Polaroid’s Socialmatic Camera is Now Available for Pre-Order

The long-awaited and much talked-about Polaroid Socialmatic camera is now available for pre-order. This 14 MP camera packs amazing Polaroid insta-print abilities and it connects to the web for quick online sharing. Snap a pic then use the touchscreen to make edits, add filters, text and graphics. Socialmatic prints pics in real life too, library card-sized, sticky-backed photos print right out at the push of a button. It also has Android built in, so you can log GPS data with each photo, download your favorite apps, and even browse the web from the huge touchscreen. Furthermore, the Socialmatic boasts a 2 MP selfie camera on the back. The Polaroid Socialmatic camera is now available to pre-order at Photojojo for $299 USD.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: MEXICAN CHORIZO & GARLIC SHRIMP BURGER

Ingredients:

Fresh Mexican chorizo patty: 

  • 17.6 oz (500 grams) of ground pork shoulder, ideally 30% fat
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Mexican chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of hot paprika, or cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of tequila
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cumin

Garlic shrimps/prawns:

  • 8 large shrimps/prawns (2 for each burger), peeled and deveined
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Paprika mayo:

  • 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of yellow mustard
  • Juice of 1 juicy lime
  • 4 Sweet potato burger buns (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 heaping cup of shredded manchego cheese
  • A few thin slices of tomatoes

Instructions:

To prepare the chorizo patties: Mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or you can certainly make this the day before and keep in the fridge.

To prepare the garlic shrimp: After peeling, deveining and rinsing the shrimps/prawns, dry them really well on a clean towel. Mix evenly with the rest of the ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 30 min to 1 hour.

To prepare the paprika mayo: Mix all the ingredients together until even. Set aside.

To make the burger: Divide the chorizo-mixture into 4 equal portions, then shape into patties. It’s very important to make sure the diameter of the patties is slightly larger than the diameter of the buns! Because the patties will shrink during cooking and there’s nothing more infuriating than an “I-shaped” burger. Now, next step is a little unconventional, but I like to dust a thin layer of flour on both sides of the patties so they pan-fry into nice crusts (you can take this as optional). Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until really hot, then add a small nub of unsalted butter in there and the chorizo patties (maximum 2 patties at a time). Leave the patties to pan-fry without moving, until a nicely browned crust has formed on the bottom. Turn the patties over, then add the shredded manchego cheese on top (2~3 tbsp on each). Cover the skillet completely with a lid and keep cooking on medium-high heat for another 1~2 min (the steam will melt the cheese as well as cook the patties), just until the center of the patties is cooked through. Transfer the patties with whatever crispy cheese-bits on the side, onto a plate and let rest.

Keep the chorizo drippings in the skillet and cook the shrimps/prawns on high-heat, about 1 min on each side until just cooked through. Then set aside.

If you want to toast the buns, remove any food-solids inside the skillet with a bit of oil left, then toast the cut-sides of the buns until golden browned in the same skillet.

Apply a good layer of paprika mayo on both sides of the buns, then put 2 thinly sliced tomatoes and a chorizo patty on top. Slice the shrimps/prawns lengthwise and place over the patty. Close it off with the top bun. I warn you, it’s going to be very messy and drippy… and happy

.

Ride of the Week: Ken Block’s 845 HP AWD 1965 Ford Mustang

One can’t look at a skid mark on a road or smell burning tires and not think of Ken Block’s action-packed Gymkhana series that pits an automobile against a variety of physical obstacles. With his seventh installment shot but not yet released, we do get a peek at the car he used for the stunts. Named the “HOONICORN,” it’s a 1965 Ford Mustang with a Roush Yates 410-cubic-inch Ford V8, six-speed transmission and was built by ASD Motorsports in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having ditched his rally-bred Ford Fiesta, expect the action and speed for Gymkhana 7 to be ratcheted up several notches as Block said at SEMA this year, “This is hands-down the best Gymkhana car I’ve had yet.”

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10 Ridiculous Holiday Horror Films

Christmastime is a cinephile’s dream. Not only will they have a smorgasboard of memorabilia, Criterion Collection blu-rays and old props from the set of a Jim Jarmusch movie that went for surprisingly little money at auction under their tree come the morning of December 25th, that’ll be the icing on the cake of a whole month of superlative festive films. From It’s A Wonderful Life to Die Hard to A Muppets Christmas Carol (which features both the definitive Scrooge in Michael Caine and the definitive Charles Dickens in Gonzo), the schedules and cinemas are stuffed with classic Christmas films.

Some people’s movie tastes skew a little darker, though. A little bloodier. A little lighter on the festive cheer, a little heavier on the buckets of gore and B-movie production values. Horror film makers don’t miss a trick, though, and having already mined Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Prom Night for all they’re worth – Easter’s still up for grabs guys – they’ve long since moved onto crafting their bloodiest, nastiest fare for the Yuletide season as well.

The best horror (and let’s be honest, some of the worst as well) takes something familiar and safe, and turns it on its head so it’s suddenly frightening and nightmarish. You can disassociate yourself from a serial killer in the Victorian era who’s also a ghost, but a scary dude wearing a mask breaking into a suburban home on an oh-so-familiar holiday night? Now that’s hitting close to home.

And what hits closer to home than monsters, murderers ghosts and ghoulies stalking people around their tinsel festooned homes on Christmas Eve? With the help of professional wrestlers, evil children and Joan Collins, here are ten absolutely ridiculous holiday horror films. Because of course they are.

10. Santa’s Slay

Christmas is a time ripe for reinvention as a horrifying, blood-splattered time for mass murder, but also…it’s not, is it? It’s Christmas. The mostly squeaky clean, incorruptible holiday in the calendar. Even miserabilist indie band Eels did a song called Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas. Christmas can never really be totally terrible. Which is probably why most horror films set during the season never quite work, instead coming across even more cheesy and try hard than your usual slasher flick.

Do you know what else helps in making your horror film come across cheesy and try hard? When it involves Father Christmas as the murderous villain. Not just a maniac dressed as Jolly Old Saint Nick (something which will be coming up in good time), but Santa Claus himself, leaping down chimneys and slaughtering entire families, before escaping on a sleigh driven by his “hell-deer”.

Yes, these are all things that happen. And most of his victims appear to be getting the chop because they’re Jewish which…is a little troubling. Still, several famous Jewish actors – including James Caan and Fran Drescher – pop up to get knocked off almost as quickly. Oh, and Santa in this case is played by former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg, because of course he is.

9. Dead End

Getting impaled on a menorah by a murderous Santa Claus played be an ex-member of World Championship Wrestling who may or may not be the antichrist isn’t the sort of thing many audiences can sympathise with. Those long, trying journeys cross-country to spend time with family members over Christmas – and all the ensuing annoyance, drama and insanity that ensues – is the stuff of wry observational comedy, though, a thing that everyone has to just knuckle down and do every December. That’s the starting point of Dead End, an effective little cult horror from 2003.

At least, it starts off in that sort of grounded situation. Frank Harrington (Ray Wise of Twin Peaks) is the one driving his nuclear family through the dark, icy roads of midwestern America for Christmas dinner at his mother-in-law’s, when a series of unfortunate events lead to them picking up an insane hitch-hiker, holing up with her in a cabin in the woods, before all sorts of supernatural satanic shenanigans start up.

It’s not exactly high cinema, and there’s more than a few scenes where the low budget’s clearly straining beneath the pressure of what’s being asked of it, but Wise especially manages to sell a pretty zany premise that’s almost like a twisty-turny early Twilight Zone episode. Albeit with more evil babies, masturbation and violent car crashes.

8. Tales From The Crypt

Whilst not necessarily a Christmas film all the way through, this Amicus anthology film from the early seventies – each of its five separate segments based on stories from the EC Comics series of the same name, which also inspired a TV show – does kick off with a tale of festive horror that’s a) clearly Christmassy in its premise, and b) is so ridiculous that to leave it off of this list would be remiss. The fact that it stars plummy Dynasty actress/her off the Snickers advert Joan Collins only goes further to prove that.

Each story in the film is introduced by the Crypt Keeper, an iconic EC character who explains to a group of confused strangers how they came to die and wind end up in the catacombs with him. Their deaths range from another violent car crash coupled with hallucinations, a hounded old man coming back from the dead for revenge, and a cruel new director of a home for the blind being savaged by a ravenous guide dog.

Collins, meanwhile, is front and centre with the film’s fist story. … And All Through the House sees her as a frustrated housewife who murders her husband on Christmas Eve, all ready to hide his body when she hears a radio announcement stating that a homicidal maniac is on the loose. Who is dressed as Santa Claus. It is sort of incredible in the gaudy vein of seventies British horror.

7. Black Christmas

Not only the original Christmas horror film but the original slasher film full stop, Black Christmas provided the rough blueprint that would be perfected with John Carpenter’s Halloween not long after and then spawn a whole subgenre that would go on to dominate horror films for decades after (at least until found footage became a thing and ghosts came back into style again). Obviously it also got remade in the early noughties, as is the fate of all slasher films, but you can’t hold that against it.

Especially because the remake is so naff, and because the original is so good. Well, good by standards of horror films, which demand to be held by a different standard that basically any other film. The Citizen Kane of horror still isn’t going to be as good as Citizen Kane. Black Christmas doesn’t even try for such cinematic heights, and why should it? It’s a horror film based on the “THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE” urban legend and having a murderer strangle people with fairy lights.

Black Christmas is very humble in its ambitions, hoping to bring to life the pulpy horror of those urban legends and generally trying to bring the festive tradition of the holidays down into the gutter with a slasher who menaces a sorority house first with gross phone calls, and then with actual murdering. Sometimes with a unicorn ornament. Yeah, it is pretty ridiculous a lot of the time. In the remake somebody dies from an icicle falling through their eye, though. The killer doesn’t even do anything.

6. The Children

Is there a more terrifying sight, come Christmas morning, than a horde of children descending on the presents that have slowly amassed around the tree and totally gutting them, tearing them to pieces and leaving behind nothing more than a pile of wrapping paper viscera? Seriously, it’s like that one bit from the end of Day Of The Dead when the zombies tear that guy literally limb from limb. Only with more bows. It’s that innate childhood capacity for energetic violence that informs The Children.

Creepy kids are a dime a dozen in horror films, but usually they’re just lank-haired ghosts from Japanese horror or the Midwich Cuckoos types. Very rarely are kids seen as actually physically violent menaces who could do you serious harm, and thus necessitate you being violent towards them. That’s a particular societal taboo broken by this underrated (and admittedly, at times, downright silly) British horror from a few years ago.

A few families meet up in a remote countryside home for the holidays, with their respective toddlers in tow. The kids start acting strange, being ill and stuff, before it becomes clear that something evil has taken root in their brains, and the kids start to (again) literally tear their families apart. Sometimes genuinely chilling, sometimes a little girl examining some gore in a plastic Wendy house.

5. Christmas Evil

Also known as You Better Watch Out and Terror In Toyland, the title it’s best known by really gets to the crux of what Christmas Evil is all about. A decidedly B-movie slasher from the eighties, it’s nonetheless amassed a cult following – midnight movie maestro John Waters is a particularly evangelical fan, quoted as saying it is the “greatest Christmas movie ever made.” Maybe wouldn’t go that far but boy, there sure is some fun to be had with Christmas Evil.

Possibly the first in the sub-subgenre of slasher films set at Christmas starring Santa as the villain, the movie opens with a young boy named Harry catching his mum and dad at it, whilst the latter is dressed up as Santa. Heartbroken, he rushes up to the attic and cuts his hand with glass form a shattered snow globe. Childhood trauma, for sure, but probably the sort that could easily be solved with a birds and the bees talk or a bit of therapy.

Unfortunately Harry isn’t lucky enough to receive either, instead harbouring those psychological scars through to adulthood, where a particularly crummy day at work has him enacting bad will upon all men that cross his path. Whilst dressed as Father Christmas. Worth it just to see the incredible, inexplicable ending that’s accompanied by a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

4. Jack Frost

One of Michael Keaton’s few cinematic missteps was Jack Frost, a 1998 film where he plays a deadbeat dad who dies in a car crash but gets a second chance to raise his young son when he gets resurrected as an animated snowman. It’s really quite disturbing, possibly even more so than the other Jack Frost, a straight-up horror film from the year before about a serial killer who gets transformed into a snowman. Actually, it’s sort of a close call as to which is the true horror film.

Both are patently ridiculous, but the 1997 Jack Frost has probably the most ludicrous premise. The titular mass murderer is being driven to his execution when the truck he’s in crashes into a “genetics truck”, the material in which causes him to mutate and fuse together with the snow on the ground. Emerging as a killer snow man, he vows to get revenge on takes revenge on the sheriff who finally caught him.

In case the denouement is a little too obscure, Jack Frost hits it home by taking place in a fictional town called Snowmonton, which is the location for the eponymous killer’s spree. Worryingly a genetically mutated killer snowman isn’t the weirdest part of the film. Nope, that honour goes to the plot twist that the human soul exists as a chemical, and that the acid that transformed Jack was going to be used to contain DNA in case of a nuclear holocaust. Merry Christmas!

3. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

The pub bore’s favourite piece of trivia around Christmastime is to bring up something about the dark, mysterious history of the Santa Claus myth, or to inform you on how different incarnations of Father Christmas in foreign countries are just oh-so-different and wacky! All of those tedious conversations may have been worth it, however, if it meant that we got Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale in return.

A gloriously deranged and dark Finish film expanded from an earlier short, Rare Exports sees a group of local reindeer herders having their work disturbed by excavations on a nearby mountain. Turns out that the scientists behind the dig are messing with forces they couldn’t possibly understand, and those forces are the creatures that later inspired the stories of Santa Claus bringing presents to good children at Christmas.

Of course it turns out the truth was far more frightening than the legend, as the herders (and the young son of one of them) end up running for their lives from a supernatural being who punishes the naughty and then some. It’s violent, it’s silly, it’s occasionally quite scary, but mostly it’s a Finnish film about creepy, bloodthirsty Slender Man-esque Santas eating people during the festive period.

2. Silent Night, Deadly Night

No list of ridiculous holiday horror films would be complete without Silent Night, Deadly Night; certainly not the first slasher flick about a murderous Santa going on a rampage, but certainly the most iconic, and the one with the best title. And certainly the only one where a woman gets killed by being impaled on the antlers of a stuffed trophy deer. It’s more than a little bit of a rip on Christmas Evil but man, what a rip off Silent Night, Deadly Night is.

It even begins in much the same way as Christmas Evil, with a young boy who, after witnessing his parents’ brutal murder at the hands of a man clad in a Santa suit on Christmas, grows up in a Catholic orphanage and – who’d’ve guess it? – winds up becoming a serial killer himself. A totally OTT Halloween knock-off dressed in tinsel, Silent Night, Deadly Night nonetheless managed a fair more amount of controversy than Michael Myers ever got, with PTA groups campaigning for the film to be banned. They didn’t want Christmas spoiling for the children!

Won’t somebody please think of the children? Apparently not, since despite that and a particularly scathing review by Siskel and Ebert that involved them reading the full credits on air saying “shame, shame” after each one, it spawned five sequels. Five. The absolute nadir of which had to be the second, which doesn’t take place at Christmas and involves garbage day. Just watch the clip. It’s a gift. A festive gift.

1. Gremlins

How could it not be Gremlins, after all? It’s the greatest Christmas film ever made, bar none, not to mention a totally ridiculous horror film to boot. The mainstream debut of longtime B-movie director Joe Dante, with Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg throwing their weight behind it, some try and argue that the story of a young boy being given the responsibility of a supernatural pet whose offspring run riot through a small, snow-covered town isn’t particularly Christmassy. Those people are fools.

For one thing, there’s all the circumstantial evidence. Gremlins is set at Christmas. Billy’s dad buys him Gizmo as a Christmas present, he just happens to open it early. Kate even has that horrific story about how her own dad died when he tried to climb down the chimney dressed as Santa Claus on Christmas Day, only to get stuck and expire in the several days it took for anyone to find him. Not child-appropriate, maybe, but definitely a Christmas film.

And really, has there been a more accurate depiction of the decadence, bad behaviour and slavish following of capitalism that we all indulge in over the holiday period than in the antics of the gremlins as they tear that backwater city apart? If nothing else, Billy’s mum using household items to kill a bunch of the creatures should be more than enough to warm the cockles of your heart. She’s like the housewife Ellen Ripley. And to all a good night!

Watch the Official Trailer for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ starring Tom Hardy & Charlize Theron

Set in the in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life, Mad Max: Fury Road is the latest post apocalyptic film in George Miller‘s Road Warrior/Mad Max franchise. Starring Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky – a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos – he is joined by Imperator Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron) who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. Of particular note is Miller’s choice to use real stunts and locations as opposed to merely employing green screen technology and C.G.I. Mad Max: Fury Road opens May 15 in 2D and 3D.

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Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul Launches “Yo, B*tch” iPhone App

Fans of TV series Breaking Bad will for sure love this latest launch in the app store. The series’ main actor Aaron Paul has launched a new app to send colorful greetings to your friends, while staying true to the style of the actor’s character in the show and spoken with his actual voice. Obviously the new iPhone app is not the most useful, but it certainly is fun. Among other things, you can do the following with Yo, Bitch:
Want to say hello to someone? Say “Hello, b****!”
Want to make your special someone feel loved? Say “I need you, b****!”
Fed up with your friend? Say “Why, b****?”

Get the app now for free in the app store here.

Facebook Unveils 2014’s Most Popular Topics

Social media leviathan Facebook has published its 2014 Year In Review, revealing the most popular trending topics on the all-encompassing social network. The popular news stories, songs, athletes, entertainers, movies, TV series and the Ice Bucket Challenges are all included, giving insight into what was on everyones lips (/keyboards) over the course of the year. Check out the full list below.

Top Global Topics 2014

1. World Cup 2014
2. Ebola virus outbreak
3. Brazilian Elections
4. Robin Williams‘ Death
5. Ice Bucket Challenge
6. Israeli invasion of Gaza
7. Malaysia Airlines MH370
8. The Super Bowl
9. Michael Brown’s Death / Ferguson Riots
10. Sochi Winter Olympics

Most Checked-In Places in the U.S.

1. Disney Parks (Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Epcot, Disney’s California Adventure etc.)
2. Universal Studios Hollywood
3. Times Square
4. Yosemite National Park
5. Grand Canyon National Park
6. Yellowstone National Park
7. Yankee Stadium
8. Las Vegas Strip
9. Hollywood Walk of Fame
10. Madison Square Garden

Most Talked-About Athletes in the U.S.

1. LeBron James
2. Derek Jeter
3. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
4. Lionel Messi
5. Peyton Manning
6. Carmelo Anthony
7. Tim Howard
8. Luis Suarez
9. Cristiano Ronaldo
10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Most Talked-About Entertainers in the U.S.

1. Beyoncé
2. Pharrell Williams
3. Nicki Minaj
4. Taylor Swift
5. Jimmy Fallon
6. Iggy Azalea
7. Katy Perry
8. Pitbull
9. John Legend
10. Kim Kardashian

Most Talked-About TV shows in the U.S.

1. Game of Thrones
2. Orange is the New Black
3. The Walking Dead
4. The Big Bang Theory
5. Downton Abbey
6. American Horror Story
7. Sons of Anarchy
8. True Detective
9. How I Met Your Mother
10. Scandal

Most Talked-About Movies in the U.S.

1. Frozen
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
4. Maleficent
5. The Lego Movie
6. The Fault in Our Stars
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction
8. Gone Girl
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
10. The Purge: Anarchy

Most Talked-About Songs in the U.S.

1. “Happy” – Pharrell
2. “All of Me” – John Legend
3. “Stay with Me” – Sam Smith
4. “Turn Down for What” – DJ Snake & Lil Jon
5. “Let It Go” (from Frozen) – Idina Menzel
6. “Drunk in Love” – Beyoncé, featuring Jay-Z
7. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj
8. “Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift
9. “Rude” – Magic!
10. “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

Most Viewed Ice Bucket Challenge Videos in the U.S.

1. George W. Bush
2. Will Smith
3. Shakira
4. Mark Wahlberg
5. David Beckham
6. Lady Gaga
7. Steve-O
8. Bill Gates
9. Verne J. Troyer
10. Prince Royce

TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Photos of 2014

TIME magazine has unveiled its annual list of the Top 10 Photos from around the globe. Much of the list recalls tumultuous ocurrances from 2014, not limited to the Ferguson civil riots, Ebola outbreaks in Liberia, and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle-East. The set of provocative imagery is certainly impactful in its contextualization of current events, while reminding us that a visual record of history should always be kept, to ensure the gravity of certain events is never overlooked.
Photography credits and more information can be found by visiting TIME.com.

Ukraine Protests 20141125usa005188.jpg AFRICA EBOLA ECON 5 time-5 MO TEEN SHOOTING 16 time-7 ISRAEL GAZA FIGHTING 7 APTOPIX Russia Hailstorm Deaths time-10

Recipe of the Week: EGGPLANT PARMESAN PIZZA W/ CRISPY CAPERS

Ingredients:

Pizza dough:

  • 400 grams (2 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) of bread flour
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp (if let ferment in the fridge), or 1/4 tsp (if let ferment in room-temperature) of instant dry yeast
  • 328 grams ~ 340 grams (328 ml ~ 340 ml) of water

Tomato sauce:

  • 2 cans (800 grams total) of peeled Italian tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • More salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Eggplant parmesan topping:

  • 2 ~ 3 long Asian eggplants (approx 750 grams)
  • Aged Parmigiano cheese for grating
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1/3 cup of capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Chili flakes for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. To make the pizza dough: Start the night before, or at least 9 hours before serving.
  2. If you are proofing your dough in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours (starting the night before), use 1/2 tsp of instant dry yeast.
  3. If proofing at room-temperature (a “cool” room) for 18 to 24 hours, use 1/4 tsp of instant dry yeast.
  4. If proofing 9 hours before serving (in the morning on the same day), use 1/2 tsp of instant dry yeast and proof at room-temperature.
  5. Mix bread flour, sugar, and instant dry yeast evenly in a large bowl. Add 328 grams of water first, and mix together with a wooden spoon until a wet dough forms (if the dough seems dry/doesn’t come together, add another 10 grams, or 1/2 tbsp of water). Let the dough sit for 15 min for the flour to hydrate, then with your hands, pull the dough up then fold it over itself. Turn it 90 degrees and repeat for a few times. Wait for another 15 min, then repeat again. This helps to encourage elasticity of the dough without kneading.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then let proof either in the fridge or at room-temperature (as instructed above).
  7. To make the tomato sauce (can be made the day ahead): Blend the tomatoes in a blender until smoothly pureed. Set aside. Heat up extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pot over high heat, then cook the garlic and fresh thyme until lightly browned on the edges. Add the diced onion, tomato paste and salt, and cook for 5 min until the onions are soft. Add the pureed tomatoes then turn the heat down to medium-low. Partially cover the pot (or it will splatter) and cook for approx 30 min, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by almost 1/2.
  8. Taste and re-season with salt (probably need another 1/4 tsp) and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside until needed.
  9. To prepare the eggplant parmesan topping: Preheat the top-broiler on high.
  10. Remove the tips of the eggplants, then cut into very thin (1/8″, or 3mm) slices. Scatter over a parchment-lined baking sheet in roughly a single layer (some overlapping is fine). Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, then grate a thin layer of Parmigiano cheese evenly over the top, season with salt and pepper, then place 3″ under the broiler. Cook until the top surface is nicely browned, then transfer the cooked eggplants to another sheet, and repeat with the rest. Set aside until needed.
  11. To fry the capers, heat 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil over high heat. Add the chopped capers and fry for approx 5 min, until the capers are shrivelled and slightly crispy. Drain through a fine sieve, then mix 3 finely minced garlic into the frying oil (no need for further cooking). Set the capers and garlic-oil aside until needed.
  12. To assemble the pizza: Preheat the oven on 500ºF/250ºC (or higher if your oven goes), with a pizza-stone or a large inverted cast-iron skillet in the middle-rack. Preferably, allow 30 more min after the oven has reached desired temperature.
  13. From my experience, the trick of working with a sticky dough is: You want to oil your hands (no flour needed) for grabbing the dough out of the bowl. Then flour the dough, while you’re spreading it. So, place a parchment paper on the counter, larger than the size of the pizza you’re making (the recipe will make 2 large, or 3 medium pizzas). Lightly oil the surface of the parchment, as well as your hands. Gently separate a portion of the dough from the bowl and transfer onto the lightly-oiled parchment. The dough will be very wet, feeling more like a blob. Then flour the top of the dough, just enough so it doesn’t stick to your hands (dust more flour as you go, but do not over-flour it). Then gently press and spread the dough outward to make it into a thin disk, but careful not to pop the air-pockets within the dough. Think of it more like re-distributing the air-pockets.
  14. Now set the flatten dough on the side and let rest for 20 min, very loosely covered with plastic wrap. Repeat with another dough.
  15. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the dough, then a thin layer of toasted eggplants, then tear the mozzarella on top, then sprinkle evenly with crispy capers, then grate more Parmigiano cheese over, then finally, scatter some minced garlic-oil over the topping and brush the dough-edges with the oil. Slide the pizza onto a board by pulling the parchment, then transfer again onto the pizza-stone (or on top of an inverted case-iron skillet). Bake until the crusts and toppings are golden-browned and bubbly, approx 10 min (turn the oven to top-broiler for the last 5 ~ 3 min if the topping needs more heat).
  16. Sprinkle with more crispy capers, and chili flakes. Serve immediately.