Hullo. I’m back in London but I’m jetlagged to all hell so you’re all the lucky recipients of another guest post.
See the above picture? That was my megaplane from Dubai to London. Although A380s are the king of economy travel comfort there is still something discomfiting about their sheer size. That and the faux wood loo seats.
I bought a rather large stash of Australian goods home with me. Goods, or, arguably, goodies. Anyway in there are some Very Good Things. Delish. And not health-conducive. Don’t care.
Dog looking impressed at my return. Bloody whippets.
I promise I’ll be back to cooking averagely some time this coming bank holiday weekend, but for now I’m just about managing to prop my eyes open and send some no-doubt badly worded work emails.
Anyway your guest poster today is D, a man with whom I shared the best (and only) cup of apple tea I’ve ever had. Today he’s talking you through homemade pizzas. Gloop included. Enjoy. It’s quite wordy, this post. You’ll cope.
Back when I was at university I made an important discovery: if I managed to get a girl I liked back to my place, my chances with her improved dramatically if, rather than just ringing out for something cheap and greasy, I vanished into the kitchen and cooked something for her instead. Cheese on toast wouldn’t cut it, it had to be a meal.
Needless to say: within thirty seconds of that discovery I had learned a dozen or so recipes for meals which were designed to be quick, easy, tasty and filling.
Just like me, in fact.
Anyway, with Ms B on her hols she asked for people to
clutter up fill her blog with complete rubbish cookery writing, and if there’s one thing I’m good at it’s writing complete rubbish cooking.
Pizza. Everyone rings out for pizza and nobody makes their own, which is weird as they’re easy to make and much cheaper than the guy down the road who pretends to be Italian but is in fact from Guildford.
For your pizza, you’ll need four things: your base, your tomato-y goop to put on top of it, a selection of toppings to go on top of that, and an oven. You can buy your own bases pre-made or you can make your own and, to my eternal shame, when I was cooking this time I bought pre-made bases. To be honest, making your own base is the most time consuming part of the whole process and I didn’t want to miss Game of Thrones but I did make my own tomato-y goop. For this, you will need:
1-2 tomatoes per pizza
1-2 cloves of garlic per tomato
Something to give it a bit of zest. Lea & Perrins or Balsamic vinegar is good. A dash of that. Don’t use red wine as that will water the mix down too much, but you can use a very small splash of port if needed.
Tomato puree. Depending on how many tomatoes you use, you’ll need anywhere between a splodge and a splurge of this. Those are technical measuring terms. Honest.
To prepare your tomatoes, score through the skin with a sharp knife and put them in boiling water for a few minutes. This makes the skin loose and then you can just peel it off. Pop the peeled tomatoes and the rest of the things in a mixing bowl with the other ingredients and use a mixer to whizz it up.
I’m going to digress for a moment here. When Jamie Oliver does this, he says something like “Just wazz it up wiv the mixer, like, guv’nor squire chim-chiminee cheroo” in his horrifically phoney accent. This has got him book contracts, television series, fame, and a beautiful woman to call his own. I warn you that if you say the same thing in the same accent it will be met with a look of weary contempt and a suggestion that you give everyone a shout when you’re finished.
Anyway. Tomato goop wazzed, pop it in the fridge for a bit to thicken up. Whilst you’re waiting, chop your other toppings. The great thing about pizzas is that you can use pretty much whatever you’ve got in the fridge so long as you don’t work in a mortuary or a sperm bank. For the two pizzas I cooked, I used:
¼ Chorizo sausage, roughly chopped
½ red onion, sliced.
1 courgette, ditto
2 x Portobello mushrooms, ditto.
1 x Pepper, similarly chopped
1 x green chili pepper for the masochistic
Look, a picture of ingredients!
You will also need between ½ and 1 fresh ball of mozzarella per pizza depending on how greedy you are and how much you love cheese. Get out your bases, and scoop tomato goop onto them until they look fairly well covered. Then neatly arrange your toppings on them before crumbling the mozzarella all over the top. You should end up with something vaguely looking like this :-
Put your pizzas on a non-stick baking tray and then cook. Oven to 220oc, make sure it’s heated, and cook for 10 minutes before you look at them, Chances are they’ll need a few minutes longer, but recipes always say ten minutes so make sure to be on the safe side. Eventually, you should end up with something which looks vaguely like this:-
Then serve piping hot and eat.
Back when I was a student, my memory is that this would result in my companion saying something like “That was delicious. Should I take my top off now?” These days, it just results in my companion saying “That was delicious, are you going to do the washing up as well?” and glancing meaningfully at the sink. I can’t help but feel this is less satisfactory in some way.