Home Cooking

Home made pizza


Homemade pizza. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with this. The ingredients:

  • Pizza base. You can buy this pre-made from the supermarket. Please don’t, it’s awful. We have a sneaky trick to a good base. Get your bread maker to do the kneading cycle on either your own bread recipe or supermarket bread mix. So much better. And fresh. And you can claim homemade.
  • The tomato sauce. At its simplest level, this can be San Marzano tomatoes straight out of the tin, possiby warmed. Alternatively, my easy pasta sauce: heat a tin of tomatoes, a crushed garlic clove, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a small handful of chopped basil. Heat until the olive oil is blended in and the sauce is bubbling slightly.
  • Mozzarella. This can range from the supermarket’s own up to artisan burrata. There’s not much to choose here. It melts and is slightly burned. As long as it’s cheesy and stringy, you’re fine.
  • Toppings is where it gets really funky. My favourite place has the following toppings at the moment:
    • Margherita. As simple as it gets.
    • Goats cheese and chutney.
    • Pepperoni. A classic.
    • Laverbread, samphire, cockles, local artisan lardons. It’s Wales. What do you expect?
    • Nduja. A spicy, melty sausage. Very good.
    • Aubergine.
    • Very garlic.
    • Prosciutto.
  • A white, tomato-less one of some sort.
  • Equally, my favourite Pizza Express topping, the Veneziana:
    • Pine kernels, red onion, baby capers, black olives, sultanas. Such a lovely combination of sweet and savoury.
  • And finally on my list, the one that is the Marmite of pizza toppings:
    • Ham and pineapple. Do this with good artisan ham and the saltiness is offset by the slightly charred sweetness of the pineapple.

And there you have it. The werewithal to make your own pizza. For extra points, make a sourdough base!


Home Cooking, Ingredients

Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves are funny things. Straight off the tree, they’re lovely and aromatic. Throw them into a beef casserole and Ragù and they disappear. But the weird thing is that even if they don’t have the up-front taste of dried, powdered cumin, or fresh coriander, you’d miss them if they were gone.

Essential recipes that use bay leaves are:

Beef stew. This is the jamie Oliver version and you can’t go far wrong with it. By all means add parsnips, swedes, turnips, more tomatoes, beer, some paprika. Very hard to mess this up.

Bolognese sauce. Another Jamie recipe that’s hard to get wrong. I like to add green pepper. I like the astringency. It’s just as good the day after, if not better.

The BBC would have us try sole wrapped in prosciutto with bay leaf sauce.I’m not convinced how that would work out.

As an alternative, a bay seasoning to leek and potato soup. That’s more normal.

In the Guardian Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a few ideas. These involve mackerel, lentils and burnt cream. Two out of three isn’t bad.

Great British Chefs hasn’t got anything featuring bay. Likewise Delia Smith.

Again, the BBC recommends bay-infused olive oil. I like that. Might give it a stab next time the tree gets trimmed.

So there you have it. Very little that features bay, but lots of recipes that include it.


Korean Beef Tacos

Korean Beef Tacos - Whoa. Guys. These are the most mind-blowing tacos EVER! Filled with everyone's favorite Korean beef, caramelized kimchi + Sriracha mayo!

Whoa. Guys. These are the most mind-blowing tacos EVER! Filled with everyone’s favorite Korean beef, caramelized kimchi + Sriracha mayo!

Korean Beef Tacos - Whoa. Guys. These are the most mind-blowing tacos EVER! Filled with everyone's favorite Korean beef, caramelized kimchi + Sriracha mayo!

I feel like I have been all over the place these last 10 days. I was in Arkansas last weekend, then flew off to Minneapolis for a quick work trip at the General Mills headquarters, then worked at the studio in downtown Los Angeles for two days, and now I’m off to Ecuador tomorrow morning!

I literally have been all over the place. But the only thing keeping me sane right now are these tacos.

These Korean beef tacos that are absolutely to die for.

I don’t know if it’s the Korean beef, the caramelized kimchi or the Sriracha mayo, or the combination of everything neatly tucked in a mini flour tortilla.

It’s just amazing. And I’ve had about 17 of these while packing for my next trip.

Maybe I can pack 3-5 for the flight? The passenger sitting next to me probably won’t mind, right?

Korean Beef Tacos - Whoa. Guys. These are the most mind-blowing tacos EVER! Filled with everyone's favorite Korean beef, caramelized kimchi + Sriracha mayo!

Korean Beef Tacos

Whoa. Guys. These are the most mind-blowing tacos EVER! Filled with everyone’s favorite Korean beef, caramelized kimchi + Sriracha mayo!


For the Korean beef

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces ground beef

For the kimchi

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the Sriracha mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

For the tacos

  • 12 mini flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. FOR THE KOREAN BEEF: In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ginger.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in soy sauce mixture until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes; set aside.
  4. FOR THE KIMCHI: Heat sesame oil in small skillet over medium high heat. Add kimchi and sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, until caramelized and heated through, about 3-5 minutes; set aside.
  5. FOR THE SRIRACHA MAYONNAISE: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Sriracha and lime juice; set aside.
  6. FOR THE TACOS: Serve ground beef mixture in tortillas, topped with kimchi, red onion, cilantro and sesame seeds, drizzled with Sriracha mayonnaise.

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