Double Trouble Pizza Dough

Double Trouble Pizza Dough

I’ve been known to take a six hour round trip journey on a dodgy bus to a market town for nothing else than fantastic pizza. Several times.

Once I brought an extra back to my hostel and popped it in my fridge to enjoy in the wee, not-so-sober hours. Some fucker ate it and let’s just say his eating days are over.

This pizza is just as good and doesn’t involve felonies. It also makes 2 pizzas worth of dough (hence the clickbait name).

Bon app├ętit.

What you need:

  • 500g of 00 flour
  • 15g of dry, active yeast
  • 4g of sugar
  • 4g of salt
  • 325ml warm water
  • 1tbsp of olive oil

What to do:

Start by pouring your water into the bowl you intend to mix in; add the sugar and yeast. Give it a little stir to dissolve the sugar and walk away for a few moments to let the yeast bubble and bloom. Pour a G&T or something (and that’s an order. Unless you’re not into that, then get some water and stay hydrated, amigo).

Once blooming, add your flour, salt and olive oil. If you’re a lazy ho like me you’ll pop this in the mixer with a dough hook attachment and let that bugger run for about 5 minutes. If you’re more of the “I’ve got to work this off” type of person (welcome! we’re talking about carbs) knead the dough on a floured surface for about ten minutes until the dough is soft, supple and ready for action.

Lightly oil the bowl and pop the dough back in, making sure it’s lightly coated in the olive oil to prevent it from sticking everywhere and ruining your life. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (I additionally use an elastic band around the lip of the bowl to keep the wrap sealed) and let rise for about an hour. Be sure to put it somewhere that is completely in the way of not only yourself, but everyone else. Nothing screams “I’m a boujee kitchen queen” more than leaving your shit everywhere for people to deal with.

Once doubled in size, punch the dough down to deflate it and tip it out on to, yet again, a floured surface and give it a little knead just to bring it together. At this point, cut it in half to form two dough balls; I wrap one back up in the plastic wrap and freeze it as these defrost brilliantly. The other can sit aside while you prepare your crown jewels to top it with. Once your toppings are ready, take the dough and stretch it out nice and thinly onto your baking tray (lined with parchment might I suggest, and sprinkled with some semolina if you have any? What’s that, a rogue ingredient not in the list? ARE YOU MAD WOMAN).

Toppings vary in this house; sometimes it’s a simple margherita, other times a spicy buffalo chicken, but on this occasion it was a garish pepperoni that won the vote. Most of the time, my sauce is simply some good, organic tomato paste that I mix with oregano, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of sugar. I always microplane some Parmesan over the base before adding the rest of the cheese (that I refuse to grate as grating cheese is one of the few kitchen tasks that I loathe).

Let’s be honest with each other, pizza toppings are controversial and I’m not here how to tell you to live your life. Do your thing, let your freak flag fly and whenever you’re done that, bake the pizza at 425F for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and your crust is lightly golden and looking good enough to eat (because guess what it’s there for?).

Give it a few minutes before you hack it into incredible uneven slices.

All that’s left is to take that drink and a couple of slices over to my heated blanket and watch Drag Race and there’s nothing you bitches can do to stop me.

Devour, munch, enjoy.

(bloody hell that’s good) Wonton Soup

(bloody hell that’s good) Wonton Soup

I took a ten year hiatus from soup.

I was fed soup (mostly an oily broth with potatoes etc floating in it) for about three months straight but that’s not what started the hiatus. It was the day that I was morosely hungover and was taken to a local market for something to ‘cure it’. In front of me was placed a cloudy bowl of broth and as I raised the spoon out of the deep something else came out first.

A chicken foot.

Now I know that they give fantastic flavour to any dish, and I’m a great believer that if you’re going to cook with meat it’s best to respect that sacrifice and use as much of the animal as possible.

But on that day I was not fucking having it.

If this wonton soup spackled over the trauma of that memory for me, it’ll at least make you smile. It’s bloody good. And for the record this is NOT a “traditional” or “authentic” recipe and if authentic tradition is what you’re looking for, bitch you’re at the wrong blog.

What you need:

  • Wontons:
  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1tbsp ginger, grated (approx. 1″ piece)
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1tbsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp five spice
  • 1 tsp porcini powder (if you can’t find this, no big deal)
  • 1 stock cube (I use no sodium chicken ones; you do you, chief)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 pack of wonton wrappers
  • Cooking broth:
  • handful dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 stock cube
  • Flavour bomb:
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • .5 tsp sesame oil
  • .5 tsp shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1tsp rice vinegar
  • 1tsp spicy chili crisp (or if you’re an animal like moi, a lot more)
  • Veggies:
  • Bok Choy, thinly sliced
  • Spring onions, thinly sliced

What to do:

Before you do anything else, chuck the mushrooms and the stock cube in a saucepan and top with about 4 cups of water from the kettle. The longer you can leave the mushrooms to steep, the deeper flavour you’ll get out of them. Leave this to the side while you get the rest going.

Believe it or not, to make wonton soup you need wontons so here we go:

Combine all the wonton ingredients in a bowl (except the wrappers, you muppet) and mix th-ou-rough-ly. The more you mix, the better your mixture will bind and it’ll soon become sticky.

Next, get your wrappers out and begin filling, folding and sealing these bad boys. You’ll need only about two teaspoons of pork mix per wonton, and some water nearby that you’ll use as a glue of sorts (by dipping a finger in and just running it along the edges of the wrappers. There are about five thousand ways to wrap wontons so I suggest looking for different methods that you like best. I watched the video below and used the second method shown:

For the record, yes there are also a thousand videos on YouTube about this; 56 seconds was all the patience I had at the time but if you have more, go find another one. I aint yo’ mamma.

As you make them, place them on a tray lined with parchment and when the tray is full and you’ve used up all your mixture, shove it precariously in the freezer and hope to god you don’t hear everything crash down when you shut the door. You’ll be making far more wontons than you need, so freezing them all is the most efficient way to go as they cook up a treat straight from frozen.

While you’re waiting for them to freeze up, clean up the kitchen you animal. It’s a mess. How dare you.

Get your bowls that you’ll use to serve and pour in the flavour bomb ingredients, then add the veggies. When the wontons are cooked, we’re going to pour the cooking broth over this flavour bomby goodness and thus will start world peace with the fucking magic that we’ve made (and we’ll revel in the deep irony of the past sentence).

When the wontons are frozen, get your mushrooms out of the stock and discard (I personally find them too rubbery to use), then bring the stock to a boil. Once boiling, throw in your wontons and be sure to stir them occasionally to stop them from sticking as they cook. In about 5- 10 minutes (or when they start floating to the top), they’ll be done.

Dish up the wontons into your serving bowls and then ladle that brothy goodness over top.

I don’t think I’ve said ‘wonton’ enough here.

Slurp, wonton, munch, enjoy.

Pimp my leftover roast beef.

Pimp my leftover roast beef.

Picture it; you busted your ass making a gorgeous roast beef dinner. The meat was perfection, the veggies were divine, the gravy, oh magnificent. It’s 24 hours later and you’re stood in front of your open fridge, staring at the remnants that remain; cold, sad, uninspiring. You feel yourself reaching for your phone, the faint voice cries in your head ‘just fucking order a pizzaaaaa’.

STOP. Halt. Wait. Okay I’m the absolute first person in line for a pizza but are you really going to let this pathetic little piece of beef and his roasted veggie friends mock you like that? Sit there in defiance as they know that they’ve beaten you? Oh hell no.

Get those little bastards out of the fridge. Time to show them who’s boss. Bitches, we’re making pie. Not only are we making pie, but we’re making roast beef and veggie pie with motherfucking home made cheesy pastry now LET’S GO.

What you need:

For the pastry: see the rough puff pastry recipe.

Aged cheddar

For the pie filling:

Leftover gravy (if you don’t have this, see below)

1/4 onion, finely chopped

2tbsp butter

2tbsp flour

1-1/2 cup of stock of your choice

1tbsp lea and perrins (I refuse to list the actual sauce’s name because you’re all going to butcher the pronunciation).

Leftover veggies

Leftover beef from this recipe

Handful of frozen peas

Handful of mushrooms

What to do:

First up, make your pastry (or use some store bought puff pastry, pansy). While it’s resting in the fridge, see below.

If you’ve got enough leftover gravy to generously cover your leftovers, then pour a drink. Otherwise do the following:

Heat a pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil; add the onions and a pinch of salt and some pepper and then cook to soften them up. Once soft, add your butter and stir to melt, then add your flour. As you stir the flour in you’re definitely going to have a moment of ‘oh god I’ve fucked it up’ but you haven’t I promise. Things will turn clumpy, but clumpy is the goal. Clumpy, with no white flour anywhere in the pan (this will take about 30 seconds or so).

Add your stock a small splash at a time, it’ll start to loosen the clumps but stir as you go, and as you add more stock you’ll notice this turning into a thick bloody nice sauce. Once you’ve used all your stock, season the sauce some more and add the Lee and Perrins. Stir again, and get fancy with adding more flavourings and herbs if you like. Once you’re happy with the taste, pour it into a jug and set aside until you need it.

At this point, clean the pan out and put it back on the heat with some olive oil; while it warms up, chop up your mushrooms (I don’t like to chop them too fine here), and run the knife through your leftover roasted veggies too. Once the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and veggies. Season and stir every now and then; the mushrooms will start to brown a bit and the leftover veg will come back to life. After the mushrooms start to brown, throw in your peas and cook for another few minutes. Once the peas are done, take off the heat.

Now chop up your beef (in any god damn way you want because who’s the boss? YOU’RE the boss) and mix the beef, the veggie mix and the gravy all together in your pie dish. Set that mamma jamma aside while you get funky with the pastry.

Roll the pastry out (you’ll only need about a third of what you made with the recipe; keep the rest covered in the fridge for using over the next few days). Roll out a circle about 1cm thick, and just slightly bigger than your pie tin. Before cutting it to an exact, aesthetically pleasing circle, grate your cheddar over the pastry (just enough to cover the centre part of the dough) and then fold the outside back over the cheese to cover it all up. Use the rolling pin to roll it out again (some cheese might poke through but who ever cared about that?).

Now (if needed), cut the right size circle out from your pastry. Beat an egg in a small dish and brush a little around the edges of the pastry (to help it stick to the tin) and then place the pastry, egg side down, on your pie tin (it’s okay if the filling mounds a bit and your pastry lays on top; in fact that’s best). Press the pastry on to the edge of the tin and, if you’re feeling posh, seal it more with a fork around the edges.

Since you’ve faffed around with this pastry for a while, pop the pie back in the fridge while your oven heats up to 425f.

Once the oven is ready, get the pie out and, with a paring knife, slice a few slits in the pastry (in whatever pattern you want) to allow steam to escape. Brush with the rest of the egg wash and throw it in the oven for about half an hour, or until the pastry has puffed up and is golden.

This bugger will be steaming and bubbling when you take it out so for gods sake leave it a moment before diving in.

Scoop, serve, munch, enjoy.