Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thick Crust Pizza

There has always been a battle of the pizza crust, thin or thick, which on is better... well I would say  they are both great, thin is crispy and you can taste all the toppings and thick is gooey and hearty.
This can also be made into mini pizza bites for cocktail parties.

I decided to make this the other day as its easier to make to each persons preference,  I like mine with no cheese, my brother likes everything on top but no olives and my boyfriend wanted just tomato and cheese so I made two large pizza's and just divided it up with different toppings spread in sections. 
I made my dough but you can just order some from your local bakery, allow it to rise as per my method in the bowl and follow on from there.
This recipe contains wheat but can be made vegetarian. This dough can be used to make bread, focaccia, pizza or vetkoek.

Chicago- style thick crust pizza
Serves 6

30g fresh yeast or 3 packets instant dried yeast
30g honey or sugar
625ml tepid water
1kg strong bread flour or I used Cake Flour
30g salt
30ml olive oil
extra flour for dusting

Place the flour in your mixer / processor with the yeast, salt, honey and olive oil. mix through.
Add the tepid water and mix to a dough, if it is sticking to the mixer just add a bit more flour until it mixes without sticking but is a nice soft dough.
Mix for 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, grease the bowl with oil and place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and put in a warm place until doubled in size.
Knock the dough back and then flatten into trays, It will make 2 Swiss roll tins of about 30 cm by 20cm. Spray the tin with spray and cook and dust lightly with flour. Allow the dough to rise once again in the pans. Brush lightly with olive oil.
Par bake on 220 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. 

Top with my fresh Pomodoro sauce but reduced until thick.
your favorite toppings, fresh herbs and mozzarella.

Picture and recipe copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Minato Sushi Restaurant Review

Lately I have been having a Sushi addiction every week but it's no longer for the usual maki's, nigiri's or California rolls, I have upgraded my choice to only eating Willoughby's and Co's four by four plate which if you have never had it, its four huge rolls with thick teriyaki sauce and four huge California rolls topped with tempura prawns tossed in a sweet chilli mayonnaise... Yum!

I was invited to meet a friend at Minato just off long street which after reading up about it I thought it may give Willoughby's some competition.

Walking in the look of the place is as they call on Diner's Drive in's and Dives, a Dive using their rating or as I call them hidden gems, it has rickety chairs, skew pictures on the walls, Asian decor everywhere and messages to the customer stuck all over the walls saying things like no children under 10 yrs, please complain directly to the owner and pages with the sushi names and prices written on it.

There are notes to the customer once again printed in the menu, it states please be patient as the place is run by the owner, who makes all the sushi, his wife and two waitresses, well there was only one waitress on this night and this is not enough to give the customers good service as this poor waitress seats guests, takes the orders, pours the drinks, serves the food, does the bill and resets the tables so luckily we only went at 9pm and some of the people in the full restaurant were leaving so we could grab her attention.

The Menu has plenty of sushi to choose from, based on my love of the four by four I chose the San Diego California roll which has tempura avocado inside and I had the Bullet roll which has Salmon and egg omelets inside then the whole roll is dipped in tempura batter and fried then drizzled with a spicy mayonnaise, high calorie but delicious.

Our food took about an hour from order to arrival but as they say it was worth the wait, the batter was thin and crisp, the rice held together and tasted great and the fresh fish was a very high standard. They were easy to eat and everybody's food at the table looked great. I just want to mention if you are sensitive to the taste of deep fried foods then don't  eat the rolls that are completely coated in tempura as it does have a slight oily flavour but for me the ginger , wasabi and soy sauce cut through the oil and I really enjoyed it.

I still put Willoughby's as my favorite but Minato is definitely a close second place.

4 Buiten street
City Centre
021- 4234712

PS. Since this post Minato's has become my favorite sushi spot where we go with great new friends and  enjoy this great place at least once a week : )

Friday, September 23, 2011

Black Lava Salt

I was invited for dinner the other day and the host's had this great salt on the table as a condiment called Black Lava Salt, it comes from a small island in Hawaii where there is no sewage runoff and the mineral balance of the ocean water is completely unpolluted. The salt is hand collected and infused in a bath of activated charcoal. This method gives the salt a unique, mild mineral flavour which is both lightly smokey and earthy.

It is said that the charcoal is a very good detoxifier, digestive aid and contains electrolytes. It's mild flavour will go with any dish but it is not used in the cooking process as it will just dissolve and the charcoal benefits will sink in the dish so its best sprinkled on after cooking.

I found the salt at Giovanni's Deli and I tried it with my home roasted red peppers in parsley olive oil and fresh bread however it will be great on a baked potato with sour cream, carpaccio's, caprese salads and meat, fish or chicken but mostly it will look great on the rim of a big glass of Margarita.

Giovanni's Deliworld
103 Main road,  Green Point
Cape Town
021 4346893

Picture and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Home Made Macaroni Rigate with Quick Pomodoro sauce

Well as I mentioned in my previous post, I received the amazing Kenwood Major as a birthday gift and soon after my birthday I went on holiday to Italy without trying the Kenwood out, so now I have returned from my amazing vacation it being my third time in Italy and as always I fell in love with the food and their way of life.
Eager to try out all the gadgets that you can buy for the machine, I decided to try the macaroni Rigate pasta attachment, for one I needed to smell the aroma of Pomodoro sauce slowly cooking on the stove and two because I did not believe the attachment would work very well...... as you can see it does indeed work.

Another worry for me was the amount of parts that is required to make the pasta as seen above but once again I was surprised how easy it was to assemble and how strong and sturdy the parts are, they also give you a handy gadget to clean the pasta off the parts when you are done.

The recipe for the pasta is really quick to make using the mixer bowl of the machine, it must be a crumbly dough which is then pushed down the shoot and then the Macaroni's slowly come out, the only effort was pushing it through the shoot but they cut easily and did not stick together at all.

All over Italy you will see everybody grows their own tomatoes in their gardens and my partners aunt showed me this quick tomato sauce which uses fresh tomato blended with basil and then cooked until thickened, she has so many tomatoes that she suggested blending them and freezing the pulp in ice trays for the winter months when the tomatoes plants do not produce any fruits.
This pasta shape is good with simple oil sauce, tomato, meat, creamy sauce or on salads.

This is a vegetarian dish which can be eaten dairy free by removing the cheese but does contain wheat.

Home Made Macaroni Rigate with fresh Pomodoro sauce
Serves 4

400g cake flour or 00 flour
200g egg
pinch of salt

Olive oil
Fresh Pomodoro sauce ( recipe below )
Parmesan cheese, grated
Optional, basil pesto

Place the flour in the mixer and slowly add the egg, beat for 30 seconds, scrape the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds.
The dough should look like rough breadcrumbs.
Place the attachments onto the machine and feed the crumbly dough through the feeder and cut to the length desired.
Cook in boiling salty water for 5-10 minutes.
Drain, coat in a little olive oil, the pomodoro sauce, grated parmesan cheese and if you like a little basil pesto.

Fresh Pomodoro Sauce
Serves 4

2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, only the eye removed and quartered
10ml tomato paste
fresh basil, torn
10 ml Worcestershire sauce
1ml chilli powder
salt and pepper
olive oil

Fry the garlic in a pot until light golden, remove from heat.
Add the tomatoes and blend with a stick blender until smooth, return to the heat and add tomato paste if necessary for colour.
Add the basil, worsestershire, a little seasoning, dash of olive oil, chilli and cook until thickened about 20 minutes ( thicken with cornflour if you like)
Correct the seasoning and pour over cooked pasta.
This sauce can also be used on meat, fish, pizza, melanzane, zucchini or even in place of ketchup.

Recipe and Pictures Copyright by Tamsyn Wells