Friday, 15 February 2013

Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza

Taken From "Healthy Food Guide" Sep 2012
(serves: 4)

Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza
250g passata
275g plain flour (or gluten-free plain flour)
7g sachet fast action dried yeast (easy bake yeast that does not require reconstituting in water)
1 tsp caster sugar
1 medium egg, beaten
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
Handful of basil leaves
2 x 125g reduced-fat mozzarella balls, drained, sliced
350g large vine tomatoes, sliced and drained on kitchen paper

Put flour, yeast, 1 tsp caster sugar in large bowl
Mix egg with 125ml warm water and pour into the dry ingredients. (* I add about a tbsp of olive oil in as well)
Mix well and knead lightly to make a soft dough, adding more water if needed.
Divide in two and roll out thinly. (* I try not to use too much extra flour and use a little veg oil to spot it sticking - and roll as big as the tin/tray I'm cooking it on)
Transfer to baking trays, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 30min (*GREASED TRAYS! or they stick!)
Preheat oven to Gas 6 / 200C / Fan 180C. 
Heat passata, oregano and 1 tsp sugar in a pan for 5 mins until thick. Add torn basil reserving a few leaves
Top each base with the tomato sauce, then the mozzarella and tomato slices.Season with black pepper and cook for 25-30min until crusts are golden and the cheese has melted. Garnish with the reserved basil.
*** I make my own tomato sauce.
1 400g tin toms (can be chopped or whole)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
dried herbs
tom puree
1 tsp sugar
salt, pepper
Put the onion, garlic in a pan with 1 tsp (or so) oil and cook gently for a few mins until soft.
Add the tinned toms (if whole, chop up with spatula/wooden spoon - I don't mind chunks of tomato), add in the dried herbs (oregano / basil / mixed herbs - whatever is in cupboard), add in sugar and a squeeze of tom puree (about a tbsp). Cook on a gentle blip until excess water has evaporated and sauce is thick. Season. Cool slightly before topping pizza.
Does make extra sauce which you can freeze and use in pasta sauces...etc...

I made the above dough and made 3 pizzas:
a small 6" Cheese and Tomato pizza for my son (watch it when cooking as it may not need as long in oven - I think I cooked for around 15 mins).
a medium sized Pepperoni and Red Onion Pizza for Mr Leaf
a medium sized Veg Pizza for me (red onion, green pepper, mushroom, fresh sliced tomato and once cooked,  topped with wild rocket leaves) 

The dough is quick and easy to prepare, and is wonderfully light and crispy.  I have made it using gluten-free flour too and it works brilliantly!

You can adapt the pizzas anyway you like, Ham & Pineapple; Cooked Chicken and Pesto Sauce; Goats Cheese and Red Pepper; Bacon, Mushroom & Tomato....the permutations are endless :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day !

Almost didn't have one - both boys been terribly ill here past 2 weeks and although it was nice to prepare what I wanted to eat to begin with.  Watching the boys hardly eat, drink and just nap all day soon sapped my appetite from me.
So hard to find inspiration to cook when people have diminished appetites :(

Hoping they are now on the mend and so I cooked Mr Leaf's favourite food - Duck Breast.  As we were going to have it on rice, I made the sauce a Chinese inspired one with Chinese 5-Spice and Honey.

Both my boys are chocoholics.  What better dessert than Hot Chocolate Sponges?

Hope you had a good evening with your loved one if you celebrate Valentine's Day :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

Wishing you all a very Happy Chinese New Year!

May the Year of the Snake bring much prosperity, happiness, success and good health!!!