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Well, they’ve finally done it. Summer Wine Brewery have poured their lush beers into bottles. Those of you who know James and Andy personally (and that’s probably most of you; they do like to get around!) know how much of a trial this has been for them. As brewers – and people – they don’t like to compromise in any way, and their bottling regime reflects that. They’ve done it all themselves, and are selling it themselves via their spankingly shiny new online shop. Kudos is certainly deserved; these bottles are in excellent condition; just like they’ve put the empty vessel under the tap and poured.
So, without further ado, let’s get onto what I did when I got Rouge-Hop*(5%abv) into the kitchen. Rouge regularly battles Diablo for the title of my favourite SWB beer. It’s a pleasure – big, sweet and hoppy. For those that haven’t tried it, it’s a deep mahogany-red hued beer, with a tan head and an aroma of Lychee, tropical fruit and sweet biscuity malt. That firm maltiness carries through the to first gulp, but the beer then ratchets up the bitterness, making the finish grassy, green and ever-so-slightly dry, with just a hint of coffee lingering. It’s a surprisingly assertive end to what you think is going to be a sugar-fest, but that just balances everything out.*And of course, when I think of Red, hoppy ales – just as Amber Lager – I think of Pizza.
Making your own Pizza is a doddle, and stuffing the crust with cheese is a piece of cake too (well, dough).
There’s a bit of forward thinking needed with the sauce. Make it a day before for really good depth of flavour. Take one tin of chopped tomatoes, and simmer gently in a pan with a good dollop of Olive Oil, a shallot, and four (yes, four) big cloves of garlic. Using a hand-blender, pulse it a few times to turn it smooth, and then season with a little Salt, a good spoonful of Brown Sugar, *Black Pepper, Chopped Oregano and Basil, and lashings of Chipotle Tabasco Sauce. If you’ve not discovered this yet, you’re in for a treat; that trademark sharp/sweet tabasco bite is rounded off with a deep, woody smokiness. It’s perfect for sauces like this. I don’t often name brands, but I’ll make the exception here. Simmer for a little longer on a low heat with a squirt of Pureed Tomato, and leave.
As for the dough, all you need to do is take 200g of Strong Plain Flour, a teaspoon of easy-blend yeast, about 8fl oz of lukewarm water, and a pinch of salt and sugar. Simply mix the dry ingredients and add the water slowly until a dough is formed. Knead and then rest the dough, covering it with a teatowel. After a couple of hours, it will have risen, so ‘knock it back’ and knead it lightly again. Leave to rest for another 30 minutes. After that, the dough is done – you just need to get however much you need and roll out.
When ready to go, lightly fry your sliced chicken breast and seal them up – they’ll cook again in the oven.
Pre-heat the oven to 220c, and roll out your dough onto a greased baking tray, the edges flowing over the side. Lay a ring of Mozzarella cheese around the edges and then fold back. Be as rough as you like; you ain’t gonna win any awards for daintyness with this pizza.
Spread your sauce on the base, lay your chicken on top and top that lot off with more Mozzarella and another cheese of your choice. Blue cheese works well, as does more smoked cheeses; but in this case I just used strong cheddar. It just gives a bit of ‘something else’ to the topping.
Bake until golden, and leave to cool before slicing up and sharing with someone and a cool bottle of Rouge-Hop. If you find that the Mozzarella starts to get a little ‘watery’ on top, just switch to grill for five minutes or so and bake the top a little more. Enjoy!
Check out Summer Wine’s Blog on the Blogroll to get your mitts on some of their beers.*