Nov 25 2012

The Perfect Pizzas (for us)

Category: Cooking,Family,ThermomixRobert McGovern @ 1:11 am

We eat pizza pretty much once a week, these days it tends to be homemade though we occasionally still order from Smileys. (more when the kids pester for Smileys pizza brotchen or when guests) There is something nicer about making it yourself as you can control the amount of sauce, how thick the base is, the quantity of toppings and the amount of cheese.

For me I’ve always preferred a thin base, I’m not eating pizza to eat a wodge of bread so I want as thin as possible and while I like a ton of sauce I don’t like a lot of cheese. The only thing I miss out on is the nice beef that Smileys use, I haven’t worked out what sort of spice they add to it but it sure is tasty.

We use two recipes that are available of the Thermomix forum, the first for the tomato sauce is easy as pie:

Garlic Pizza Saucesource

For the ingredients you’ll need:

      Around 425g of tomatoes (or a bit more, we used 490g today)

 

      2 cloves of Garlic (we tend to use 3-4)

 

      8 dessertspoons tomato purée

 

    4 dessertspoons brown sugar

Then to make the sauce

      The blitz the garlic for 5 seconds at speed 7.

 

      Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

 

      Again blitz for 5 seconds at speed 7.

 

      Add tomatoes, tomato purée and brown sugar to the bowl.

 

      Set timer for 20 minutes, temperature to Varoma and speed to 1.

 

      As one of the kids is now eating the sauce I tend to blitz the final sauce for 10 seconds at speed 7-8 to destroy any pieces of tomato that might still be there

 

    Scrape the sauce out of the Thermomix bowl into a different bowl to cool

While the sauce is cooling, assuming you don’t have a second TMX bowl, give the bowl a quick rinse and make the dough. (or cheat and make it earlier. We now have a second bowl so I make the dough first, switch bowls and make the sauce)

Thin and Crispy Pizza Doughsource

Ingredients

      170g of Water

 

      1tsp salt

 

      1tsp sugar

 

      7g of packet yeast

 

    260g plain flour

Making it is a breeze

      Add 170g of water to the Thermomix bowl, set temp to 37°c for 1-3 minutes on speed 1 (depends on outside temp how long it takes to hit 37°c)

 

      Add the salt, sugar and yeast avoiding the blades. Mix together on speed 1 for 1 minute.

 

      Add the flour, mix for 20 seconds on speed 5. You may need a dash or two of water to get the right consistency.

 

      Set timer for 2 minutes, and select the knead function.

 

      Finally turn the dough out of the bowl and roll to your desired pizza size. To quote

One mix makes 2 really big bases or 3 medium bases. I use this recipe for pizza pockets as well and it easily makes 10.

We use it two make 4 pizzas: two larger and two smaller for the kids.

When your ready, spread the sauce onto the bases, add your toppings and cheese and cook for 5-8 minutes in the oven. (we use the Fan function, 230°c, and put it in towards the bottom) There you have it, yes a little effort but scrumier than store bought and a fraction of the price.

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In the off chance your interested, our tastes on toppings are a bit varied:

Toby has no sauce, with minced beef, bacon and grated mozzarella
Mareike has sauce, cheese and occasionally salami
Bob has sauce, red and yellow peppers, minced beef, grated mozzarella & Italian herbs (sometimes chicken)
Rob has sauce, grated mozzarella, sometimes a little bacon, sometimes spiced minced beef, plain chicken or chicken tikka, or prosciutto and pizza spice

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Sep 25 2011

“Master Moderator’s Best Bolognaise Sauce in the World”

Category: Cooking,ThermomixRobert McGovern @ 11:12 am

I tried making this http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?topic=6305.0 recipe last night

Ok… it’s about time I posted one of my specials!!!! This is seriously delicious!!

Servings: 6-8

Cook Time: 40 min.

Ingredients:

•   2 medium sized onions
•   3 garlic cloves
•   500g minced beef
•   I canned tomatoes (or 250g fresh tomatoes)
•   100g tomato paste
•   Small glass of red wine
•   1 teaspoon Dried Basil
•   20g Olive Oil
•   I teaspoon Dijon Mustard
•   1 teaspoon Dried Basil
•   3 teaspoon sugar

Instructions:
Place onions (halved) and whole peeled garlic cloves. Push on that TURBO button until finely chopped. Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil. Cook on 100ºC for 3 mins      Then add the canned or fresh tomatoes and hit the turbo button a couple of times.

Now add all of other ingredients. Separate the minced beef with your fingers, whilst placing in bowl. Give it a good mix around with spatula. Now cook for for 35 mins, 100ºC     Halfway through cooking time, give it a good stir… Let stand for a few mins before serving.

That’s it.. Easy but delicious!!

Serve with pasta (of course) and a nice rocket, cherry tomato and feta cheese salad (dressing made of olive oil and balsamic vinegar)

But it failed badly, there really wasn’t a sauce so to speak and it was more stodgy mince. I followed a suggestion of using Passiert (about 300g) rather than the Puree but I don’t think it helped.

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Jan 20 2011

Choc Chip Cookies

Category: Cooking,ThermomixRobert McGovern @ 11:47 pm

While I have a couple of other food entries to do too, I thought I’d tackle this first as I made them today. {Note I have tweaked the formating for the moment as I couldn’t get the post to format as I wanted, with some pics between the text}

When I was looking at the many recipes over at Forum Thermomix, I spotted this simple recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that dede converted from somewhere. Given we all like cookies I figured I’d give it a try (though admittedly I prefer soft cookies over crispy cookies).

To quote Dede’s post:

Choc Chip Cookies

150g Butter
100g Brown Sugar
85g White sugar (or Raw)
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
220 g Self raising Flour
choc chips as desired (I add 100 grams)

1) Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and line baking trays.
2) Place butter, sugars and vanilla into TM bowl and cream together for 20 seconds on speed 6, scrape down sides.
3) Add egg yolk and beat on speed 3 and gradually add flour, set lid to closed lid position and mix for 30 seconds on Interval speed.
4)Add choc bits and mix for 20 seconds on reverse + speed soft.
5) Roll mixture into balls and place 5 cm apart on prepared trays. bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Being not particularly thoughtful I started to go wrong from the start. To begin with I only had 100g of plain flour so I ended up using 120g of Bread flour for the rest, with 2 tsp’s of baking powder per the suggestion in the thread.

As I couldn’t find an choc chips in the supermarket I was in I ended up buying a chocolate bar and trying to grind it up in the Thermomix. That kind of worked (I had meant to take a photo), though I had a bunch of “powdered” chocolate and a bunch of chunks. Initially I gave it about 3 or 4 seconds on speed 4 to see what it would do, and thats why I had a bunch of powered chocolate as it mostly just knocked pot marks into the chocolate cubes. I then ran it for a few more seconds at speed 8 which gave more of the desired effect. (I think this was part of the reason for the darker look)

I wasn’t sure what “1 tsp vanilla” referred to so I used the “Vanilla Bourbon” (its a non artificial Vanilla extra that we used in some other dish a few days ago). I used 5g’s worth (about the tsp listed in the ingredients) but I feel it was too strong.

The brown sugar I used had been open a little while so was a bit too lumpy and hard. Some bits didn’t break down well during step 1.

I messed up step 3 somewhat. For whatever reason I switched my brain off for step 3 and beat the egg in at speed 3 for 44 seconds before I started adding in any flour.

The dough at the end of step 4 seemed to come out sensibly enough, though my initial shaping had the cookies being a little big.

For whatever reason though I had to give them way longer than the suggested 10-12 minutes, with tray 1 I think they had nearly 25 minutes (due in part to 4 of them being huge) and tray 2 had about 17 minutes.

Overall the kids and my wife enjoyed the cookies, though Bob (the wife) did comment that she’d prefer them softer and a little sugary (though it didn’t stop her having a few). Me, well I don’t like them particularly I don’t like the taste & feeling it leaves on my tongue (which may be the brown sugar, the baking powder or the vanilla) but its unfair for me to fully judge when I botched making them a bit.

Some photos:

The completed cookie dough, not bad if a little vanillaie, rolled into ball nicely

As you can see the cookies in tray 1 are a little large

This was the first cookie from tray 1 I felt was ready to remove

These are the first tray of cookies

This is the second tray of cookies, more sensibly sized

This is tray 2 part way through cooking

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Jan 19 2011

Thermomix Cooking

Category: Cooking,Personal,TechnologyRobert McGovern @ 12:08 pm

thermo_press
Photo is “thermo_press” by abby_luque, on Flickr

Last year Bob get herself a new toy for the kitchen called the Thermomix (DE site). To quote the UK site the device

Thermomix is a super fast food blender and processor that also weighs, cooks, simmers and steams!

It really does replace a bunch of devices in the kitchen, though in our case more only a Magic Mix food processor. You can cook a full in the Thermomix as it has a simmering basket (which can be useful for steaming rice) and whats called a Varoma which is used for steaming vegetables / meat / pasta. It so versatile you can make bread dough, soups, sauces, drinks, desserts and main meals.

Whats odd about the machine, is that you can’t simply go to a store and buy one. They are basically sold via demonstrators, who come to your house and for a couple of hours they come and show you what the machine can do and cook various dishes for you (for instance when Bob had a couple of demos the demonstrator made Wholemeal bread rolls, soup, a dip of some kind and I believe a jam).

You might think its a little dodgy that you can only get the machine this way but it honestly isn’t. Its an expensive machine and they don’t want you to simply discount it because of the price and they want you to truly see what the machine can do which if it sat on a shop shelf you never would (nor would you see how damn easy it is too clean).

You have to convert your recipes a bit to use it, something I do not feel comfortable trying to do yet but thats fine as there are tons of recipes on blogs on the Internet and in the rather busy and very friendly Australian Thermomix forums.

Given I’ve started to use it more, I’m going to (try) and blog the recipes we use with photo’s of what the final dish looked like. I suspect it will be a long time though before you manage to extract and original recipe from me (if ever!) 🙂

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