Location: Camotes Islands - San Francisco (municipality), Cebu (province), Philippines
Guerrilla Chef Bringing my small rice cooker with me from Cebu City, I'm back to being a guerrilla chef in Camotes Islands. Armed with a Swiss Army knife, a little tenacity and a childlike curiosity, I play alchemist in my small room/office/kitchen. With the abundance of fresh picked clams by the sea, I roll-up my sleeves for my first ever Clam Chowder Pizza.
Basic Pizza Dough
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water (between 85° and 115° F)
2 tbsp yeast (I like my dough a little yeasty. You can use less)
2 tbsp sugar or honey (I use Muscovado sugar)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Making the sponge Mix water, sugar, yeast and 1 cup regular flour in a bowl. Cover until it starts to bubble (first rising, around 45 mins)
Kneading Mix the rest of the ingredients (flour, salt and oil) and start kneading (tip: press on with your body weight, not just your arm power). The dough should be soft without being sticky. Too sticky, add flour. Too hard, add water. You're done when the dough bounces back when you poke your finger onto it. Cover until double in size (2nd rising, around 45 mins).
Scaling and shaping Punch the dough to take the air out. You can cut it up and use only what you need. You can cut it up into 3 and shape them into balls - one of those balls should be good to make one 13" regular pizza. You can freeze the 2. Flatten one ball into a circular shape. I usually flatten it on the same tray I will bake on so I don't have to make a transfer - I just apply a little oil on the tray before flattening. Using both hands, one on top of the other, press from the center outwards to stretch it in all directions. You can flatten it more by using a rolling pin (or wine bottle). Take a fork and put puncture holes all over the dough to keep it from bubbling up while cooking (which also holds the sauce in place). Wait until double in size (3rd and last rising).
the dough is now ready for baking
Clam Chowder Tomato Sauce
I have a very small capacity rice cooker so the servings are small
10 pieces of sea clams, the size of a 1 peso coin
1/2 cup water
1 small onion
1 small carrot
a few cloves of Bisaya garlic (native)
1 small bell pepper (optional)
a few peppercorns
1/2 pack of a 150g tomato paste
boil water with the clams in the rice cooker, extracting all the flavor from the shells
discard the shells but leave the clam meat inside, then add onion, carrot, garlic, bell pepper, peppercorns - bring to another boil
add tomato paste and stir-in until it boils. Lower heat to simmer and continue to simmer until the liquid has the consistency of a sauce
the only topping was already in the tomato sauce - the clams
but feel free to add shelled shrimps or some firm fish fillet
apply oil on the surface of the rice cooker to keep the dough from sticking
use 1/3 of the dough, flatten it inside the rice cooker and top it with the sauce
grate cheese on top
put cover back and wait 30 minutes for the final rising of the dough
turn the heat on and wait until the cooker turns off
at this point, the dough is still not fully cooked. Turn the machine on again, this time without the cover. You may have to continue pressing on the "on" switch to keep it from turning itself on - 5 minutes
the pizza should be ready. Pry it off the cooker with a wooden spatula. Serve hot and wash it down with tuba
Ending Thoughts This is far from the ideal pizza - but it allows you to enjoy pizza without an oven using the barest essentials.
Carl Johnson (Feb 15, 2017) In my events technical world there has always been fierce debate about the Swiss Army, Leatherman and Gerber multitools. The Swiss Army is the only one with a corkscrew so wins every time! I broke a Gerber blade opening a coconut in Cambodia.
Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines
Lake Danao Park - inland twin lakes in San Francisco
Santiago Bay Beach - stretch of fine white sand with a cluster of beach resorts
Buho Rock - dive boards perched from a high rock outcropping, Poro
Tulang Diot - white sand beach on a tiny island just 10 minutes by boat from the main Camotes Island
Busay Falls - groomed plunge pool, dirt trail walk with 2 stream crossings, Tudela
Capasanan Spring - crystal clear open spring water source in San Jose, Poro. Free
Hagnaon Spring - clean drinking water coming out of the rocks, dipping pool you might share with carabaos in San Jose, Poro. Free
Camotes Islands is a group of islands composed of 4 municipalities:
San Francisco - this is the biggest municipality covering the West major island. Its town center is the busiest with the market, eating places, live music and the Baywalk. The beach resort clusters, however, are concentrated in Santiago Bay, Mangodlong and Esperanza
Poro - Poro is on the other big island to the East. It has its own port and the town center is likewise busy
Pilar - this occupies the small north east island
the busy area where most of the social gatherings take place, eating places, is located at the Baywalk area of San Francisco, 30 mins by motorcycle from the Consuelo Port. Travellers usually stay in their resort outside the Baywalk
the resorts in Camotes Island are scattered around the island. There are none around the Baywalk area of San Francisco
perhaps the only downside to Camotes Island is the inescapable deafening sound of karaoke - it is played very loud and it's everywhere. In Baywalk, there are 3 karaoke bars beside each other going full blast all at the same time
Camotes Island Cost Index
(US$1 = Php 49.82 as of Jan 15, 2017)
PHP 100 habal-habal ride from Consuelo Port to San Francisco
PHP 55 Pale Pilsen beer
PHP 10/pax regular fare for habal-habal within San Francisco
PHP 500/tour habal-habal rate for island tour up to 2 pax
PHP 800/tour tricycle rate for island tour up to 4 pax
Cebu City to Camotes Island
via Poro - from Pier One in Cebu City, take the Ocean Jet for Poro, 2 hours, daily trip - 6am and 3pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).
via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
Cebu City to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental by Boat
George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, email@example.com, 0918.898.2188
Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Danao to Camotes Island
via Consuelo - at the Danao Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
via Poro - at the Danao Port, take the Super Shuttle Ferry for Poro (Camotes), P?/pax, 3 hours, daily trip - 9:00am and 5:00pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).
Camotes Island to Danao
via Consuelo - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
via Poro - take the Super Shuttle Ferry in Poro (Camotes) for the Danao Port, P?/pax, 3 hours, daily trip - 5:00am and 1:00pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).