Now we have Sam the Cooking Guy's just released cookbook, Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts (Wiley, $19.95, 256 pp) for new flavors and fun inspiration when dinner seems like drudge work.
Today we whipped up Spicy Chinese Chicken Pizza in what seemed only seconds - okay, really, minutes.
Just like Sam says in the cook book: You're going to like this a lot. It was seriously finger-licking good - gooey with fresh mozzarella and tangy, spicy sweet from the hoisin sauce and the Thai chili paste. The spring onions and fresh cilantro added a herbaceous kick and crunch.
My 11-year-old son handled a lot of the prep work and while I'm still squeamish about his proximity to heat and flames - let go, Mommy, let go - we worked together to pull the meal off. I love cooking with my son and he loves eating what we cook. Of course, I do too.
Sam Zien, eleven-time local Emmy Award winner, hosts Sam the Cooking Guy on Cox Channel 4 in San Diego. A frequent guest on the Today Show, Zien has TV shows in syndication across the country.
adapted from the book
Makes one 10-inch pizza
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons Asian chili paste
1 package pizza dough (we prefer Trader Joe's, but you can make do with Pillsbury)
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1/3 finely chopped spring green onions
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit. In a small bowl, mix together hoisin sauce and chili paste, then spread over the rolled pizza crust. Top with chicken, green oinons and cheese slices.
Bake about 12-15 minutes, depending on how hot your oven cooks, or until golden. Our test recipe took exactly 12 minutes.
Sprinkle with cilantro to serve. Serves 4.