Thursday, July 5, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza w/ Crispy Onion Straws

As you may have read, I’m constantly on the search for the perfect pizza crust -- I’ve had some successes with various recipes but MAN, have I had a lot of failure.  I feel the need to tell you all about my worst pizza crust experience...  I had slaved all day making the perfect dough, kneading in lots of love and whispering sweet nothings into my ball of dough.  I had read about how to make your crust extra crispy by placing a preheated large cast iron skillet in the oven along with your pizza stone and throwing a couple ice cubes in to create steam that would eventually create that crispy crust with a chewy inside.  I carefully stretched my dough over my piping hot pizza stone and layered it with  homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella and spices.  I smiled to myself when I put that baby in the oven, thinking, “I’ve done it!  I’ve really done it!”  When the pizza was done I cut it up, relishing the sound my pizza cutter made when it cut through the crisp edges.  I served up a slice to my husband, standing next to him with a ridiculous smile on my face; he takes a bite and chews...                     then lets the bite fall out of his mouth, grotesque look on his face and hands me his plate.  “Terrible!”, he said, “It tastes like cardboard.”  It’s an understatement to say that I was devastated.
After that scene, I retired myself from making pizza dough for a while and started using balls of fresh dough from family owned pizza shops.  This way I can get great results at home without making my own dough, which I clearly have no talent for.  So today’s pizza uses pizza shop dough!  Keep in mind that most grocery stores will sell fresh refrigerated dough, most of the time in the deli section.  
I really loved this pizza because it was a great way to use up some extra pork BBQ that I made over the weekend.  I mean, how many days in a row can you eat leftovers without tweaking them a bit?  The only challenge to this pizza were the onion straws due to the fact that I rarely bread and fry food...but these onion straws really made this pizza...don’t go without them!

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza with Crispy Onion Straws
1 ball fresh pizza dough, at room temperature
about 1 cup of leftover BBQ pulled pork, shredded
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
1 small onion, very thinly slices and separated 
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable, canola, or peanut oil for frying
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place pizza stone in oven.  Pour milk in a small bowl and place flour, salt and pepper on a small plate and set aside.
  2. When pizza stone is preheated, remove stone and spray with cooking spray.  Stretch the dough over the pizza stone and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake pizza dough at 500 degrees for about 5-7 minutes, until center of dough is slightly cooked and edged just start to brown.
  3. Remove pizza from oven and top with pulled pork and both cheeses, return to oven and bake 5-7 more minutes, or until crust is browned and cheeses are melted.
  4. While the pizza bakes, heat 1 inch of oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Dunk onion straws in milk then flour mixture.  Knock off any extra flour then place onions in the hot oil. {{I had to do mine in a couple of batches}} Fry until browned and crispy, drain on paper towels, season with salt.
  5. Remove pizza from oven and top with crispy onion straws and chopped cilantro if desired.

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