Completos – Chilean style hotdogs

Anyone who has been to Chile should know what a completo is. If they don’t then I’m sorry, but you have missed out.

It’s a Chilean way to enjoy hotdogs. As the word completo suggests, it’s a hotdog that is complete with toppings.

Here’s what the final product looks like.

To make a completo you just need a handful of ingredients. Start with large-sized hot dog buns. Due to the number of ingredients that go into a completo, it wont work if you get the smaller-sized traditional hot dog buns. So go to your bakery or the specialty bread section of your supermarket. You will need to slightly warm the buns in the oven before creating the completo. Continue reading

Quick pizza dough recipe

I was searching for an easy pizza dough recipe on youtube the other day. I found so many variations so in order to avoid confusing, I took the best elements from three different recipes and mixed them together. This is what I came up with. I am probably doing some things wrong. I am keen to receive feedback or advice. I was quite happy with the result but it would be ideal to get a more elastic and stretchy dough.  Give this recipe a go, the results have been satisfactory so far. Continue reading

I’m a perfectionist. Oh no!

Ok it’s out there. One of my defects is about to be explored.

  • Coffee Baristas, do you ever find yourself tipping out half a litre of milk because it didn’t froth the way you expected?
  • Pizza makers, do you ever re-arrange the pepperonis or the olives on a pizza because they weren’t evenly distributed?
  • Office gentlemen, Do you ever knot a neck tie 2 or 3 times until you get the right length?

These are some of the things I often do when things don’t turn out the way I would like them to. I know it sounds excessive but I’m just fussy. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I take great pleasure in seeing things come out great. There’s nothing like eating an almost perfect pizza, drinking great coffee and knowing your tie is precise on length. Stupid things like this make me happy on a daily basis. I don’t get upset when something comes out average but I pursue and immensely enjoy excellence. You have to be willing to pay for it most the time too.

Espresso Coffee for Beginners

A simple guide to using an electric manual espresso machine. The photo tutorial is divided into 2 parts: the espresso making stage; and the milk frothing stage.

Below, a list of the basic equipment needed.
1. An espresso Machine
2. A grinder
3. Milk Pitcher (jug)
4. Thermometer (for milk)
5. Cups
6. Portafilter
7. Coffee beans
8. Water (filtered water preferred)
9. Milk (full cream gets best resutls)


Here we prepare the espresso, which is the essence and base for any coffee drink whether it’s machiatto, cappucino, flat white or cafe latte. Continue reading

Pizza toppings more is less

Traditional Margherita pizza

Once upon a time I thought that the more toppings a pizza had, the better it was. I still enjoy most of the toppings that go in a supreme pizza but now I’d rather have a good simple pizza than an all-you-can-eat meal on an average quality dough.

I used to pack a pizza with mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, ham, salami, cheese, tomato pizza sauce, onion, olives, and pineapple (if available). Since then I’ve learned that in Italy (Naples specifically), authentic pizzas can only have dough, tomato sauce, cheese and basil leaves.

I think many of us in the Western countries have been side-tracked about what’s important in a pizza. I think it’s the dough. The Naples regulations require the dough to be cooked in a woodfire oven for 60-90 seconds. While the toppings are very important also, the make-or-brake aspect of the pizza is definitely in the dough. Many consumers of average grade pizzas will probably make the mistake of thinking that more toppings equals more value for money and that quantity of ingredients adds to the taste.

A similar thing happens to Italy’s espresso style coffee. While we should be more concerned with the espresso shot, we get distracted by all the things we can disguise the taste of the espresso with. The short black, ristretto, double ristretto is the essence of what coffee is however, we add milk to this, sugar, and some people go as far as creating a peppermint mocha (heaven knows what goes into that).

In summary, we should go back to basics with cooking and hot beverages. Find out where they came from, how they evolved and try to capture the integrity with which these meals first came into creation. If there’s no appreciation for the food’s history, preparation and original authenticity then how can you really enjoy it?