Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pizza Sauce: Special Tomato Sauce

This is our favourite pizza sauce and the one we use most regularly. It tastes amazing and its worth the time to make it. We often make this recipe x4 and then freeze in single portions. It’s our go to pizza sauce and once you try it you’ll know why.

Special Tomato Sauce

Serves 1 pizza | Prep 20minutes | Cook 45 minutes | Perfect to Freeze

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
1 average size red pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped
2 tbsp Olive Oil/Rapeseed Oil
225g/8 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

* Use the best ingredients you can get as it does make a difference to the over all taste e.g get the best quality canned chopped tomatoes.

** If you are making more than one of this recipe at the same time DO NOT add any more bay leaves, just the original one is fine as otherwise it can over power the sauce.

Want to use fresh tomatoes? The original recipe uses fresh tomatoes however we only tend to do this rarely which is why I mentioned the most common version we use. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, use the same amount as mentioned and to prepare them do the following; Cut a cross in the base of each tomato and place them in a bowl. Pour on boiling water and leave for about 45 seconds. Drain, and then plunge in cold water. The skins will slide off easily. Chop the tomatoes, discarding any hard cores.

Method

1.) Fry the onion, pepper and garlic gently in the oil for 5 minutes until softened, but not browned.

2.) Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture with the tomato purée, sugar, herbs and seasoning. Stir well. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until you have a thickish sauce.

3.) Remove the bay leaf and adjust the seasoning to taste. Leave to cool completely before using. This sauce will keep well in a sealed jar or container in the fridge for up to a week.

How to Freeze

We put them sauce in a zip lock bag, if we’ve made the recipe x4 for example then we portion into single portions before freezing. When you want the sauce remove from the freezer the morning of the day you want to use it, if short for time remove from freezer and put the bag you’ve frozen into a bowl of water. It should then be ready to use within a few hours.

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Nutritional Information – one amount of sauce recipe

Calories: 152  | Total Fat: 0.5 g  Saturated: 0.1 g | Sodium: 444.6 mg  | Potassium: 500.9 g  | Total Carbs: 34.0 g Dietary Fibres: 7.1 g  Sugars: 20.1 g  | Protein: 5.0 g

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Pizza Sauce: Tomato Sauce

We have several pizza sauces we tend to use, this is a great basic one and can often be made with store cupboard ingredients.

The recipe below make enough for one pizza but its easy to double, triple etc and we often do this so we can freeze some ready for the next pizza.

Tomato Sauce

Serves 1 pizza | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 30 minutes | Perfect to Freeze

Ingredients

1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed ans chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil/Rapeseed oil
200g/7 oz canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

* Use the best quality ingredients as it really does make a difference e.g get the best quality canned chopped tomatoes.

** If your making this this recipe and doubling it or more then DO NOT add more bay leaves, just keep to one like the original amount as otherwise it will make the taste of the bay leaves too over powering.

Method

1.) Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned.

2.) Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, oregano, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.

3.) Bring the sauce to the boil, cover and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a thickish sauce.

4.) Remove the bay leaf and season to taste. Leave to cool completely before using. This sauce will keep well in a sealed jar or container in the fridge for up to a week.

How to Freeze

We put the sauce in a zip lock bag and put in the freezer. When we want to use it we get it out of the freezer the morning of the day we want to use it. If we are running short for time then once out of the freezer put in a bowl of water within the bag or container that it’s been frozen in and then it should be ready to use in a few hours.

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Nutritional Information – per one sauce recipe

Calories: 226  |  Total Fat: 6.4 g  Polyunsaturated: 28.0 g  Monounsaturated: 58.0 g  | Sodium: 683.0 mg  | Potassium: 125.5 mg  | Total Carbs: 18.5 g  Dietary Fibres: 1.9 g  Sugars: 9.0 g  | Protein: 3.3 g

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Pizza base for a bread maker

This is our most regularly used pizza base, it’s easy for us to do and time saving as the bread maker does all the work and of course it tastes good too. Remember you’ll need a bread maker for this and we don’t know if it will work on all bread makers as we don’t know the settings. We have a Panasonic Automatic Bread maker model number SD-255.

Pizza Base

Makes 25 cm/10 inch circle or two 25 cm/10 inch circles for thin and crispy base | Time in breadmaker 45 minutes | Rise time 30-40 minutes | Other time 5 minutes

Settings for breadmaker: Pizza. Dough.

Ingredients

1/2 tsp Easy bake yeast
300 g Strong white flour
1 tbsp Olive Oil/ Rapeseed oil/ Corn oil (works with either of these)
1 tsp Salt
170 ml Water

Method

1.) Put all the ingredients in the breadmaker and set it up.

2.) Once the breadmaker has finished put the dough in a bowl and cover with cling film. Put the bowl somewhere warm and leave for  30-45 minutes until risen.

3.) Remove dough from bowl and knock back. Split into two if your making thin crispy bases. Roll out into a circle and put onto a pizza tray or baking tray. We tend to both roll and shape the dough with our hands to get the best shape.

4.) The base is now ready and can be used to make your pizza. Once made we cook the pizza at 200°c for 10-15 minutes but this can depend on the toppings. It’s easy to judge when it’s ready though so don’t worry.

Freezing Guidelines

Once you have made the pizza base put in the oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then freeze. To use, remove from freezer immediately and add pizza sauce and topping then cook in the oven. It might need a little more cooking time but shouldn’t need any more than 20 minutes.

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Nutritional Information – per one 10 inch thin pizza dough (half of the dough above)

Calories:  287  | Total Fat: 4.7 g  Saturated: 0.7 g  Polyunsaturated: 1.8 g Monounsaturated: 0.8 g  | Sodium: 120 mg  |  Total Carbs: 52.0 g  Dietary Fibre: 1.8 g  Sugars: 0.5 g  | Protein: 8.8 g

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Pizza Scone Base

We love homemade pizzas and each pizza can vary depending on the base you use, the sauce you use and of course the topping. Over the next few posts we’ll be sharing pizza related recipes and we hope this helps you to create some great pizzas.

We like to have this base and its also great if your in a hurry. This is just one of the bases we like and use and we hope you like it when you try it.

Scone Base

Makes 25 cm/10 inch circle pizza base | Prep 20 minutes | Cook no prior cooking needed, cooking when pizza complete

Ingredients

175 g/6 oz Self raising flour
1/2 tsp Salt
25 g/1 oz Vitalite Margarine
125 ml/4 fl. oz Alpro Light Soya milk, unsweetened

Method

1.) Stir in the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

2.) Rub in the margarine with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3.) Make a well in the centre of the flour and margarine mixture and pour in nearly all of the soya milk at once. Mix in quickly with a knife. Add the remaining milk only if necessary to mix a soft dough.

4.) Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead by turning and pressing with the heal of your hand 3 or 4 times.

5.) Either roll out or press the dough into 25 cm/10 inch circle on a lightly greased baking tray or pizza pan. Push up the edge slightly all around to form a ridge and use immediately.

Cooking Tip

Keep utensils and ingredients as cool as possible and use a light touch for the best results, when making this scone base.

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Nutritional Information – whole recipe

Calories: 731  | Total Fat: 17.5 g  Saturated: 3.8 g  Polyunsaturated: 3.4 g  Monounsaturated: 4.5 g  | Sodium: 2042.9 mg  | Total Carbs: 116.8 g  Dietary Fibre: 3.4 gg  Sugars: 0.2 g  | Protein: 16.2 g

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Christmas Chutney

We love chutney and love to have them around at Christmas/New Year time. One of our favourite Chutney’ s around this time is the one we are about to share. It’s also a fantastic gift and we have always had good comments when giving them as gifts.

We have enjoyed this Chutney with many things from in sandwiches to with crackers, vegan paté and other sides. This Chutney is loved by all so you don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy it, for example it’s great with cheese, meat etc if your an omnivore or vegetarian.

Christmas Chutney

Serves 9-10 lbs yield approx | Prep up to 1 hour (20 mins needed to soak fruit, can be done in advance to save time) | Cook 30-40 mins approx | Time needed to sterilise jars | Can be eaten straight away but also can benefit from time to mature

Ingredients

2 lbs/900 g Onions, chopped
2 lbs/900 g Cooking Apples, chopped
340 g Cranberries
2 pints Cider Vinegar
2 oz/50 g Fresh Root Ginger (before peeling), finely diced
1 tbsp Coarse Sea Salt
1 tsp Mixed Spice
Zest of 2 Oranges

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2 lbs Dried Apricots, chopped (naturally dried preferred but if you can’t find get what you can)
175 g Dates, pitted and chopped
1 lbs Raisins
1 pint Orange Juice (Buy high quality juice) or juice of 8 oranges

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2 lbs White Sugar

Method

1.) Place all the first ingredients in a saucepan (we use a preserving pan, you need a large pan) and bring to the boil. The object is to let the onions go transparent, the cranberries start to pop and the apple break down. You don’t want to loose all the texture so a 5 minutes simmer once at boiling point should do. Remember to stir.

2.) In a separate bowl mix the dried fruit and pour over the orange juice. Stir well. The mixture should absorb all the orange juice in approximately 20 minutes. This stage can be done in advance to save cooking time.

3.) Add the marinated fruit to the saucepan and add the sugar. Stir well and bring back to boiling point, stirring all the time. Don’t leave the saucepan at this time as the contents might catch and taint the chutney. The free liquid will start to thicken quite quickly and then the chutney can be jarred.

4.) This Chutney can be enjoyed now or you can leave it for a while to mature. This Chutney will keep for up to a year if sealed correctly and once opened will last for up to 4 weeks in the fridge. These are just guidelines so if you are worried about the chutney avoid. We have found once opened it can last longer, it just depends but we have to say we’ve eaten it by then anyway!

How to clean and sterilise jars

We steralise our jars by first washing them, we use a dishwasher but you can do this by hand just make sure you rinse well. Then we put the jars and lids (separately) on a tray and put them in the oven on 100°c for 30 minutes. If you have a jam funnel do this as well, if not don’t worry and just use a clean spoon (don’t add the spoon to the oven) you can always pour boiling water over the spoon before using. Use the jars while they are hot. Just be careful when adding the chutney to the jars by minimum touch as your trying to keep it as sterilised as possible. If you are using jars with pop down lids then the lids should pop which creates the seal. If you don’t have lids then use the waxed paper way to seal the jars.

Mincemeat

Every year we always make our own mincemeat and often we make enough for gifts too. They have always been a huge hit as gifts and everyone comments on how good it tastes. We just love it and this year have enjoyed some very yummy mince pies with our homemade mincemeat.

We thought we’d share the recipe with you, it’s from an old traditional cook book and its a much loved recipe. Obviously we made it vegan but that was easy to do as all we had to do was use vegetable suet instead of beef suet and to make sure the alcohol we were using was suitable for  vegans and that was pretty much it to make it vegan. We’d like to add that as previous omnivores we always thought stupidly that changing  the suet to veg suet would make it taste not as good. How wrong we were, seriously you don’t notice at all and it tastes just as good/the same.

Mincemeat

Serves 4 1/2 – 5 lb yield approx | Prep 15 mins | Time 48 hours plus time to mature (recipe suggests 1 month but it’s fine left for shorter time) | Extra prep/time needed to sterilize jars

Ingredients

1/2 lb Cooking Apples (we use Bramley Apples)
1/2 lb Currants
1/2 lb Raisins
1/2 lb Sultanas
4 oz Glacé Cherries
4 oz Chopped Mixed Peel
4 oz Shelled Walnuts
8 oz Shredded Suet
1lb Demerara Sugar
2 level tsp Mixed Spice
4 fl. oz. Brandy (we usually add an extra glug of this 24 hours into the fruit swelling time)

* Buy the best quality dried fruit that you can, it does make a difference. Also if your not a fan of nuts this recipe is perfectly fine without the walnuts. I’m not a nut lover but actually enjoy the walnuts in this recipe.

Method

1.) Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces (I dice them). Finely chop the glacé cherries, I dice these too.

2.) Get a large mixing bowl or even a plastic washing up bowl (just make sure they are  thoroughly clean, we tend to use our dishwasher) and mix in the dried fruits, nuts and apples. Blend in the suet, sugar and spice.

3.) Add enough brandy to give a moist mixture. We basically pour in 4 fl. oz. of brandy into the bowl and mix. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for 48 hours for the fruit to swell. This  is where we, after around 24 hours add a glug more brandy and mix it in and then recover the bowl and leave it for the remaining time.

4.) Stir well and put the mincemeat into clean jars.

How to clean and sterilise jars

We steralise our jars by first washing them, we use a dishwasher but you can do this by hand just make sure you rinse well. Then we put the jars and lids (separately) on a tray and put them in the oven on 100°c for 30 minutes. If you have a jam funnel do this as well, if not don’t worry and just use a clean spoon (don’t add the spoon to the oven) you can always pour boiling water over the spoon before using. You can let them cool down before adding the mincemeat which you can’t do with jam. Just be careful when adding the mincemeat to the jars by minimum touch as your trying to keep it as sterilised as possible. If you are using jars with pop down lids then please note they will not work but this is nothing to worry about (the reason is because the mincemeat is cold when added compared to jam which is hot).