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Category Archives: Tomatoes

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Who doesn’t love pizza? In our house we have it every Friday to mark the beginning of the weekend. I used to buy shop bought pizzas until I started making this brilliant recipe, which gives you all the taste, but at a fraction of the price. Most importantly it is really easy – so easy you don’t even have to hang around waiting for the dough to rise, but you still get pizzeria results. Perfect.

Makes two large pizzas or three medium pizzas

Freezes? Dough freezes well. See freezing section at the end

Ingredients

Base

300g strong bread flour (+ extra for dusting tins)

1 x teaspoon salt (this is essential for the texture of the dough)

1 x teaspoon fast action yeast

1 x tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

200ml Warm water

Topping

100 ml passata

16 x thin slices of Napoli Salami

1 x ball mozzarella

2 x red chillies

2 x teaspoon fennel seeds

1 x pinch coarse black pepper

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to highest temperature
  • Take a baking tray and place it upside down in the oven on a medium to high shelf
  • Take another baking tray and make it non-stick by drizzling with oil. Rub oil in so it is spread evenly across the whole tray. Dust the whole tray with flour tapping away any excess on your clean work surface.
  • Put the flour and yeast in a bowl and make a well
  • Add 200ml of warm water
  • Add the oil and salt
  • Stir until ingredients are well combined
  • Tip the mixture onto the dusted surface
  • Knead for 10 minutes – the dough will feel cold and smooth when it is ready. Dust with extra flour if necessary to stop it sticking.
  • When ready put it back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Take the ball of mozzarella
  • Squeeze out any excess water and pat dry with kitchen roll
  • Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and set aside
  • Slice the chillies into thin slices and set aside
  • Take the dough and cut it in half (or three pieces if you are making medium pizzas)
  • Roll into balls
  • Place each ball onto the flour dusted work surface
  • Take a rolling pin and roll each base into a large circle – the base should be very thin – approximately 4-5mm
  • Place bases onto the floured tins
  • Divide the passata and spread onto the pizza bases with the back of a spoon, leaving 1.5cm round the edges.
  • Divide the torn mozzarella between the bases

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  • Add the salami, chillies, fennel seeds and black pepper
  • Cover with foil being careful to lift it from the pizza so it doesn’t stick to the ingredients
  • Put the pizza in the oven on top of the upside down baking tray, which will be very hot and act as an even surface for the pizza to cook. Cook for 10 minutes
  • Remove the foil and cook for another 5 minutes
  • When the base is cooked the pizza should easily slide of the tray onto your chopping board. Cook for slightly longer if it doesn’t.
  • Cook the other pizza while you are enjoying the first.
  • You can bake both at the same time by putting another turned baking tray onto a different shelf, but you will need to increase cooking times by about 5 minutes.

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Freezing

Make double or four times the amount you need. Roll each portion into balls and wrap in cling film greased with oil (see photo below). Freeze and defrost a few hours before needed.

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I have a confession. I am addicted to avocados. I spent most of my life disliking the things – now I eat a least three a week. I hear they are fattening, but it is good fat so that is fine by me.

This is my very simple guacamole recipe. I know some people like to add red onion, garlic or sour cream and by all means feel free to do that, however I use guacamole to cut through other strong flavours so I like to keep it fresh, light and zingy.

Enjoy this with my Smokey Bean Chilli recipe, quesadillas, in sandwiches or any other delicious way you can think of

1 Portion – serves 4 as a side dip

Do not freeze.

Keeps in the fridge for about 72 hours

Ingredients

1 x Ripe Avocado – (this will be slightly soft if pressed)

1 x Lime – Zest and juice

1 x Tomato (or 4-5 cherry tomatoes)

Salt and pepper to taste

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Method

  • Slice the avocado in half
  • Remove the stone
  • Get a spoon and scoop out the avocado onto a chopping board
  • Dice into little 1cm cubes
  • Transfer avocado to a bowl
  • Wash and dice the tomatoes into even smaller cubes. If you are using a whole tomato as opposed to cherry tomatoes, remove the jelly from the middle before dicing.
  • Put the tomatoes in the bowl with the avocado
  • Using a fine grater, grate the zest of the lime into the bowl with the avocado and tomato
  • Cut the lime in half, take a fork and squeeze the juice into the bowl with the other ingredients. (If the lime feels hard, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds and it will be easier to squeeze)
  • Take a fork and mush all the ingredients in the bowl with a fork until you get a texture similar to the photo.
  • Season to taste

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This lovely chilli is the vegan alternative to chilli con carne that has the meat eaters asking for more. It is a delicious smokey  supper and despite being rather healthy, it is satisfying and filling. This is loved by adults and children alike, however if your kids aren’t keen on heat, then add then chilli at the end (if you aren’t keen, just omit it). This portion is more than enough for 6 adults. My family consists of two adults and two children so it makes two meals for us. I freeze half  and indulge a cooking free night another time… I hope you enjoy

Serves 6 adults (or in my case makes two dinners for 2 adults and two children)

Freezes well

Ingredients

1 x onion

3  x carrots

2 x celery sticks

3 x cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of red chilli or one chopped red chilli

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 x bell peppers (I use a mixture of colours)

1 x tin of tomato puree (or 2 x tablespoons)

2  x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

3  x teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 x teaspoon of chipotle paste

1 x 400g kidney beans

1 x 400g tin borlotti beans

1 x 400g tin black eyed beans

125ml glass of red wine

1 x teaspoon of sugar

1 x veggie stock cube

Salt and pepper to taste

3  x cubes of dark chocolate

Method

  • Chop onion, garlic, celery and carrots finely. I use my food processor, but you could grate or just chop as small as possible. The aim with this is to bulk the dish out and give it flavour. Chunky veg is a no.
  • Cut pepper is to 1 inch pieces
  • Heat the oil in a large (preferably non-stick) pan
  • Tip in the onion, celery, carrot and garlic mixture
  • Cook until the vegetables soften, this will take about 15 minutes
  • In the meantime open your tins of tomatoes and beans, drain and rinse the beans
  • When the veg has softened add the peppers to the pan and cook for a couple off minutes
  • Stir in smoked paprika
  • Stir in the tomato puree and, if using, the chipotle paste and cook for a few minutes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, beans, stock cube and stir well
  • Add the sugar and dark chocolate and stir well
  • Bring to the boil.
  • At this point I either:  transfer to a slow cooker for several hours, transfer to an over proof dish and cook on gas mark 7 for about 90 minutes, cook on the hob on a low hear for 90 minutes.
  • If using the oven or hob method, I stir occasionally
  • The finish result is a thick rich chilli
  • Serve with rice or tortilla chips and cheese
  • I always make my fresh guacamole to accompany this dish but sour cream is great too