Monday, 14 January 2013

Dave Rivers - Pizza

Dave Rivers is a Leeds comic who runs a regular night at Bierkeller on the last Monday of every month.

I base a lot of my act on my addiction to junk food. It’s all based in truth – I’m a terrible human being. I enjoy cooking but I can’t make anything as tasty as a KFC Chicken zinger Tower Burger, MacDonald’s Chicken Nuggets or a Burger King Steakhouse Angus Burger (my ultimate favourite). But the idea of being a good cook vaguely, and I mean vaguely, interests me.

I spent New Year’s in Naples with my Girlfriend’s family, she’s half a pasta face, celebrating her parent’s 40 wedding anniversary. Their food is amazing, the pasta, anti pasti and even the salads. But it was the thin crust pizzas that really turned me on. It seemed so simple and easy do – and not totally unhealthy.

So, having been inspired by Italy’s beautiful flavours and my local Dominos Pizza’s recent price hike, I decided to teach myself how to make my own pizza. £17.99 for a large pizza? They’re putting themselves out of business…

On a side note, a Margarita pizza costs less than a pound to make (when you have all the ingredients from the first time).

The Pizza Base

            Step one, pre heat your oven as high as it will go.

2 cups water from the hot tap
1 packet of instant yeast
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon of sugar

This bit’s going to get sticky. I just thought I would give you a heads up. If you have a long sleeve anything on, take it off. Don’t roll the sleeves up, they’ll just fall down. I miss my cardigan.

In a large bowl, mix your water and yeast together. Yeast’s weird isn’t it?

Add flour, salt and sugar and mix with your hands until it because a big malleable dough.

Add more flour if it’s really sticky. You may have to add a lot depending on how much the dough absorbs. Don’t worry through, it will still be delicious!

Scatter flour over a clean surface in your kitchen. Not loads, just like a frosting. Like it’s snowed, but it’s crap and hasn’t really laid. Have fun later cleaning this. Move your dough onto this surface.

Roll the dough around in the flour. Add more to the surface if it starts sticking. When it’s stopped sticking, roll it out into a circle. N.B. I made my first pizza in a roasting pan, it doesn’t have to be a circle. Best tip: Find something you can bake it in, and mould it into that shape.

For me, the thinner the base, the better – but do what you prefer – do a stuffed bloody crust if you’re feeling fancy! You’ll probably have some left over. Good news, it lasts for a week in the fridge! I see more pizza in your future!

That was easy! If you haven’t ordered take away yet, you should’ve. Leave your base to the side for the moment, it’s toppings making time.

The Tomato Sauce

Tin of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
A few leaves fresh basil
Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper
Little squeeze of ketchup

            Step one, blend it all together. Done.

This is also a great pasta sauce. To use as a pasta sauce, I suggest cooking some mince and letting it reduce in the pan before adding pasta. It’s proper nice though.

Pour it onto your pizza base. If you like it saucy, pour loads on. If you like it dry, pour loads on because you’ll probably like that better. You tosser.

Toppings for my favourite pizza

There’s no guidelines on amounts here because it’s kinda up to you.

Mozzarella ball
Ricotta cheese
Pepperoni/Napolitano Sausage/Chorizo

With your hands, tear the Mozzarella up onto the pizza. You can slice it in circles if you want it to look like an Aldi pizza. Distribute the ricotta in blobs over the pizza. Put it in the oven (oh wow it’s hot! Bet you’re glad you preheated it now!) for about 10 minutes.

Take it out and add your toppings (except the spinach). Then stick it back in for approx. 10 minutes or until it starts burning around the edge. A couple of minutes before the end, add your spinach.

            And you’re done! Congrats, you can now apply for an Italian passport.

            …I’m off to Burger King Drive Thru.


No comments:

Post a Comment