A few other things & The Past Few Weeks – Part IV

So post-birthday weekend, J arrived for a surprise birthday visit :]
Needless to say, the weekend was filled with lots of delicious food. Though I only managed to snag a few pics of things we ate.

The quick summary: pho (Pho 1 Noodle House) in Solano County (MOST DELICIOUS BROTH EVER), oysters in SF (Hog Island Oyster Co), crab at Fisherman’s Wharf, clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl (how could I not take him to get an SF classic at Boudin Bakery?), yangnyeom chicken in Oakland (Oriental BBQ Chicken), homemade deep dish pizza made by me (recipe below), & portabello steaks with pan seared campari tomatoes made by J for my parents.

All delicious. But sadly, only pictures of the oysters. That’s almost good enough for me though, because don’t they look tasty?

Hog Island Oyster Co – Ferry Building, SF [Hog Island Sweetwater Oysters]

After walking around a bit at the Ferry Building and then Fisherman’s Wharf, we eventually found ourselves back at Hog Island Oyster Co for round 2 of oysters. I didn’t get a picture which is too bad, we had the mix and had some really great oysters.

Ready to feast on oysters!

teehee :] he’s too cute.

Moving away from my mushy-gushy-ness and onto the delicious pizza-pie I made. I’m a fan of Bobby Flay’s recipe for the crust, but I improvise when it comes to filling and sauce. Unlike traditional pizza, there is no involvement of mozzarella, pepperoni, or even canned tomato sauce in this pie. Ready for deliciousness?

Homemade Deep Dish Pizza

Crust recipe by Bobby Flay, adjusted by me

Note: you will need a deep dish pan, or rather what I prefer using – springform cake pans of 9 or 10 inches.

1 packages quick-rise dry yeast
1 cup warm water (90 degrees F)

1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup olive oil, plus more to oil the pans
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

Dissolve the yeast and water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the oils and mix for 30 seconds. Add the cornmeal, 2 cups of the flour and salt and beat for 5 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining 1 cup of flour and knead, using the dough hook for 2 minutes. Add the butter and knead until incorporated. The dough is a very moist dough so do not add more flour unless absolutely needed.

Place the dough in a large bowl lightly oiled with vegetable oil, cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towels and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Punch down the dough and allow to double in size again [recommended by Bobby Flay, but I find this dough doesn’t rise much to begin with, so the initial rising is enough – i.e. I skip the second rising]

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously oil a (9 or 10-inch) deep dish pie pan or springform cake pan with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons).

Press the dough out slightly on the counter top. Place the dough in the prepared pan and push out to cover the bottom and up the side of the pans.

While the dough rises, prepare your tomato sauce & fillings:

1 package of uncooked sausage [I like Jimmy Dean’s Hot]
2 16oz cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil for sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil for mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper chili flakes
Garlic salt
Black pepper
1 or 2 large Portabello mushrooms (depending on how many mushrooms you want), or you can do 5 or 6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced (I like them fairly large so I can go around them – I like the flavor but I actually pick out most of these, they are really for my family & J)
A splash of wine (red, or white, it doesn’t matter – whatever kind you like – I like red so I typically have it on hand – for this recipe I used a heavy splash of a Cabernet Sauvignon)
 1 tablespoon butter 
Havarti Cheese
Cheddar Cheese (I actually had a cheddar, monterey jack shredded mix in my fridge when I made this)
Monterey Jack Cheese
Jarlsberg Cheese (or any kind of swiss) 

Essentially the cheeses are just whatever I have on hand, but these 4 are almost always present in my fridge.


In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and 2 minced garlic cloves over medium high heat until the garlic is a nice brown color. Add the entire package of uncooked sausage and cook all the way through until there is no more red/pink in the meat. Sprinkle a good amount of black pepper and chili flakes over the meat. Sprinkle a light amount of garlic salt over the top. These “sprinkles” are up to your discretion – how spicy/salty you like things. I would guesstimate that I use about 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper, about 2 1/2 tablespoons red chili pepper flakes, and about 1 teaspoon garlic salt. Once the sausage is thoroughly cooked, add the tomatoes (with the juice of only one can, the other can should be drained). Stir to combine. Let the sauce come to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer.

In a smaller saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter with the remaining 1 clove of minced garlic over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 -3 minutes. Add a fairly large splash of your wine (I would guesstimate about 3 tablespoons of wine) and continue to saute. Saute for 4-5 more minutes or until the mushrooms are slightly softer than previous.

Add the sauteed mushrooms with remaining wine-butter-garlic sauce into the tomato sauce. Stir to combine and let simmer for 2 minutes.

At this point your dough should be done rising and is ready to be placed in the pre-oiled pan.

Stretch out dough among pan as instructed above – making sure to make a nice crust along the sides so you will have something surrounding all your fillings.

Assembly time! For the first layer, a nice layer of cheese (use as you will – as much or as little cheese as you like) that entirely covers the bottom of the pie. Next, your sauce (tomato-mushroom-sausage mixture). Use all of it. Just pour the whole thing into the pie. And finally, top with even more cheese. I essentially made mine so that you couldn’t see the sauce beneath.

Place your deep dish pan or springform pan on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil and then in your preheated oven. The baking sheet will help it to stay even and in place, and also to prevent leaks. If you are extra worried about sauce leaking in your oven, place another (larger) baking sheet below with a piece of tinfoil across the top, with all the edges folded up. This will help catch any drips from your pizza.

Let bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven, sprinkle the top with parmesan, and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing. Serve as you would a pie, in large slices.

I like to serve this with a large green salad with bleu cheese dressing and cauliflower on the side.





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