Thursday, 24 June 2010

Frittata, Pizza, Quick Pizza, Apple Cake, Meze

Well, the strangest thing happened this week.  I was invited for lunch at my friend Jen's house, and she cooked one of my recipes for me!  She cooked my Fritatta (May 2010) and it was delicious.  You know how it is; food that someone else has cooked usually tastes better than your own!  Thanks Jen!  The pic is a little steamy......

So, after a lack of inspiration, suddenly I seem to have cooked lots this week.  We love Pizza and I have developed a dough recipe that is easy and lovely.  It is very freezable, especially if you roll it out, spread with some tomato sauce and then bake for 5 minutes to 'set' it.
I have also included my 'instant' pizza recipe, using tortillas for the base.  Just Fill, Grill and Go!
I baked an apple cake this week too from Healthy Baby and Toddler Foods by Amanda Grant, a very useful book for alternatives to meat.  The cake used to be Barney's favourite..... yes, you've guessed it, he has now decided that he doesn't like it any more!  Ahhhhh!  It is a great way to use up those apples left in the fruit bowl, and is very portable for picnics.
Another good supper came about by accident.  I actually managed to have the ingredients for a Meze in the fridge!  Cold potatoes with mayonnaise, houmous, taramasalata, olives, roasted vegetables and some toasted pittas - hurrah!  (anyone know what hurrah is in Turkish or Greek?!).  I had lunch at the Jolly Farmers pub in Buckland, Surrey on Monday and they had a platter with delicious sauces like houmous and red pepper sauce, and a lovely little dish of marinaded feta cheese with chives, so I tried to make that myself.  See what you think.
And last but not least, tomato soup.  I had some tomatoes which were past their best in the bottom of the fridge and decided to make them into tomato soup.  Mm mm.
Pizza  (makes about 5)

500g strong white bread flour
12g fast-acting dried yeast
12g salt
300ml hand-hot water

Jar of tomato pasta sauce
Mozzarella x 2
Tuna, capers, olives, mushrooms, etc.

Mix all together to form a dough.  Knead (pull, push, fold) for about 3 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until smooth and mixed.
Now you can leave this to rise for about 20 minutes, or use it straight away.
Either way, flour your surface again and tip the dough out.  Divide into the desired pieces (4-5).  We always try to leave some to make dough-balls too.
Roll the dough into the shape you want, either thin and crispy or thicker and more deep-pan.  Place on an oiled baking tray and add the toppings you like.  I use a jar of pasta sauce for speed spread very thinly, mozzarella sliced thinly, tuna, capers, olives, pepperoni, whatever you like. 
Bake in a hot oven (210 degrees/Gas Mark 7-8) for about 10 minutes or until the mozzarella is bubbling.
For the Dough Balls, cut the piece of dough into rough shapes and place on an oiled baking tray.  Bake alongside the pizzas.  Drizzle some garlic butter or butter over them and eat!

Instant Pizzas

Tortilla wraps (as many as you need)
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
Other topping that don't need much cooking

Simply heat your grill.  Spread the tomato on to the tortilla, add the toppings and grill until the mozzarella is melted.  Watch them all the time because the tortillas burn easily!

Apple Cake

310g self-raising flour
180g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp all-spice
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
115g butter
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250ml milk
1 egg
2-3 eating apples (no need to peel)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/Gas Mark 4.
In a bowl or a food processor, sift the flour, sugar and spices together.  Rub in the butter.  Spread half of this mixture into a greased 20cm square cake tin.  Pat down evenly.
Dissolve the bicarb. in the milk.  Add the beaten egg and some chopped apple and add all of it to the remaining flour mixture.  Combine well and pour into the tin.  Slice the apples, then arrange on top and bake for 45 minutes until golden.  Carefully, cut into slices.


Houmous (mine was shop-bought!)
Taramasalata (ditto!)
Cold, cooked potatoes, sliced and mixed with mayonnaise and capers
Cold roasted Mediterranean vegetables (courgette, aubergine, peppers, mushrooms, sweet potato cut into cubes and roasted in olive oil and garlic for about 30 mins)
Feta cheese, cut into cubes, dowsed in olive oil and mixed with chopped chives and pepper.
Pitta bread, toasted and cut into fingers

Tomato Soup

A knob of butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp celery salt or a stick of celery, chopped
8 tomatoes or a 400g tin
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
150ml vegetable stock

In a medium saucepan, cook the onion and garlic in the butter until soft.  Add the celery salt or celery, tomatoes, ketchup and stock and simmer for 15 minutes.  Whizz in a blender until smooth, then season to taste.
Better than a can!

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