Monthly Archives: August 2015

London calling!

Wow.  Here in the UK we have a capital city (among many others of course) that presents such a diverse mix of food and drink culture, we really are spoiled.

Just returned from 36 hours of child free luxury – fine dining, relaxed dining, drinking, fun and festivity with my hubby to celebrate our 7th anniversary. We stayed in a beautiful hotel and basically spent every waking hour either eating or wandering between eating establishments seeking the next glorious experience.

As a couple we actually have little in common other than our utter passion for great food, so this kind of short break is our bliss.  There’s so much to share but I need to gather my thoughts – oh and I’m about to sit down to a meal prepared by my amazing mum who also had babysitting duties while we were away. The menu is a closely guarded secret although I’ve seen evidence of crab and curry….

Will give a full London report very shortly!

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Just for Nat – my pizza dough recipe

My dear friend Natalie (newly engaged and utterly gorgeous!) has asked me to share my pizza dough recipe.  Let me explain that this little beauty is 2 years in the making, I’ve tried endless variations – honey instead of sugar, salt, no salt, different oils, you name it, and have finally come up with something that satisfies my need for a thin and crispy vehicle of dough that carries any number of delicious, and sometimes bizarre, toppings.

Note: flour should be 00 or bread/pizza specific.  I don’t understand the science, it’s just better.

Another note: I always use a pizza stone.  If you’re serious about crust you should invest, they’re not pricey at all and worth the investment, just never EVER clean them in water, a quick swipe with a dry cloth is all that’s needed, I promise.

Ingredients:

200g flour (see note above)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 sachet (7g) easy bake yeast

1 heaped teaspoon sugar – I’ve used golden caster and normal granulated – no diff at all

1/2 tablespoon salt – I prefer maldon sea salt

Tap hot water – 140 – 200ml.  Every batch of flour adapts differently so be prepared to add gradually

Method:

In the bowl of a tabletop mixer, put flour, yeast, sugar, salt.  Mix lightly and make a well in the centre.  Using dough hook mix gently, then still on that speed add oil, and half the water, you’ll definitely need more.  Continue to add water until the dough comes together in a scruffy blob, you might need to scrape down the hook a bit.  When it looks good, continue to mix on a low ish speed for up to 5 mins, the equivalent of a good 10 – 12 mins kneading by hand.  The dough should be elastic, shiny and spring back slightly when you press a finger into it.

If preparing by hand, you’ll get a great workout.  It’s actually exactly the same method replacing the dough hook with your well washed mits.  I’ve done this many times too – crazily therapeutic but quite hard work!

Use the same bowl, lightly oiled, covered with cling film and place in a non-drafty spot to rest the dough.  It’s good after 30 mins but I’ve been known to leave it hours!  It’ll double in size.  Simply split it in half to make 2 bases of around 14inch, enough for 2 seriously greedy people.

Toppings and cooking details coming soon….watch this space Nat….

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Happy Sunday!

So while trawling through about 1,347 online pics from the past few months I stumbled across a (pretty amateur if I’m honest) but utterly drool inducing pic of our first meal on a recent break in Mijas, Spain.

We were starving, happy, slightly tipsy and in need of simple fare.  So after a quick visit to fab local market I whipped up a panful of high heat fried prawns, calimari and chorizo with lashings of olive oil, garlic, fresh tomato and smoky paprika.  All served al fresco with crusty bread, salad and of course the obligatory chilled white wine.

Delicious, and a very happy memory indeed 🙂

Happy Spanish Sunday!

Happy Spanish Sunday!

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