Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day for the Lazy Person

The best thing about having a boyfriend that eats anything is that, when I'm feeling lazy, I can make anything and he'd appreciate it. What better way to say "I love you" than with carefully selected pizza toppings? As long as I don't put salmon or tuna in it -then it probably says "I forgot that you hate salmon and tuna. I've also gone crazy and decided to put strong tasting fish and cheese on a pizza. But I love you??"
Onion marmalade base, button mushrooms, baby spinach, chorizo, olives and feta
The most important part of a pizza, however, is not the toppings but the base. Although the recipe itself is simple, having the right tools and know how is the difference between an unevenly cooked pizza base and a deliciagasm in your mouth a la the Wood Fired Pizza people.

Raw ingredients for my fancy pizza (assembled above)
Step 7: Make 2 crosswise incisions and rub the top with olive oil. This will prevent the surface of the dough from breaking too much while rising.
I haven't actually made pizza base in a while so I was a bit apprehensive when I brought out my ingredients. No fear though, Jason is obliged to like it (or lie if he doesn't) -it is Valentines Day after all.  

Step 8: Definitely better with the new yeast. Look how much it's risen! It's now ready for punching!

Step 8: Punch that sucker down to get rid of air bubbles!
It turns out that I was right to be careful.. After 10 minutes of waiting, my yeast mixture still looked very dull and unhappenin' and not even a water bath could save it. I then remembered that the yeast had been in my pantry for a good few years now and probably doesn't feel very active. Nothing a quick trip to the local supermarket can't fix!

Don't let the bright packaging fool you, the lack of ingredients is very disappointing
..While there, I found the frozen foods aisle and smiled to myself knowing that I wouldn't have to eat frozen pizza tonight.. 

Raw ingredients for my family pizza

Tomato and cheddar cheese base, tomato, baby spinach and ham
One of my friends sent me a link to the ultimate pizza dough site which gives tips on making the perfect base. Basically for the best tasting dough, three to five days of cold fermentation will dramatically improving your dough's flavor, texture, and workability.Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to prepare the dough 3 days earlier so I had to make do with made "on-the-day" dough. Luckily my pizza base turned out AWESOME! So, if you're in a hurry and making some last minute pizza, say tosh to the pizza guy! But, if you're a true pizza lover or an experimentalist like myself, do give cold fermentation a go and you shall be rewarded!

Ultimate pizza: best of both worlds -Tomato and cheddar base, olives, baby spinach, chorizo, ham and feta
The best thing about pizza is that it's impossible to make one that you don't like because YOU choose what YOU want to put on it and it is usually something that YOU love to eat! YOU! I like meat and cheese -the spinach is there because I feel as if I should have veggies in my diet.

But if you absolutely have no confidence in your pizza toppings picking ability, here are a few classics I stand by:

  • Pizza Margherita -Basil, tomatoes and shredded mozzarella on a tomato sauce base.
  • Pizza al Prosciutto -Ham, tomato, mozzarella on a tomato sauce base
  • Hawaiian -Ham, pineapple and cheese on a tomato sauce base
  • Meat Lovers -Chicken, bacon, beef mince, salami, ham, capsicum, BBQ sauce, pineapple, cheese on a tomato base. Basically any and every meat you can think of.

Simplest Pizza Dough Recipe

Flour, yeast, olive oil, warm water and salt


1 Tbs active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups flour (and more for later)
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt


1. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast on the warm water and stir to dissolve. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes.
2. Sift flour in a seperate bowl.
3. Make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture, olive oil and salt and mix.
4. Once it forms a dough, sprinkle some flour on the work surface and place the dough on top.
5. Knead the dough briefly with your hands pushing and folding. Knead just long enough for the dough to take in a little more flour, and until it no longer sticking to your hands. 
6. With your hand, spread a little olive oil inside a bowl and transfer the dough into the bowl.
7. On the top of the dough, make two incisions that cross, and spread with a very small amount of olive oil and then cover with a tea towel. Set aside for approximately 1½ – 2 hours until the dough doubles in volume.
8. When the dough is double its original size, punch it down to eliminate the air bubbles.  

And what's pizza without fries? Kumara fries at that!

Making kumara fries
These are the easiest side dishes to make. Chop up some kumara (sweet potato), cover with olive oil, salt and pepper, bake and voila! Awesome!

Goes very well with aioli dip
 Even simpler Kumara Fries


2 large Kumara, washed and dried
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, for a little heat)
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Cut the Kumara into 1 cm fries. Toss with olive oil, salt, cayenne and pepper.
3. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes until the fries are tender and beginning to brown. Serve hot with aioli.

Best of Both Worlds pizza going into the oven
This was followed by video games of the retro kind.

What better way to say "I love you" than a NES?
Super Mario and Super Contra. Games of my childhood.

I think I'm in love, guys.

All recipes are on Petitchef


  1. Hehe you made your own pizza dough-that's not lazy at all! You're right, home made pizza is always going to be good as you get to choose what toppings you have. Happy Valentines day!

  2. What a lovely valentines... making pizza dough is hard
    Thanks for dropping by... work... why would you call ureself lazy... I'd call me lazy when a bag of popcorn is dinner ;)

    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts