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Pizza Dough

I’ve always wanted to make my own pizza. But the thought of so much work for just my husband and me made us decide it’s better to have a group of friends over. So we made it a cell group activity: Create your own pizza! This is my 1st attempt at making pizza dough and thank God it turned out well since so many people were waiting to eat. Again, Jamie Oliver didn’t let me down. The pizza base was really nice. We had lots of fun making our own pizzas as I prepared loads of topping – tomato, 3 types of mushrooms, capsicum, pepperoni, bacon, stir fried shrimp with herbs, mashed potatoes, shredded chicken, rocket and 4 kinds of fresh cheese which we grated only when it was time to put it on. The pizza also tasted so much nicer when garnished with rocket leaves. We made 9 pizzas. Below is the mashed potatoes introduced by one of my friends. Was definitely yummy! Here’s the recipe with slight improvisation.

Ingredients (makes 6 medium pizzas)
1kg strong white bread flour
1 tbsp fine sea salt
14g instant yeast
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
650ml lukewarm water

Method
1. Sieve the flour and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle.
2. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.

3. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough. 4. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Preheat your over to 210C.
6. Remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands– this is called knocking back the dough. Divide the dough into 6 balls. 7. Roll the pizzas out. Bake the pizza base for 3-5mins.
8. Remove the pizza from the oven. Spread the half-baked pizza base with tomato sauce. You can buy the canned pasta sauce from the supermarket – classic tomato sauce or white sauce.

9. Sprinkle some cheese on top of the sauce. Add your favorite toppings.
10. Sprinkle another layer of cheese.
11. Put it back to the oven and bake for 18-20mins.

If you plan to keep the dough for later use, follow the step 1-7. Then, remove the pizza base from oven. Let it cool for 20mins, wrap with aluminium foil individually and keep in the freezer.

Please click here for original recipe.

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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Lasagne

Lasagne is something that I wanted to cook for a long time but never did. So today I decided to try it out. Of course my preference was Jamie Oliver’s recipe. This recipe is adapted from his recipebook – Jamie’s Ministry of Food. I changed the recipe to half portion.  However I made a mistake, I didn’t have a right size baking tray. I used a pretty small one and it ended up spilling over but it didn’t stop the dish from tasting good. haha! It’s a really simple recipe but really time consuming too. I didn’t realize how long it will take till I started making it 😛 Anyway, was very satisfied with the result 🙂 My husband loves it too.


Ingredients

Serves 2-3

For the Bolognese Sauce

2 rashers of streaky bacon, finely sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 carrots, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
olive oil
1 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
150g minced pork
150g minced beef
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch of fresh basil
50g Parmesan cheese

For the lasagne

100g dried egg lasagne sheets (I used 4 sheets)
1 x 250ml tub of creme fraiche
100g Parmesan cheese
1 large ripe tomato (I left this out)

Method

To make your Bolognese sauce

1) Place a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat. Add 2 lugs of olive oil,  the sliced bacon and oregano and cook and stir until the bacon is lightly golden.
2) Add the chopped vege to the pan and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly coloured.
3) Stir in the minced meat and the tinned tomatoes. Fill one of the empty tins with 1/2 tin of water and add to the pan. Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper.
4) Pick the basil leaves and place in the fridge for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan.
5) Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on for 45 minutes, stirring every now and again to stop it catching.

To finish the sauce

1) Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F / GM5. Remove the Bolognese sauce from the heat. Finely grate the Parmesan and stir a quarter of this into the sauce.
2) Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones aside for later. Have a taste of the sauce, and season with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
3) Boil some water in a kettle and pour it into a pan, then add all your lasagne sheets with a drizzle of olive oil and blanch (slightly soften) for 3 to 4 minutes. To avoid the lasagna sheets from sticking to each other, place sheet by sheet making sure they are soaked before putting the next one.
4) Drain the sheets in a colander and carefully pat them dry with some kitchen paper to absorn any excess water.

To make your lasagne

1) Spoon a third of your Bolognese sauce into the bottom of an earthenware ovenproof dish. Follow with a layer of lasagne sheets.
2) Dollop over a third of your creme fraiche and smooth it out to cover the lasagne sheets. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and another quarter of your grated Parmesan.
3) Add another layer of lasagne, and repeat the layers twice more, finishing with a layer of creme fraiche and the remaining Parmesan.
4) Top with some slices of tomato (I skipped this), scatter over the small basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.
5) Cover with foil, place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
6) After that, remove the foil and cook for a further 35 minutes until the lasagne is bubbling and golden.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Linguine alle Vongole

It’s the time of the week again – cooking for my cell group. Initially, I wanted to cook curry but since I am down with sore throat, headache and slight flu, thought curry will not be a good idea. One of my favourite pasta recipes is Linguine alle Vongole. This is my 2nd time cooking this recipe and the last time was 2 years ago. I have forgotten which recipe I cooked from so I went browsing thru a few recipes and came up with one of my own 🙂


Ingredients

500g linguine
3-4 dried chillies
3 cloves of garlic
1 tomato, chopped
a handful of parsley, chopped
3-4 fresh basil, chopped
1kg fresh clams, washed
200g squid (optional)
170ml, white wine
1/2 lemon
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Boil a large pot of water. Add a little salt and olive oil. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to packet instruction but minus 1-2 minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat until hot. Add the garlic, dried chillies, tomatoes and half of the parsley. Stir for 2-3mins.
3. Add in the clams and squid. Stir for 1-2 mins then pour in the white wine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the lid and cook for 3-4 mins. Stir them occasionally. Then, discard any clams that haven’t opened up.
4. Add in the remaining parsley and basil. Drain the pasta and into the pan.
5. Squeeze in the lemon and serve while it’s hot.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Linguine Aglio Olio with Portobello Mushroom & Anchovies

This morning I was watching Jamie Oliver and I was inspired to go to the kitchen to cook immediately. In mind of what ingredients left in the fridge, this recipe came to my mind. Simple, easy and I love it! Yums!

Ingredients

Serves 1

1 ‘circle’ of linguine (Make a circle with your index finger and the thumb around the pasta)
1 clove of garlic, sliced
4-5 dried chillies, washed
2 portobello mushrooms (or other fresh mushrooms of your choice)
4 sprigs of fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried italian herbs)
salt & pepper to taste
1 lug olive oil

Method

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and add the linguine. Stir well and boil rapidly for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan or wok.
3. Add the garlic and stir till light brown.
4. Add the dried chillies and mushrooms. Stir fry for 1-2mins.
5. Add the herbs, salt and pepper.
6. Drain the linguine and transfer them to the frying pan and stir fry for 1-2mins. Make sure it’s well mixed and serve hot.

Note: You can use the same amount of ingredients for 2 servings, just cook more linguine.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Baked Camembert Pasta

I bought a box of camembert cheese 1-2 weeks ago. Today I noticed it was2 days expiry. I checked the cheese and it still looked good. So I was wondering what was the fastest way to finish the whole cheese. To eat it with crackers will take me a few days. Then it came to mind that I saw something about camembert cheese in a box. I went thru Jamie Oliver’s recipe book – Ministry of Food and found the ‘Baked Camembert Pasta’ recipe. I found the recipe quite interesting as I’ve never tried baking a whole cheese block before. I loved it, but would have preferred a stronger cheese taste as I am a strong cheese-lover.

Ingredients
(serves 4-6)

1 x 250g box of Camembert Cheese
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, pick the leaves off the woody stalk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
100g grated parmesan cheese (grated)
400g dried rigatoni (I couldn’t find rigatoni so I used fusilli)
150g fresh spinach

Method

1. Preheat your over to 180C/350F/gas 4.
2. Open the box of cheese and unwrap it. Place it back to the wooden container. Score a circle into the top of the skin, then lift it off and discard.
3. Peel and finely slice the garlic.  Lay the garlic slices on top of the cheese, sprinkle some pepper and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil.
4. Scatter the rosemary leaves over the top and gently pat with your fingers to coat them in the oil.
5. Place the box of cheese on a baking tray and put it into the preheated oven 25 minutes, until golden and melted.
6. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. When the cheese has 10 minutes left to cook, add the pasta to the pan and cook according to packet instructions.
7. When the pasta is cooked, add the spinach to the pan – it only needs cooking for 10 seconds or so.
8. Drain the pasta and spinach in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water. Return the pasta and spinach to the pan and let it wilt.
9. Drizzle with a couple of good lugs of extra virgin olive oil and add the grated Parmesan. If the sauce is too thick for you, add a splash of reserved cooking water to thin out a bit. Season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir.
10. Remove the cheese from the oven. Divide the pasta between your serving bowls. Either drizzle the melted Camembert on top or pop cheese on the table and let everyone help themselves to a lovely, gooey spoonful.

Note from me: Remember to serve it while it’s hot or heat up for few seconds in the microwave before eating so that you have the melting cheese effect 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Mac & Cheese

I have always wanted to try Jamie Oliver’s recipe and never did till a good friend came to visit me and asked me to cook something for her. I know she likes to eat mac & cheese and so I gave this recipe a try. Turned out, she really liked it a lot 🙂

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “a killer mac ‘n’ cheese” recipe.

Ingredients

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
45g butter
3 heaped tablespoons plain flour
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
6 fresh bay leaves
1 litre semi-skimmed milk
600g dried macaroni
8 tomatoes
150g freshly grated Cheddar cheese
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
optional: a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce
optional: a grating of nutmeg (I used ground nutmeg)
3 big handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs
olive oil

Method

1. Get a large pan of salted water on to boil.
2. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof saucepan over a low heat, then add the flour and turn the heat up to medium, stirring all the time, until you get a paste – this is your roux. Add all the sliced garlic – don’t worry about the amount, because each slice will caramelize like toffee in the roux. Keep cooking and stirring until golden and the garlic is nice and sticky.
3. Add the bay leaves and slowly whisk in the milk a little at a time to ensure you get a nice smooth sauce. Bring the mixture to the boil, then leave it on a low heat to simmer and tick away, stirring occasionally.
4. Preheat your oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7.
5. Add the pasta to the pan of boiling salted water and cook according to the packet instructions.
6. Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes on a board and season them well with salt and pepper.
7. Drain the pasta and add it immediately to the sauce. Give it a good stir and take the pan off the heat.
8. Stir in your grated cheeses, chopped tomatoes and thyme leaves. A little Worcestershire sauce added now is nice, and so is a little grating or two of nutmeg.
9. Now work on the flavour – taste it and season it until it’s hitting the right spot. You want it to be slightly too wet because it will thicken up again in the oven, so add a splash of water if needed.
10. If you’ve made your sauce in an ovenproof casserole-type pan, leave everything in there; if not, transfer it to a deep earthenware dish. Bake it for 30 minutes in the oven, until golden, bubbling, crispy and delicious.
11. While it’s cooking, put your breadcrumbs and thyme into a pan with a few drizzles of olive oil over a medium heat. Stir and toss the crumbs around until crunchy and golden all over. Remove from the heat and tip into a nice bowl.
12. Serve your macaroni cheese in the centre of the table, with your bowl of crispy breadcrumbs for sprinkling over, and a lovely green salad.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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