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Archive for May 26th, 2009

The term ‘Marinara’ as a pasta sauce does not usually refer to the use of fish or other seafood, I know, but rather that it was served to mariners (fishermen).  I probably ought to change my title to reflect this mistake, but this was the name given in the original recipe so I have continued to use it.  This is unashamedly a seafood pizza and any mixture of fish can be used as a topping.  Bags of mixed frozen seafood are available from the supermarket – usually a mixture of small prawns, calamari/squid and mussels.  You can substitute or augment as you wish, though I am not sure I would use white, smoked or very oily fish, though pilchards might be good. You could also make this with just one variety of fish, for example prawns or salmon. This time I used half a tin of tuna, a small piece of salmon, about six crab sticks and a dozen medium sized prawns. I also used finely chopped gherkin for a similar mild pickled flavour as I had no capers and would do this again.  As for the olives, I always put them on as I love them as they make a dish look attractive but they all end up on my plate as nobody else in our house likes them!

The basic idea I have adapted for this recipe comes from Step-by-step Pizzas by Wendy Lee, a great book with everything you need to know including making basic pizza bases and preparing the Tomato Sauce topping plus a large number of different pizza recipes.

100_3554 Pizza Marinara

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Pizza Marinara
(Serves 2-4)

1 quantity of pizza base using basic recipe – I used Scone (biscuit) base
⅓ quantity of Tomato Sauce using basic recipe
250-300g/8-10ozs mixed fish (defrosted frozen seafood cocktail, tuna, salmon, prawns, seafood sticks…)
1 tbsp capers or substitute 1 tbsp chopped cornichon gherkin
1 small yellow pepper (chopped)
1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram (if available)
½ tsp dried oregano
60g/2ozs grated Mozzarella cheese (or similar – needs to melt easily)
½oz grated Parmesan cheese
12 pitted black olives
olive oil for drizzling
salt & pepper
Sprig of fresh marjoram or oregano to garnish

1.  Roll out the dough making a 25cm/10inch circle on a lightly floured surface.  Place on a greased baking tin or pizza pan.  Push up the edge a little with your fingers to make a rim.

2.  Pre-heat oven to 200oC (190oC Fan oven)/400oF/Gas 4

3.  Spread the tomato sauce evenly over going almost to the edge but keeping within the rim you have made.

4.  Arrange the fish, capers and yellow pepper evenly on top of the sauce.

5.  Sprinkle over the herbs and cheeses.  Arrange the olives on top.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season.

6.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-20minutes until the edge of the pizza is crisp and golden.

7.  Transfer to a warmed serving plate and garnish with a sprig of fresh marjoram if available.  Serve immediately with salad.

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Tomato sauce is simple and versatile: delicious as a base for a  pasta sauce or served alongside sausages or chops. This recipe will serve 3-4 people as a sauce or can be used as a topping for three pizzas. It can be frozen in pizza size topping portions for later use.  You can add a chilli with the onion for a more spicy flavour. 

The recipe comes (slightly adapted) from my favourite pizza book: Step-by-step Pizzas by Wendy Lee.

100_3525 Pizza tomato sauce

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Tomato Sauce
(Serves 3-4 or enough for three pizzas serving 2-4 people each)

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tbsp olive oil
400g tin of plum tomatoes
4tbsp tomato purée
½tsp sugar
1tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper

1. Fry the onion and garlic gently in the oil for 5 minutes until softened but not browned. (If you would like a spicy sauce add a finely chopped deseeded chilli or chilli powder to taste. Spices such as cumin or coriander could also be used.)

2. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan with the tomato purée, sugar, oregano, bay leaf and seasoning. Stir well.

3. Bring to the boil and cover.
For Sauce to accompany Pasta or Meat: simmer gently for 5-10minutes until desired thickness (pouring or spooning) adding a little water if necessary.
For Pizza topping: simmer gently for 20minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce is fairly thick.

4. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste. Leave to cool completely before using. If you are making just one pizza the remaining two portions will keep in the fridge for up to a week but should be date labelled and frozen if you wish to keep them longer.

Find a pizza base recipe
Find a pizza topping recipe

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There are several ways of making Pizza base. The traditional base is a bread dough made with yeast but there are alternatives which can come in very useful when time is short. In all cases the quantities given are for a base of about 25cm/10inches which feeds 2-4 people.

These recipes have come from my favourite pizza book Step-by-step Pizzas by Wendy Lee.

Find a Pizza Tomato Sauce Topping Recipe
Find a pizza topping recipe or look under ‘Pizza’ in A-Z index

100_4010 Chicken Satay Pizza on Dough Base

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com Chicken Satay Pizza on Bread (Yeast) Dough Base

Bread (Yeast) Dough Base
(Makes 1 x 25cm/10inch base)

15g/½oz fresh yeast 0r 1tsp dried or 1xsachet easy blend yeast
90ml/3½fl oz tepid water
½tsp sugar (not needed if using sachet easy blend yeast)
1tbsp olive oil
175g/6oz plain flour (white or wholemeal)
1tsp salt

1a. Fresh yeast: combine the with the water and sugar in a bowl and leave mix to rest in a warm place for 10-15 mins until frothy on surface. Stir in oil. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in yeast liquid.

1b. Dried yeast: sprinkle over surface of water and whisk until dissolved
leave mix to rest in a warm place for 10-15 mins until frothy on surface. Stir in oil. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in yeast liquid.

1c. Easy blend yeast: Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in easy blend yeast. Add water but no sugar and oil.

2. Using floured hands mix together. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5mins until smooth and elastic. (I use a large lightweight metal bowl and am able to knead this small ball of dough in the bowl.)

3. Place in a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about 1hour or until doubled in size – the airing cupboard is a good place. (If you want to make this earlier in the day then leave to rise at room temperature. If you are making even earlier then it can be stored in the fridge where it will still rise but much slower.)

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly (knock back) and then knead as previously 4 or 5 times more.

5. Roll out or press into a 25cm/10inch circle on a lightly greased baking sheet or pizza pan. Push up the edge a little to form a ridge to retain the filling.

100_3540 Scone Base w Pizza Marinara

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com Pizza Marinara on Scone (Biscuit) Base

Scone (Biscuit) Base
(Makes 1 x 25cm/10inch base)

175g/6ozs Self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
10g/1oz cold butter
120ml/4fl ozs cold milk (I needed about 3½fl ozs)

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

2. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Keeping the mixture as cold as possible with minimal handling gives a better result. Extra flavourings such as grated cheese or herbs (oregano is good) could be added at this point.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in nearly all the milk. Draw together quickly with a knife until you have a soft dough. Add the rest of the milk only if necessary.

4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently – turn and press with the heel of your hand 3 or 4 times only.

5. Roll out or press into a 25cm/10inch circle on a lightly greased baking sheet or pizza pan. Push up the edge a little to form a ridge to retain the filling.

100_4044 Florentine Pizza with Potato Base

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com Florentine Pizza on Potato Base

Potato Base
(Makes 1 x 25cm/10inch base)

250g/8ozs boiled potatoes
30g/1oz butter/margerine
2tbsp olive oil
125g/4oz self-raising flour
½ tsp salt

(For an extra buttery dough use 60g/2ozs butter and leave out the olive oil.)

1. If the potatoes are hot, mash, stir in butter until melted, followed by the oil, until evenly distributed throughout and leave to cool. Sift flour and salt together and stir into mashed potato to form a soft dough.

2. If the potatoes are cold, mash without adding butter. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir flour/butter mixture into mashed potatoes to form a soft dough

3. Either roll out or press the dough into a 25cm/10inch circle on a lightly greased baking sheet or pizza pan. Push up the edge a little to form a ridge to retain the filling. This base is difficult to lift when rolled out so is better shaped, rolled out or flattened by hand directly on the sheet/pan on which it will be cooked.

4. If not required immediately then cover with cling film and chill for up to 2hrs.

5. Variations: Adding herbs, a small amount of chopped onion or spring onion, grated cheese or grated carrot to this base will add extra flavour.

*Substitute instant dried mashed potato when leftover potato is unavailable, or for speed, but keep the consistency fairly dry.

Other Bases to try

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Pitta Pizzas
Pitta breads, either left whole or split to form very thin bases.
This version topped with Tomato Relish, Red Pepper, Mozzarella Cheese & fresh Basil.

Other similar (but untried) suggestions:
Split muffins (Stotties would be good if you are in North-East England)
Split French bread stick
‘Pizzettes’ – individual pizzas using a 3inch/7.5cm cutter. (Idea from Cooking with Salmon by Jane Bamforth.

Shortcuts

Ready made bases!
Small packet of Ciabatta mix makes 2 bases
Make potato base using instant mashed potato (*see footnote to recipe above)

Variations

Combine parmesan, chopped chives or herbs with the dough

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