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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mystery Box Challenge

@ Sin Ming Bakery / Cookhouse / Whateva

What does one do when presented with the challenge of cooking dinner for 3 with nothing more than what ingredients (that you have no clue of what you have) in the pantry and the fridge?  Why give yourself a mystery box challenge.  Just for a little more effect; I had only 60 minutes to get everything done before I was due to play tennis.

I ended up making a hodge-podge pizza for the Chili Padi and Chef Sebastien from the following ingredients laying around the fridge freezer:

  • Pulled pork
  • Pablano & Coke sauce
  • Vegetable ingredients from our Saturday BBQ
    • Mushroom
    • Cherry tomato
    • Capsicum
    • Eggplant
  • Parmesan and some Dutch Cheese
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Yeast

I made up a fairly basic pizza dough using plain flour, yeast, salt and water, here’s the recipe below:

Pizza Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 750ml warm water
  • 250g flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water and stir to dissolve it. Set aside until the yeast starts forming bubbles in about 5 minutes
  2. Sift the flour. Pour the flour into a large bowl or on a work surface. Mold the flour in a mound shape with a hole in the center
  3. Add the yeast, olive oil and salt
  4. Using the dough hook on your mixer, mix until all the ingredients have been incorporated
  5. Dust bench and remove dough from bowl to bench
  6. Knead the dough briefly with your hands pushing and folding. Knead just long enough for the dough to take in a little more flour, and until it no longer sticks to your hands
  7. Transfer dough back to a clean bowl and lightly coat the dough with olive oil to prevent it from drying out
  8. Cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth, and set the bowl aside for approximately 1½ – 2 hours* until the dough doubles in volume. The time required for rising will depend on the strength of the yeast and the temperature of the room *here I cheated cause I was in a rush to get out of the house
  9. When the dough is double its original size, punch it down to eliminate the air bubbles
  10. Shape and roll your pizza dough to your required size and thickness

Pizza Assembly

  1. Spread your sauce on the base of your pizza (I usually leave 1 cm of un-sauced dough on the crust)
  2. Distribute pulled pork liberally across the pizza base
  3. Sprinkle vegetables throughout
  4. Grate and cover the pizza with cheese and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Cook pizza for 15 – 20 minutes
  3. Remove and eat hot

Bon Appétit – Sidney

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