Cravings for pizza

Wow I am getting worse… 2 posts in one month.. I thought I’d have greater blogging discipline, especially since its about food…but obviously not. To be honest, my recent eating experiences have been quite mundane. Noodles, mince and whack-it-in-the-oven stuff aren’t really worth sharing online. However, just the other week I saw a post by grabyourfork on a Newtown pizzeria and couldn’t help but feel like making and stuffing my face with delicious pizza. Not the dominos stuff either, I was after real earnest flavours and a delectably thin yet slightly chewy crust.

Having never made pizza before, I turned to a basic online dough recipe. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any 00 flour and my dry yeast was expired by 2 years but you use what you have when you just can’t wait. In the end I decided to make 2 toppings, a sausage one and one with mushrooms.

Pork sausage pizza toppings

Ingredients

  • 2 italian pork sausages or normal pork sausage with the meat  removed from the casing
  • Sprinkle of fennel seeds
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano and basil
  • Couple of bocconcini balls torn up
  • Grated mozzarella
  • Pizza tomato paste or you can make your own
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle of dried chillli
  1. Break up sausage meat and pan fry until browned
  2. Roll out dough, spread tomato paste sparingly
  3. Top with all the ingredients and bake at the highest temperature until dough is browned and looks cooked.

I was pretty happy with the outcome despite not having a wood fired oven. As you can see it kinda looks alright… the rustic label is especially applicable in this context.

DSC_0327

For the Mushroom and caremalized onion pizza topping

Ingredients

  • 3 mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of oil and butter
  • Half a brown onion sliced thinly
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • Couple of pieces of bocconcini torn up
  • Grated mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Saute mushrooms and garlics in some oil until cooked through
  2. On lowest heat, cook onions. Stir around frequently and cover to speed up caremalization process. Take off heat when onion has browned a bit and softened completely.
  3. Roll out dough. Place a bit of the bocconcini and mozzarella on the base. Add mushroom/garlic mix, onion and herbs. Place the rest of the cheeses on top.
  4. Season with salt and pepper then bake until ready.

I really enjoyed the flavours in this pizza as well. The textural nature of the mushrooms and fragrant herbs really placed it on par if not better than the sausage one. It also looked better in my opinion.

DSC_0323

The funny thing was that later that evening I ended up eating pizza with some friends at a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint near Wynyard station…so I think I can do without pizza for a while now.

Advertisements

Pork and Eggplant stirfry

I realised that I haven’t blogged in a while… I’ve been caught up with working and just being tired in general so cooking hasn’t been something I’ve looked forward to. Another reason is that I don’t feel like I’ve made anything “blog worthy” enough. But then I guess simple everyday dishes can definitely be delicious as well. The highlight of this recipe is definitely the flavoursome nubbins of fried pork mince which go so well with a bowl of plain rice. I know there are other versions which are a bit more saucier but I prefer this drier version as wet stew-like egg plants aren’t really my thing…

DSC_0320

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 500gm Mince pork (a bit of fat is good.. flavour wise)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 Japanese eggplants segmented at random angles
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 or more birds eye chillis seeds removed if you like it more restrained
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 0.5-1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 0.5-1 tbsp soy sauce (normal soy)
  • 0.5-1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Steps

  1. Mix 1 tbsp of salt with egg plant pieces and let sit for half an hour.. after the bitter brownish juices have been released, wash thoroughly under running water. Pat dry.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok on high heat. Wait until it is very very hot.
  3. Add in garlic and minced pork and let fry for around 6 minutes. Whilst it is frying, using the end of the spatula, break up the pork into very small pieces. Don’t stir too much though as that would make it stew… just mix minimally. After it is browned dish out.
  4. Add in the rest of the oil and heat until hot. Add in chillis and eggplant. Don’t stir it too much just toss lightly now and then. After around 1-2 minutes, add in chicken stock and cover to let steam.
  5. When the liquid has just about evaporated add in the meat again and stir fry let the pork caramelise just a bit further.
  6. Add the wine and let evaporate
  7. Add in the normal soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and dark soy sauce. Mix around making sure the pork and eggplant are coated. Continue frying for a bit longer ~1 min
  8. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  9. When you are just about done, add in the sesame oil and stir through.
  10. Dish out and enjoy!

A simple dish and better yet to finish with some humble basic carrot watercress and pork soup. Perfect for this rainy suddenly Autumn weather.

DSC_0325