Recipe: weeknight tortilla pizza

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I must admit I don’t particularly enjoy cooking for one. I think it’s because I put my energy into cooking for others. I enjoy that whole process; planning a menu, cooking it, presenting it and sharing it with loved ones. So when it’s just me I prefer something quick and simple. But something that tastes better than a ready meal!

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These tortilla pizzas actually fit that bill perfectly. Because when you buy a store-bought pizza, I always think it’s a bit dull. The dough is dry, the toppings lacking a bit in flavour and so on.

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Using a tortilla as the pizza base makes it less bread-y and heavy, and therefore perfect for a weeknight treat with a salad. To make sure I can always whip this up I keep homemade tomato sauce (so useful for other dishes as well) in portion packs in my freezer at all times, as well as tortillas. They defrost in seconds. And I always always have cheese in my fridge. And right there you have a margherita.

But I usually have ham, salami, mushrooms or something else laying around that I can put on the pizza to make it more substantial. It’s also a great way to fridge-forage and using up odd ends!

I honestly think this is the perfect weeknight supper for one. It’s warming, comforting and yummy but takes mere minutes to make!

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Tortilla pizza, per pizza

1 flour tortilla

2 tbsp tomato sauce (I make a batch and freeze it in portions) 

50 ml grated cheese or 1/2 mozzarella torn into pieces  

toppings of your choice such as ham, salami, fried mushrooms, vegetables, blur cheese, pineapple, chicken etc. 

1 tsp dried oregano

Spread tomato sauce onto the tortilla. Scatter with grated cheese. Add the toppings of your choice. Scatter with oregano. Bake in 200C for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Norfolk: pizza at The Jolly Sailors

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August in Norfolk is peak season, and the heat wave probably added to that. We’re talking car queues on every road leading to the beach, full car parks, looong ice cream queues, and packed beaches. So you can imagine that if you want a last minute reservation to a restaurant you have to be verrrry lucky.

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That’s why I really like places like The Jolly Sailors, where you don’t need to book (unless you’re a large group), can just show up on a whim, order a pizza and find yourself a table underneath vines and fairy lights.

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It’s rustic, semi-cosy, but also welcome to all. There’s an eclectic mix of guests and a large playground for the kiddos out back. And they make good pizzas (and offer takeaway too).

We had a very impromptu date night here on our last night, and as much as I love fancy restaurants and elaborate menus, sometimes a pizza in a beer garden with someone special is just the ticket.

The Jolly Sailors, Main Road, Brancaster Staithe PE31 8BJ

Recipe: pizza bianco with truffle salami and burrata

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I heart truffle. If I sea truffle on a menu my mouth starts watering and I have to have it. And I savour every bite. So imagine my delight (and surprise) when I found a packet (yes, packet – not even in the deli counter!!) of thinly sliced salami with truffle in my Swedish supermarket. I immediately grabbed a burrata nearby and decided on making this pizza.

Which I loved as much as I thought I would. I heart truffle. And burrata. But a nice grassy olive oil is key too.

Pizza bianco with truffle salami and burrata, makes 1 pizza

1/4 pizza dough 

flour for rolling

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche

1/4 buffalo mozzarella, torn into smaller pieces

100 ml grated Västerbotten cheese (mature cheddar works too) 

16-20 thin slices truffle salami (I actually found mine in the supermarket)

1 burrata 

1-2 tbsp good grassy olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

Roll out the dough with the help of a rolling pin on a floured surface. Place the rolled out pizza base on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Spread out the creme fraiche on the pizza base. Divide the mozzarella and the grated Västerbotten cheese.  Bake in a 220C (200C fan) oven for 8-10 minutes, until the base is crisp, the cheese has melted and the whole thing is golden brown.

Remove the pizza from the oven and cover it with truffle salami. Tear the burrata into smaller pieces and scatter them on the pizza. Drizzle with nice olive oil. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of sea salt and add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. 

Not the best week but at least the weekend was nice

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This past week wasn’t much fun, I must admit. On Monday I had to go home from work and then spent most of the week in bed with some kind of tummy virus. I was still exhausted towards the end of the week but managed to drag myself to the office for a few hours on Thursday before going home to bed again. I really don’t like being ill (but who does!?) and for me the worst part is not having any energy at all, and having to cancel plans. Last week I had to cancel both a book club gathering and a dear friend’s birthday celebrations, which pains me so much.

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Friday I managed almost a full day in the office and afterwards we went out for a quick bite to eat (I was too tired to cook) before going to the cinema to see Bohemian Rhapsody. Which was absolutely brilliant. I loved it so much and Rami Malek was excellent as Freddie Mercury! A must see!

Saturday I rested as much as I could during the day so I could go to a friend’s surprise birthday party in the evening. It was great fun to see her very surprised face when she realised she wasn’t having a date night with her husband but drinks and dinner with a large group of friends instead!

Sunday was a quiet affair with takeaway burgers, The Handmaid’s Tale and a good film. We saw The Founder about the McDonald’s empire and it was really good! A nice relaxing ending to a not so nice week.

Copenhagen: dinner at Bæst

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As you know I like to eat, and when I once a year have my day with friends (who luckily also likes their food) in Copenhagen, we make the most of it. Which is why we could fit in tacos for lunch (followed by some smørrebrød because why not?!), fika at our favourite place, wine and cheese pre-dinner at this nice little spot and then still had room for dinner. The August heat and the walking helped though.

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Bæst, our dinner spot for the evening was recommended by Daniel and all three of us loved it. It was laid back and cosy, and obviously a popular spot because it filled up as we sat there.

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The menu reflects the casual atmosphere and has the emphasis is on good local organic produce and sharing plates. Just what we like!

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The grilled courgette and kale salad what we started with was really nice. It had texture, a nice charred flavour on the courgette and acidity and freshness as well. It’s the kind of vegetable dish that makes you feel good.

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Next up we had a huge plate of chicken wings, covered in a herb-y finger-licking sauce. Delicious! And a lot fresher on the palate than regular buffalo wings (which I love, but this version was more interesting).

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After that we were ready for the main event; the pizzas!

Cooked in a 500C (!) oven these blistery, still soft but cooked just enough pizzas are to die for.

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Especially the classic margherita. With a delicious tomato sauce, their own (!) mozzarella and basil.

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I mean, look at this. Pizza perfection.

Bæst, Guldbergsgade 29, 2200 København N

Recipe: pizza bianco with pears and Saint Agur

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The last one of the pizzas I made in Sweden in the summer is this one with pears and my favourite blue cheese St Agur. It’s a very classic flavour combination that works really well on the bianco base. And I can assure you it was as yummy as it looks!

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But, as I always strive towards perfection, I do think it would be even nicer with some added crunch in the form of chopped walnuts and an extra hint of sweetness with a drizzle of Acacia honey. I tried to find both these ingredients in the beach house but as it’s not as well stocked as our regular kitchen I came out empty. As you can tell I didn’t really plan all the pizza toppings beforehand, but got carried away mid-baking.

Edit 4 February 2019: I made this again on New Year’s Day, this time with the chopped walnuts and acacia honey. And it really elevated the pizza! I highly recommend it. The honey contrasted nicely against the salty cheese and the walnuts added another dimension with their crunch and bitterness. Yum! See last picture. 

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Pizza bianco with pears and Saint Agur, makes 1 pizza

1/4 pizza dough 

flour for rolling

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche

1/4 buffalo mozzarella, torn into smaller pieces

100 ml grated Präst cheese (mature cheddar works too) 

2 pears, thinly sliced lenghtways

40 g Saint Agur, broken into smaller pieces

sea salt and black pepper

To serve:

chopped walnuts and a drizzle of acacia honey 

Roll out the dough with the help of a rolling pin on a floured surface. Place the rolled out pizza base on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Spread out the creme fraiche on the pizza base. Divide the mozzarella and the grated Präst cheese. Add the pear slices and distribute the Saint Agur. Season. Bake in a 220C (200C fan) oven for 8-10 minutes, until the base is crisp, the cheese has melted and the whole thing is golden brown. Remove from oven, add walnuts and honey and cut into slices. 

Recipe: pizza bianco with butter-fried girolles and Västerbotten cheese

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For once I feel like I’ve had a proper summer. It’s been warm and sunny both here in London and in Sweden. I’ve still got a tan and I swam in the sea several times. Had al fresco meals and lots of rosé. One might think I’ve had enough of summer for now, but I would happily continue the summer for another few months. But, because we had a real summer I am also, at the same time, looking forward to autumn. To cosy nights in, lit candles, blankets, darker colours and heartier dinners. And red wine instead of rosé.

And just like the trench coat and the leather jacket are good transitional pieces in our wardrobes I feel this pizza is the ultimate transitional dinner dish.

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Mushrooms always get me excited about autumn and their earthy taste is just what I’d want right now. Before the soups and stews. And, luckily – this pizza goes well with both red and rosé!

Pizza bianco with butter-fried girolles and Västerbotten cheese, makes 1 pizza

1/4 pizza dough 

flour for rolling

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche

1/4 buffalo mozzarella, torn into smaller pieces

100 ml grated Västerbotten cheese (mature cheddar works too) 

200 g girolles

2-3 tbsp butter

a splash of oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

chopped parsley

sea salt and black pepper

finely grated Västerbotten cheese for serving

Roll out the dough with the help of a rolling pin on a floured surface. Place the rolled out pizza base on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Spread out the creme fraiche on the pizza base. Divide the mozzarella and the grated Västerbotten cheese.  Bake in a 220C (200C fan) oven for 8-10 minutes, until the base is crisp, the cheese has melted and the whole thing is golden brown.

In the meantime, fry the girolles in butter and oil on medium-high heat. When the mushrooms are almost done, add the garlic and fry until golden (but no longer). Remove the pan from the heat and season well. Add the chopped parsley. 

Remove the pizza from the oven, divide the mushrooms onto the pizza, top with finely grated cheddar and cut into slices.