Monday, 6 June 2011

PauPau's Pizza

Many years ago I used to frequent Santino's Italian Restaurant in my home town uptd North. Most often around 2am with my lovely friends after we'd been clubbing. Some would enjoy Spaghetti Carbonara some a Calzone, some Spaghetti & Meat Balls .. . not me.. I was so boring I enjoyed the same pizza every time. My own made up recipe as I didnt really know any kind of food other than Mam's home baking which was pretty much Roasts. Thus I'd never tasted a pizza before let alone such divine flavours like garlic or prawns or pizza base.  How times change, so very different to now, back in those days (yes those days) you just didn't - couldn't - buy pizza from the supermarkets so the first & last pizza I'd ever tasted was at least from an authentic Italian Restaurant. Authentic Italian Chef & waiters who had names like Giovanni  & Sebastian!! The flavours were delicious, I never changed the ingredients ever - it became PauPau's Pizza, known even to the chef as I would stagger into the kitchen to see how he could make such juicy flavoursome perfection & no I dont ever want herbs or anything else added just garlic oil, prawns & cheese. He he of course now I love herbs & many other things on a pizza but funnily enough I don't actually like pizza now, never buy them as they just look  just chunky, dry - vile -  nothing at all like Santino's Pizzas.   We were talking about pizza's during the weekend as our daughter loves them, the big chunky American style ones YUK so I relayed the above story to her & during our chat I decided I would try to make her one so she could sample the exquisiteness for herself. Then I thought about her lovely boyfriend, he LOVES Pizza. . . huh why hadn't I made them pizza before. Surely it can't be too tricky!!! So my search for a pizza base recipe commenced. After much research & the usual combining many other recipes into one I've created this lovely little tasty base which serves our taste buds well.

Ingredients
600g Strong White Bread Flour
3 Pinches of Salt
1  Sachet of Dried Yeast
5 teaspoons of Olive Oil
Mug of warm freshly boiled water
(one Italian recipe says add warm milk too but I have tried the milk yet)
Large Pinch of Sugar

Tinned Tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Salt
Sugar

Pepperoni
Red Pepper
Green Chill Pepper
Red Onion
Mushrooms
Bacon
or whatever suits your tastebuds

Olive Oil
3 cloves of garlic & a small grater
Ground dried garlic

Mozzarella Chesse

Method
  • Mix the flour with the salt, sugar, oil  & yeast
  • Once all mixed together add to processor, on low speed very very slowly add the warm water
  • When all merges together to make a soft dough stop adding the water.
  • Knead for a few minutes then allow to rest & rise in a warm place for about an hour. I used my bread machine on dough setting removing the paddles so there was no mixing :)
  • Once dough has risen, when its looking all full,  lovely & smooth & stretchy reshape it back into a dough ball. Split into 4 smaller balls & return to rest again for another half an hour.
  • Remove the dough needed , knead the risen soft lovely dough into another little  ball & leave on side to rest whilst you get all your other ingredients out.
  • Hold the dough between two hands and ripple stretch the dough, pull and gently stretch it out then knead it back into ball & stretch out again
  • Place onto a greased baking tray & press flat with palm & thumb to the size & shape wanted
  • To make the tomato base, process or smash with fork a tin of tinned tomatoes, add large dollop of tomatoe puree, sprinkle of sugar & pinch of salt. Mix together
  • With a spoon add few spoonfuls of tomato mix onto base, thin enough covering so you can still see the pizza base through the mixture.
  • Grate the mozzarella cheese into a bowl then add  desired coverage onto the pizza
  • Once the grated, or crumbled mozzarrella cheese is on the tomato mix add the other ingredients youve chosen. I made a pepperoni & ham one & a one with red pepper, red onion, green chili & pepperoni as our teen only likes meat feast kinda pizza whereas we fancied the peppers & chilli more spicy taste. If you haven't any meat, use some bacon cook it slightly then cut into strips. Delicious.
  • Didnt take many photo's was in bit of hurry as everyone was hungry, this is where you'd top, tail, peel & slice the red onion into very thin slices. De seed the pepper & chill & slice into thin ribbons adding each ingredient carefully onto the pizza
  • If using mushrooms, I sauted them first to give them more flavour. but do whatever best suits your tastebuds & time
  • Mmmm didnt have much mozzarella cheese, so there wasn't much extra remaining to go on top.
  • For our daughters pizza who doesn't like a lot of flavours or ingredients, skin & slice the pepperoni into small thin circles, position onto grated cheese
  • Add ham in between the pepperoni then drizzle a little garlic oil over the whole pizza. Add extra cheese if necessary
  • To make garlic oil add a small amount of olive oil into a small container, pop tiny grater on top of utensil & grate 3 cloves if garlic into the oil. Add a sprinkling of dried garlic & mix
  • Using a tea spoon drizzle the garlic oil onto the pizza it really does bring out the flavours & a adds its own deliciousness
  • Place baking tray with Pizza on it into a hot oven for about 10 minutes
  • Didnt quite manage to capture photograph of this one before it was removed from the oven & hastily enthusiastically devoured :)
  • The one below is our cooked pizza, it was absolutely delicious & as I remember it -  very like Santino's pizza base. . . moist juicy & so flavoursome with garlic oils & tomato
  • The thinly sliced green chilli added so much flavour as did the fresh red peppers & red onions
  • As you can see a pair of scissors are equally as great as a pizza cutter for portioning the pizza!!
  • All beautifully complimenting the cheese, garlic & pepperoni
  • I can't wait to make this pizza again & try it out on our very own Pizza Connoisseur. I will try my old favourite recipe with only prawns, will make everyone else their favourite pizza which ranges from Meat Feast, Country Pizza to Hot & Spicy so I have lots of lovely ingredients to play around with.Be interesting to see how they all fare & rate against the, IMHO the vile shop bought ones :) 
  • Do try it, its so simple yet soooo very very tasty & this is from a family most of who don't like pizza usually but now a family who love homemade pizza :)
  • ENJOY!!!!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Cheese Savoury

Memories are often distorted, the facts frequently prompted by the senses as opposed to only the trail of thoughts. For instance music, a single chorus or lyric can transport you back in time to a very specific moment, usually one of great significance emotionally. Time when the wholeness of our present being will be drenched by the feelings of the long ago long gone occasion, person & place. Same with smells & taste & its with the latter in which I was transported back in time - probably at least 25 years - to my Mam & Dad's house, when the freshly baked Northern stottie were still warm . . . when a fast filling snack was indeed lunch. Stottie & a bowlful of Mam's cheese savoury. The flavours were unique and as a speedy economical filling a superbly tasty one. So, for those late evening speedy treats, afternoon tea, quick lunch or even as a topping on a gorgeous hot jacket potato here is my lovely Mam's cheese savoury. (A stottie recipe will follow :)

Ingredients
Grated Cheese (I use mature cheddar)
One Red Onion
Mayonnaise
Salad Cream

Method
  • Grate a large chunk of cheese into a large bowl
  • Top, tail & peel an onion, I prefer using red onions but a mild spanish brown one is equally as nice
  • Slice & dice into very small pieces. add to bowl of grated cheese & mix together
  • Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper ( I don't add salt as find the mature cheddar is salty)
  • Add very large dollop of mayonnaise onto the cheese & onion mixture
  • Add  a large dollop of salad cream also onto the cheese & onion mixture & fold in until all cheese & onion are totally coated
  • Cover & pop into fridge until needed. Make enough to last a few days as it stores sooooo well & is an easy rescue filling for any quick last minute option
  • We needed a quick tasty lunch for 6, so this particular batch of cheese savoury was served on a lovely crusty roll, with shredded lettuce, side tomatoes, an apple & chutney. Or as previously mentioned it is delicious served on  hot jacket potatoes with a side salad
Plum tomatoes are so gorgeous this year
  • Enjoy a taste of the North, well thats what it reminds me of .. flavours from my old home 
  • PS the above platter was for the builders lunch, the little foil parcel was a wee freshly baked caramel shortcake . .  mmmmmmmm  to enjoy with their tea :)