Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Longganisa pandesal pizza

Talking about your first love is something that could pose as a challenge for most folks. It could be embarrassing, bring back bad memories, or even spark up some much needed romance for some people. For me, my first true love was the art of filmmaking and video. I got inspired to make videos when I was in elementary school when I saw my tito Rey making wedding and cotillion videos from VHS tapes. Pretty high tech back in the 80's. So my dad bought me my first 8mm camera and I never looked back. I enrolled at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, which was like going away for college, since it was all the way on the other side of the Bay. Riordan was the only school in the San Francisco Bay Area and one of the first in California to offer television and film production as a fine art elective. It was the perfect place for me.

Fast forward a couple of years later and I was accepted to San Francisco State's Radio and Television program. Hundred's of television projects, short films and documentary projects would keep me busy for the next couple of years. My late late nights and early mornings as an art student kept me awake and away from home. We did have Mr. Pizza Man, who nicely enough, delivered to us on campus even after hours. I can't even remember how much pizza we consumed on a weekly basis, but it was a lot! College students probably make up most of the business for most pizzerias and I'm sure we kept Mr. Pizza Man busy during our college years.

For March, the Kulinarya Cooking Club came up with a theme inspired by "your fist love". This month's hosts, Abigail of Nappy Tales and Marni of Kensington Kitchen, couldn't  have came up with a better challenge. I had a few ideas of how to connect a dish to a relationship but I didn't want to write up a Telenovela (even though it's starting to read like one). Later, I'll connect the dots and explain how filmmaking and pizza actually brought me to my true true love!

So since pizza was a big part of my filmmaking career, I thought it was fitting to share an original pizza recipe with you. Of course since my blog is focused on Filipino food and healthier alternatives, I had to throw in a twist the classic college campus staple. My version combines longganisa and the ever so popular pandesal. But, I'm not slicing up pandesal and throwing some sauce and meat and calling it a day. My version uses a simple whole wheat pandesal recipe for the pizza dough. Don't be intimidated by making your own dough because it's easy. If I can make it, you can too.

Plan your steps accordingly. You can start with your pizza sauce, get your dough ready, then cook your longganisa. Total time is about 2 hours and 30 minutes. If you have your pizza sauce prepped already, you'll cut your time in half.

Pizza sauce ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cans tomato paste (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp of cane vinegar
Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Mix well and let stand for 2 hours to let flavors blend. No cooking necessary, just spread on dough.

 Pandesal ingredients (you can subtract the sugar for a more authentic pandesal)

  • 2 cups all purpose whole wheat flour (use regular flour if desired)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I used Splenda instead)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 5/8 cup fresh milk, warm
  • 1 1/8 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 piece raw egg
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
Combine the yeast, 1 tbsp sugar from your 1/4 cup, and warm milk and stir until the yeast and sugar are fully dissolved. Let it stand for 10 minutes. You should notice that the yeast is active if it doubles in size. Combine the flour then the sugar, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and mix until you achieve a consistent texture. Now add the egg, melted butter, cooking oil, and yeast-sugar-milk mixture in the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients then mix again until a dough is formed.

On a flat dusted surface, knead the dough for 8 minutes to achieve a smooth elastic dough. Mold the dough into a round shape and place in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 1 hour.

  • 1 package of longganisa
  • 2 cups of fresh mozzarella shredded
  • 1 large portabella mushroom sliced
Longannisa Prep 
I  won't go into the proper way to cook your longganisa because there are so many variations to choose from. Go to your Asian grocery or even some Lucky's and Whole Foods I believe, try a brand and follow the directions. I used Orientex Sweet Longganisa for this recipe. The entire package was used for our carnivore pizza but you can save a few links for breakfast.

Once you are finished cooking your longganisa, let it rest for a few minutes and then cut them into thin slices and set aside.

pile on your toppings for a carnivore pizza

Final assembly  (Preheat your oven at 425)
After an hour, your dough will be ready and should have more than doubled in size. Now you can roll out your dough and try to achieve something that resembles the shape of a pizza. I'm sure some of you have some skills at pizza dough tossing so please send me your tips. Roll or toss your dough until its round and about 1/2" thickness all around. Next, place your dough on a lightly greased pizza or cookie sheet. Place the dough in the bottom rack of your oven for about 5 minutes to ensure even cooking.

If you have planned accordingly, your sauce is ready to pour onto your dough. With a spoon, pour enough sauce in the middle of your dough and spread it evenly. Next, add your cheese, then your mushrooms, and last but definitely not least...your longganisa. Now, put your pizza in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Longganisa pandesal pizza
It was really hard to take photos of this pizza when I took it out from the oven. My family wanted me to skip the photo shoot and dive right in. After a few dozen photos, the carnage began. This pizza was definitely a meat lovers pizza, but very different. The distinct aroma of the pandesal crust is quite different from normal everyday pizza crust. Combine that with the savory sauce, flavorful mushrooms, cheesy mozzarella and of course your sweet longganisa...you'll be sure to have someone falling in love with you.

Too pretty to eat
So I said that I would connect the dots between filmmaking, pizza and my true true love which happen to be my wife. It was in early 2000 and my documentary "Tagumpay" was screening at the 2000 San Francisco Asian American Film Festival. I need a date for opening night and I was happily single at the time. I ran into Tina, who I knew from school, at aTuesday night hip-hop spot called Storyville.(which later became the famous Polenge Lounge previously graced by Chef Tim Luym) One thing led to another, and I had a date for opening night. So the evening went well and we decided to head to North Beach and have a bite to eat at Calzone's Italian Restaurant. We shared a bottle of wine, a margherita pizza and a romantic evening. 11 years later, were are still together. Who would have thought that pizza and my love for filmmaking, would somehow align the stars and bring us together?

I hope you enjoy my recipe and my love story. I know it was a bit long but it's a story I don't mind sharing. #truelove #fate

A short clip from my documentary "Tagumpay" 1999.

Enjoy these awesome entry's for February
Aprodite's Baked Oysters by Chef Day of Chef by Day
Shrimp and Tofu Lumpiang Sariwa  by Tina of Pinay in Texas
Arroz a la Cubana by Jun Belen of Jun Blog
Tiramisu Sandwich by Oggi of Oggi I Can Do that
Lechon Manok by Adora of Adora's Box
Avocado-Calamansi Sorbet by Pearl of My Sassy Chef
FruitCompote a la Jacques Pepin by Malou of Skip to Malou
ChiliCrab by Felix of Reel and Grill
Pork Menudo by She of Senorita Sisa
Lomi by Isabel of My Expat Mommy