Home made pizza

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!

 

BBC Good Food Show 2013, Whoop!

BBC Good Food Hall

Historically, I’ve avoided these things like the plague, imagining they’re dominated by big brands with a few little fish round the edge. Turns out I was wrong. Whoop!

 

I know for next time how to play it:

  • Avoid the booze at the start like the plague. Yes, gin at 11 in the morning is lovely, but a hangover at 12 can really put a crimp on the rest of your day.
  • Pace yourself. You don’t have to sample all of the things. I was feeling a bit wobbly after we’d done the floor and couldn’t really face anything by the time we got to the balcony. The girl throwing up outside had clearly overdone it.
  • Start savoury and build up to sweet. Don’t mix them!
  • Take your TIME. There’s all day.
  • Drink water.
  • Learn to blank out Jamie Oliver
  • Chillies are big. Save them for the last of the savoury.
  • There’s a whole wine thing upstairs which you’ll miss if you’ve overdone the craft gin!
  • Fancy tea and coffee is a big thing.
  • Craft gin distilleries are springing up all over the country. And vodka. There’s a distillery bar in the City.
  • There are lots of cookery courses.
  • Every man and his dog is doing chutneys, sauces and condiments. It’s getting very hard to differentiate now.

So here’s a list of the companies that stood out to me.

Food:

  • Farmison do deliveries based around Saturday Kitchen. Not completely sure how useful this is, but it’s a good tie-in.
  • Simply Cook More recipe-based box setness
  • Hellofresh Another recipe-based shipper!
  • Lemporia Very nice array of Italian artisan food. They have a place on Maltby Stret Market on Saturday. Worth a visit. Interesting alternative to Borough.
  • The Japan Centre That is all. Our supermarket in central London.
  • Mr Todiwala His pickles and chutneys stood out in a very crowded market.
  • Black Acorn do very tasty pork things.
  • The Pelagonia Range do interesting and tasty Macedonian goodies!

Drink:

  • Equalitea Huge tea importer. Biodynamic so it’s nice magic is involved.
  • Tea Studio. More tea. Cute postcards!
  • Cupari wines I like Argentinian wines. That is all.
  • Sea Island Coffee Weird and rare coffee from around the world. Want to try the Hawaiian!

There is so much more and something for every taste. Maybe there’s a case for going in with a mission, say, preserved meats, smoked foods, cheese or condiments and when you’ve exhausted that, go back and revisit things that stood out on the first lap. Certainly next time I’m going far better prepared!