Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Sheep Milk,  Travel

Basque (ing) in the Glory of Meatza

I’m on a diet.

There are undiscovered tribes in Papua New Guinea that know this fact. I have been telling everyone about it. Even the guy who pumped my petrol the other day.

“You are very glamorous madam, like a Bollywood star,” he said in response.

That guy earned a BIG tip.

I’ve already lost just over 5kgs in a couple of weeks thanks to tennis, kickboxing and the most un-relaxing yoga classes I have ever experienced, and being the impatient inner child I am, I want it to go faster.

So, I quizzed my friend and diet buddy Brooke (check out her fab blog Babbling in the Desert) about her tips and tricks for curbing my carb/junk food cravings.

The result was Meatza and frankly, I don’t know why I haven’t discovered this gem before.It’s Atkins/Dukhan/Paleo/Rachel diet friendly and is essentially a trendier version of…meatloaf.

Meatza...with Etorki cheese
Meatza…with Etorki cheese

I used Nigella’s recipe as a base, but it seems it can be adapted to suit your taste, diet and current obsession.The base is made from beef mince with parmesan, dried herbs and seasoning, an egg and if you want bread crumbs.

Meat...and cheese...what's not to love?

You squash the mince into a tin or onto a greased baking sheet. Make it as thin or as thick as you like and bake at 200 degrees celsius for 20 mind. Then, when it is cooked, add your toppings and make for another 15 mins.

No carbs here...
No carbs here…

The result…better than anything Dominos can serve up (except maybe their now cult Duck and Blue Cheese Pizza) but that’s another post).

I made this today using whatever I had in the fridge, including Etorki cheese as the topper, as I was in desperate need of a cheese to melt on top and all I had was some cheddar (of indeterminate age – which was used), a cylinder of goat’s cheese and a hunk of Australian goodness I am saving.

Etorki is a cheese made in the French Basque country, at Mauléon-Licharre in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department. It is made from pasteurized sheep milk and pulp pressed, not cooked, then matured for seven weeks.

I grated it and the cheddar using my new toy.

Mouli Madness
Mouli Madness

I stumbled across this great store at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam called Say Cheese. I may have actually spent more than an hour here, forgoing the lounge and almost missing my flight. I have been looking for one of these for years. I had a similar grater I stole from my Mum when I moved out of home. It got lost in a move and I have been searching ever since. As has my Mum. Oops.

It’s often used as a substitute for Gouda or Cheddar and as a result, my Meatza had a Basque-style twist with tomato, olives, onions and an Italian end with proscuitto. I left out the breadcrumbs and probably added a little too much Parmesan to the base and made it too thick, but you can never have enough cheese.


The result?

Primally good.

Qatar's favorite food and travel blogger.

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