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Some of the More Meatier Pizza Toppings to Try

In spite of spring being around the corner, we still seek comfort in form of fireplaces, blankets, couches and, of course, food. The cooler temperatures and fewer daylight hours paired with more days spent indoors certainly have an effect on what we are hungry for. Hearty dishes such as pasta casseroles, feta stuffed meatballs and bowls packed with slow-cooked stews are usually what we are craving after we made it through another cold and rainy week.
If you have just gotten home and are looking to feast on some quick and tasty comfort food to get you through this cold and damp season, odds are you are reaching for your mobile phone and give your favourite pizza delivery service a call – and you are probably not feeling guilty about it. Pizza is perhaps one of the most iconic comfort foods in cold times and there are a few topping combinations, which are so everlasting good they should be on every menu. Read on to find out about the best meaty pizza toppings before you place your order at your favourite pizza store.
 

Spicy Lamb

This lamb pizza with baby spinach and fresh zesty lemon is a homage to Lahmacun, the Middle Eastern flatbread. This crust features homemade pizza sauce, delicious spicy lamb, Spanish onions, jalapenos and is topped with Greek yoghurt to take away some of the spice and a pleasant surprise of different texture.
 

Bubba Deluxe

For somebody who can’t live without seafood until the BBQ comes out, this is the perfect blend of flavours for you. Topped with hot salami, tiger prawns, smoked ham, creamy feta cheese and Kalamata olives and fresh herbs and lemon for a Mediterranean twist, this pie is sure to warm your belly and your heart.
 

Meat Deluxe

As the name implies, this pizza is generously topped with a blend of several delicious types of meat. The pizza comes with a BBQ base, featuring smoked ham, hot salami, spiced beef and last but not least cracking bacon strips. This pizza surely is a must try for meat lovers.
 

Mexican

For some authentic Mexican flavour other than your hearty bowl of Chilli con Carne, try this delicious pizza topping combination of smoked ham, hot salami, red capsicum, Kalamata olives, jalapenos and if you like some extra spice ask for chilli flakes.
 

Meatlovers

Meatlovers is probably the hero of iconic meaty pizzas as the super savoury crust holds many different kinds of meat. Loaded with ham, hot salami, bacon and deliciously spiced beef all served on a BBQ base, this pizza out-tops itself.
 

Porco Pazzo

There are no veggies on this pizza but we take a meat lover won’t mind when he takes his first bite of this gourmet crust featuring tender, slow-roasted Porchetta, crispy strips of bacon and zesty Soppressata salami layered on homemade tomato sauce.
 

The All-Star

The all-star is the perfect choice for a night in with your mates! This heavenly pie is topped with tender grilled chicken breast, crispy strips of bacon and spicy capsicum layered atop the classic tomato sauce.
 

Meat Supreme

When it comes to meaty toppings, this pizza really has it all. Piled on a classic mozzarella base, this crust features succulent zesty hot salami, crunchy bacon strips, flavourful minced beef finished off with spicy Italian sausage.
 
If you happen to read this post on your way home from work remember, a piping hot slice of pizza can not only warm the belly but the hands while you are waiting for the bus or train. Thus, find the nearest pizza joint and order a slice of cheesy gooey heaven to comfort your heart and soul.
 
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Go Gourmet with These Pizza Toppings
Delicious Dessert Pizzas to Try in Your Pizza Oven

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Food

Go Gourmet with These Pizza Toppings

What exactly does ‘gourmet’ mean? Online definitions associate the term with refined palates and cultured tastes, the type of person that might eat tiny portions at an expensive fancy restaurant and enjoy it. These descriptors don’t really seem congruent with the average pizza, but then again, neither does healthy eating. And yet, here we are with our wholemeal bases and spinach toppings, so I suppose when it comes to food, we all surprise ourselves.
Either way, gourmet pizzas are increasingly finding their way onto fast food menus, and their continued popularity means they must be hitting a lot of patrons’ sweet spots. So what exactly makes these pizzas ‘gourmet’, and aside from changing their shapes and eating them with knives and forks (like the Italians do), how can we recreate this gourmet effect at home?
 

Seasoned mayonnaise

In Belgium and some other parts of Europe, French fries are served with mayonnaise instead of ketchup, tomato sauce, or barbeque sauce. Still, mayonnaise on pizza isn’t an instinctive choice. In a sandwich maybe, or a hotdog (which some argue is still a sandwich). So this clearly falls into the gourmet bracket. Of course flavoured mayo takes it another step higher. Popular variants include pesto mayonnaise with its garlic, basil, lemon, and Worcestershire mix; and peri-peri mayonnaise with that mild kick of spice.
 

Greek yoghurt

Yoghurt, sour cream, and butter milk are commonly consumed with Indian dishes, because the cool down the effect of hot chillies and extreme spices. They make a good neutraliser, and can also moisten an overly dry dish. These foods are often served in a glass, or offered in a bowl as a side sauce or dip. However, applying the yoghurt directly onto the pizza is definitely a gourmet touch. And sometimes, the yoghurt is a substitute for cheese. Greek yoghurt differs from regular yoghurt in that it’s thicker and heavier.
 

Chorizo

All types of pork bits are used in pizza, from standard pork mince to cylindrical slices of salami, poloni, bacon, ham, and pepperoni. However, chorizo dives deeper. This sausage is made of pork cured, smoked, fermented, and wrapped in natural intestines for that organic touch. It’s generally eaten raw, though technically, 10 to 20 minutes in a pizza oven counts as cooking. Chorizo has a deep reddish colour, often attained by adding red peppers (capsicum) to the smoking mix.
 

Feta cheese

Most pizzas are baked using mozzarella or cheddar, but the gourmet variety might go for cream cheese, ricotta, or feta. Feta cheese is crumbly and grainy, and is usually served in blocks rather than slices. It’s white in colour, curdled in brine, and consists of a mixture of goat and sheep milk. When it’s not gracing a gourmet pizza, feta cheese can be tasty in an omelette or sandwich, especially with a sprinkling of oregano. EU regulations insist that only traditional Greek feta can be labelled as such. Similar variants from other parts of the world can only be generically branded as ‘white cheese’, not feta.

Marinated tiger prawns

The name alone suggests gourmet, because shellfish like lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and prawns are considered fine dining. They’re not something you’d ordinarily expect to find on pizza. And then, these are not just prawns. They’re tiger prawns (they have striped bodies of black and yellow or red and white, hence their name). Before cooking, they are marinated for at least two hours in a rich mix of garlic, ginger, ground pepper, coriander, honey, nutmeg, habanero, and red wine vinegar. If that doesn’t elevate your pizza to gourmet status!

Avocado

Avocado restaurants are becoming quite popular now that the fruit has suddenly hit the limelight. It’s considered healthy because it contains ‘the good kind of fat’ and avocado oil is being adopted by naturalistas everywhere. In the past, avocado was largely consumed in the form of guacamole, but it’s now popping up in all sorts of places, including deep fried, toasted, smoothied, and yes, even on pizza. It’s usually the last topping, added after the pizza is already out of the oven, to prevent it from getting too mushy and unpalatable. In this sense, it’s less of a cooked ingredient and more of a gourmet garnish.

Regional vegetables

Spanish onions are red or yellow, unlike the white onions we usually cook with. They have papery skin and a milder flavour than ‘traditional onions’, and aren’t as sharp or moist as spring onions. On the other hand, Kalamata olives are larger than ordinary olives, and range in colour from deep purple to black or brown. They have a unique almond shape and meat-like texture. They are always picked by hand, and they can only be named Kalamata olives if they are certified to originate from that region in Greece. Otherwise, they’ll be marked Kalamon olives even if they’re the same colour, flavours, shape, and variety.

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Food

How Does Cooking Affect Nutrition In Food?

Some cooking methods have always been associated with denaturing nutrients within the food we eat and as such may not be as nutritious as others.
So where did this notion come from?
This idea stems from two main factors: heat and water. Higher cooking temperatures are claimed to break down and even destroys certain vitamins such as Vitamin C. Some vitamins are actually water soluble and as such, larger volumes of cooking water are claimed to cause these vitamins to leach out and be lost in the cooking process.
There seems to be some truth in this claim. However, a bias may present itself in this since the cited studies only examine just one or two specific vegetable species and thus do not give a fair representation on foods as a whole. Furthermore, these studies only test just one or two cooking methods and as such it is difficult to get a good bearing on the effect of cooking on the food’s nutritional value.
These studies conclude that one cooking method is superior to the other but forming general conclusions from these findings can be misleading; this carries the assumption that the same vitamin will behave in the same way in all the other different vegetables.
This assumption was highlighted in a 2015 research paper in the LWT – Food Science and Technology Journal by Sylvie Bureau and others (Are folates, carotenoids and vitamin C affected by cooking?). The researchers analysed the effect of boiling, steaming, pressure steaming and microwave cooking on vitamins on 13 different frozen vegetables to determine the best method of cooking. Interestingly, the best method was dependent on which nutrient one was looking at as well as which vegetable one was cooking. For example, the study found that in spinach branches, carotenoids were preserved best when steaming was used in cooking. However, with hashed spinach, pressure cooking preserved more carotenoids than steaming.
Also, a lot of individuals are wary of the effect that microwaving has on the nutritional value of the food they consume. A Science – Based Medicine research article done in 2014 by Steven Novella concluded that microwave cooking is a safe technology that has a positive net effect on food nutrition. This does not imply that microwaving is the best cooking method but certainly can lay to rest any unease about using microwaving as a form of cooking sometimes.
The most common finding among scientific literature was that boiling seems to do the most damage to nutrients. This is probably because boiling combines high temperatures and large amounts of water. Thus, in the study mentioned by (by Sylvie Bureau) actually found that boiling preserved the least amount of vitamin C across all 13 frozen vegetables. Consequently, due to the lack of general consistent results across all vegetables and cooking methods (save for boiling which was consistently the worst), it is difficult for one to give a simple recommendation on which method best preserves the nutritional quality of the frozen vegetables.
On average, the steaming method seems to do slightly better in cooking whereas boiling may be slightly worse; the difference in nutrient preservation in steaming is not enough to consider steaming as the best method of cooking. In conclusion, the idea that some methods are absolutely better than others when it comes to cooking and especially regarding vegetables is false.
The perfect solution would be to cook different vegetables in different manners so as to maximise on nutrient preservation within these vegetables. Since this is not practical then the best method would be to include a variety of cooking methods in food preparation as well as including different fruits and vegetables within one’s diet. Furthermore, bodybuilders as well as athletes may want to include supplements within their diets. Supplements are substances that isolate nutrients in smaller portions giving the users concentrated doses of nutrients and thus delivering on nutrients that one could not possibly acquire through their diet. A good example of a supplement would be Gold Standard Whey: a supplement that offers concentrated amounts of protein to the athletes. This helps as the amount of protein a normal bodybuilder would require could not possibly be obtained comfortably within their daily diet.
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Food

Tips For Choosing The Cosmetics Of Your Pizza Oven Set-Up

Think about your favourite pizzeria. You’re probably salivating at the mere mention. Now consider other, less impressive pizzas you’ve interacted with. What did(n’t) you like about them? Maybe it was the thickness / thinness of the crust. Or it might have been the generosity / sparsity of toppings. It could even be their recipe choices. Sometimes, the difference between pizzas isn’t something you can put your finger on. You just know you like one brand and shy away from another.
That distinction could be in the type of oven that was used rather than the recipes themselves. It’s seems like a minor variation, but your taste buds can always tell – even if they can’t communicate as clearly as your tongue. Pizzas baked in wood-fired oven often have a smoky flavour you don’t get from gas ovens. Electric pizza ovens – on the other hand – have a customised ‘burn pattern’ that alters the taste and texture of your pizza. An oven cooks with indirect radiant heat, dispersing it all around the oven.
Not all ovens apply this heat the same way. Electric units usually have heating elements on all sides while gas and wood-burning units release heat from the bottom, so the top and sides of the pizza are mostly exposed to heated air. That has an impact on the finished product, and it might be why you pick one pizzeria over another, even if you don’t know what tools are in use behind their closed kitchen doors. So when you’re shopping for your home pizza oven consider these factors and opt for a wood-fired model.
Tips For Choosing The Cosmetics Of Your Pizza Oven Set Up
Pretty hot!
The cosmetic side of it plays a part as well, and function doesn’t have to be at the expense of style. Many pizza ovens today are DIY projects, but that doesn’t mean you have to bake your own bricks and build a kiln. Instead, you can order a moulded oven. They usually come in pre-cast pieces you can fuse together using recommended plaster and heat-safe food-grade adhesives. Your oven kit will contain the necessary parts and joiners, plus clear instructions and guidelines on dimensions. You can also look up videos online if you’re a visual learner.
Of course if you’d rather not do it yourself, you could ask your supplier to send over an installation team. It costs a little extra, but it ensures safe, hassle-free oven construction. They’ll build the base slab for you, an accessory you don’t get when you DIY. Of course the basic construction of outdoor pizza ovens is fairly standard. You’ll have a cooking dome, a grate to support your pizza tray, and some kind of flue or chimney system. You should also have a cowl at the entrance of your oven, and an optional oven door.
Your cowl can be painted in colours to suit your alfresco décor, so that’s part of your cosmetic decision-making. Some ovens come in specific shades while others allow you to paint it to your preference. Just ensure your paint is non-flammable and heat-resistant so it won’t chip or flake off when the oven is in use. It should also be non-toxic so it doesn’t contaminate your food. It’s helpful if it’s weatherproof, especially if it sits in unshaded areas of your alfresco. You don’t want it crumbling to dust in the rain.
Set the right tone
Painted ovens create a cosy, rustic feel, though some home owners prefer a bare grey concrete look for that Spartan effect. Others may opt for the red ochre shade of unadorned adobe. It produces a raw, outdoor campfire effect. The ochre used to obtain this colour sometimes leaches though, as you’ll know if you’ve ever accidentally brushed up against a freshly laid brick surface. You can reduce the leaching effect by baking the oven bricks themselves in a kiln before you construct your oven.
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Delicious dessert pizzas to try in your pizza oven
All about The Lopi Freestanding Wood Heaters

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Food

Delicious Dessert Pizzas to Try in Your Pizza Oven

Wood fired pizza ovens are great for cooking up a family feast. Think of amazing thin crust pizzas, a roasted leg of lamb or a whole snapper baked in a salt crust. Even desserts come out as a culinary highlight from a wood fired pizza oven such as meringues and apple tarts and brioche butter pudding.  But what happens when you take one of your favourite foods and turn it into a delicious sweet and mouth-watering dessert? Dessert pizzas make great treats and we have put together three delicious dessert pizza recipes for you to try out with your friends and family.
 

Cinnamon Roll Pizza

Two of the greatest things ever to combine, cinnamon roll and pizza drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. This dessert will bring all generations together.

Cinnamon Roll Dessert Pizza
Cinnamon Roll Dessert Pizza (Source: dessertnowdinnerlater.com)

Ingredients for the dough

  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. salt

For the Cinnamon spread

  • 0.5 cup soft butter
  • 0.5 cup brown sugar
  • 0.5 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 4 Tbsp. butter,
  • 50g cream cheese at room temperature,
  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar,
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar

Method

  • Heat your pizza oven to a temperature of 400 degrees and push the embers to the back of the oven.
  • Mix the warm water, sugar and yeast together and let sit.
  • After about 5 minutes add flour and salt and mix until smooth. Let the dough rise for 10 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out into one big pizza crust or divide into two, let rest again for another 10 minutes while making the spread.
  • Combine butter, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon in a small bowl and spread on the pizza.
  • Bake the pizza for 8-12 minutes or until the edges are brown.
  • Beat butter and cream cheese together for the glaze, adding vanilla sugar and confectioner’s sugar carefully until the mixture is thick, then drizzle on top of the baked pizza.

 

Nutella Strawberry Pizza

This pizza is the perfect comfort food as nothing is better than chocolate combined with fresh food. And pizza, of course.

nutella and strawberry pizza
nutella and strawberry pizza (source: tastemade.com)

Ingredients for the dough

  • 3.5 cups Flour
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. salt

Ingredients for the topping

  • 1Tbsp. melted butter,
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar,
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon,
  • 6 Tbsp. Nutella,
  • 6 large strawberries, hulled and sliced,
  • 2 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar.
  • 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips

Method:

Prepare the dough like above and fire your pizza oven to 400 degrees. After the dough has proven roll out to 2 pizzas and drizzle them with the melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top of the bases. Bake for about 6 minutes until slightly brown. Take the pizzas out of the oven and spread the Nutella on top while still warm. Add the sliced strawberries and sift the confectioner’s sugar over the pizza. Heat the chocolate chips on a microwave and drizzle the warm chocolate over your dessert.
 

Lemon Pizza

Unlike the cinnamon roll and chocolate pizza, this dessert is a light and refreshing dessert.

lemon pizza
Lemon pizza (source: marymakesdinner.typepad.com )

Ingredients for the dough

  • 3.5 cups Flour,
  • 1.5 cups warm water,
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar,
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast,
  • 1 Tbsp. salt

For the topping

  • 3 thinly sliced lemons with thin rinds seeds removed,
  • 6 Tbsp. butter at room temperature,
  • 100g mascarpone or ricotta cheese,
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

Method

Prepare the dough like above, let rise and fire your pizza oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough into two pizza bases and spread with your mild cheese, assemble the thin slices of lemons on top. Bake in the oven until brown, remove and top with dollops of butter and sieve the powder sugar over the pizza. Serve immediately.