Sunday, August 26, 2012

$10 Puff Pizza!

It's been too long between drinks - I'm sorry! But finally here is another installment of the $10 food challenge!

So, I know what your thinking, everyone knows pizza can be under $10 - especially considering my rather leniant rules, but does everyone know you can make an exciting puff pastry show off pizza for under $10? They do now!

This pizza recipe is awesome, because not only is it super cheap and easy but the flexibility of ingredients makes it timeless! In compiling my own I mainly used left overs but if you went out and did a shop it wouldn't be too much anyway. 

Toppings are always a personal thing but I have outlined my recipe below, the main thing to buy then is Frozen puff pastry. Each sheet of pastry makes more than enough for one and plenty for two too! So for a pack of 10 sheets for $6 or less if you get home brand, the pizza base is probably as much as if you were to make your own... but so much less messy!  Depending on the toppings you pick an average toppinged pizza would cost about $4. 

Balsamic Mushroom and Fetta Puff Pizza
For this particular recipe I sauteed my mushrooms and red onion with a touch of balsamic just keep in mind the aroma is pungent so maybe do this with all windows and doors open.   

2 sheet of puff pastry (thawed)
1 - 1/2 (depending on taste) red onion sliced 
200 g of mixed mushrooms sliced
25 g of Fetta
Tomatoe paste
Mixed Greens
Some melted butter or eggwash
Balsamic vinegar

  1. Caramalise the onion in oil until wilted. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and a swig of balsamic vinegar (it would be ideal to use the thicker vinegars but invariably they are more expensive) also remember about the smell! 
  3. Cook off the mushrooms for about 5 minutes and let cool slightly so they don't eat through the pastry. 
  4. With a fork poke holes into the pastry where you will place your toppings, leave a border of about 2cm around the edge to ensure you get some delicious crust!
  5. Pile on toppings like a regular pizza! I only put a teeny bit of tomatoe paste as the "dough" will be less bready so the sauce isn't really necessary. 
  6. Use melted butter or an eggwash to rub on the perimeter of the pizza for that exquisite golden brown look!
  7. Cook in an oven as per packet instructions or until the pastry is golden brown. 
  8. Remove from oven and add mixed greens! Voila your puff pizza is ready!
Something I learnt from this process is to put a sheet of baking paper under the sheet of pastry while you thaw it out. That way you can put the pastry on the over tray, fork it, add you toppings, cut it AND it won't stick to the tray - hooray! I repeat baking paper, not tin foil. 

This pizza is perfect for parties too, you can serve it up with any toppings you like cut it into smaller squares (probably 6 from one sheet of pastry) and pass it around as a nibblies - yum! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday fun day!

Can't rave on enough about my surprisingly delicious lunch from the Annandale Hotel! Great Thai food at the back restaurant 'Wok 'N Roll!'

Just about to head off to fancy girl's night out at ucello! Full of fabulousness and sequins! Yay! xx

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Delicious Duck!

I can't quite remember if I shared with you my love for my local Asian grocers and butchers... but I love them. 

It's not just the adventure, or the joy in discovering whole new foods, but you also get some super fresh produce for super low prices! Take that chain super markets!

In homage to my Asian grocers (and the recent season of Masterchef... yes I'm that person), I have become significantly more adventurous in my cooking. 

Introducing Harry and Lauren's tea smoked duck ala Amina Elshafei:

Amina's Tea Smoked Duck
In all honesty as much as I would have loved to have taken short cuts with this one we didn't, but as we were having it for a main we added some rice noodles and used the vinegar from the pickled radish to dress the salad as we had no orange juice... NB do not attempt to substitute orange juice with cloudy apple and mango juice, DO NOT DO IT! Oh also I almost forgot, we just used normal mushrooms as we couldn't find the wood ear. 
Our attempt

It was delicious! And if you don't infuse the oil, the whole meal is ready in a half hour. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

From city to surf!

Today I 'yogged'(jogged) 14 k - give or take a few kilometres!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fun in the Sun!

Finally! Some sun! I took full advantage of the sun this weekend finger painting with friends and having some delicious little picnics and a cheeky day time bon fire! 


Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Top Ten dishes...

The beautiful NOPI
Europe, Oh Europe, you distant memory! Nothing erases the relaxation and sanity of a good holiday quite like coming home. 
Then I got lazy, trying to catch up on my beloved Masterchef before it's premature end and neglected to fill you in on the rest of my adventures. Alas, I am too late now (probably too late as soon as I landed, whatevs) lucky for you I won't force you through a recap of the events... instead I will focus on the most important thing. The food. 
So I present the Top Ten dishes.... of Europe* 

1. Frankfurt in Frankfurt
It seems obvious right? 24 hours in Frankfurt the first thing you would think to eat is a Frankfurt. Turned out to be a lot harder to find that initally anticipated but we did pend most of that day walking around in a haze of fatigue. But the deliciously warm fatty filled sausage was amawesome!

A lavish treat if ever there was one! This beautiful restaurant is owned by the fabulous Mr Yotam Ottolenghi - who is also the guy behind my most favourite lentil salad!
The restaurant, hidden away in a side street of Soho, has a superslick interior making hour half hour tardiness even more embarassing. Surrounded by white marble and gold flickering lanterns I was a little in awe, then I saw the spread of fresh salads and veg and bread and I diiied! The menu is short and sweet with a few tapas selections to share, four mains and three desserts. Obviously, as his cookbook PLENTY is all veg, this is a VERY vegetarian friendly restaurant. I can't tell you how wonderful and fresh everything was... but hey a picture says a thousand words right


This was a surprise. This little local hang was mentioned in the SMH. The waiter spoke little English (which was kind of nice) so meant it was a kind of game of translation tryng to order - which inevitably means we pointed at things on the black board. For someone who has a reputation for fried, my favourite dish at this restaurant was the fresh tomato salad!

The perfect mix of fresh green and red tomatoes with croutons, the smallest dash of balsamic and an indescribably possible goats cheese cream, oh and crisped onions. Also the pair in the kitchen were trained in our very own Tetsuya's - Bonus!

4. œuf on top of Galleries La'Fayette
Best thing evaaaaaaar! Will be incorporating it into my $10 meals. Fab, fresh, fast. 

5. French Onion Soup
Probably not fast or fresh but who can go past a French Onion Soup?! Especially in Paris! 

6. Dinner at the Villa
Our amazing hostess in Parma did an all inclusive service! So whenever there was the desire her and her cook would cook up a storm! All hand made, all from the local area - if not the garden and all delicious! 

So, this place is probably all over Trip Advisor, but if you are in the area (which would be unlikely, unless you too got lost looking for a castle) this is an amazing little family run place. Trattoria La Buca has been around for hundreds of years (I kid you not!) and for good reason. Fresh hand made pasta, their own little Culatello, which I will crudely say (although I'm sure someone in Italy will die reading this) is like prosciutto/pancetta. Bonus treat they have the cellar just out the back and will gladly take you for a little tour! 

8. Anchovies at La Cinque Terra
So probably not a meal by any means - I don't care. It was fresh, salty and super

9. Cabonarra @ Angelo D'or
THIS WAS THE BEST CABONARRA IN THE WORLD! and it was the entre. My main was actually pretty disappointing but who cares - I have even recreated this at home (already). It tastes soooo creamy but, thankfully, without the cream. 

Just a barely poached egg (or you could do as I did because I am beyond incapable of making a presentable poached egg... at this time, and soft boil an egg for 2 minutes or 1 and half and crack it over individual serves) and pair it with some parmesan cream - Must be served hot, must not be served with zucchini "pasta" trust me. 

So it just sounded good, 10. A good round number, but when I brainstormed there were many dishes I could have added to plump up the list but when I thought of the best these nine just stuck out. I don't even have to tryyy and remember what they looked or tasted like. 

So that's it. My Top Ten Not Ten dishes of Europe. Yum!

*in no particular order