Mikedowney.co.uk
What's New
Site Map

Diary
Astronomy
Bits N Bobs
Computing
Food And Drink
Links
Photography
Welcome


Recipe Collections
Recipe A Week 2013
Recipe A Week 2010
A-Z of Regional Cakes
Alphabet of Nations


Selected Entries
Pinhole Photography
Keeping Quail
Coventry
Recipes
A different recipe each week
Friends websites
Oven Temperatures and Measuring Cups


Most popular stories
A Hamster's Home is his C...
Hamster Peanuts
Simple HDR photography wi...
A Tangfastic Mess
Halloween Animal Beds
Decaffeinated Coffee
Garden Fountain
Pizza, Hamsters and Ballo...
Hamster Baby Update
More Squirrel Photos
Not Quite HDR photography


RSS Feeds:
RSS Feed Entire Site.
RSS Feed Diary only.



Powered by Blosxom


Pinhole Photography Ring
pinhole webring logo
powered by RingSurf
Next | Previous
Random Site | List Sites

Turkey Pizza Base

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / pizza /
09/Apr/2016

Last week I mentioned the chicken pizza base. We also occasionally make a pizza base using turkey mince. It's made from mince, seasoning and an egg. The mixture is quite sloppy so it needs to be spooned into a pan and spread out to cook.

Turkey Pizza Base

After it has cooked, it gets topped and cooked in the oven as before, to let the cheese melt.



Chicken Pizza Base

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / pizza /
02/Apr/2016

We have been experimenting with alternative pizza bases recently. I had already tried a root potato pizza base a few years ago and we did one again recently. Something else we've been trying is removing the bread altogether, putting the meat on the bottom with vegetables and cheese on top

Chicken Pizza Base

We took a chicken breast, flattened it out then fried it. After that it was topped with tomato sauce, vegetables and cheese. Since the base and vegetables were pre-cooked, it only needed to go in the oven until the cheese had melted.

(Reposted from The Pizza Blog)



Cheesy Oat Bake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
15/Feb/2015

We had a roast chicken tonight and I decided to attempt some home made stuffing. Instead of a classic sage and onion breadcrumb based recipe I adapted a cheesy oat recipe.

The original version is a potato toppped cheese, onion and oats recipe, which we normally do with leeks to give extra flavour. It's made by frying the onion or leek, along with some garlic, in a mixture of oil and butter. It's then allowed to cool and then herbs, toasted oats, grated cheese and beaten eggs are added and mixed together. The base of a tin is lined with sliced potato and the mixture is spooned on top. It's baked for half an hour and then turned upside down to serve, so the potatoes are on top.

Tonight I started off with the same ingredients but added some home-made kale pesto which was leftover from yesterday. I formed the mixture into balls and added them to the roasting tin which already had roast potatoes cooking in it.

We liked the original oat bake but the potato topping is always a bit disappointing so doing a stuffing version means you get the flavor and a crunchy coating so I think it's an improvement and worth doing again.



Scones, Cakes and Biscuits

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
01/Jan/2015

I've taken advantage of being at home over Christmas and New Year and I've managed to try a few new recipes.

Plum Slice

See more ....
We've got a lot of fruit in the freezer waiting to be used. I was looking for recipes and adapted a blackberry slice recipe to use plums. When the plums defrosted a lot of juice came out so I strained it off and simmered it to thicken it.

Sweet Potato Scones

Sweet potato and cheese scones used up one of the sweet potatoes that have been sitting in the kitchen for a few weeks. They made a tasty lunch.

Spelt Biscuits

Spelt biscuits were made using spelt flour, bread flour, butter and fruit juice. I put some powdered ginger in to give them a bit more flavour.



Spaghetti Loaf

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
17/Aug/2014

This is a recipe we've been thinking about doing for a while, ever since we first read about it. It's a similar idea to the picnic loaves which are a cross between a sandwich and a stuffed loaf.

The first step is to make the pasta sauce. We often do a 'meat sauce' in the pressure cooker, simply putting chopped vegetables (such as onion, pepper, courgette, leek, garlic) in the pan along with a tin or two of tomatoes, some herbs and seasoning and a packet of mince. The lid goes on the pressure cooker and the sauce is cooked for an hour or so.

The next step is to make the dough. For this I used my normal 'mostly white' loaf, using milk instead of water, and making the dough slightly softer than normal.

Spaghetti Loaf: Roll out the dough
Roll out the dough and sprinkle some cornmeal in the centre (this helps stop the bottom going soggy during cooking).

Spaghetti Loaf
Mix the cooked spaghetti with the sauce and spread over the dough.

See more ....
Spaghetti Loaf
Dot the pasta with diced mozzarella.

Spaghetti Loaf
Cut slits in the dough, going outwards from the pile of pasta. Fold the slits over to approximate a 'plait'. There was spare dough at the edges which we used to make doughballs. Brush the loaf with melted butter and cover with grated cheese (such as parmesan or pecorino).

Spaghetti Loaf
Bake at gas mark 4 (180C) for half an hour. I assembled the loaf on some baking parchment and transferred it to a pizza stone to cook. The loaf came out well, with no sign of a soggy bottom.

I was surprised by how straightforward this was to make. The 'meat sauce' is something we regularly make and often have in the fridge or freezer. The bread dough is quick to make and just needs to be left to prove for a few hours.

This has spurred me on to try other stuffed loaves. A couple of years ago I made a macaroni cheese pie (inspired by a pie we bought while out at a country show) so I think a macaroni loaf would work well. The cheese sauce would have to be quite thick but I can't see why it wouldn't be as good as the spaghetti loaf.



Pizza Deux Chevaux

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / pizza /
21/Jun/2014

Last month we went on a short break to Lincolnshire and brought back some locally made flavoured cheeses (the Lymm Bank cheeses we often get from the Living Heritage country shows we go to).

We have just got back from a week in France and brought back a range of different foods, including some smoked horsemeat sausages. I've probably accidentally eaten horsemeat, especially given how widespread the food contamination problem was last year but this is the first time I have knowingly eaten it.

Pizza Deux Chevaux

The pizza has slices of the sausage topped with slices of horserasish cheese so I felt that it should be called a '2 Horse Pizza'.

This post also appears on the Pizza Blog.



Macaroni Cheese

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /
08/Jan/2014

Although I prefer to cook most meals more or less from scratch, I do sometimes like the occasional bit of convenience food. We sometimes have packets of flavoured noodles or the macaroni cheese `Pasta-n-Sauce' and various supermarket brands and copies. We usually add extra vegetables and a meat, such as chicken, tuna or prawns, otherwise they aren't big enough for a meal for two.

The Kraft `Mac and Cheese' is often mentioned in American TV programmes so when I was in Chicago 3 years ago (my God is it really that long ago, time has flown!) I bought a packet to bring home to try.

The British macaroni cheese packets are straightforward to cook: the entire pack of pasta and sauce powder is added to a pan of milk and water and boiled until done.

The American version comes in a box with two packets inside. The larger pack contains the pasta which needs to be cooked separately. The smaller pack is the sauce powder. The cooked pasta is drained and then mixed with butter, milk and the packet of sauce mix.

The British version is smaller but makes more sauce with more flavour. The American version ends up with a pan of pasta with practically no sauce, the milk seems to just get absorbed into the pasta leaving a thin coating. The end result is much less satisfying than a bowl of pasta in a cheese-like sauce.

I recently bought a box of `Tropical Sun' macaroni cheese, which is cooked in the same was as the Kraft mac and cheese. It was also similar to the Kraft stuff in that it was disappointing with very little sauce and was fairly tasteless.

A bowl of proper home made macaroni cheese is much better than any of the above. It's very easy to make but takes a bit longer and is a bit more effort. The hardest part of the job is to grate the cheese. Making the roux is easy, whisking in the milk is easy, adding the cheese is easy. The only real disadvantage of making it properly is the extra washing up it generates.



Week 50 part 1: Oven baked risotto

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
10/Dec/2013

This is just a quick recipe and not part of the December/Christmas series of recipes, unless you count it as a possible use of leftover turkey. I've made many risottos in the past but always in a pan on the stove top. Tonight I decided to try an oven baked version.

I had already softened an onion and a leek in a pan before I decided to do this, so I put the rice, vegetables, half the grated cheese, the cooked chicken and stock in a pyrex dish. I added a pinch of salt and some chopped herbs, covered the dish with foil then put it in the oven at gas mark 6.

Chicken and leek risotto

It needed longer than the 18 minutes given in the recipe, closer to half an hour. I served it with the rest of the cheese and some freshly ground pepper.

The rice was well cooked but lacked the creamy texture which I normally get by stirring some soft cheese into the risotto right at the end (I didn't do that here because the pyrex dish wasn't big enough to safely mix it in without risking spilling). Next time I might try stirring some half-way through to see what it's like.



Week 37: Curly Pies

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
09/Sep/2013

This is another recipe from the Hairy Biker's European baking book. They cooked Curly Pies in the Romania episode and their suggested filling included cheese, ham, chorizo and mushrooms. I went with cheese, chorizo and falafel for mine since our stocks of suitable pie-filling foods were getting a bit low.

The pastry is more like a dough and was made by mixing together 200ml of fizzy water, a pinch of salt, a small glug (approx. 1 tbs) of vegetable oil and 270g of plain flour. This was mixed to make a soft dough which was put in the fridge to rest for half an hour.

The quantities above should make 4 pies but I halved the amounts. I split the dough into 2 and flattened them into disks then spread the filling into the centre, folding the dough over to meet and overlap in the middle.

The original recipe suggested a glaze of 2 eggs and 100ml of yoghurt. We didn't have any yoghurt so I used 1 egg and 50g of a mix of milk and cream cheese (remember I was making half the amount). After brushing a generous amount over the pies, there was a lot of the glaze mixture left over - enough to make an omelette by adding the leftover filling which wouldn't fit in the pies.

Curly Pie

I baked the pies for 35-40 minutes at gas mark 4 on our pizza stone.

Cheese and Falafel Curly Pie

The pies were good but the pastry was a little on the chewy side. The CO2 from the fizzy water had helped the dough rise a bit during cooking so the mix might work well for an emergency pizza base.



Week 31: Stromboli Pizza

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
28/Jul/2013

For this week's pizza night I decided to try a Stromboli pizza, a filled pizza which is often rolled up. The base was a normal bread/pizza base. For the filling I used vegetable chilli, chicken and cheese.

Making the Stromboli Pizza
I started by rolling the base into an oval shape. Closer to rectangular would be better but oval works well enough. I spread the base with the vegetable chilli then sprinkled chopped cooked chicken over the top.

See more ....

Making the Stromboli Pizza
Next I added grated cheese.

Making the Stromboli Pizza
The stromboli was rolled up and placed onto a hot pizza stone before being put into the centre of the oven at gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes.

The cooked Stromboli Pizza
Just before the end of cooking, I took the stromboli out of the oven and laid some sliced chilli cheese on top. I put it back in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese without letting it run all the way down the sides.

The cooked Stromboli Pizza
The final cooked product. It came out quite well although it had split along part of one side. I may have caused this by over-filling it or rolling it too tightly but that didn't detract from the eating.



Week 30: Onion Muffins

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
26/Jul/2013

This weeks recipe was based on one from the Hairy Bikers European Baking book and was a savoury onion muffin. The originals were topped with poppy seeds but I didn't have any of those so I made a few variations, topping some with onion seeds, some with grated cheese, and others weren't topped but had some chilli cheese mixed into the muffin batter before cooking.

Onion Muffins

I used red onions and one thing I noticed was that they turned green after cooking. The recipe contained baking soda, which is alkaline, so it is likely that this reacted with the anthocyanins in the onion to turn them green.

Onion Muffins



Week 22: Chicken mornay with courgette dumplings

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
27/May/2013

The inspiration for tonight's meal came from an episode of Man v. Food which we watched on TV earlier today, where they made a Hot Brown sandwich which contains turkey and mornay sauce, along with bacon. I decided to do a variation on chicken mornay and served it with courgette dumplings.

Chicken mornay with courgette dumplings

The mornay sauce contained a mixture of cheddar and pecorino cheese. The chicken breasts were flattened and fried in a little oil. These were topped with leeks, the sauce then finally capers. The courgette dumplings were made using grated courgette, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, finely chopped parsley, an egg, and seasoned with a little black pepper. These were baked in the oven until the outsides started to crisp off.



Week 21: Sourdough Pancakes and Pesto Bread

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
24/May/2013

I had planned to make a loaf of sourdough bread this week so I had my starter out in the kitchen and had been feeding it regularly (the starter usually lives in the fridge and I feed it a couple of times a week). I ended up with more starter than I needed so I thought I would have a go at making some Sourdough pancakes.

First thing this morning I stirred some milk, some more flour and a teaspoon of sugar into the starter and left it for a few hours. By lunchtime it was bubbling well again. I beat two eggs and added an teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda then stirred that into the starter, adding a bit more milk to get a pourable batter.

I poured a ladle of the batter into a small frying pan and cooked it on one side until the top was bubbling nicely. I then lifted the pancake out and put it face down into a second, larger, pan while I started the next pancake in the first pan. The second pan was big enough to hold two pancakes so they could be finished off and folded over with the cheesy filling.

At the weekend I made some rocket pesto, using ground mixed seeds, grated cheese and soft cheese. There was some left over which had been sitting in the fridge for a few days so I thought I'd see how it would go baked into a bread.

I made a standard loaf using a mixture of 50:50 bread flour and wholemeal flour and mixed the pesto in after all the other ingredients had been added. The dough had a slightly green appearance but the final baked loaf looked more normal, with some green herby flecks in. The actual bread was quite nice with a slightly cheesy taste.



Week 20 part 2: Spätzle with prawns and mussels

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
18/May/2013

I have cooked with spätzle a few times before but each time the recipe has been very similar, using onions and cheese along with whatever meat is being used in the meal. Now to be honest tonight's recipe is also a variation on the same theme. The inspiration came from here. We decision to cook this was made at the last minute so we I made a version using the ingredients we had in the house.

I cooked the noodles in a pan of boiling water, sliced an onion and a leek and cooked them in some olive oil, and grated some pecorino cheese. We had cooked prawns and mussels so they got mixed in at the end along with a splash of lemon juice and some freshly ground pepper. It was a quick and easy meal to make.



Week 14: Deep Pan Pizza

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
01/Apr/2013

This week's recipe was inspired by an episode of Man v. Food we watched last week. They were in Chicago and ate a traditional deep pan pizza. We decided to try one as part of our traditional weekly pizza night.

The Base

We started off with our normal pizza base recipe, using ¾ bread flour and ¼ yellow cornmeal. The dough was made in the usual manner and allowed to at least double in size. I then flattened it out, spread it with butter then folded it over a few times. I put the base in a 9 inch cake tin and pressed it into the edges and about an inch up the side.

See more ....
with cheese

One of the things mentioned in Man v. Food was that the deep pan pizzas are made upside down. The first thing on the base is the cheese. Here I used sliced mozarella.

with chicken and veg

The next things to go on were fried vegetables and cooked chicken. The veg were: roasted red and green peppers, diced and fried onion, leek and courgette.

with spicy tomato sauce

The sauce then goes on top. I used a spicy tomato sauce which was based on the one from the Mexican Lasagne. I simmered a pan of passata and added crushed garlic, chilli flakes, cumin, paprika, salt, sugar and balsamic vinegar.

topped with pecorino cheese and cooked

The pizza was nearly finished. I topped it with grated pecorino cheese then baked it in the oven, at gas mark 7, for about 20 minutes.

The finished product

The pizza was full of flavour and unlike anything you normally get from a take-away or supermarket. It is definitely something worth doing again. The base would work well as a kind of 'tear and share', especially if made with garlic butter or a similar flavoured butter, possibly with grated cheese or diced mozzarella folded in too.