“The Steer-In” Stuffed Pizza Pie

This Pizza is a confusing concoction of Calzone, Stromboli and Chicago Deep Pan…or maybe it’s just a pie! It comes from The Steer-In Restaurant in the East Side of Indianapolis, Indiana……

Take a Tesco fresh pizza base and put it in a greased 9 inch pie dish, lifting away from the side to let the dough fall into the outer edges.

Cover the base in grated Mozzarella cheese and follow with your favourite toppings or fillings…I used dry chilli beef, dry loose Italian sausage, Italian meatballs, Mediterranean vegetables and peppers with another layer of grated mozzarella on top.

Mix up a little bread mix and 00 grade flour mix with a dash of olive oil and knead and rest before rolling out to make a lid for the pie. Put a small hole in the centre, bring the excess sides up and over the lid to seal the pie and then top with strained chopped tomatoes.

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Place in a hot oven at 200 Deg. C. or Gas Mark 6 for 30 to 40 minutes until done.

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It’s Filling!  Two slices and a bit of salad will fill anyone up….

 

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A REAL AMERICAN DINER……

steer in

 

 

 

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Curryhouse Calzone

Little lamb kofta kebabs, chicken tikka, chopped up vegetable samosas and home made mini onion bhajis in a mild curry sauce…in a pizza stuffing with Indian seeds.

Ingredients:

One Tesco fresh pizza base

Two cooked vegetable samosas chopped into quarters

Lamb koftas in miniature, cooked..recipe here: https://attilathebun.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/kebab-shop-kebabs/

Onion bhajis in miniature, cooked..recipe here:https://attilathebun.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/tandoori-treasures-pizza/

Chicken tikka pieces cooked ..recipe here: https://attilathebun.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/chicken-tikka-with-store-cupboard-ingredients-and-cooked-in-a-wok/

Five tablespoons of a favourite curry sauce.

A little grated mozzarella to top.

A few Nigella seeds and a few Cumin seeds to decorate

Method:

Put all the ingredients on the nearest half of a turned out pizza base, still on its greaseproof paper. Put the mozzarella on last and then bring the far half of the pizza base over the toppings to create a giant Cornish pasty. Crimp the edges to seal after wetting with cold water.  Brush the top with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with the cumin and nigella seeds.

Bake in an oven at 200 deg Centigrade, or Gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes. Test for ‘doneness’ by putting a cold cake skewer into the middle of the calzone for 6 seconds then pull it out and feel the temperature…if it’s piping hot it’s ready! The greaseproof may scorch but it won’t affect the pizza…..

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Pizza Autunno…autumn pizza

This is a pizza on a crisp Chicago style base featuring seasonal toppings to reflect the time of year.  Some of the ingredients are made ahead such as pickled sweet peppers preserved for winter. Other toppings have recipes elsewhere on the blog…just use the search facility and press enter to find them.

 

The pickle peppers are made with heated distilled white vinegar, reduced in acidity by adding an equal amount of tap water and a teaspoon of sugar and two teaspoons of salt. As the diluted vinegar comes to the boil, drop in the sliced peppers, cover and remove from the heat. After ten minutes lift the peppers out into a Kilner style jar and top to the brim with the vinegar. They will keep for 6 months in a dark cupboard…refrigerate after opening and use within a month.

 

The Base

Two Tesco fresh pizza bases, one laid on top of the other and then stretched out to fill a 14 deep pan pizza dish and pulled up the sides by about an inch. Rest for 20 minutes covered in a warm room. No olive oil, no other fat to stop sticking  …. you get a perfect crispy base just as it comes.

 

The Pizza

Layer sliced mozzarella direct onto the pizza dough, tearing it to fill the holes as you go. Fill any holes left with grated mozzarella, pressed down.

Add the following toppings;

Sliced pickled peppers, patted dry with kitchen roll.

Thinly sliced mushrooms drizzled with olive oil

Sliced fresh green pepper and onion.

Diced ham

Sliced ham sausage ( I use Polish..capicola is hard to find)

Pickled Jalapenos

Italian pork sausage, loose minced style

Chilli Beef, loose minced style

Tomato splashes, drained chopped tomato is perfect.

Finish with a little grated mozzarella on the top

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Bake in the oven at 210 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 7 for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once to cook evenly.

Serve with a salad after cutting into wedges on a board.

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These doubled-up Tesco bases showed no sign whatsoever of sticking and were a lovely crispy brown on the underside…not so great cold or reheated, but just great fresh from the oven.

I used my Chicago Metallic 14 inch pizza pan again, bought on Amazon.

‘Full English’ Pizza

 

There can’t be a student alive that hasn’t eaten cold pizza for breakfast. So why not make the pizza a proper breakfast item?  Everything you might expect from a Full English Breakfast…on a pizza!

N.B:  This dough needs making up at least 4 hours before you cook the pizza! Preferably longer……….

I made the dough from 250 grams of Sainsbury Taste the Difference Ciabatta mix, half the packet….and added 250grams of 00 grade Taste the Difference  pasta flour. This is because I didn’t want a huge thick ‘loaf’ of a pizza which you would get with ‘strong’, high gluten, bread flour, so reducing the gluten with the pasta flour …and so also the yeast…gave me a soft, springy cooked dough. I used 330 ml of warm water and three table spoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the water in small amounts to the dry mix with a strong metal spoon and mix it a bit at a time until most is used up. Keep spoon-mixing it until it all binds into one big lump, then work the dough on your table top until it becomes shiny and a little elastic. This dough mix will make a large Chicago or Detroit style pizza that is enough for 8 people.

It now needs resting in an oiled bowl, covered with clingfilm in a warm place for 4 hours. This is to let the low yeast dough expand and become light in texture.

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After the dough has rested and expanded gently take it out, without ‘knocking-back’, ready for the pan. You can stretch it out into a large pre-oiled pizza pan now . It’s best to let it rest further in the pan for a light texture and it will probably need stretching into the corners of a square pan again after a half hour.

Shopping List:

Sainsbury Taste the Difference Ciabatta and Focaccia mix…250gms.

Sainsbury Taste the Difference 00 grade pasta flour, 250 gms.

6 tbls extra virgin olive oil

330 ml, approx., of warm water

The toppings: Some of these are pre-cooked in a frying pan , see below:

4 rashers of back bacon, cooked and broken into little pieces.

4 ‘English’ bangers…sausages made from a smooth paste, cut from the skins and fried dry in little patties

Cubed black pudding  not pre-cooked as it already was.

Diced tomatoes, not pre-cooked as they don’t need it.

One small can of baked beans, sauce drained and reserved. These aren’t cooked.

A dab of tomato puree to thicken the ‘bean juice’ along with a splash of water, and a pinch of both salt and sugar. This isn’t cooked either.

Boiled potatoes, cooled, diced and dressed with oil and salt, rested for an hour and then fried.

Cubed of bread lightly toasted, then fried with a little vegetable oil and butter.

Sliced mushrooms fried in a little oil, with salt and pepper added.

Two raw eggs, reserved in bowls with half of the egg white spooned away and discarded.

Grated Mozzarella cheese to top.

 

 

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Method:

Build the pizza whilst the oven warms up. Turn the oven on to 220 degrees C, Gas Mark7

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Lightly smear the dough with the ‘bean juice’, add the beans in little heaps followed by the bacon and the mushrooms.

Next goes on the other toppings except the eggs and cheese:

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Just before the pizza goes in drizzle with ketchup add the two eggs.

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Cook for 15 minutes then add the cheese. Cook for a further 5 minutes watching the eggs don’t go over hard.

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Mixed meat kebab….and chips!

Years ago when Greeks and Turks lived side by side in harmony it was quite common to have mixed meat kebabs, in the Turkish style, but using pork rather than beef, to go with the lamb that was always included.

Shopping list:       …………This will make 6 huge kebabs!

Lamb mince, 10% fat 500grams pack

Pork Mince 5% fat, 500 gram pack 

( You could use 20% fat of either meat but you’ll get a lot of flare-ups on the Barbie if you do……..)

Sumac…a heaped teaspoon. A Turkish spice that is both sweet and citrus like…Sainsbury sell it now.

Ground Cummin, a level teaspoon.

Ground Allspice….a quarter of a teaspoon.

Dried Oregano two teaspoons.

Black pepper and garlic mix….two teaspoons.

Sainsbury’s Chipotle Chilli Flakes… a level teaspoon.

Two heaped teaspoons of Laziza Sheekh Kebab Mix.   From an Indian store or buy it online…even Tesco sell it online now! Don’t overdo the quantity…this stuff goes a long, long way!

Plain breadcrumbs…about a tablespoon…enough to make a dryish mixture that binds together still.

Lemon wedge to squeeze over when cooked.

Method:

Blend all the ingredients together in a bowl with your hands until you have a smooth paste. Leave to rest and re-chill in the ‘fridge for an hour and then form into sausages on a kebab skewer…you need a flat metal skewer especially designed for these ‘kofta’  or ‘Lulu’ style kebabs. They are hard to find and expensive..but they last for ever and cook the meat so much more quickly. Squeeze the meat gently onto the blade, and press and release up and down with your thumb and forefinger in a circle to spread it out evenly along the skewer.

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Grill over a low heat on each side and serve with mint sauce and or garlic and onion dip. With chips and a squeeze of lemon this is the food of the gods!

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This stuff might be Indian but it reflects a spice blend that travelled from Persia and the Levant…it goes a LONG way….the two packets inside will be enough for about 10lbs. of meat!!

seekh kebab

An hour of Turkish music….

Whole Jerked Chicken with Rice ‘n Tings

 

A whole jerked chicken spatchcocked and served on sweet fruity rice.

Shopping

I used a brining needle and a lemon squeezer, both cheap and available on-line….

Small fresh chicken

For the mop sauce:   Not used until the bird is almost ready.

One lime, juiced and the peel saved.

Levi Roots Reggae-reggae sauce, two tablespoons.

For the injected brine:

Half a low-salt OXO chicken cube.

A small pat of butter

A splash of hot sauce to taste

Salt to taste

Half a teaspoon of ground allspice

200ml of Boiling water to blend the above to a brine for injecting.

For the rice:

Half a cup full of basmati or long grain rice.

Two tablespoons of sweetened desiccated coconut

A tablespoon of mixed dried tropical fruit.

A teaspoon of ground turmeric

A half teaspoon of  mixed spice.

A cup and a half of boiling water.

 

Method:

Spatchcock the chicken by using kitchen shears to cut down one side of the breastbone and turn the bird over. Melt the brine ingredients with the hot water and inject it SLOWLY into the thighs and breast of the chicken, removing the needle only 5 seconds after you’ve  stopped injecting to let the pressure reduce…or you’ll get a facefull! Brush any remaining brine all over the bird.

 

Place in the oven at 190 Degrees C, Gas Mark 5 for an hour and a half.

 

Clean thoroughly all your equipment that touched raw chicken with bleach. UK chicken still carries a number of harmful bacteria so you need to be diligent! After cleaning put the brining needle away with a tiny dab of vegetable oil on the rubber seal so it doesn’t stick!

 

If you can’t find a needle in the shops maybe this link will remain active:

https://www.bbqgourmet.co.uk/meat-injector-syringe-50ml50cc-with-5-x-25-inch-side-outlet-needles-381-p.asp

Rice ‘n Tings:

Add the rice, coconut, turmeric, mixed spice and dried tropical fruit to a cold saucepan.  Boil the kettle and pour over  a cup and a half of boiling water. Bring to the boil with the lid on, turn down to a gentle simmer for 8 minutes and then set on the very lowest heat elsewhere to ‘set’ for about 20 minutes, so the rice needs to be started about half an hour before the chicken is ready….? Don’t fork through the rice until it has ‘rested’ for that 20 minutes or it will stick!

‘Rice ‘n Tings’ was shown to me by Denise, a young lady in Notting Hill, way back in the Seventies. I’ve never seen it in any recipe books or heard of it before or since…but it IS nice!…and it just seems to go with jerk chicken.

As soon as the rice is set aside ‘resting’ take the chicken out of the oven and brush the bird with the mop sauce after saving the peel of the lime and mixing it with the juice before adding both to the Reggae reggae  sauce. Return to the oven, now set to 210 degrees C , gas mark 7 for a further 20 minutes. Keep an eye to ensure the mop sauce doesn’t burn…..

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Partytime! Almost an hour and a half of old-time reggae to get you in the mood……I need a chilled Red Stripe…….now!

 

 

Orzo pasta salad, with red pepper and wine dressing.

Orzo pasta ( meaning rice) in a popular pasta in Greece…it looks like little rice grains.

 

Shopping:

Orzo pasta,  (Waitrose Essential .89p.)

Chargrilled Red Pepper Paste ( Sainsbury, by the spices..90p.)

about half a carton of tomato Passata

Chopped fresh Parsley and Basil ( Sainsbury, by the fresh chilli peppers £2 and £2…but keeps for 4 months!)

Three capfuls of red wine….about 3 tablespoonsful

Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.

Method:

Boil the pasta in water as per  instructions, then drain in a colander in the sink. Run cold water through to chill immediately ( Food handling and hygiene safety..bacillus cereus)

Turn the drained and chilled pasta into a bowl and dress with enough Passata to coat in a wet sauce. Stir through the jar of pepper paste, three capfuls of red wine and a little olive oil. Add the parsley and basil and salt and pepper to taste. Leave the dressed pasta a bit wet as it will absorb the sauce to quite a degree. May be covered, refrigerated and stored for up to 3 days.

A touch of Turkish Tapas, Meze or Mezedes….Mediterranean nibbles

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My favourite London restaurant has closed after almost 50 years 😦

The Efes restaurant in Gt.Titchfield St. was famous for the atmosphere, the clientele ( right next to the BBC’s Langham Place building) the friendly staff, the food, the service and the theatre of it all.

One of their best sellers was the ‘Three Fillet Meze’, the three fillets of meat from the grill were preceded by mixed dips on a huge platter centred around a prawn cocktail, all served with hot pitta bread,  then a plate of pan fried liver was served finally followed  by the three fillets along with slices of hot donner kebab and then the whole meal was ended with a huge platter of hand-trimmed fruit pieces around a hollowed out pineapple with a night light candle in it and also sporting a couple of lit sparklers. Did I mention the theatre? Sometimes people clapped!

The amazing thing is that this feast cost just £18 a head! Unbelievable value for London!

So here follows a list of easy to do dips and nibbles to recreate Efes at home.

 

 

Stuff you can buy from most supermarkets to go with hot pitta bread:

Taramasalata ( smoked cod roe and bread dip)

Houmous, in various varieties ( Crushed chick peas, oil and crushed sesame seed paste)

Tzatziki, Cucumber  chunks in yoghurt

Babaganoush mashed aubergine and oil.

To accompany:

Pickle chillies in vinegar and brine.

Hot or sweet pickled red peppers in jars, some stuffed with soft cheese.

Olives in brine, oil or fresh packets

Pickled cucumbers

Carrot sticks and other  vegetable ‘crudites’

Marinated fresh anchovies

Tabouleh and bulghur wheat salads.

Beetroot and feta cheese puree.

Don’t forget the pitta bread!

Greek stuff:

Haloumi cheese, cheese for slicing and grilling (or frying, perhaps add some black pepper and mixed herbs)

Feta cheese for salads( buy real Greek stuff for better quality)

Jars or tins of Dolmades( rice wrapped in vine leaves)

Jars or tins of giant beans in a tomato sauce

Jars or tins of meat balls in a tomato sauce

Louganika red wine sausage. I just can’t find this in Surrey so I buy chipolatas and put them in a little plastic bag with some red wine after puncturing them a hundred times with a cocktail stick…the meat soaks up the red wine.

Spanish stuff:

Padron peppers,   sear in a dry frying pan to blister, add a drizzle of olive oil and shake around to coat, finish with a drizzle of runny honey and serve.

Patatas bravas  Boil little new potatoes, drain and cover with a little tomato ketchup with a dab of tomato puree and a dash of chilli sauce.

Chorizo in red wine. Dry fry sliced chorizo until the fat renders and the meat takes on a little dark colour. Splash over a little red wine and reduce to a syrup before serving.

Prawns in garlic oil. Add a big glug olive oil to a frying pan , add thawed cooked frozen little prawns and thinly sliced fresh garlic cloves. When warmed through serve with crusty dry bread to mop up the oil and prawns with…..

Spanish warm tapas

All of the above hot Spanish tapes dishes can be done ahead of time, placed in terracotta bowls and refrigerated until needed. Then just warm gently in a microwave just before serving them…or serve cold on a hot day?

Lebanese stuff

Labna Mix together equal portions of Philadelphia cheese and plain yoghurt. Use as a dip with pitta bread.

Falafel.  Chick pea rissoles. Buy a packet and follow the instructions. Try and shape the little rissoles like baby lemons for authenticity

Kofte. Roll lamb mince, mixed with ground cumin, ground coriander and dried mint into little balls and gently fry.

 

Others:

Tahini paste, slightly bitter paste made of ground sesame seeds…use in dips like houmous.

Jars of pickled chillies and peppers

Jars of pickled mushrooms

Jars of pickled vegetables..the Polish stuff is just right and very cheap to buy.

Jars of grilled peppers in oil

Jars of sun dried tomatoes in oil

Sardines and potato mashed together…a sort of Cornwall taramasalata

Diced pickled beetroot and salad cream

Diced hard boiled egg and vinegary mayonnaise

Mashed baked beans with a dash of chilli sauce

 

 

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Lord of the Burgers…one burger to rule them all

Inspired by some internet posts pointed out to me by my pal Jasmin I put this beast together. It got messy! To make just one 12 ounce burger you need:

Shopping: 

  Burger mince or two 6oz. patties

Streaky bacon

Grated mozzarella

Pickled peppers and jalapenos.

BBQ sauce

Seeded bun.

 

Method:

Lay clingfilm on your board and create a star of bacon using four rashers. Put two patties, or 12 ounces of seasoned burger mince together and form them around a tin can or other object, 3 and a half inches wide, put the burger cup centrally on the bacon star:

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Twist and pull the can out :

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Half fill the cup with packed-down grated mozzarella:

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Put some drained pickled peppers and jalapenos on top:

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Top off with more grated cheese:

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Pull the meat up over to make the pattie rounder, top with a dab of BBQ sauce, and bring the bacon ends up to the middle, securing them together with a cocktail stick:

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Wrap the burger up with the clingfilm and refrigerate to set the meat stiff:

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Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, at 190 Deg. C, or gas Mark 5, checking that the middle cheese has melted. You can do it in a BBQ with a lid, over ‘indirect heat’, i.e: not directly above the heat source.

 

This burger is MESSY to eat!  Wrap it in a foil nappy!

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Mint Sauce, …. for Indian starters

mint sauce

 

 

 

This stuff has changed in the restaurants over the years..these days it’s very sweet….it reminds me of cold custard!…..here’s the recipe for the modern stuff:

Yoghurt, low fat doesn’t seem to spoil the taste or texture. Add the following:

Milk to thin or ‘slacken’ the yogurt

Frozen Coriander

English Mint Sauce for lamb.

Caster sugar.

Pinch of salt.

Green food dye, optional

 

Start with a little of everything and see how you like it…but watch the salt…yogurt gets suddenly salty with just a grain too much and you can’t take it out again.  Don’t blend this with an electric blender as the yogurt will go runny and not thicken again later.

This gloop goes great with poppadums, chicken tikka, sheek kebabs and onion bhajis.