Breakfast pizza

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe since I saw it on Hairy Bikers’ Comfort Food back in January, and I finally had the opportunity last night!

It turned out deliciously 🙂 For some reason, even though I used the exact quantities of ingredients given in the recipe for the dough and it rose magnificently, I was only able to make one crust the size of a baking tray, without pounding it so thin as to leave holes all over it. This did lead to a delicious crust-to-topping ratio, though!

The above-mentioned crust size issue did mean that I had some mushrooms and tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes as they’re much easier to handle) left over, as well as half of the meat items. I fridged the veg and placed the meat on a tray under the pizza while it was cooking (necessary because I’d frozen and defrosted them) then decanted them and their cooking juices into a container to be kept in the fridge. Tomorrow, I intend to use the remaining meat, as well as the leftover mushrooms, tomatoes and passata, to make an improvised pasta sauce using the time-honoured method of ‘chuck it all in a pan and simmer’. It should be very good!

I will have half a pack of pasta left after doing this, so I intend to cook that up with the comfort food classic, cheap pesto out of a jar 🙂 Delicious! ^

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Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook

I am a lifelong Whovian, so the copy of this cookbook which I received last Christmas really hit the spot!

I have a tendency towards almost excessive volubility when talking about something that I really like and am enthusiastic about, so my thoughts on this recipe book are probably best expressed in bullet point form:

  • Colourfully illustrated with photographs of each recipe in its finished form, as well as stills from various episodes of the show — very pleasing to the eye!
  • Recipes cover the full range of complexity — from ‘Speed of Light Bites’ (cheesy melts shaped like Cybermen heads, watch scones, ‘fish fingers and custard’ wherein the ‘custard’ is cheese sauce) which can be made quickly and easily, to complex and involved — though still accessible — baking projects (e.g. gingerbread TARDIS and K-9, as well as most of the ‘Eggs-Stir-Mix-Bake’ section, which has multiple fancy party cakes — including a banana-cake Dalek!), along with more intermediate recipes such as Ood-shaped loaves, gingerbread Doctors and ‘Judoon Cream Horns’
  • So far, I’ve only found time to make the ‘Pasta Bow Tie Salad’ from the first chapter — I omitted the capers, toasted the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and sautéed the peppers and chorizo for reasons of personal taste (the recipe instructs that the peppers, meat and pine nuts be roasted) but that did not diminish the outcome in the slightest. It was delicious and I was able to get two portions, which meant tasty and reasonably healthy snacking for two days in a row 🙂
  • Recipes which I’d like to try include ‘Captain Flapjacks’ (chocolatey fruit-and-nut flapjacks), the Ood Head Bread and gingerbread Doctors mentioned above, a Lady Cassandra-shaped pizza which takes the interesting step of using puff pastry for the crust and that most inevitable of recipes in a Who-themed recipe book, Jelly Babies! Although I would have to hunt out a decent vegetarian gelatine-analogue for those so that I can share them with various relatives who are vegetarian and whose favourite Doctor is Four (Tom Baker), with whom jelly babies are most closely associated.
  • One recipe that really piqued my interest was the ‘Time Rotor Sodas’, comprised of lemonade or cream soda served with ice cream in tumblers made of ice coloured with green food colouring — a bit fiddly to get right, I think, but very interesting!

Overall, I’d say this is more of a special-occasions cookbook than a regular cookbook. It’s definitely worth getting nonetheless, and will certainly appeal to Whovian foodies of all ages!

Cacciatore di pollo

This week’s Hairy Diet recipe was chicken cacciatore, which on examining the recipe and looking ‘cacciatore’ up in an Italian/English dictionary would appear to be an Italian version of the chicken chasseur recipe I made last month — not a lot of difference apart from the herbs. I’m not really complaining, though — it tasted excellent! Things with this dish went pretty much as they did for the chasseur, with the exception of the amount of extra celery I used; it was 5 sticks instead of 8, and I also used about 6 carrots that I had left over from last week’s pie. This certainly helped differentiate the cacciatore and added a very pleasant extra something to the flavour.

Meat the pie II

Another low-cal meat pie recipe this week 🙂 The special twist with this one is using mashed potato in the pastry — yes, really! 80g plain flour, 40g butter and 275g Maris Piper potatoes mashed without butter or milk — it works a treat, has a really good texture and the quantities as given make enough to cover a moderately large pie plate when the pastry’s rolled out to 3mm thick. It can get a bit sticky in the rolling, though, so I’d recommend using a fair bit of flour over a large surface.

As far as the filling goes, I had to make a few changes from the recipe given in the book:

  • Leaving out the 100g swede (which I dislike) and 400g lentils (which tend to make me ill) and instead doubling the quantities of carrot and celery, as well as adding a couple of bell peppers
  • Had to use chicken stock instead of beef because I’d run out of the latter — I added a couple of generous teaspoons of beef gravy powder to make it up

The end result — a VERY delicious pie! I got six portions out of it, too, so I’m not going to go hungry for a while 🙂

Summertiiiiiiime…

…and the livin’ is eeeeeeeasyyyyy!

Well, the pasta with summer veg and parma ham is, anyway 🙂 Quick to make and simplicity itself to throw together — and I got three very generous portions out of it!

Low-calorie, easily vegetarianisable because the ham is only added right at the end, fairly adaptable — for example, I couldn’t get any little gem lettuces, so I used about 5 big leaves from an iceberg lettuce instead. That worked pretty well ^^

I had nearly a whole tub of crème fraiche left over again, so this time I stirred in a couple of generous pinches of nutmeg. It goes really well with jam! 😀