I was in the middle of writing for this post when I got interrupted by an unexpected visit from my computer guy...so everything came up before I had a chance to tell a tale or three. Now all is fixed. Mr. Computer has gone, but is returning tomorrow to share a wine or two during which time we'll solve the problems of the world.
After last weekend's Meatloaf recipe, the thought of a meatloaf played around in my mind all week. Guess what's in my oven at the moment? Yep...two meatloaves....one for now and left-overs tomorrow and the other I will pop in the freezer for "ron".
Pizzas will be playing around in my mind after this post. That's okay, though, as I have a couple of bases in the freezer waiting for toppings when the mood takes hold.
When I was living and working in Cairns, for a while I looked after a little pizza place at Yorkeys Knob, at the northern beaches just north of the city. I worked the little eatery/take-away about five nights a week. I had a full-time day job in the real estate office as secretary/property manager, but the pizzas, pasta etc., allowed me to keep "my finger in the pie" as it were.
Some years later when I was cheffing in Gympie prior to moving here to the mountain, I wandered out into the dining area of the restaurant one night and to my surprise, Yvonne, the owner of the pizza shops (she operated four in the Cairns area) was one of my diners! No longer living in Cairns, she was visiting relatives in Gympie. She had re-located to Brisbane. A little while later, we caught up with the intervening years when Yvonne came to stay one weekend. I think I may have fed her a little too much wine, as I've not seen her since! It is, however a small world in which we live!
I hope you enjoy the following recipes.
Potato, Spinach & Lamb Pizza
1 x30cm fresh pizza base
150 g tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded, with extra leaves for serving
3 desiree potatoes, sliced very thinly
100 g baby spinach leaves
200 g mozzarella cheese, grated
2 lamb loin fillets
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine tomato paste, garlic and oregano in a small saucepan and warm over gentle heat. Remove from heat and set aside. Lace pizza base onto baking try and spread evenly with tomato paste mixture. Top with potato slices, onion, spinach, basil and mozzarella. Season to taste. Bake for 20 minutes until bas is crispy and the cheese is golden. While the pizza is cooking, season the lamb and cook under hot grill for 3-5 minutes each side (or longer if you wish). Slice into 1cm thick slices and place on pizza. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with extra basil leaves.
Smoked Salmon & Caviar Gourmet Pizzas
½ cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)
4oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced very, very thinly
1tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Thin Crust Pizza Dough
¾ cup warm water
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups self-raising or bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place yeast in warm water and let it froth up. Place flour and salt in bowl. Make well in centre. When yeast is ready, pour it into the flour and mix together with a flat-bladed knife. Knead lightly in the bowl, and then remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly oiled surface. Knead the dough several times and form the dough into an oval; cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll and stretch the dough into a 14-inch circle. For this recipe, when kneading, leave the dough a little more wet than usual, as this will help give it a crispy crust. Divide the pizza dough into two pieces and roll each section into a 9-inch circle. Place the dough rounds on the prepared pizza peel. Lightly brush with olive oil to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Transfer the pizzas into the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Prawn/Shrimp & Sea Scallop Pizza Spread a thin layer of 1/2 of the creme fraiche over the slightly cooled pizza crusts. Arrange the smoked salmon evenly over the top of the creme fraiche on each pizza to completely cover. Layer the cucumber slices over the smoked salmon, overlapping slightly to create a design. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut each pizza into 4-6 slices. On centre of each slice, dab a little bit of extra creme fraiche. Place 1/2-1 teaspoons of caviar on top of the creme fraiche. Sprinkle with chopped, fresh chives. Serve immediately.
Spread a thin layer of 1/2 of the creme fraiche over the slightly cooled pizza crusts. Arrange the smoked salmon evenly over the top of the creme fraiche on each pizza to completely cover. Layer the cucumber slices over the smoked salmon, overlapping slightly to create a design. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut each pizza into 4-6 slices. On centre of each slice, dab a little bit of extra creme fraiche. Place 1/2-1 teaspoons of caviar on top of the creme fraiche. Sprinkle with chopped, fresh chives. Serve immediately.
About 12 green (raw) prawns
6-8 sea scallops (cut in half if large)
1 14 ounce ready-made pizza crust
1 cup veggies of choice (onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc.)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven. Top pizza crust with prepared-macadamia nut pesto. Place prawns, scallops and vegetables of choice over pesto. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until seafood is cooked and cheese melted.