Weekends here at Chez Cooksister are pizza time. The last hour at work on Friday is made bearable only by the thought that soon I can come home, put on my comfy clothes, sip some red wine and chat to Nick while I make pizzas for dinner. Quite a far cry from my student days when Friday night meant dressing up, going out and drinking my own body weight in dry white wine at Cadillac Jacks, Tequila Sunrise or other such classic Port Elizabeth haunts.
I think it's called "growing up"
OK, so when I say "make pizzas", don't get the wrong impression. Because I seldom plan more than an hour in advance when it comes to cooking, I never manage to make pizza dough during the week. And come Friday night, when I roll in at about 19h30, there is no way on this earth that a natural bake-o-phobic like me is going to start making pizza dough. Yes, I have made my own and yes, it is better. But mostly, life (and more specifically, my Friday night!) is too short.
But just as there is a midway between a McDonalds happy meal and having to grind your own beef for burger patties, there is a happy medium somewhere on the pizza continuum between making your own dough and buying an out-of-the-box Mighty Meaty or some other rape of the Italian culinary heritage. I have found that the Tesco Organic plain Margarita pizza bases are not bad at all. They aren't too thick and crisp up nicely, and they have a good tomato base. Cheese is a bit dubious, but you can always scrape a bit off, as I do.
The only trick is to attempt to get your oven as hot as it will go; and to use a pizza stone if you have one (I'm still dreaming dreamy dreams about this one!), or if not, a thin metal baking sheet that will conduct heat evenly. Heat the baking sheet in the oven before putting the pizza base on it – this will also help to crisp the base.
And then, go wild with toppings. This particularly delicious, gorgeous and seasonal combination consists of 1 large ripe fig sliced into thin segments, about 50g thinly sliced Brie and 3-4 slices of Prosciutto, torn and scattered on the pizza. Even Nick (who, I believe deep down to be a Mighty Meaty kinda guy…) admitted that it was fantastic "for a girly pizza".
It's just non-stop adulation over here…