Friday, 12 February 2016

If someone had told me almost a year ago when we started making our own tortillas that they could be easily adapted into pizza bases, I'm sure I would be the size of a house by now! Thanks to the fact that this recipe calls for harissa paste instead of tomato sauce for a punchy Moroccan kick and the bases take mere minutes to knock up, you can have this pizza ready in about half an hour - much quicker (and healthier) than a takeaway!

Topped with sweet, crispy lamb, hot pickled peppers and melted feta, these bad boys are now firmly part of our weekly rotation.

Makes two 8-inch personal pizzas

For the flatbreads
200g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
150ml warm water
1 ½tbsp olive oil

For the toppings
200g Scotch lamb mince
½ green pepper, finely diced
½ small onion, finely diced
1tsp ras el hanout
1tsp cinnamon
½tsp paprika
½tsp garlic granules
1tbsp honey
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp harissa paste
75g feta cheese
75g grated mozzarella or cheddar 
3 pickled chilli peppers
1 tomato, roughly chopped

To make the flatbreads, combine all of the ingredients together. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Cut the dough in half and roll out into 8-inch rounds, about the same thickness as a pitta bread. In a hot, non-stick pan, cook on each side for a minute, or until bubbles start to appear. Set aside.

In the same pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil along with the ras el hanout, cinnamon, paprika and garlic granules. Once the spices start to release their aroma, add the onion and Scotch lamb mince to the frying pan and brown, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the green onion and fry for a few minutes, until the lamb mince is cooked through. Carefully, using the spoon or a pan lid, drain away any oil in the pan. Return to the heat and add the honey; it should sizzle and the lamb will start to go lovely and crispy. 

Heat up the grill. Meanwhile, wipe the pan clean and place one of the flatbreads in it. Put a tablespoon of harissa paste in the centre and spread outwards using the back of the spoon until most of the base is covered. Just a thin layer will do; the paste is fairly strong and can be quite spicy! Top with half of the lamb mixture, crumbled feta, tomato, grated cheese and sliced pickled peppers. Pop under the grill for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to bubble. Repeat with the second flatbread, slice and enjoy!


Monday, 8 February 2016
Our home is - and most likely always will be - a bit of a work in progress. After having to get rid of our old rug (RIP Flokati), I've been deliberating about a new living room rug for only about 3 years! After noticing our carpet was starting to get a bit tired, I knew I had to hurry up and choose something. I wanted something fairly neutral, but with a bit of texture to lift the rest of our slightly flat IKEA decor, but I also didn't want to spend too much money at this point: enter French Connection Home

If it's possible, I think I've fallen in love with a rug. I started looking at jute rugs as they're super inexpensive and versatile. The rugs can look a bit yellow, though, so this one (in the sale!), which is woven through with beautiful strands of soft grey leather, perfectly balances the equation. I'm thinking of getting a shaggy sheepskin rug to layer over it - I was thinking grey, but then I found this one, which is the same colour as our rabbit Scampi!

Other updates in the living room include Darren's carpentry sign - I made it for his birthday last year but he kept forgetting to take it out on jobs with him, and I sort of love how it looks here now! - and a bunch of new cushions; this Habitat one is a particular favourite.


Thursday, 4 February 2016
Move over courgetti! There's a new vegetable noodle in town. It turns out that my trusty little spiralizer can turn its hand to pretty much anything in the fruit and veg aisle. In this case, sweet potato takes the place of noodles to make this tasty take on mee goreng.

We had mee goreng every day for breakfast in Indonesia and I've really been craving it lately. Thanks to the sweet potato noodles - swoodles? - this makes for a light and healthy breakfast, providing you can stomach slightly sweet and spicy things for breakfast!

Last year my local Tesco introduced a large Tesco Ingredients section and I've found it invaluable; there are plenty of hard-to-find ingredients for South East Asian, Mexican, Korean meals and more and while they aren't always 100% authentic, they are really well priced and everything I've tried so far has been tasty and a real timesaver!

To make one portion
Half a sweet potato
A few tablespoons for frozen sweetcorn
1tbsp Tesco Ingredients nasi goreng paste
1tsp butter
1 free-range egg
Spring onion, coriander and sliced chilli to garnish

Heat a non-stick pan and dry fry the nasi goreng paste. Meanwhile, spiralize the sweet potato. If you don't have a spiralizer, you could make the rice version this pasted is named after - nasi goreng - by grating it instead. Stir fry the sweet potato noodles and sweetcorn in the pan, making sure everything is coated with the nasi goreng paste.

After a few minutes, push the sweet potato to the side, put the butter in the empty side of the pan and fry the egg. Add a splash of soy sauce to the top of the egg for an extra dose of salty savoury tastiness! Transfer the swoodles to a plate, top with the egg and garnish.

Cooking the sweet potato in this way makes for a fresh and crunchy texture; if you'd like the noodles to be softer, blanche in boiling water before adding to the pan.

And voila! This recipe really couldn't be simpler and is definitely going to be my go-to when I'm craving a big nest of noodles. I ended up making three recipes for the blog on the day I made this, so I have to say I'm grateful to have found another carb substitute for when I could do with cutting back.