Archive for February 21st, 2005

February 21st, 2005

Limerick Pizza!!!

After our Haggis and Blue Cheese Pizza experience in Edinburgh, we were wondering what a similar ethnic experience would be for Limerick. I decided to reject Packet and Tripe out of hand, because it is just gross. Nev suggested Black Pudding instead. And so a Pizza was born. Well more or less, there was a bit of hassle and effort getting some of the ingredients.

For starters, Dunnes wouldn’t sell me a pizza base on its own. Not the worst problem in the world as their bases are a bit manky, but I didn’t want to use a frozen Margherita Pizza as a base, or bake my own. Eventually I found a fresh (non-frozen) 9″ Margherita Pizza and used that as the base.

I made my own sauce. Yes the Margherita pizza had a sauce and some cheese – but not a lot of either. In any case the Edinburgh Pizza had a spicy sauce and I wanted one here as well. So I used Jamie Olivers basic tomato sauce recipe from the Naked Chef and then knocked it up a notch using my spice weasel. Hilary will remember the nocked-up sauce from the time I did meatballs for Her and Jamie. Nev tried some leftover sauce cold, from the fridge, last night and was suitably impressed.

Black Pudding is pretty easy to get hold of in Limerick. I was looking for one that would break up easy. This more or less ruled out a butchers as butcher-made black pudding tends to be pretty indestructible – probably because most people “shallow” fry it as part of the morning-after-breakfast ritual. Shaws Black Pudding has no artificial additive or preservatives, and is a local prdouct. I didn’t get to test how easily it broke up in the supermarket and my constant poking at and bending of different black puddings was drawing attention. So I decided to take a chance and luckily it broke up nicely. I added some Spanish Paprika and Black Pepper to my broken up Black Pudding – Haggis is spicier than Black Pudding so I wanted to knock that up a notch as well.

The Blue Cheese used in Edinburgh was quite strong and tended to overpower the other ingredients. Nev recommended Cashel Blue as being a milder blue. Cashel Blue is a really nice cheese, on its own or to cook with, although it is a bad idea to leave it out while food is being prepared as lots of it may mysteriously get eaten… Dice the cheese (or whatever you like) and scatter it evenly over the pizza.

Finally I added Bell Peppers and Onions, together with some oregano – the holy trinity of Pizza toppings.

Got a bottle of Chilean Merlot to wash the pizza down with. Can’t remember which winery -all the Chilean Merlots, in a given price range (this one 9-11 euros) tend to be more or less the same anyway. I note that some people recommend a Shiraz with Cashel Blue. Next time maybe

Assemble the pizza and cook in a 220C oven for 12-15 mins. I got these numbers from the base, which only needed 9 mins. But I had added a lot of stuff so added on some time, realistically I had enough toppings for a 12″ pizza on a 9″ base.

The verdict. Very nice (read: I ate too much).

The spicy sauce, blue cheese and black pudding work together really well. The pudding was smokier than I expected, almost overwhelming in places. So the whole thing would probably benefit from a stronger blue cheese. And a home-made pizza base.