15 Minute Monday – Meatzza

Image: Fuss Free Cooking

This Meatzza is adapted from none other than a true Queen of the Kitchen – Nigella Lawson, from her book Nigellissima.

A Meatzza is the ultimate meat lovers pizza, or basically a giant rissole topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Which ever way you look at it, it’s still delicious! And, the way I see it is if the domestic goddess that is Nigella Lawson says that it’s okay to eat a meatzza. Then you follow, without any question.

With so many people on strict wheat-free or gluten-free diets these days, this recipe allows them to still enjoy the glorious world of pizza by creating a meat pizza base. Yes read that right – A PIZZA BASE MADE OF MEAT! While the recipe does call for some breadcrumbs, there is the option of replacing the breadcrumbs with porridge oats, which very well it works, too. All in all, it’s just about perfect.

Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef or lamb
  • 3 tbs parmesan – grated
  • 3 tbs breadcrumbs or porridge oats – not instant oats
  • 3 tbs fresh parsley – chopped
  • 2 free-range eggs – lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1 tsp dried ground oregano – meat mixture
  • 2 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Canola spray oil – for greasing
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and paste, drained
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano powder – tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 125g ball of mozzarella (not buffalo) – halved, then sliced
  • Fresh basil – to scatter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
  2. In a large bowl, using your hands, combine the mince, parmesan, breadcrumbs or oats, parsley, eggs, garlic, herbs and add some freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper. Do not overwork it, just lightly mix together, or the meat will become compacted and dense.
  3. Spray a shallow, round baking tin of about 28cm diameter with the spray oil and push the meat into it, pressing the mixture lightly with your fingers to cover the bottom as if the seasoned minced meat were your pizza crust.
  4. Drain as much runny liquid as possible from your can of chopped tomatoes, then mix the tomato with the oil, herbs and some salt and pepper and using a rubber spatula, pread lightly on top of the meat base. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top, and then put in the oven for 15 minutes, by which time the meat should be cooked through and lightly set and the mozzarella melted.
  5. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes, top with fresh basil leaves and bring it to the table before cutting into wedges, like a pizza.

Enjoy!

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of gunk 
  • 1 brown onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbs of curry paste – you can buy it or make your own it really depends on how time you have
  • 1 tps salt
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g snow peas
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2L chicken stock – again, you can buy it or make your own it really depends on how time you have
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • fish sauce
  • soy sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  • tamarind paste

Method

  1. Add chicken thighs, 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped, brown onion roughly chopped, curry paste, 2 eggs, the stalks of the fresh coriander, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 1 tsp salt and approximately 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs to a food processor. Blitz until will combined, but not complete mush. You may need to add more breadcrumbs to the mix depending on the consistency of the mixture – you could like it to feel like mince meat by the end.
  2. Roll into small balls, I made mine approx 2-3 cm wide so they could be eaten whole.
  3. Precook the balls, now you can do this a few ways but I would recommend either popping them in the oven as I did – oven at 180C, place them on baking paper with a light spray of oil and cook until golden, turning mid way through. Or, you can cook them in a pan – make sure the pan is on a medium to high heat and that the pan is well oiled and wiped clean between batches so it doesn’t smoke.
  4. Now, for the broth. If you have the time make a chicken stock it is worth it, if you don’t pay the little extra for something good, not full or numbers and made using actual chicken. Heat a splash of olive oil and sesame oil in a pot, add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic crushed and stir until it starts to sizzle, add the stock, using a cooking spoon as a meausre, you know the big kind you stir stuff with when you cook, add one cooking spoon of soy sauce, oyster sauce, 1/2 spoon of fish sauce, 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes, 2 tsp of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp tamarind paste and the juice of half a lime and allow to simmer.
  5. Add the meatballs, they should still be warm from the precooking, and whole snow-peas topped and tailed and the red capsicum cut into long strips.
  6. Taste the broth and adjust the flavours as needed, the precise measurements will vary every time depending on the flavour of your stock. Allow to simmer until the broth and meatballs are hot and the veggies are cooked to your desired tenderness, I like them quite crunchy so this is only about 2-3 minutes for me.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with fresh coriander and serve with lime wedges.

Note: I realise the Thai don’t actually use chopsticks I just like to eat the chunky bits with them and sip the broth from the bowl.

Enjoy!