Margherita Pizza

Well if this isn't the simplest pizza to make, then this isn't Messy Red Apron.

The pizza sauce in this recipe is a 'what you got' type of homemade pizza sauce. The kind where you reach deep into the overstocked shelves of your pantry & pull out varying ingredients to use and hope for the best.  You can really make something great in these moments.

Here's what you'll need:
Pizza Sauce:
4-5 ripened roma tomatoes (diced roughly)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp sambal olek (or to taste)
handful of fresh oregano (roughly chopped)
couple of generous pinches of sugar

Rest of the pizza ingredients:
Pizza base of your choice (homemade, store bought)
Garlic clove
Mozzarella (grated)
fresh Basil

Here's how to do it:
Preheat oven to 220degrees.

To make the pizza sauce: In a medium saucepan, add tomatoes, soy sauce, tomato paste, sambal olek, oregano & sugar.  Cook over medium to low heat until tomato mixture starts to reduce.  Simmer over low heat until it reaches your desired consistency.  That simple.  Be aware...this pizza sauce has a decent kick to it.

To assemble the pizza: Rub garlic over pizza base.  Spread a few generous tablespoons of pizza sauce over base.  Place 6-7 cherries of bocconcini over pizza sauce and top with mozzarella.  Cook in 220 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese has melted and base is crispy.

Remove from oven and sprinkle over roughly torn basil leaves.  Cut to your preferred slice size and enjoy.

This really was a simple yet tasty margherita pizza.  Everyone should try it.

Margherita pizza
(I have to confess.  This isn't the picture of the pizza I made, I got this picture from here. Our pizza looked so tasty that we couldn't wait to tuck in!  It was gone in seconds.)

Homemade version of Angus the third - Mcdonalds

My very first post to this blog was a homemade version of Hungry Jack's alfresco whopper.  Well guess what, Mcdonald's came out with a beaut of a burger and H2B and I had to try it at home.

Here's your shopping list: 
burger buns
wagyu beef patties
tomato relish (we used Aussie bush sauce - we got a bottle from the Ekka)

Here's how to do it:
Get your man to cook the wagyu beef patties over a nice hot flame on the barbie.  Just before he decides it's cooked, wack on a slice of cheese and allow it to melt slightly.  Lightly toast buns on barbie aswell.

Once ready, load your bun in the following order; beef patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, bush sauce, aioli.

It really is that simple.  The wagyu beef patty was sublime and melted in your mouth.

Our version:

Wagyu beef burger with bush sauce and aioli

Mcdonald's version:

Angus the third

A week of food in review...

Sometime over the last month or two I took photos of every dinner meal I ate for a week.  Like a showcase of my extraordinary talents!  It was great fun, especially looking back at the end of the week to see what creations you made and recount the great tastes or gigantic flops.

Sunday night - tacos 

Nacho taco

nacho taco

stand and stuff taco
Monday night - Bruschetta two ways

Tomato & Basil and  Garlic Mushroom
Tuesday night - Chicken stuffed with Camembert and pesto

Camembert and pesto stuffed chicken
Ok, so this was all we had on the plate and didn't turn out so good, but it tasty yummy!

Wednesday lunch - fish & chips

Spiced barramundi with beer battered wedges
This was the first time for a very long time that we cooked fish, we've always been scared we'd over cook it.  This turned out quite well (done with foil in oven).  This is topped with a drizzle of hollandaise.

Wednesday night - barramundi & mayo bruschetta

barramundi & mayo on bruschetta
Thursday night - marinated pork ribs with sweet potato mash

marinated pork ribs with sweet potato mash

Friday night - tandoori chicken with naan

tandoori chicken with naan

There is nothing on that weeks meal plan that I would not have again, it was gastronomically awesome.

Choc Ripple, White Chocolate & Raspberry swirl Cheesecake

Serves 8
300g choc ripple biscuits
80g butter, melted
2x 250g packs Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 cup castor sugar
300g white choc melts
1 tablespoon gelatine
1 1/2 tablespoones hot water
1/2 cup whipped cream
300g raspberries

Here's how to do it:
In a food processor, process biscuits until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.  Add butter and process until combined.  Press mixture into a 9" spring-form tin and refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Melt choc bits and set aside to cool slightly.

Beat cream cheese until soft, add sugar and melted chocolate and combine until smooth and sugar dissolved.  In a separate bowl whisk gelatine and hot water until dissolved, add to filling and beat until combined.  Fold in whipped cream.

Separate mixture into two bowls.  In one bowl add raspberries and fold through then pour onto the base.  Pour remaining mixture on top of raspberry filling and using a bamboo stick swirl both mixtures together.

Cover and refrigerate until set.

Replace biscuit base for sponge cake
Exchange berries for passionfruit or maltesers

I had some issues with my choice of raspberries.  I opted to get frozen rather than fresh and found them to be soggy and mushy.  The original recipe was to add half the raspberries to the filling and the remaining on raspberries on top.  I did this and it ended up looking like a bright pink cheesecake with mushy raspberries.  Next time I will divide the mixture in two as mentioned in the recipe above.

Visual appeal aside, the cheesecake went down well with the family.


Sausage Roll

Sausage Roll

If you're like me, eating a sausage roll leaves a pasty taste on the roof of your mouth and once you've finished  eating you notice the packaging has turned transparent from all the oil in the roll. Yuck!  So when I happened upon this recipe of a homemade sausage roll, I knew I had to try it.  I am always on the prowl for quick, easy, tasty & minimal ingredient recipes and this one ticks all the boxes.

I found this recipe on Better Homes and Gardens .

Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion - diced
1 carrot - grated
2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons mixed herbs or Italian herbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
500g beef mince
250g pork mince
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs plus extra
2 tablespoons soy sauce
puff pastry

Here's how to do it:
Heat oven to 200degrees.

Prepare onion & carrot, remove puff pastry from freezer.

Heat oil in fry pan, add onion & carrot.  Cook until just tender.  Add garlic, herbs & tomato paste & cook until mixture just starts to stick to pan.  Transfer to bowl.

Add mince & eggs to mixture and stir.  The more you stir the better the mince mixture will hold together.

Once combined, add breadcrumbs and soy sauce.  Mix through.

Roll mixture into logs about the length of your pastry sheet and about 3 cm thick.  Roll each log in extra breadcrumbs.  According to BH&G this will help soak up moisture and make a crispier pastry.

Lightly brush the sheet of pastry with an egg wash before putting on the mince.  Roll pastry until it overlaps itself by 1 cm, trim remaining pastry.  Place sausage roll seam side down onto a baking tray.  Repeat for remaining mixture.  Cut rolls in half (or desired size) and brush with egg wash.

Cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve hot with lashings of tomato sauce.

My partner and I used two sheets of pastry (which created four medium sausage rolls) and used the remaining mince mixture to make meat balls.  Simply roll balls in breadcrumbs, place in fridge so that they'll hold together when frying.  Heat small amount of oil & cook in batches.  Drain.  To the pan add your favourite bottled sauce and start to warm through, add meat balls and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.  Add your favourite pasta (we had spaghetti), serve with Parmesan cheese.  Spaghetti and Meatballs - how can you go wrong!  Left overs anyone?


Shirred Eggs

Shirred Eggs

I had never heard of shirred eggs until I saw it on a program called The Essence of Emeril and it seemed pretty darn easy.  One lazy Saturday morning for brunch I thought I'd give it a shot.  Mind you, I didn't have all the ingredients and wasn't ready to get out of my pj's so I made do with what I had in the fridge. Here's my version:

Serves 2
1/2 teaspoon butter
2 large slices of ham
4 eggs
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons cream
4 tablespoons cheddar cheese - grated

Here's how to do it:
Heat oven to 190degrees.

Smear ramekins with butter and line each with a slice of ham, making sure it sits flat on the bottom.

Using 2 separate bowls, crack one egg into each.  At the same time, pour eggs into 1 ramekin.  The eggs should sit side by side.  Repeat with remaining eggs.  Season with salt & pepper.

Put the ramekins onto a baking tray and transfer to oven.  Bake for about 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and and lightly drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of cream over each ramekin. Be careful not to break the yolk.  Sprinkle with cheese and place back in oven for another 12 minutes or until egg is cooked but yolk is still runny. If you don't like runny eggs, simply cook for a bit longer.

Take out of oven and serve hot with buttered toast soldiers.

This recipe is very rich, creamy & filling.

Next time we will definitely try using Swiss cheese & herbs.



Homemade version of Alfresco Whopper - Hungry Jacks

With a whopping 45.1g fat, the Hungry Jacks Alfresco Whopper is a heart stopper.  Although the combination of beef, bacon, cheese, salad, guacamole & aioli sauce sounded irresistible.

So one Saturday afternoon my partner and I found ourselves making a homemade version.  Let me just say it was so easy to make in fact it was even easier than driving through a drive thru! Oh and by the way, you still get the 'sauce dripping down your arm' like you do with all HJ burgers

Here's your shopping list:
Bread rolls
Aioli (we like lime or carmelised onion)
Bacon rashes
Beef patties (premade from your local butcher or make your own)

Here's how to do it:
Using a griddle pan on high heat, sear your patty for about 2-3 minutes on each side. (this will give you that authentic Hungry Jacks grilled looked)  Reduce to medium heat and depending on the thickness of your patty continue to cook for another 4 minutes or so on each side.  Add bacon to the pan and cook to desired crispness.

While your patty is 'flame grilling', mash up your avocado, slice tomato & cheese and shred lettuce.  Now you're ready to build your Alfresco Whopper.

Starting on the base of the bun pile up your ingredients in the following order: patty, cheese, bacon, dollop of aioli, tomato, lettuce. Smear avocado on to the remaining half of bun and then put it avocado side down on top of lettuce. You're done!

So the next time you're thinking about getting the dreaded take-away for dinner, re think your choice.  It is much more healthier to make your own version from fresh ingredients and so much yummier!

Our version:

Hungry Jacks Version:

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