Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick & Easy - Puff Pastry Pizzas

Everyone needs a surefire recipe for the Christmas season. It has to be easy, quick but still produce a result that is delicious and suitable for this period of indulgence. So here's my suggestion of puff pastry pizzas. The beauty of these pizzas, or tarts, is the ease and speed with which they can be made. But once that buttery, flaky pastry comes out of the oven, there is a feeling of luxury and specialness. Perfect for Christmas.

I think ready made puff pastry has to be one of life's greatest inventions. Making puff pastry from scratch is no mean feat (usually reserved for Masterchef competitors), so why bother at home when you can purchase it chilled and ready to go? The commonly available option is Jus-Rol frozen pastry, but I've never fully liked it. However, I recently tried Tesco's Finest chilled puff pastry and really liked the results. It also has a shelf life of several weeks, which means that you can keep it in stock for ad-hoc cooking.

First of all, you'll need a tomato sauce for the base. I love my own recipe for pizza sauce but you can use whatever you have to hand. Preheat the oven to 180C,  get the chilled puff pastry, cut into four equal pieces and place onto some baking sheets. 

Chorizo, feta & carmelised red onion
Place some tomato sauce onto the middle of each sheet and spread out, making sure to leave bare strips on the sides. Doing this means that pastry will puff up at the edges, providing a lovely flaky crust to your pizza. Top the tomato sauce with some shredded or grated mozzarella. Finally, add your toppings. Recent favourite combinations of mine have included parma ham and fresh shredded basil as well feta cheese, chorizo and carmelised red onion with a light dusting of chili flakes.

Parma ham, mozzarella & basil
Place the pizzas in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are puffed up and golden. Once out of the oven, leave the pizzas to sit for a few minutes to give the cheese time to set a little before eating. To add some extra flavour and aroma, scatter some fresh basil on the parma & basil pizza.

Cut the pizzas into smaller portions and serve. Just make sure to catch all the delicious buttery flakes!

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