- NEWS & ACHIEVEMENTS -

2011
Delicious Magazine Recipe Feature Recipes published in Princes Trust Charity 'Trusty' Cookbook Guest panellist on UKTV Food's 'Market Kitchen' Recipes published in 'Come Dine With Me Special Occasions' book Blog named as a "Media Must-Have" in Jan & Feb issue of Olive Magazine

2010
Launch of Sabrina's one-to-one private cookery tuition Guest critic on Gordon Ramsay's 'F-Word' series finale Organised Top Chef Charity Banquet for Haiti raising £70,000 for 'Action Against Hunger' Seasonal Food & Recipe Writer for 'Blue Tomato'

2009
Winner of Channel 4's 'Come Dine With Me' (West London) 'Bronze' winner in professionally judged 'AA Home Cooking Competition 2009' Appointed resident cookery columnist for Foodepedia

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Monday, 31 January 2011

FAB FIND: Rosella Wild Hibiscus Flowers

We have long been fans of Hibiscus as it is commonly used in drinks and tea in my (Persian) culture as well Mexico, The Caribbean and also Egypt, where it is known as 'Karkadei' - a sort of national drink, if you will.

The flavour of hibiscus smacks of a cross between cherries and raspberries with a little of the dryness that cranberry has but yet still with a unique flavour all it's own. The flowers are not only pretty but they are perfectly edible too and packed with vitamin C and antioxidants.

The good news is that these wonderful flowers are becoming more and more popular in the UK and are starting to appear on cocktail lists throughout the country. The syrup and flower make a wonderful addition to a glass of chilled Champagne or Prosecco but I have some fantastic suggestions of great ways to use hibiscus in both sweet and savoury dishes as well as fabulous drinks too!

~ Superb Savoury Suggestions ~

- The syrup would make a fantastic glaze/baste for a ham or gammon joint.
- For 'Jus' sauces for red meat, add some of the syrup to the pan juices of a roast as a great alternative to redcurrant jelly. (perfect for lamb and venison!)
- Hibiscus vinaigrette is a delicious way to utilise the syrup, drizzled over a salad of roasted beetroot, candied pecan nuts and goat's cheese with a few of the whole flowers themselves.

~ Sensational Sweet Suggestions ~

- Drizzle hot sponge (straight out of the oven) with plenty of the syrup and once cooled, the sponge will have absorbed the delicious flavour, remaining moist and sticky.
- Soak trifle sponges in a mixture of hibiscus syrup and a cheeky measure of vodka for the ultimate trifle base.
- For an easy way to pimp up vanilla ice cream, frozen yoghurt or even Greek yoghurt, just drizzle the syrup straight on top, it couldn't be easier.

~ Cheeky Cocktails ~

- Pop a hibiscus flower into a Champagne flute, add an inch of the syrup and top up with Champagne or your favourite fizz.
- For a glamourous Martini, add 50mls of Vodka with 50mls of hibiscus syrup and some ice into a cocktail shaker... shake well and strain and serve in a Martini glass, garnished with a hibiscus flower.
- For my Hibiscus 'cooler' cocktail, mix 50mls of syrup with 50mls of gin and serve over ice in a tall glass and top up with cloudy lemonade.

To get your hands on a jar of these versatile Rosella Wild Hibiscus flowers in syrup, visit 'Porter Foods' website at: www.porterfoods.co.uk

The perfect purchase in time for Valentine's Day!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

RECIPE: Classic Won Ton Soup

Won Ton soup has always been a staple in my family, since I was a kid. I started cooking when I was 6 and by the time I was 9, my obsession with Ken Hom was at an all time high... watching him religiously on BBC1 every week creating mouthwatering Chinese dishes may explain where my love of Chinese food came from. If you watch enough cookery on TV, eventually you learn recipes and gain the confidence to try to recreate them in your kitchen and this combined with regular trips to Chinese restaurants was how I started cooking Chinese food at home.

Aged just 8, I would cook full meals for my Grandmother and all her glamorous friends making beef stir fries with noodles, sweet and sour chicken (aided by the revolutionary new 80's trend of ready made sauces in jars) and Won Ton soup. I try hard to think how I started making Won Ton soup and perhaps if someone had taught me; but I don't ever remember learning any cookery from anyone during my childhood/teens but I did live near an oriental supermarket and having Won Ton skins readily available back in the 80's was a rarity and did make experimenting much easier and more accessible than for most.

Over the years, I have improved the recipe and flavour greatly and feel I have now perfected it to a standard that would give most Chinese restaurants a run for their money and even better, my cooking is MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) free! So no unpleasant flavour or side effects, just healthy and delicious cooking.

Won Ton Soup

Won Ton skins (available from all Oriental/Southeast Asian supermarkets)
150g of raw, peeled tiger prawns
150g of minced pork
1 litre 500g fresh chicken stock (Waitrose do a great one)
5-6 tablespoons of Kikkomans soy sauce (you can use normal dark soy sauce here)
1 litre of water
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 head of Chinese cabbage, cut roughly into 3 inch strips
1 lemongrass stalk, bashed to allow for flavour release
8 inches of ginger
2 large free range eggs
Maldon sea salt
**Food Processor & pastry brush**

Preheat a large deep cooking pot over a medium heat. Take 4 inches of ginger and peel it and slice into centimetre thick discs and add to your dry pan along with the bashed lemongrasses and allow the heat to bring out the flavours of them for about 5 minutes before adding your chicken stock, water and also your soy sauce and allow to cook gently over a low-medium heat. (The liquid should not boil/bubble at any stage)

Add your prawns, pork mince and egg yolk into the food processor and grate the remaining 4 inches of ginger into the processor also along with a few pinches of Maldon sea salt and place the lid on the processor and blitz the mixture well until the prawns are minced and the whole mixture resembles minced meat.

Beat the remaining eggs and brush your Won Ton pastry skins all over with beaten egg (just enough to ensure it gets sticky, but not that it becomes too wet) and scoop a heaped teaspoon of your pork and prawn mixure into the centre and starting with a corner, make clockwise folds (or anti-clockwise folds, if you're a lefty) inwards, slowly sealing in and gathering the edges of your pastry and once you've reached the end, pinch the corners together ensuring they are nicely sealed and no meat is exposed. There is no particular method in doing this, just do it as best as you can and adopting a technique that is easy for you making sure no meat is exposed and the won tons are properly sealed. Repeat the process until all your won tons are done. If making these in advance, I would refrigerate them now for a couple of hours BUT if you don't have the luxury of time, I would lay them out on a plate and give them a quick blast in the freezer for 10 minutes (this will prevent them for falling apart in the stock and they will keep their shape nicely whilst they cook)

The soup is about 15-20 minutes from being ready so using a slotted spoon, remove your thick discs of ginger and also your lemongrass stalk. Turn the temperature of the pan up a little to generate a rolling boil (medium high for electric hob users) and add in your chopped cabbage, spring onions and all your dumplings. Cook for 15 minutes or so until the cabbage has softened and the Won Tons are soft and cooked through. Chefs perk to try one at this point and ensure they are cooked properly... and serve! Truly delicious and definitely a light but warming dish perfect for Winter and perfect for those wanting to eat healthily.

RECIPE: Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad

Just because it's the new year, I hate the notion that people feel the need to 'detox'. Many people avoid alcohol for the month of January, which in some cases may be wise, but to restrict your diet? Well that is pure punishment in my opinion. A really great solution to lightening the load (and calories) for the new year is to switch to adopting the principles of asian cookery.

Whilst Chinese food is one of our favourites, it isn't the healthiest of foods stemming from the far east but southeast asian cookery and some Japanese cookery can be incredibly delicious, healthy and satisfying. Vietnamese food is particularly healthy as is Thai food providing you steer clear of the obvious offending fried foods and coconut milk/cream rich curries. The principles of Thai food as especially pleasing to the palate with most dishes combining an element of salt, sweet, spicy and sour... The combination works well and is very pleasing to both the mouth and the stomach!

This is my take on a southeast asian classic, fresh papaya salad and it's absolutely delicious and so versatile you can add in whatever else you like because most ingredients will work. Here is the recipe but remember you can substitite the papaya with matchstick pieces of mango or any other fruit like grated green apple and you can substitute the chicken with prawns, pork, beef or just remove the meat entirely.

Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad (serves 2 as a main meal or 4 as a starter)

2 chicken breasts
Schwartz chicken seasoning
250g white cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 unripe papaya (choose a hard one), peeled, deseeded and grated
6 spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (stalks and all)
Good handful of salted peannuts, chopped **optional**

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
Juice of a whole lime
2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
2 teaspoons of fish sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
2 teaspoons of olive oil

Preheat a frying pan on a medium heat (low-med if using gas) and rub some oil onto your chicken breasts, seasoning well with Schwartz chicken seasoning on both sides and cook your chicken breasts gently so they cook through but brown nicely on both sides (usually about 8 minutes each side depending on the size). Cut the breast through the centre to ensure its cooked, if not, finish cooking the raw area and then remove from pan and shred the chicken using a sharp nice on a chopping board and set aside.

In a large bowl (I like using wide, flat bowls)and add your shredded cabbage, grated carrot, grated papaya, spring onions and mix welll using your hands. Mix together all the ingredients for your dressing and add the chicken to the bowl, pour over your dressing and mix well again, before adding your coriander and chopped peanuts. One final mix and you are ready to serve. The more you allow the sauce to penetrate the salad, the softer the vegetables become, but they never lose their crunch and it makes a perfect lunch for the following day!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

REVIEW: The Belvedere, Holland Park

The Belvedere is by no means the new kid on the block. This Kensington stalwart has long been a favourite of the affluent locals; nestled in the heart of leafy Holland Park, its location is second to none if beautiful surrounds are your thing. The building dates back to the 17th century when it was used as a summer ballroom to the Jacobean Mansion, Holland House.

Having never eaten here, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from The Belvedere. Long gone are the days where Marco Pierre-White was the name on everybody’s lips but perhaps not entirely for the right reasons. Ask anyone who knows anything about food, particularly when it comes to the best restaurants in the eighties and early nineties… they will know that Marco Pierre-White was the undisputed King of the London restaurant scene with a constellation of Michelin stars under his belt.

Saturday lunches at The Belvedere are Jazz Piano-filled and although at first I was filled with dread, it proved to be a pleasant accompaniment to our meal. The dining room was buzzing with patrons from ‘ladies that lunch’ to families and friends. Service is very area-appropriate; formal and courteous without being overly stuffy. The menu is an elegant balance of old classics and traditional French cuisine but the sight of ‘Caesar Salad a la Belvedere’ did leave me feeling a little uneasy. Fortunately my starter Parfait of Foie Gras was excellent; rich and creamy with a silky finish on the palate and that decadently salty and unmistakable flavour of fatty goose liver that prevents Foie Gras production from extinction. The Parfait is complimented beautifully by a sweet pear chutney and a toasted slice of thick Brioche bread.

The main course of swordfish with salsa verde and oven roast potatoes was outstanding and deserves honourable mention. The swordfish was charred to perfection, meaty and succulent with every bite melting in the mouth and the potatoes were crispy and comforting as you would hope roast potatoes to be. I didn’t manage dessert, but expect lots of hearty, seasonal favourites such a pear and almond tart as well as crème brulee and a selection of English and French cheeses.

I would say that I left The Belvedere feeling incredibly impressed not only with the food but also the attentive service. The value offered here is really hard to beat in the locality, with a 3-course lunch priced at just £24.50 you really are getting excellent value in stylish surrounds reminiscent of the days of Art Deco and Chinoiserie. A revival is most definitely in order and The Belvedere is a wonderful yet affordable treat.

Monday, 24 January 2011

TREND ALERT: Kimchee is King!

I wouldn't dare boast and say that I like to keep ahead of trends but you may remember back in 2009, I wrote a piece on Korean food... extolling the virtues of that fabulous Korean staple of fermented cabbage pickle, known as Kimchee. CLICK HERE to refresh your memory...

Well apparently in this months edition of The Observer Food Monthly, they are saying that Kimchee is the new food trend for 2011. At this point, I would like to say "I told you so!"

It's bizarre, it stinks, it tastes fizzy on your tongue... but it is addictive stuff, great for weight loss and absolutely heavenly with grilled/BBQ'd meats and a side of fluffy steamed rice. I still can't get enough of the stuff and when I travelled around Asia, Korea was the only country where I lose weight! I ate tonnes of food and tonnes of Kimchee and I lost 2 kilos! I may have subsequently 'found' those kilos in Thailand... but hey, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! I am prepared to suffer for my art.

Kimchee is sold in most Oriental supermarkets, so stock up today. It takes a little while to get used to it, but I guarantee that if you like garlic, chilli and cabbage... you will LOVE it! To try Korean BBQ for yourself, I recommend paying a visit to 'Arang Restaurant' in Golden Square, London W1. http://www.arang.co.uk/ Lunches are super cheap at under 10 quid for a set menu and dinners are pretty great value too!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

RECIPE: Seafood Moilee

You might not know what a Moilee is, but you may have eaten it somewhere along the line. A Moilee is a delicious and creamy curry, originating for the sun-kissed shores of Goa in India. Different to most other curries a Moilee is very delicately spiced and whilst it can still have a decent chilli kick, the heat is mellowed greatly by the rich and creamy addition of coconut milk. 'Meen Moilee' is a seafood curry usually made with King fish, local to Goa but quite commonly studded with a wonderful variety of perfectly tender scallops, prawns, squid and white fish.

I love anything that has coconut in it and having used so many different brands of coconut milk, I have realised that quality varies greatly from brand to brand. Top Chef Atul Kocchar volunteered his time as one of the Chef at the Haiti Charity Banquet I masterminded last year and when sourcing his ingredients for his dish, he stated a preference for 'Pride' brand of coconut milk which convenientlt, I have found at my local Sainsbury's in the Caribbean and Asian sectiom. So if you can lay your hands on it, then stock up! It is a fantastic kitchen staple and is much richer and creamier than other brands of coconut milk. Here is how to make a deliciously satisfying Seafood Moilee perfect for a dinner party or just a simple and comforting meal for two;

Seafood Moilee (Serve 2, double quantities if required)

1 tin of coconut milk
4 large scallops
6 large raw prawns, peeled cleaned
200g of chunky white fish (Cod, Coley, Monkfish or Haddock work beautifully)
2 teaspoons of turmeric
1 teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds
Handful of Curry leaves (from Asian supermarkets) or 1 teaspoon of curry powder
2 finely chopped green chillies (or one if you don't like a decent heat)
2 onions, halved and sliced into thin half moons
6 inches of grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
Juice of half a fat lime
Generous handful of roughly chopped coriander
Maldon sea salt
Cooking oil
**optional** Vegetables of your choice, I like to use green beans

In a deep pan over a medium-high heat, once the pan is hot add some oil and your mustard seeds and cover with a lid whilst the mustard seeds pop and release their flavour into the oil. Then saute your onions in oil cooking onion until translucent and slightly golden. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and curry leaves and stir well allowing to cook for a couple of minutes. Add your turmeric and stir well into the onions allowing the turmeric to cook through a little.

Next add your coconut milk and several generous pinches of Maldon sea salt and stir the mixture well, tasting it to check the seasoning and adjusting accordingly beforer adding the lime juice. Then add your green beans and allow to cook for 5 minutes and during this time, cut your white fish into chunks about 2 inches squared and add them into the pot. 2 minutes later add the prawns and cook for about 2 minutes before finally adding your scallops. Once you have added the scallops, simmer for a minute and turn off the heat and remove the pan from the hob. Stir through your roughly chopped fresh coriander and serve with steaming fragrant basmati or jasmine rice.

RECIPE: Chicken Escalopes A La Milanese

Granted that the classica 'Escaloppa Milanese' is made using veal, but although I adore veal, not everyone else seems to these days and more importantly, chicken is a lot cheaper and more widely available than veal. Most of our veal production in the UK is exported to France and Holland, because there just isn't enough demand for it here, which is a shame because it is delicious.

One of my mother's favourite dishes are delicious Milanese style veal or chicken escalopes with a side of pasta and a juicy wedge of lemon; and who could blame her? It is pretty tasty eating, if you ask me... and it's a real crowd pleaser as the whole family, especially the kids, seem to love it. Here is the very simple recipe for turning a bland chicken breast into something far more exciting. There are no recipe quantities here really, except that you should allow for one breast per person;

Chicken Escalopes A La Milanese

Chicken breasts
Plain flour
Free range eggs (2 per 4 chicken breasts)
Breadcrumbs (I use Japanese 'Panko' breadcrumbs, but any will do)
Maldon Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
Oil for cooking
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
**Sandwich bags or cling film, 2 flat plates, rolling pin and one bowl**

Whilst the process of making this dish is simple, it is a bit fiddly but very fun to make, especially for kids. Generously add plain flour to a flat plate, enough that there is a thick layer coating the surface of the plate. Season this flour very well with lots and lots of Maldon sea salt and some black pepper. Add a generous amount of your breadcrumbs to your other flat plate and crack your eggs into the bowl and whisk well seasoning with some salt also. Then preheat a large frying pan on a medium heat (so that things brown but don't burn).

I like to place my chicken breasts into sandwich bags ready to be flattened... this contains the unhygienic splatter of raw chicken on to your kitchen surfaces. Alternatively you can enrobe your chicken breast loosely in cling film (allowing enough film for the widening of the flattened chicken breast) and then bash the chicken breast until you get a nice flat and evenly thick chicken breast (approx just under a centimetre thick).

Once flattened, dip the chicken into your seasoned flour making sure every inch is coated, but dusting off any excess. Then plunge the chicken breast into beaten egg ensuring all areas are coated, before adding the final coating of breadcrumbs. Dont be afraid to really pack the crumbs into the chicken breast, patting them to ensure the breast is properly coated and then fry it gently in a pan for about 8 minutes each side until nicely golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lemon and your favourite pasta and grate some fresh parmesan on top of the escalope, if desired. HERE is my recipe for a simple and tasty tomato sauce for your pasta or alternatively for those who want a great cheat's tip, I like to use Sacla's Tomato and Chilli 'Intense Paste' which works fantastically stirred into a bit of pasta and you can add olives, vegetables or anything you like to it.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Do you 'Shabu-Shabu' ???

I have long had a sort of obsession with Japanese culture and traditions; when I was a child, I would come home from school and switch on the TV and every afternoon on Channel 4, Sumo wrestling would be on and from the first moment I saw these giant men with funny hair-dos, I was completely and utterly hooked. So what on earth do Sumo wrestlers have to do with Shabu-Shabu? Well despite their gargantuan statures, Sumo wrestlers diets are incredibly important and during my visit to Japan, I learned that the traditional meal-of-choice (post-match) for a Sumo wrestler is none other than a humble bowl of Shabu-Shabu.

Don't think for a second that there is anything remotely unhealthy or fattening about Shabu-Shabu... On the contrary, Shabu-Shabu is a nourishing bowl of meat and vegetable deliciousness designed to hydrate, energise and satisfy. In fact it is one of the healthiest meals one can indulge in and to say that I'm ecstatic to have found a proper Shabu-Shabu joint just 5 minutes from my house, is a complete and utter understatement!

The concept is simple and pretty similar to that of Vietnamese Pho or Fondue Chinoise... but in my humble opinion, it knocks the socks off them both. A cauldron of clear dashi broth bubbles away on a flame (or electric hob) in front of you. You are served a selection of udon noodles, tofu and vegetables as well as your chosen meat. In Japan the traditional meat is usually pork and you can choose between a regular dashi broth or a spicy dashi broth. Here at 'Genji' in Whole Foods Market Kensington, you have a choice of beef, chicken, pork, seafood and vegetable (something for everyone) and the plain dashi broth is served along with condiments of Shichimi pepper seasoning, ponzu sauce and chilli oil. How your dish is flavoured and what goes into it, is entirely up to you! Oh how the control freak in me loves this style of dining.

My new pal Tommy (who works at Genji and is pictured above) proved to be a stimulating dining companion as I chomped gratefully on my Shabu-Shabu, creating a different flavour combination each time. I remenisced about Tokyo where myself and some friends went to see the prestigious Sumo wrestlers in action and afterwards I was taken to a restaurant known for it's fantastic Shabu-Shabu. It was absolutely wonderful and seemed to provide me with every single vitamin and mineral that my flu-ridden body was clearly lacking at the time. So to have Shabu-Shabu on my doorstep, makes me feel very fortunate indeed and I highly recommend you try it because it is the perfect remedy to the cold weather and leaves your tummy feeling utterly satisfied and very loved.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Cheats Way to Pad Thai Perfection!

Every now and again I stumble across a product that surprises the B'Jesus out of me at how good it is and it looks like I have found another corker! Good old M&S's Pad Thai paste has officially exceeded my expectations and just might be my new favourite ingredients!

I love Thai food and especially Pad Thai; rice noodles beat egg noodles hands down in my book. I can even get a little snooty about Pad Thai at certain restaurants where the noodles are either too bland and pale or the flavour is more like chow mein. So the thought of even attempting to make Pad Thai at home myself, has always scared me senseless for fear of utter failure. But recently on a hurried shopping trip to M&S, I was cruising the Oriental sauces section and spied a jar of Pad Thai paste which was on special offer (99p)and I popped a jar into basket and it was fantastic. The whole meal from start to finish took me less than 10 minutes! Not bad for a Monday night supper, eh?

Incredibly helpfully the jar has a shopping list on the label along with cooking instructions, so it is foolproof! All you need are:

- Flat rice noodles
- 2 eggs
- Spring onions
- Beansprouts
- Raw prawns
- Peanuts (to garnish)
- Coriander
- Lime wedge (optional)

If you love Pad Thai, you won't be disappointed and you'll never look back. I am usually utterly disappointed with supermarket cheat-products, but in my opinion... Marks and Spencers Pad Thai paste deserve 10 out of 10!

Friday, 7 January 2011

RECIPE: Homemade Pizza

As much as I love food of all varieties, pizzas are something I struggle with... a lot. Why? Well, I simply cannot stand most of these generic pizzas sold in supermarkets, takeaways and restaurants. The bare minimum for me has to be Pizza Express which although not fantastic, is perfectly edible and as long as I keep the toppings simple I enjoy them.

The first ‘real’ pizza I ever had was in San Remo, Italy… I remember biting into it thinking that the crust resembled more of a wafer thin cracker and that there was a very scant topping of fresh diced tomatoes, a little mozzarella cheese dotted around and a few torn basil leaves… it was heavenly. From that day on, I decided that I like my pizzas fired in a wood oven and not heaped in toppings… ESPECIALLY NOT PINEAPPLE! Pizzas can be whatever you want them to be and that is the beauty of them; from it’s inception, the pizza is a humble way to make a meal using leftover scraps of cheese and meat with a little freshly diced tomato. Simplicity is such a pure and beautiful thing, I do find things like ‘meat feast’ pizzas quite stomach-churning… call me a snob, but perhaps that’s what I am… a bonafide pizza snob.

This recipe for pizza proved to be a winner because the dough is simple (if not a tad messy) and I made it for a group of us and everyone got to roll their own dough which resulted in lots of different shapes. I laid out a huge platter of toppings for people to choose from including blue cheese, parmesan, fontina and mozzarella cheeses plus diced chorizo, parma ham and salami slices. I also added mushrooms, chillies, basil leaves and dried oregano for people to add if they wished... No wonder it was such a success! DIY pizzas won the day and here is the recipe;

Homemade Pizza

For the dough

1kg strong white bread flour
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
650ml warm water
4 tablespoons of olive oil (and extra to brush on pizza bases)

For the topping
6 good quality tomatoes, deseeded and then diced
Mozzarella (NOT Buffalo in this instance, just plain cow mozzarella)
Other toppings of your choice (Parma ham, salami, chorizo, vegetables, cheeses etc)

METHOD
Sieve the flour together with the salt either into a very large mixing bowl making a well in the middle.... Or if you are feeling brave, then onto a clean work surface making a well in the middle. **WARNING** I chose the latter method after watching Jamie Oliver on TV and all I can say is prepare for the mess! If the liquid breaks the delicate wall of flour, you will flood your work surfaces with sticky, yeasty, watery dough mix! A bowl is better.

Add your 650mls of water into a measuring jug then add your yeast, sugar and olive oil into it and stir well before resting it for a few minutes then pouring it into the flour well. Slowly work the flour into the liquid until a dough forms and then work the rest of the flour adding flour to the mix to prevent it sticking to your hands. Knead the mixture well until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and sprinkle flour on top of it before covering the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm corner or room for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Once done, remove the dough and literally 'punch' it to remove the excess air from it. If you don't want to use all the dough, freeze what you want right now in an airtight container.

Take a fist size ball of dough and roll it out as thinly as possible (less than 1/2 cm thick is ideal) and then brush with olive oil, dot some diced tomatoes around the pizza and add the toppings of your choice. Remember, less is more when it comes to pizza... and then bake in the oven at 240 degrees (fan assisted) for about 8 minutes or until the crust is nice and brown and the cheese is nice and melted. E finito... Buon apetito!