Tag Archives: Pizza

Mini pizzas

I haven’t blogged for a while and was keen to get one out there before the year end!  So this one is a recipe/recipes that I have used a lot over recent months.  Partly because they are so quick, partly because they are relatively healthy, as you control the ingredients, and mainly because I have never been disappointed whatever combination of ingredients I have decided upon!

The main ingredient in this dish is the Buitoni mini pizza bases.  You get 8 in a pack so good for 4 people (2 pizzas each) or a good party size if you halve them after cooking.

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From there I’ve used a base topping of either creme fraiche or tinned tomatoes.  The creme fraiche topping was inspired by a trip to France earlier in the year and I have to say it is my favourite.

I usually spread some herbs on the main sauce (basil, oregano, pesto, parsley, etc).  Well some combination of these, not all!

Then on top of that I’ve added chicken or chorizo as my meat of choice (I always pre-cook the chicken to be on the safe side).  And then some vegetables from mushrooms, onions, peppers, courgette (which I usually pre-cook if I’m doing it with chicken although it’s not really necessary).

From then I might add cherry tomatoes before the cheese (I usually choose between feta or cheddar or parmesan).

I bake them in the oven for 10 mins on 220 and enjoy a great dish afterwards.  Recently we made them with our niece so they are child friendly and can be quite a good interactive cooking dish with kids.  Also I made a few for our house warming so great party food also.  I’ve tested them on various guests that came to visit and no disappointment yet even amongst foodies.  Alternatively I have a couple with salad for my dinner.  They are an easy thing to make quickly from whatever you have in the fridge so definitely my recommendation from 2014, even if they are not the most advanced dish!  Sometimes the most simple are the best 🙂

Here you have a picture of one of my favourites:

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Happy New Year to anyone reading!!!

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Filed under Cheese, Chicken, French, Healthy, Italian, Pizza

Red onion and goat’s cheese calzone

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We are six weeks into the new year and I’m finally ready to blog again.  This conforms with the cliche that life moves faster every year!  I’m about to head into a busier time for the next few weeks so it really was a case of now or never for this post!

My inspiration for this blog came from reading other food blogs; I have still found the time for that 🙂  So this is the second time that I am featuring Frugal Feeding on here:

http://frugalfeeding.com/2013/02/05/red-onion-and-goats-cheese-calzone/

He really takes some amazing pictures that you can’t help being inspired by!  I am still taking the pictures on my phone so not quite the same standard but maybe in a future life I can dedicate more time to making everything look prettier 🙂

Calzone is not a dish I eat very often and it is in fact the first time that I’ve tried to make it.  It has happy memories for me as it reminds me of my student days in Sheffield.  If it was someone’s birthday we would always go to a restaurant called K Pasa (it seemed to cover Spanish, Mexican and Italian food!) and my favourite dish was the calzone with a bolognaise sauce.  Actually I even went there for my graduation meal with my parents so it must have been one of the more “upmarket” places I knew back then 🙂

This calzone recipe is quite different to the bolognaise one but I love goat’s cheese and red onion so it had to be good!

I started by preparing the basic tomato sauce by briefly frying some garlic before gently adding the tinned tomatoes (trying to keep them whole) and the oregano.  As I had not read the recipe well, I ended up simmering the sauce for about an hour (rather than the recommended two) as I was too hungry by that time!

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Next I chopped the onions (I used 3 as I wasn’t sure I needed the full 8 calzones that the recipe makes :-)).  I softened them gently for 30 minutes and then added them to the tomato sauce, after breaking up the whole tomatoes.

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I added balsamic vinegar, olive oil and some seasoning and then moved to the difficult task of the dough…. I rolled out the pre-bought pizza base and cut it down the middle to make two rectangles!  So my excuse is that in Spain it is really difficult to buy anything other than plain white flour!  I have looked for OO flour before and never found it and also the recipe I looked at said you could use plain flour with semolina flour but that seemed impossible to find as well.  So yes, I cheated on this step 🙂  If you don’t want to cheat, apparently this recipe is very good for the dough!

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Once I had my rectangles, I added a couple of tablespoons of the onion mixture (meaning I have sauce left over to make something else today), a big slice of goat’s cheese cut into smaller chunks and a handful of rocket.  In the Frugal Feeding blog, he states that too much liquid is a problem  and I was a bit concerned at this point because there did seem to be liquid spreading from the mixture (as you can see in the picture above).  However, not a lot I could do about this now so I folded the pastry over and crimped the edges together.  Things started to get a bit messy at this point and maybe this was my punishment for using shop bought dough!  The problem was how to get the calzones onto the baking tray without them breaking.  The extra liquid meant the dough was quite elastic at this point!  In the end I could use the paper the dough came in to turn the calzones upside down onto the tray.  So maybe not the prettiest but it got them there with minimal breakages 🙂  I cooked them on 220 degrees for 20 minutes before serving.

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I was happy with the result.  For sure, they could have looked nicer and potentially been even better with home made dough but the goat’s cheese and red onion combination is really good.  Next time I might add chorizo for some extra flavour or do a completely different filling.  If you do buy the dough already made, they are not much effort and really nice for a saturday night treat.

I’m going to be travelling on and off for the next three weeks, so it will definitely be a while before the next post.  However, on a more positive note, I hope I can feature some of the food I find on my travels.  I guess if I state that in black and white on here I have to do it…

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Filed under Cheese, Food, Herbs, Italian, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian