Category Archives: Difficulty

Recipe: Pizza Base

A naked uncooked Pizza base

Ingredients;

1kg of strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 x 7g packets of dried yeast
1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
625ml of tepid water (tepid = 2 parts cold to one part boiling)
1 handful of cornmeal

Makes 6-8 Pizza bases

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Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl or onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle of it.

Mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork (or your hands) start to stir the liquid in the well while bringing in the flour until the dough starts to come together. Then work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Now place the dough on a flour-dusted surface and knead it around for a 2-3 minutes to push the air out. As you are doing this, work the dough into a giant sausage shape. Divide the dough into six or eight pieces (eight if you like a thin and crispy base) and put them to one side.

Take one of the portions and make it into a ball, then stretch that into a roundish shape about 3-4 inches across and place on a floured surface and grab your rolling pin. Rolling away from you and turning the pizza regularly, roll the pizza base out until it is thin (about an eighth of an inch or less) then flour the pizza base and place on a baking tray lined with cling film – if you don’t have a suitably-sized baking tray, you can substitute with a chopping board or any flat surface that will fit in your freezer.

Fold the cling-film back over the top of the pizza base ready for the next one to be placed on top and repeat until all the portions have been rolled out.

At this point, you can dress one of the pizza bases (simply using passata and cheese) on a baking tray or preferably a pizza stone, either way you will need to sprinkle some cornmeal on before placing the pizza on it to prevent it from sticking.

Then place in a hot oven (approx 220 degrees C) for about 8-10 minutes and enjoy.

You can wrap the cling-filmed pile of bases in tinfoil and put them flat in your freezer to be used later.  The bases, once dressed, will cook from frozen in 8-10 mins as well – perfect for a quick dinner when coming home late from work.

Recipe: Basil and Tomato Soup

Great on a cold winters day

Ingredients;

1 anchovy
1 clove of garlic – very finely sliced
1 small onion – finely diced
1 large carrot chopped roughly
2 sticks of c
elery chopped roughly
500g of ripe tomatoes – cores removed and chopped roughly
3 large handfuls of fresh basil – leaves ripped up roughly, stalks kept and chopped finely
400g tin of plum tomatoes
1L chicken stock
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

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In a large saucepan, gently fry the anchovy and garlic until the anchovy breaks up and starts to vanish. Do not let the garlic burn, but a little bit of browning is okay.

Add the carrot, onion and celery and fry gently till soft – about 10-15 mins.

Add the fresh tomatoes and let them stew for about 5 mins while stirring slowly.

Next add the tinned tomatoes and stir.

Add the chicken stock – enough to cover the mix and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 mins, stirring at 5 minute intervals.

Take this opportunity to tidy up, trust me it’s easier than having a messy kitchen to clean and tidy later!

Finally, add the basil leaves and chopped stalks and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

At this point, allow it to cool for a few minutes and season well with salt and pepper.

Now, it can get messy if you’re not careful, grab a ladle and push it down into the soup gently so you fill it with liquid, but try not to get any of the solids in it, using this method remove (and keep) as much of the liquid as possible, this will allow you to control the ‘thickness’ of your soup in the next step.

Next pour the remaining ‘soup’ into a blender, avoid an enormous mess akin to a Freddy Krueger slashfest by NOT over filling the blender and also placing your hand on top of the blender when starting it. Blend it until it’s smooth and creamy looking and pour into a saucepan, keep doing this until all the soup has been blended and you should have a bowl of really, really thick soup. Now start stirring this and adding back in the liquid that you removed until you get the ‘thickness’ you want and you’re done. If you add all the liquid back and your soup is still too thick use some more stock to thin it a little more.

Simply heat the soup and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil or cream, a small sprig of basil and serve with some chunky ultra fresh bread or Crostini with pesto.

Recipe: Pesto

Pesto

Ingredients;

1/2 clove of garlic, finely diced
3 large handfuls of basil
1 handful of lightly toasted pine nuts
1 handful of parmesan, freshly grated
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
salt
pepper

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Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar.

Add the pine nuts and pound again.

Next, add half the parmesan. Stir gently and add olive oil – just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add most of the remaining cheese. Pour in some more oil and taste again.

Keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

Finally, add a squeeze of lemon juice and you’re done.

Recipe: Yee-Haw Yankee Breakfast Pancakes

Dripping with Maple Syrup

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
115g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
140ml milk
a pinch of salt
a knob of butter
a handful of blueberries
maple syrup

Serves 2 people.

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This recipe makes thick American-style pancakes, which are very light and fluffy – so you can easily eat a whole “stack”.

Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs and hold on to both parts.

Add the flour, baking powder, and milk to the yolks and whisk to a smooth, thick batter.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, until they form stiff peaks, then fold this gently into the batter.

Heat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat, melt some butter into it and pour in some batter, enough to make the size pancake you require.

Then sprinkle on your blueberries (you can use almost any berry or mashed banana as an alternative if you prefer). When the pancake starts to look like it’s drying out on top, turn it over and give it roughly the same time on the other side.

Then serve in a stack of about 4, drizzled heavily with maple syrup and enjoy!

Recipe: Scrambled eggs on toast

Scrummy!

Ingredients;

2 fresh eggs
1 knob of butter
salt
pepper
2 slices of toast

Serves 1

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Take a small Frying Pan and crack the eggs into it before heating the pan. Add the butter (you can use a herb butter for extra flavour) and season well with salt and pepper.

Put the pan onto a medium heat, next take a whisk and start beating the eggs, don’t let them sit still. This gets air into the eggs and makes the finished product ‘fluffier’.

After a minute or two the eggs will start to scramble and you should switch to using a spatula to keep the eggs moving and turn the heat down a bit. At this point put your bread in the toaster.

Once the eggs have scrambled to your preferred consistency, simply serve half on each slice of warm buttered toast and garnish with some chopped cbd products or a sprinkle of dried oregano.