hands, blows three times on the hands, then turns around three times with their eyes shut. Then my hands are opened and TA DA - the penny's gone! Then the fun starts- we look for the penny. In ears, in mouth, in hair, and generally find it in armpits or bellybuttons.

It's funny when they figure it out. I'm no longer as amazing, but they can't wait to go show the trick to their friends. Once the secret's revealed, they can't wait to be cool, too.

What does any of this have to do with food? Well, it has to do with a cookbook, Top Secret Recipes , which tells you how to recreate brand-name foods and restaurant recipes in your own home, and includes fun construction diagrams. Make your own restaurant favorite without having to pay restaurant prices? Yipee!

One of our favorites from this book is the California Pizza Kitchen Thai Chicken Pizza. Yummm. If you've ever tried it, you know what I mean. If you haven't tried it, be prepared to be amazed. It's like Phad Thai, except with pizza crust instead of noodles. When you serve it your family will think you're incredible and can do anything!

Thai Pizza Chicken
1 recipe of pizza dough from here or here

Peanut Sauce:

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (or marinade)
3 Tbsp hoisin
3 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1-1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp minced onion
1-1/2 tsp minced gingerroot

1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tsp olive oil
2 cups grated mozzarella
2 green onions
3/4 cup bean sprouts
1 carrot, julienned or grated (1/2 cup)
3 tsp minced cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped peanuts

This pizza can be started the night before and then quickly assembled as soon as the dough is done. Most of the time involved is prep work, making the sauce, marinating, and chopping ingredients.

1 - Mix together the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl. Pour this into a food processor or blender and blend for about 15 seconds or until the garlic, onion, and ginger are reduced to small particles. Pour this mixture into a small pan over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Cook for 1 minute (not too long or the sauce will become lumpy). The sauce should be darker now.

2- Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks and put them in a quart zip-loc bag. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the chicken, seal the bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours. I left it overnight and it was terrific.

3 - Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small pan over medium/high heat. Cook the marinated chicken for 3 to 4 minutes in the pan.

4 - Roll out the pizza dough and place on a pizza pan brushed with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 450 deg. F.

5- Spread a thin coating of the remaining peanut sauce (the stuff you didn't marinate the chicken in) on the pizza crust. You may have sauce left over.

6 - Sprinkle 1-1/2 cup of the grated mozzarella over the peanut sauce.

7 - Slice the green onions lengthwise into thin strips, then cut across the strips, slicing the onion into 2-inch matchstick strips. Spread the onions over the cheese.

8 - Arrange the chicken on the pizza. Next the sprouts and the carrots.

9 - Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese just over the center of the pizza. Sprinkle the cilantro over the mozzarella, then the chopped nuts on top.

10- Bake the pizza for 18-20 minutes, or until the crust turns light brown. Remove pizza from the oven and slice to serve.


Barbara said...

YUM!! That looks so good, I think I'll have to pester my hubby to make one. He's the pizza chef in the house, not me.

Kelly-Jane said...

That does look so good, now a slice of that and an outrageous brownie for dessert please would be lovely :)

emily said...

What a great story, and a great trick indeed - thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my all time favorite pizzas. I'm simply going to have to make it as soon as finals are over. My family will love it. :D


**doffs her cap and vanishes**

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, your pizza recipes are so tempting! :)

I love your post - I have a 13-year-old sister and I used to look after her. And she wanted to do everything I did, it was so funny. She wanted to dress like me, to have the hair like mine, etc.
Now she's started baking and she asks me for recipes. I feel so honored and blessed.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Barbara - how great to have your personal live-in pizza chef!

Kelly-Jane - you're a girl after my own heart!

Emily - Thanks!

Gabe - Your to-bake list is getting long. When are you done with finals?

Patricia - Your sister is blessed to have such a
wonderul and talented role model!

Anonymous said...

That pizza looks awesome! I love the flavors and colors. I'll have to make this the next time I do pizza.