oh jamie, I think I love you: cheat’s pizza (or, the-never-buy-pizza-again pizza recipe)

Oh, Jamie, it’s a slow burn, but I think I love you.

Jamie Oliver is an international cooking phenomenon. Quite possibly he is the world’s most well known kitchen-dweller. At first, about 14 years ago, I wasn’t so sure I liked his busy, uber-chatty, hands-in, chunky-chopped style. But it could have been I was deterred by the rolling and jittering hand-held camera work of his first show. As a sufferer of motion sickness, the combination of boating and food does not conjure positive association.

More recently, the release of ‘30 Minute Meals’ has seen the reemergence of my man-friend into the realm of steam and kitchen-whizery. At our house, one night a week has been named ‘Jamie Night’ as he works from cover to cover. But there is one recipe that makes me say (and often out loud), “…genius…” and it is, Cheat’s (10 minute pan) Pizza*.

Jamie Oliver cute and cuterpizza base:
1 ½ ‘mugs’ self raising flour
½ ‘mug’ tepid water
dash olive oil
pinch of salt
another dash of olive oil for the pan

tomato paste
feta, crumbled

tomato salsa:
cherry tomatoes, halved
basil, torn
chive, flowers/ chopped stem
dash olive oil
dash balsamic
salt and pepper
Combine them all in a bowl.

In my stand mixer with dough hook attached combine the flour, water, salt and oil to form a dough. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a food processor to get it started and then knead it for a minute on a well floured surface, but don’t fuss over it.
Put the grill on to med- high.
Put a dash of olive oil into an ovenproof fry pan.
(Jamie uses half at a time to make 2 pizzas – I use it all at once and make a thick crust)
Use your hands to spread the dough to the edges of the pan so its a fairly even thickness.
Turn the stove top heat on to med-high and let the dough come to golden brown on the bottom. Check it by lifting a corner using a spatula.

Spread a spoon of tomato paste over the top of your pan pizza and crumble feta.
Place under the grill for about 3 minutes.
Top with salsa.
If it’s breakfast/ brunch, add a poached egg on top of each slice.

Obviously, you can top yours with whatever you like, but don’t over load it for grilling.

What’s your favourite Jamie recipe?? Or, what’s your fav pizza topping?? I wanna know!

10 minute pizza

*This describes the actions I take when I make it, if you want to hear it how Jamie writes it, buy the book.

image: http://www.rspca.org.au/news/jamie-saves-our-bacon.html

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garlic and retrospect

If I had been better organised lately I could have done a really nice little Halloween post about dirt and garlic and vampires. There would have been blood and a skeletal figure rising from a soil-filled box (that reminds me, I really need to plant out those potatoes withering in the pantry and do some fertilising) … In events far less dramatic than wielding knives and wooden crosses (although there may have been some wooden stakes near by), I got some dirt in my hair. Anything is possible, I’ve learnt that about gardening. But, no, that’s not it, the real life experience was … was the real life experience of harvesting my first home grown garlic!

fresh garlic

How to grow garlic:
In Autumn, go to the local co-op or organic fruit and veg shop and buy a few bulbs of garlic (don’t use imported garlic, it’s likely to be treated and may contain contaminants that may affect your soil).
Separate the cloves without damaging them.
Plant your cloves into the garden (or a pot) in a sunny, well drained spot about 15 cm apart.
Mulch, water and keep the weeds away.
Wait until Spring/Summer when the bulb foliage dies down to harvest.

Storing: Hang the whole plant in bunches and leave to dry undercover for 2 to 3 weeks. Store in a spot with good air circulation. Vampires be gone from my garage!

Cooking: Fresh young garlic has a beautiful mild flavour. It’s worth growing just to get some.

black devil cocktail

black devil martiniIt’s pretty clear that this cocktail is derived from the martini. I’m not a big rum drinker but this made a very palatable version of the beloved martini. This version is simple, classic and a little bit mysterious. The opposite of how I like my men – smart, modern and totally understood.

30 ml white rum
15ml dry vermouth
black olives

Add the rum and vermouth to a well iced cocktail shaker, shake or stir to chill, then pour into a chilled martini glass with black olive garnish.