If you’ve ever found yourself dreaming about that time you spent sipping Margaritas in Mexico, or when you had to have just one more croquette from the mouth-watering displays of tapas in Spain, you’re not alone.
Tastes, aromas, and the whole foodie experience of a country can stay with you for years, and make you want to pack your bags and relive that moreish moment in time.
Food and travel writer Tori Haschka felt exactly the same every time she travelled, finding herself collecting Post-It notes of memorable dishes she’d eaten and then—when she got home—she’d capture her experiences through recreating recipes.
Split into chapters covering brunch, sweet treats and summer and winter recipes, you can try her slow-cooked ribs from Brooklyn, the perfect pasta dish from Rome, or luscious lentil koshary from Cairo; each recipe is a delicious memory waiting to be brought back to life in her home and yours. Who knows, it may even inspire you to book a flight and take a foodie journey of your own!
Deep-dish meatball pizza pie
Asking a group of locals in Chicago where to get the best pizza invites the same kind of passionate response as openly declaring the White Sox as the superior team. Lou Malnati’s was where we found our pinnacle. A Chicago pizza is no ordinary pizza. To start with, it’s shaped more like a quiche and its toppings come upside down. The crust resembles flaky pastry. On top of that is a dense layer of mozzarella. The best versions shelter balls of spiced sausage, a chunky tomato sauce (which is sweetened, surprisingly, with pear), more cheese and dried herbs. All in all, it’s a piping-hot pile of sweet and spicy dairy, tomato and meat. It’s somewhat light on structural integrity when the walls are breached, but gruntingly strong in flavour. It’s best eaten with a knife and fork, a cold beer and a firm plan to go and do some exercise somewhere the next day.
1⁄4 tablespoon fast- action/active dry yeast
1⁄4 tablespoon sugar 60 g/1⁄4 cup clarified
butter or shortening 260 g/2 cups plain/ all-purpose flour
Sauce & meatballs
1 onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 x 400-g/14-oz. can tomatoes
1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces
1 big teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
450 g/1 lb. beef
300 g/101⁄2 oz. fresh
Mozzarella, patted dry 3 tablespoons grated
non-stick 20-cm/8-inch loose-bottomed cake pan
Serves 4, with a large green salad
Mix 175 ml/¾ cup water with the yeast and sugar and leave for 5 minutes. Put the yeast mixture, butter or shortening, 130 g/1 cup flour and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer with a dough hook and mix for
5 minutes. Add 100 g/¾ cup more flour and mix until a dough forms. Add the remaining flour if needed.
The dough should be wet, but shouldn’t stick to your hands. Put the dough in a covered bowl in the fridge to rise overnight. Remove 2–3 hours before use.
To make the sauce, lightly sauté the onion in a heavy-based casserole dish with the olive oil and garlic. When the onion is translucent and soft, add the tomato, pear pieces, oregano and bay leaf. Cook slowly for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the pear has dissolved into the tomato. Remove the bay leaf. Blitz with a stick blender until smooth.
Assemble the pizza
Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Brown the meatballs in a frying pan and add them to the tomato sauce. Pat out the dough in the cake pan, and up the sides. Make sure you pat the dough firmly all around the edge using your knuckles. Place three-quarters of the mozzarella in the bottom of the pan. Cover with the meatballs and tomato. Top with the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the crust is puffed and golden. If the inside is still at all soupy, return to the oven for another 5–10 minutes.
To serve, remove the sides of the cake pan and cut into quarters with a large knife or cake server.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Ryland, Peters & Small.