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The Frugality Challenge: Day Four

September 7, 2011

After two days away from my kitchen, I returned to The Frugality Challenge oozing with enthusiasm and full of ideas for tonight’s dinner offering.  I knew I wanted to use tomatoes, because I was beginning to amass quite a few from the numerous plants I have in the garden.  On my train home from London I debated the merits of a pizza versus a tart, landing on pizza combined with a small bowl of soup.

The Pizza: Using my normal pizza dough recipe (which I’ve detailed in my dressed crab and courgette pizza post) proved to be something of a challenge, because I didn’t have enough strong white bread flour.  I made do by topping up the quantities with some pasta flour.  On hindsight, plain flour would have been a better option, because my rested dough was a bit too stretchy and lost shape easily.  However, it still tasted delicious, which is the main thing.

As well as running out of the essential flour, I also didn’t have any mozzarella.  Instead, I used up the ricotta I had in the fridge and finished the pizzas with a good grating of Cheddar cheese.  On my two bases, I started by spooning and spreading over some leftover tinned chopped tomatoes I had in the fridge.  To this I added a sprinkling of skinned and chopped tomatoes (both red and yellow ones, so it looked really pretty!) and a drizzle of olive oil.  Following the cooking method detailed in the fabulous The Silver Spoon cookbook, I then baked each base on a pizza stone for 18 mins at Gas Mark 7.  This gave the tomatoes a chance to cook and the base time to get crispy before I piled on any more ingredients.

Once removed from the oven for the first time, I added little heaps of Ricotta cheese, a sprinkling of dried oregano, a few slices of chorizo, some tinned anchovies, the aforementioned Cheddar, a good grind of salt and pepper, some chopped flat-leaf parsley and then another drizzle of oil.  I returned this back to the oven for another eight minutes, until it was browned and yummy.

The Soup: I was very excited to have finally found an ideal opportunity to cook something from Kerstin Rodgers’ Supper Club cookbook. Kerstin, known as MsMarmitelover to her Twitter followers, has filled her book full of unimagineable delights, which tell the tales of her underground restaurant in such a vibrant way, you feel like you may have actually experienced it for yourself.  Anyway, on this occasion, I opted for the Roasted Cherry Tomato and Garlic Soup (page 138).  Although a bit of a faff to prepare (as most fresh tomato soups are), it was 100% worth the effort.  The outcome was so refreshing and flavoursome, it transported me to a sunny veranda on the coast of Spain – all I was missing was the Margharita! If you have the book, I’d recommend you try this recipe.  If you don’t have the book, I’d recommend you buy it and then try this recipe.

The best thing about making both pizza and soup is that I’ve got some of both leftover…that’s lunch sorted for tomorrow!

I’ve already started thinking about tomorrow’s dinner – that’s the thing about this Challenge, you have to plan in advance.  There are some water chestnuts leftover from Sunday’s wontons, so I’m going to adapt one of my favourite salmon dishes to incorporate them.  Come back tomorrow to find out how…

Other posts about the Challenge:

The Frugality Challenge: Day One (Sunday 4 September)

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