Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The best homemade Pizza ever!!!

         Pizza. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't like Pizzas :)

There's so much variety, types, flavours and toppings to choose from, anyone can enjoy a pizza! My family grew up eating lots of pizza's, they were consider a 'treat' on the weekends from the usual Vietnamese home cooking, and to date, Hawaiian is still my favourite pizza topping! hehe

Pizza's have come a long way for me, and though I still enjoy the occasion Domino's and Pizza Huts, I much prefer my own home made pizzas!

The pizza Dough and Tomato Sauce recipe below are Jamie Oliver's recipe, and they always turn out perfect for me everytime!

As for toppings, you can pretty much put anything you want on!!! But for me less is more, keep the flavours fresh and simple :)  

To make the Dough:


Ingredients (makes 4 large square pizza's)

500g plain flour
1/2 tbsp salt
1 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
1/2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
325ml lukewarm water

Sieve the flour and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit. Divide into 4 even size balls and start rolling out to desire thickness of pizza base.

To make Tomato Sauce

olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced,
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
1 x 400g tins of good-quality, whole plum tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to colour lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until slighty reduced and then your done. Strain through a sieve if you want to but I like chunky sauce.

As for toppings, This is one of my favourite toppings, if you are a lover of seafood, I think you will really enjoy this pizza topping, I call this my half half seafood!
You will need:

1 large squid tube, cleaned and slice to 1 cm thick (you can leave them as rings, but I like to cut the rings in half.
500g mussels, cleaned and debeard (you can use clams if you like)
a small jar of baby capers
fresh basil
500g mozzarella cheese (good quality)
100g of soft feta cheese
chilli flakes
Baby rocket leaves to serve (dress with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper)

For the mussel dressing, add 2 cloves of mince garlic, 2 tablespoon each of white wine and olive oil.

TIPS: after rolling out your pizza base, par bake in q hot oven (highest setting) for a few minutes. This ensures the pizza base will not be soggy in the center from the juices of the cooked seafood and dressing.

To arrange your pizza, spread enough tomato sauce to the pizza base, top one side with squid, capers, chilli flakes. The other side should be the mussels slightly drizzled with the dressing. Top the whole pizza with chunks of mozzarella cheese and a small sprinkle of feta and fresh basil.

Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes until base and cheese is golden! Serve with rocket leaves and extra lemon wedges.

Enjoy your best homemade pizza's ever!!!

A few other topping combination I have tried which are also awesome:
-Bolognese pizza (make a simple bolognese meat sauce)
-Chilli salami, fresh tomatoes
-Slice sweet potatoes, eggplants, mushrooms, spanish onions and capsicums!!!
all topped with lots of mozzarella and chilli flakes : )

Happy Eating!
Fat Pom Pom

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Hardware Societe

Goodmorning my fellow brunch lovers!

I myself am not a morning person. I like sleeping in and staying up late. I don't function very well when I have to wake up really early, and I take twice as long to do anything if its earlier then 10am. hehe

I usually skip breakfast (which is a really bad thing) but like I said, my body doesn't work very well too early in the morning, and that also includes my appetite : )

Thats why I love the idea of Brunch! I love the different kinds of food they have available for breakfast. From the big breakfast which included eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns to the simple cereal and milk. And with all the different restaurants and cafe's in Melbourne that serves brunch on the weekends....well I feel like I'm not missing out that much during the week!

Tea pot cosies at The Hardware adorable!

Well on one warm winters weekend, me and my boyfriend headed to The Hardware Societe at 120 Hardware Street, Melbourne. I was very excited about this little place as I've heard alot of good things about it : ) the places opens from 8.30am to 2.00pm on a Saturday and Sunday, so we headed out about 11.00am.

It was a cute little place, with quirky decorations, little yellow chairs, and cool wallpaper! Their menu offered a neat selection of seasonal produce and specialties. I heard that the menu changes with the seasons, so we didn't see any duck on the menu this time....: ( but I wasn't sad for long because there was loads of other awesome things to choose from!

In the end we pick a few to share....

Bircher - with Vanilla & Rosewater pears, raspberries and macadamias......mmmmmmmmmm

Baked Eggs - with Chorizo, Sofrito, and Manchego......yummy!!!!

Croque Madame - with Smoked Salmon, Gruyere, Horseradish creme fraiche, and fried duck eggs

All three tasted super delicious and awesome mmmmm....making me hungry again now just thinking about it hehe the flavours and texture combinations are amazing! So much going on yet the balance is perfect, definitely a tasty and satisfying brunch session hehe

I will definitely would be returning here some day soon and trying out the other items on the menu!!!!! I definitely recommend this place for Brunch anyday : )

There's only a 2 weeks left of winter, YAY! Can't wait for the sunshine to return : )

Keep warm and happy eating!
Fat Pom Pom

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chocolate Mousse!

Yummy chocolate mousse!!! Don't they look adorable in these little Japanese tea cups?

Mmmmmm...chocolate mousse, one of my favourite desserts!!! yes I know I know, I have way too many favourite desserts hehe the best chocolate mousse that I have eaten would have to be at Jacques Reymond!!! I long for the day I am able to make my chocolate mousse as good as Jacques Reymond : ) but in the mean time, I will enjoy my homemade chocolate mousse recipe which is simple, yummy and recieves the nod of satisfaction from my boyfriend and family! Im pretty happy with that : )

Here is the recipe for you chocolate lovers out there!!!!

Ingredients (serves 8)

200g dark cooking chocolate
20g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or if you like alcohol, add a tablespoon of Tia Maria instead)
250ml (1 cup) thickened cream
3 small eggs, separated
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream, extra
6 cherries (or any of your favorite fruit, strawberries, oranges, mangoes, kiwi fruit....)


Place chocolate, butter and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure bowl doesn't touch water). Use a metal spoon to stir for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Remove bowl from heat. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Use metal spoon to stir egg yolks into chocolate until well combined.

Use an electric beater to beat the cream until soft peaks form. Use a metal spoon to gently fold the cream into the chocolate mixture until combined.

Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites in a large, clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to fold half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites until combined.

Spoon chocolate mixture evenly into eight serving glasses or serving dishes. I Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or until firm.
To serve, top with a cherry or your favourite fruits.

TIPS: Something I would do extra next time is to add some chopped fruit to the bottom of the glass before adding the mousse to the glass. That way you get extra surprise hits of your favourite fruit!


Oh I forgot to tell you guys I just came back from a weekend of snowboarding at Mt Hotham!!!! Was it awesome? YES!!!!

Bruised and battered is what I came back as, but was definitely worth every bit of pain :) I love the snow!! I feel inspire to make a dessert that involves snow (or at least ice hehe) similar to the Ice Kacang but filled with all my favourite toppings!

Let me know how your chocolate mousse turns out!

Happy eating!
Fat Pom Pom

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Roast Beef, Little Carrots, Crispy Potatoes and Super Quick Gravy

Another successful attempt at Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals! 

Over the weekend, I tried another recipe from my Jamie Oliver's 30 Minutes Meals book! (Finally making good use of the book hehe)

We decided to go for the Roast Beef, Small Carrots, Crispy Potatoes and Super Quick Gravy! We left out the Yorkies and the Salad. I really wanted to make Yorkies because I have never tried them before but I thought we might keep it simple since there was only me and my boyfriend!

We varied the method of cooking abit because we had more time then the usual 30 minutes hehe beside I quite enjoy the cooking process as much as the eating part!! hehe like with the potatoes, I felt there would be so much more flavour if I roasted them in the oven rather then pan fry them!

The meal turned out beautiful and super delicious!!!! The Roast beef wasn't so much roasted hehe (since we didn't even put it in the oven) but the flavours were so delicious and the gravy made you believe you were eating roast beef hehe the potatoes were so crispy and smelt of wonderful roasted herbs and garlic!! The carrots were absolute adorable and was the perfect compliment to the whole dish!

Armed with his Nikon DSLR camera and massive lens, my boyfriend snapped away and was able to capture some really awesome shots throughout the whole night!! I hope you guys like the pictures as much as I did : )

We also bought a loaf of French Bread we thought might be useful for mopping up the gravy hehe we didn't end up eating much of it because there was already alot of food for two people, and also for some reason I felt the bread tasted like 'Pocky' that day hehe my boyfriend thought the same hehe

All and all, the recipe was really easy to follow and the flavour of Jamie's cooking is always plenty and wonderful!!! It took longer then 30 minutes but was definitely worth it and I will be making it again!!! With Yorkies next time hehe

Here is the recipe!

For the potatoes:
500g red-skinned potatoes, very small ones
1 small lemon (peels of zest only)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary
1 bulb of garlic

For the beef:
8 sprigs each of fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
700g fillet of beef (there was only two of us so I used a thick quality cut of Porterhouse and it worked out beautiful also)

For the carrots:
500g small carrots (I couldn't find any small carrots in my local supermarket so I was feeling a little creative that night and decided to carve my own little carrots from the large ones, I manage to make 4 small carrots from 1 large one :)

2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar
A knob of butter

For the gravy:
½ a red onion, finely sliced
12 baby button mushrooms, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
1 small wineglass of red wine
300ml chicken stock
a knob of butter

To serve:
Crusty bread, sliced and toasted in the oven

Creamed horseradish sauce (I couldn't find this one so I had only English mustard...still awesome though!!)
English mustard


Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Chop in half and throw into one of the large frying pans. Cover with boiling water, season with salt and cover with a lid. Turn the heat to high and parboil for about 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and pour into a baking tray. Drizzle over some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, a few lemon peels, 4 sprigs of thyme or rosemary (I used thyme). Halve the bulb of garlic widthways, squash each half with the back of a knife and add to the pan. Toss everything together and roast in the oven at 200 degrees C until golden and crispy (about 20-30 minutes)

Place the carrots into the saucepan and just cover with boiling water. Add 2 sprigs of thyme, a couple of bay leaves, a good pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil and 1 heaped tablespoon of sugar. Cook with a lid on until tender. Drain once cooked.

Finely chop all the herbs for the beef. Mix the herbs together and spread them around the chopping board with a good pinch of salt & pepper. Cut the fillet in half lengthways, then roll each piece back and forth so they are completely coated in herbs. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a hot frying pan and add the meat. Cook the meat to medium rare, a few minutes in each side! Don’t forget to seal the ends.

To make gravy, reduce the heat of the frying pan and add the onion to one side of the frying pan with a splash of olive oil, and then add the mushrooms. Stir everything around. Once the meat is cooked to your liking, remove the meat from the frying pan and rest on a plate. Lightly cover with foil to retain the heat.

Stir 1 heaped tablespoon of flour into the pan. Add a small glass of red wine and turn the heat up. Boil down to nearly nothing, then stir in 300ml of chicken stock and simmer until thick and shiny. Add a knob of butter at the end.

     My little carrots are sauteing away in butter!

           Mmmmm...crispy golden potatoes!

Add the carrots back to a small pan and toss with butter until coated. Take the potatoes out the oven and serve in the tray. Smear 2 spoonfuls of horseradish sauce and 1 teaspoon of English mustard on to another platter. Quickly slice the beef 1cm thick, using long carving motions. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt & pepper from a height, then pile the beef on top of the horseradish sauce and mustard. Add any resting juices to the gravy and serve in a jug.


           look at my superb knife skills......hehe

Happy Eating!!!
Fat Pom Pom