Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pizza pizza pizza!


You all know I love to cook and if I wasn't so lazy I would have been a chef.... but alas I do not feel compelled to stand in a hot kitchen with the head chef screaming his head off for 16 hours a day so I have to be content with being a home cook instead.

As Kyle and I try to live a healthy lifestyle we need to find a way to have the foods we love but in a way that is healthier. Insert the home made fast food.

Now we have some criteria

1. It must be just as fast to cook as to drive and buy
2. It must be as cheap or cheaper than buying it
3. It must be extremely delicious to make up for the effort factor
4. It can not be fussy or difficult to replicate
5. It must be healthy, much healthier than the original fast food (or else what's the point?)

So enter my first success. The home made Pizza

Now obviously as it is pizza the toppings are up to you. For the pizza pictured I used

pre shredded cheese
pre made pizza base
precooked prawns
sliced olives from a can
canned tomato sauce (not ketchup kiwi's I'm talking red pasta sauce)
garlic powder (no salt added)
sliced red onions

The only actual cooking involved was the frying the red onion and baking the pizza. I fry my onions with water, not oil. They come out just as good (through a little balsamic vinegar in with them) and you save yourself 80 calories. Use just enough water to stop them sticking but not so much that they boil.

All I did was "assemble", while the onions are frying spread the pasta sauce on the base with a pastry brush and sprinkled on the garlic powder. Then on with the onions, olives and prawns and finally cheese and into the oven it went.

Here is a photo of the pizza sans cheese (the crust is already baked on this pizza, but it works just as well with a raw dough).

And here it is fully cooked (this made 8 slices of pizza and worked out to be $6 for the entire pizza) much cheaper than pizza hut!. Kyle and I made one each and had the left overs for lunches.

Now a couple of tips to make your pizza "just like the take away version"

If you plan on making these on a regular basis consider investing in a pizza stone. It will make the base just as crispy as a take away pizza.

Coat the underneath of the base with corn meal (not corn starch!!!) it gives it that authentic touch.

If you are using raw dough, use raw ingredients, if you are using precooked dough use cooked ingredients. The raw dough will need slightly longer to cook and precooked prawns will become tough and chewy.

Preheat your oven on bake at 210 Celsius but then change to grill as soon as you put the pizza in the oven (be quick don't let all that heat escape!)

Just before your pizza is finished, spray the crust with olive oil. It makes the crust nice and brown and crisp. If you don't have a way to spray oil use a pastry brush. You only need a tiny smudge of oil, trust me this is the final touch!

The BEST part about these pizzas is you do not have to cook them straight away. You can wrap them in glad wrap and store them ready to cook in the freezer just like the pizzas from the supermarket.

So far we have made a Hawaiian version, and a Mexican chicken pizza. Coat the chicken into Mexican seasoning (the chicken works best if its sliced thinly or buy a ready cooked one), slice capsicum (bell peppers), a chilli, and use salsa as the pizza sauce instead of tomato past. Again use garlic powder and throw in some paprika. I also use a cheese that is spiked with jalapeƱo.

Happy (cheap and healthy) Pizza eating!

BTW my medical will be on the 29th so prayers and good wishes sent my way would be much appreciated.


Trish said...

Yum, yum, yum I love the look of that Pizza

amyinbc said...

Please email me your dough recipe!


Thank you!