Moroccan Lamb Pizza

I have been making this one on and off for a few years now. I originally found the recipe on the internet somewhere but now that I go looking for it I can’t find it to reference it, so if it is yours, please let me know as it is great!

It is perfect for dinner for 2-4 people or as a different entrée for 8 to 10 people. To start with you are going to need a pizza base, so either whip one up or hit the local supermarket for a ready made one.

If you can’t find lamb mince, a lamb breast or lamb shoulder cut into a small dice will work just as well.

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
225g lean lamb mince
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons pine nuts
120g mozzarella, grated

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons mango chutney

1 cup natural yoghurt
1 Lebanese cucumber, grated
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Preheat your oven to 200C

Heat the oil in a frypan/wok, add the onion and 1 clove of garlic and cook over a medium heat for a minute, then add the lamb and cook till the lamb is browned. Drain off any excess oil.
Add the tomatoes, cumin, ground coriander and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes, stir in the fresh coriander and 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice.

Spread the lamb mix over your pizza base and sprinkle with pine nuts and mozzarella. Cook for about 10 minutes, till the cheese has melted and the pizza base has cooked through.

To make the raita, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Toss the mint and parsley leaves in the remaining lemon juice and season with some pepper.

Serve the pizza topped with herb leaves, raita and the chutney.


Basic Pizza dough recipie

One of my favourite weekend foods is a good pizza, made from scratch! As a kid Mum used to make her own bases and we got to put toppings on them so we always got what we wanted. Not much has changed, Dad now has a wood fired oven so they are more gourmet but that is about it!

If you are going to do this often, I recommend buying a bread machine as they do a much better job at kneading than I do!

375g Bread Flour (this is key, you want Tipo 00 Flour if you can)
200ml warm Water
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
7 grams Dry Yeast (one sachet)
pinch of salt

Mix the warm water with the yeast till the yeast dissolves then just leave it awhile till it starts to bubble, this should be about 5 minutes.

Then throw everything in a bowl. Some recipes will tell you to sift the flour first but I find that it doesn’t make much difference. Mix it all together to form a dough.

Flour your bench (or breadboard or any other flat surface) and pop the dough on it. Now comes the hard part, knead it for ten minutes! This is why the bread machine is a good option. Then pop it in a bowl, cover it and leave it in a nice warm corner for about 25 minutes. It should double in size.

Then give it a good punch it back down and turn it out onto your floured bench. Knead it once again till it is nice and smooth.

Now time to try your hand at making a pizza shape. I have not been game enough to try tossing it in the air, i often just roll it flat with a rolling pin

Now turn your oven on as hot as it will go, 220 C or higher. You want your oven as hot as it can go for when you pop it in.

Top your pizza base with anything (there will be a stack of recipes coming soon about what you can do with a good pizza base) and when your oven is past 220 C pop your pizza in and then turn it down to around 200 C and leave it to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Now the fun begins! Depending on what is on your base, how thick your base is, how good your oven is and a whole stack of other things I have not fully worked out yet, your cooking time will vary so keep a close eye on it!

Foursquare – will it last?

So I like cool apps on my iPhone just as much as the next geek so much so I have three Twitter clients that I switch between depending on how I am feeling so when foursquare launched down under I grabbed it and started to checkin everywhere. The train station, the tram stop, the coffee shop, basically everywhere. I had it auto posting to my Twitter feed the lot. Now, all of that is starting to change, Now that the novelty has worn off now it is time for foursquare to earn it’s keep in my online social network.

Will it cut it? Well the answer is unclear as it depends on the rest of the community. The bit that I like is the fact that I can see where my friends are and thus work out if I can join them for an impromptu catch-up ( made all the more accessible thanks to push notifications ) but this doesn’t work when they checkin at Domain Interchange or Flinders St station as the will only be here for a few minutes at best. So that checkin and the resulting beep from my phone is annoying now (yes once it was cool)

The badges are cool and add to the game aspect as do the points. The Mayor status is just perfect for bridging the gap between online and real life as companies slowly ‘get it’ and start tying their online feed into their real world business practices. The idea of a free beer or a room upgrade is a perfect low cost way to start generating real world buzz for your business.

So back to the question, will I keep using it now that the shine is starting to wear off my new toy. Well that really depends on what happens with ‘noise’ checking. I don’t want to start un-friending people but I need to be able to mute some peoples checkins or better still filter them so that they only make it through if the are at a real venue. Not sure how that could be policed, maybe a tag or a flag or something. With an ever growing group of super users I am sure that they could keep an eye on it somehow but unless it gets sorted I can only see bad things for foursquare well at least from the perspective of it being uninstalled from my phone.

Anyway for the time being you won’t see me checkin at the train station and my mayoral hat will be passed on to someone else but if you do see me check in it will be where I am at right now so come and join me.

Playing with Photosynth

Finally I have gotten around to playing with Microsoft’s latest toy, Photosynth. What is Photosynth I hear you say? well it is a very cool combination of technologies that allow you to create a psudo 3D representation of something from 2D photos.

To make this synth (as they are known) I took around 300 photos of the living room of a property that my neighbor, George has just finished building. It sounds a lot, and it was but the more photos you have the more the synth engine has to work with. They were then linked together and using the textures in each photo, the synth engine works its magic and produces a 3D work of art!

Now at the moment, you can only view the results using using Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin so you will need to install that first.

For my first attempt, there are some fairly major flaws, mainly due to the initial photos that I fed the synth engine. Next time, more light!!

not broken anymore…

So it has been a while since i have posed anything here. So long in fact that things broke whilst I was away…

In the last year or so twitter has basically substituted for this blog as 140 chars is easy and I was never the best writer anyway.

I am not going to make any grand promises to post once a week or anything like that, just that i will try to post more. The hard thing is to find things that I find interesting that that other may actually like to read. Yeah, I know this is the internet so that shouldn’t count but it does. I guess that is why I like twitter so much, it doesn’t matter at all there!

anyway, now I am off to Dalesford for the weekend now that the blog is no longer broken!

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I am a bit of a sucker for these big list style memes,and I have not updated for a while so I thought this would be a little fun…

What to do:

  • Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
  • Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
  • Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
  • Optional extra: Post a comment at Very Good Taste linking to your results.
  • The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

    1. Venison
    2. Nettle tea
    3. Huevos rancheros
    4. Steak tartare
    5. Crocodile
    6. Black pudding
    7. Cheese fondue
    8. Carp
    9. Borscht
    10. Baba ghanoush
    11. Calamari
    12. Pho
    13. PB&J sandwich
    14. Aloo gobi
    15. Hot dog from a street cart
    16. Epoisses
    17. Black truffle
    18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
    19. Steamed pork buns
    20. Pistachio ice cream
    21. Heirloom tomatoes
    22. Fresh wild berries
    23. Foie gras
    24. Rice and beans
    25. Brawn, or head cheese
    26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
    27. Dulce de leche
    28. Oysters
    29. Baklava
    30. Bagna cauda
    31. Wasabi peas
    32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
    33. Salted lassi
    34. Sauerkraut
    35. Root beer float
    36. Cognac with a fat cigar
    37. Clotted cream tea
    38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
    39. Gumbo
    40. Oxtail
    41. Curried goat
    42. Whole insects
    43. Phaal
    44. Goat's milk
    45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth 60/$120 or more
    46. Fugu
    47. Chicken tikka masala
    48. Eel
    49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
    50. Sea urchin
    51. Prickly pear
    52. Umeboshi
    53. Abalone
    54. Paneer
    55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
    56. Spaetzle
    57. Dirty gin martini
    58. Beer above 8% ABV
    59. Poutine
    60. Carob chips
    61. S'mores
    62. Sweetbreads
    63. Kaolin
    64. Currywurst
    65. Durian
    66. Frogs' legs
    67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
    68. Haggis
    69. Fried plantain
    70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
    71. Gazpacho
    72. Caviar and blini
    73. Louche absinthe
    74. Gjetost, or brunost
    75. Roadkill
    76. Baijiu
    77. Hostess Fruit Pie
    78. Snail
    79. Lapsang souchong
    80. Bellini
    81. Tom yum
    82. Eggs Benedict
    83. Pocky
    84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
    85. Kobe beef
    86. Hare
    87. Goulash
    88. Flowers
    89. Horse
    90. Criollo chocolate
    91. Spam
    92. Soft shell crab
    93. Rose harissa
    94. Catfish
    95. Mole poblano
    96. Bagel and lox
    97. Lobster Thermidor
    98. Polenta
    99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
    100. Snake

    Eaten a fair few weird things but there is some stuff I just won’t touch

iPhone countdown widget

if you are like me and can’t wait for the new iPhone 2.0 handsets to come out and need to know just how long you will need to wait, you need a desktop widget. I spent a bit of time tonight looking around for a good looking one but couldn’t find one that was actually for the 11th and not the original iPhone 1.0 shipping date.

So, I just downloaded the best looking iPhone countdown widget i could find – the one from the lads at Jaws software is great (just scroll down a bit). Go ahead and download/install it…

then start a little diging around.. inside the widget code (found here ~/Library/Widgets/iPhone CountDown.wdgt) is a little file called attributes.js. Open it up in your text editor of choice and and just ignore that big fat ‘DO NOT EDIT’ warning and just change the line starting TargetDateTime to the following

targetDateTime: new Date(’11 Jul 2008 9:00:00 +1000′),

and away you go!

Melbourne Summer Cycle

I have registered to take part in the 2008 Melbourne Summer Cycle. It is a ride to raise funds to help support of those affected by Multiple Sclerosis. This can only be achieved with your help.

Please take a moment to view my online fundraising page and help me reach my goal. It is easy and will take no time at all, just donate online via your credit card by clicking on the link below:

All information is secure and all donations will be sent electronically to Multiple Sclerosis NSW/VIC. A tax deductible receipt will be sent to your Inbox once the donation is verified.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system affecting more young adult Australians than any other neurological condition. Your donation will go towards providing a wide range of equipment, support and services to those people affected by this horrible disease.

Your support is greatly appreciated.