Back to Basics
Beer is one of the oldest man-made drinks, dating back to at least the fifth millennium BC. The word pizza was first documented in 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy, when the pizza as we now know it, was probably the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as panis focacius, which was topped to their taste.
Start with a basic Margherita, created to honour of the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, and the unification. Its simple toppings of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) represent the ‘Tricolore’ Italian flag.
While halved cherry tomatoes are marinating in half and half olive oil and our Mango & Orange Dressing with a twist of sea salt, brush the existing pizza with Bloody Mary Ketchup. This will add richness to the base. Make the green, greener still with spinach wilted in garlic. Scatter the marinated tomatoes and finely grate a little Cheddar cheese over the top.
This simple pizza enhancement needs a simple Italian beer such as a Birra Moretti.
Because shop bought Margheritas have such a simple, rather plain base, you can add anything to them.
Start by brushing our Chilli Ketchup around the edge of the pizza base so that it chars slightly in the oven. Then, to the middle of the base, spread a couple of good spoons of delicious Mustard & Dill Sauce. Its gentle mustard tang and strong dill finish lift ordinary smoked salmon to a classic Gravadlax in an instant.
Cook the pizza first before topping with folds of smoked salmon, whole caper berries, peppery rocket and a squeeze of lemon.
Now for the beer.
Smoky salmon is tricky to pair but try Warsteiner, which is a premium pilsner or the slightly spicy coriander flavours of a wheat beer such as Blue Moon, with a slice of orange.
Duck & Hoisin
It works well in a pancake roll and it works so very well on a pizza.
You can buy pretty good aromatic duck from most supermarkets. In fact our local petrol station sells a particularly good one.
To cook the duck yourself using leg joints, confit style, try this:
In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp of Stokes Chilli Ketchup, 2 tbsp of our Hoisin Sauce, 2 tbsp of wonderfully thick Tomato Ketchup and a good pinch or two of Chinese 5 Spice with the juice of 1 lime and 1 inch of ginger, grated.
If it is too hot, add more Tomato Ketchup and lime juice, alternatively more Chilli Ketchup if you prefer more punch.
With a skewer, prick the skin on the Duck legs, particularly the thick parts of the thigh, then coat them in the marinade. In a roasting tin, make a trivet of celery, fennel and slices of orange. Add water half way up the trivet then pop the meat (skin side up) on top.
Cover the tin with foil and into the oven for 60 minutes at 180°C/Gas mark 4. This slow cooking allows the duck to steam in all those flavours until it falls deliciously off the bone. Remove the foil, crank up the heat, and crisp up the skin for 20 minutes.
Bake the pizza and enjoy it with a bottle or two of Tsingtao beer.
Ordered, Delivered, Enjoyed
Enjoy the Taste of Stokes
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