Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waffling Leftovers: Pizza

As I announced last week, I'm going to devote my blog posts on Wednesdays to reviews of my own waffling experiments, rather than of reviewing restaurants, snacks, etc.  Not to toot my own horn, but, waffling leftovers has radically changed the way I think of leftovers, and I hope to inspire others to have some fun too.

So to start, I present the first thing I waffled, and the simplest: leftover pizza.  This wasn't my first time waffling pizza, but was the first time I documented the whole thing.  Of all the items I have waffled, pizza is universally loved by everyone.  My mother has gone so far as to tell me she doesn't even eat pizza when it is fresh anymore, and always waffles it.  Ojan always requests leftover pizza waffled.  I prefer leftover pizza waffled of course, but I have other favorites.  Stay tuned for those.  But for now, the pizza!
The Original: Onion and roasted garlic thin crust pizza.
We started with strategic leftovers: thin crust pizza from Little Star.  Of course, Little Star is all about the deep dish, so this was a strange order, but I actually did it with waffling the leftovers in mind.  I know how amazing waffled pizza is, but I didn't think deep dish would waffle very well.  So, I ordered a thin crust in addition to my regular deep dish, and ate the deep dish when it was hot and fresh, saving the thin one for waffling.  I was planning ahead.
Leftover Slices.
As expected, the leftovers were just like any slices of leftover pizza.  Highly unremarkable.  I had a bite of one slice cold, and didn't even enjoy it.  I knew better things awaited us.
Ready to go: two ways.
After previous success with waffling pizza multiple ways, either open-faced or with dual crusts, I decided to use both techniques again.  A clear winner had yet to be determined.

First up, open faced, as you see on the left.  Yes, you really just stick the slice in whole, and close the top.  Don't worry about the consequences, it will work out, I promise.

Second: dual crust.  In this case, I took two pieces that were about the same size, and stuck them together, so a crust was on each side. You can also achieve this by just folding a single slice over in half.

So the setup?  Easy as pie.  Pizza pie.
Almost ready ...
It always surprises me a little how long the waffling takes.  Sure, I could have pulled it out at this point, as it was hot, but I knew the crust would get even better if I waited just a little bit longer ...
Waffled Pizza, two ways, with marinara dipping sauce.
My patience was rewarded.  Perfectly waffled pizza was ready!  I also included a side of marinara sauce, since it is nice to dip the waffled pizza into something.

So, how did it turn out?  Let's start with the simple, open faced pizza.

Open faced waffled pizza is an interesting thing.  The crust side gets amazingly crispy, which you'd expect.  The face up side also gets a bit crispy, the cheese gets all crusty, just like when cheese oozes out when you make grilled cheese.  When I was growing up, my dad always put slices of cheese onto the grill after making grilled cheese and just cooked them that way, and I loved it.  So crispy cooked cheese has a special place in my heart, and I love that characteristic of open-faced waffled pizza.  This version I like to cut into strips and dunk into the marinara sauce, as finger food.

Ojan prefers the dual crust, which you can do via the fold-over technique, or just using two slices as we did this time.  You get the great crispy crust on both sides, and the inside fills with perfectly melty cheese, much like a calzone.  This version I eat with a fork and knife.

I still can't decide which version I like more.  One is a calzone, one is a finger food, they each have their place.  But I do know for certain that waffled leftover pizza is far, far superior to even fresh pizza.  There is no other way to eat pizza.  Try it.
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