A companion for cooking

I’ve been having an odd recurring dream lately. In the dream, I’ll be cooking, as I am wont to do, but something’s different. There’s a little, human-shaped shade there in the kitchen with me. It watches me. I impart my (admittedly limited) kitchen-based wisdom to it. Sometimes I let it help with simple tasks. This isn’t an especially obtuse dream; it might as well be slapping me in the face with it’s meaning. What puzzles me is why? Why now? Am I subconsciously unfulfilled in some way? Is it an age thing?

On the odd chance that you haven’t decoded it: clearly these dreams are suggesting that I was meant to become a professor of the culinary arts. Time to go back to school!

I bring this up because it’s time to share a food thing I made! Not because these dreams have been causing me some level of emotional anguish and I’ve been unwilling to speak to anyone about it directly. Definitely not that. No! I want to share with you the good word of pizzaman!

First off, it’s not pronounced “pizza-man” like a super hero. It’s “pizza-mon.” Like a Digimon.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, pizzaman is a dumpling stuffed with, well, pizza. I think pizza sauce and cheese are the requisites, and then you’re free to pizza as you will. I always toss diced pepperoni in there, and the ones pictured above also contained onion, red pepper and jalapeno. I also like to add chili pepper flakes to the dough, for a little extra zing.

Now, I make a lot of really good food, but I’m genuinely proud of my pizzaman. If it weren’t such a laborious task to make that dough (it’s not really, I’m just lazy), this is definitely the food item that I’d proactively share with others to show them what a splendid cook I am.

I’ve made pizzaman a few times now, and I’ve yet to really master the art of sealing up the dumplings. It’s tough! Sometimes I fill them too full and the sauce starts escaping and making the dough too slick to stick together properly. Pretty much every time, the top ends up being all dough because of all the flaps that got squished together when sealing it. I don’t know if there’s an online course for dumpling-folding, but if there is, I should probably take it.

The other way I’ve shaken up my pizzaman technique is in the actual cooking method. As a member of the dumpling family, pizzaman is intended to be steamed. But I didn’t own a steaming device prior to Xmas 2021 (I got that Always Pan that I wanted), so I’d been baking them up until recently. And let me tell you: baking is the way to go! Steaming results in a delectable pizzaman that, if served to a date, would certainly increase her affection meter by an entire heart. However, the golden brown crust of a baked pizzaman is the secret best thing ever. They also look about a million times more appealing. Probably two whole hearts for a baked pizzaman.

Should you like to try making pizzaman yourself, here’s a link to the recipe I’ve been using. Well, the dough recipe I’ve been using, anyway. I improvise everything after that. Because it’s pizza buns, and the great thing about pizza is going wild with all kinds of different toppings. Or, fillings, in this particular case. However you choose to go about it, I highly recommend giving pizzaman a shot!

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