Celebratory Pizza

Saturday.  Buoyed by Scotland’s unlikely win against England in the rugby this afternoon, a jubilant D has volunteered to make us a celebratory pizza for tonight’s dinner.  His last attempt, though very tasty, was a bit doughy and heavy.  Can he perfect it tonight? 

17:30 – He’s making the sauce and garlicky aromas are wafting through the house.  Now, this part was absolutely perfect last time.  In fact, I thought his tomato sauce was better than the version that I’ve been making for years and it’s far simpler to make. 

Tomato Sauce for Pizza and Pasta

1 tblspn extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Small handful of basil, torn up

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

  • Warm the oil in a small pan over a medium low heat.
  • Add the garlic and fry gently until starting to turn golden.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and basil leaves.  Stir well and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

18:00 – Sauce is ready and I got to taste it.  Yummy.

18:03 – My kitchen is trembling.  He’s about to make the dough.  The work surfaces are still raw from being scrubbed to a flour free state (by me, can I add) last time pizza dough was made. 

18:05 – D has just shouted at me for repeatedly calling out “What are you doing now?”  Apparently it’s distracting.  Wonder how he’s going to react when I start taking pictures?

Pizza Dough Recipe

D is following a recipe identical to the one found here.  For visual instructions, click here. 

18:24 – The dough is coming together nicely.  D appears to be mellowing as he has not reacted at all to me hovering around with my camera. 

18:30 – The dough is resting.  D is covered in flour and is leaving a trail of white powder wherever he goes.

 18:50 – Oven’s on.  Dough’s being rolled.  Toppings are chopped.  Tonight we’re having chorizo, red onion and mozzarella. 

18:55 – Oh, it’s all looking wonderful.  I’m starving. 

19:05 – Disaster has struck.  One pizza went in the oven, no problem.  The second, which is D’s, stuck to the work surface.  Our attempts to move it have resulted in a mangled mess.  It’s in the oven anyway. 

19:20 – Time to eat! 

Pizza number one looks like this –

 Pizza number two (no giggling, now) looks like this –

20:00  – Both pizzas tasted fantastic.  I’m stuffed and the kitchen is covered in flour.  It’s going to have to stay that way until tomorrow as we’re off to the pub. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Cabbage

Late on Saturday afternoon Gen, Rufus and I made a trip to my local garden centre to try and find Mother’s Day presents for (oddly enough) our mums.  It was a great success for, not only did I find the perfect gift, I also discovered a newly opened farm shop in the garden centre’s car park.  Full of fresh fruit, veg and meat, the produce is grown/reared east of Inverness in the Ardersier/Nairn area and I was utterly delighted at the amount of information the shop keeper could give me about the vegetables. 

After spending an unnecessary amount of time gushing over the various roots and brassicas, I eventually settled on buying some purple sprouting broccoli (which I feasted on tonight) and this rather beautiful cabbage. 

Isn’t it pretty?   So taken was I with this particular vegetable that I spent an hour on Sunday afternoon searching my cookbooks for a recipe which would let the cabbage shine.  I came across some tempting cabbage roll recipes and a few interesting sounding soups but in the end I abandoned the cookbooks and made a very simple dish of cabbage and ham.

Result?  I licked the plate clean.  🙂

Cabbage and Bacon

(serves one for lunch)

3 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped roughly

250g cabbage leaves, stalks cut out, leaves shredded

Salt and pepper

1 tblspn creme fraiche (optional)

  • Add the bacon to a non-stick frying pan and warm over a medium heat.  After a few minutes the bacon will begin to release it’s fat.  Cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the cabbage to the pan and combine well with the bacon.  Increase the heat slightly and saute for 5-7 more minutes until the cabbage is wilted and soft. 
  • Add the creme fraiche and season carefully (remember the bacon will have added a lot of salt to the dish already). 
  • Serve on its own or atop some toasted bread.

Rufus

Rufus and his human are here for the weekend.  We’re all cosied up on the sofa now after a beautiful walk up the Fairy Glen on the Black Isle.  Can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.  🙂

P.S. We are not terribly sure who the dog in the last picture is.  He just wandered out of the woods, stared at us for a while and wandered off.