Tag Archives: onion

What makes a pizza a pizza?

I’m not really sure. Must you have the tomato base and/or some sort of cheese to be able to call a pizza a pizza? Either way, these two little beauties are, in the first case, a recipe taught to me by Marco and Elisabetta Nervi back in France (so I’m going to suggest that it is a pizza) and in the second case, some sort of approximation to pisaladiere, but without the olives or anchovies (and therefore probably not a pizza). They both are lovely though and well worth trying.

In other news, Wimbledon is on and every tennis court in the land is feeling the love of the two-week-a-year tennis pros – tops off, bellies out and ball skills severely lacking. Oh, and a big thanks to London for the BBC Radio 1 Hackney weekend last Sunday – what a fantastic day.

Courgette Pizza

So simple. Use a standard pizza base and roll it very thin (with semolina for extra crispiness). Then lay thinly sliced courgettes across the whole base slightly overlapping, along with whatever herbs you like (I’d go for thyme, finely chopped). generously season and give it some good olive oil action. For extra excitement you could add a little finely chopped red chilli and garlic. Cook in the hottest possible oven for about 10 mins.

Onion Pizza-ish

Even simpler: Same base. Whole chopped onion. Same herbs. Same seasoning. Same olive oil. Same option on the chilli-garlic flourish. Same oven. Same temperature. Same time. Same adoring crowd…

 

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A chicken in the oven

Going to get the shorts later so I’m preparing myself for another weekend of mayhem. The house is in perfect order and quaking in its boots because it knows that it’s only going to last a few more hours before it’s systematically taken apart piece by piece. I’m going to sound ocd here but it’s an unshakable fact that tidiness and order are the first (and most badly injured) casualties of parenthood. I’m trying to think of a good image here – I’m picturing hyenas ripping apart the carcass of a barely breathing and once majestic zebra, or better, crazed looters storming through a post-apocalytic Selfridges, the hitherto paragon of order and style now reduced to a crumbling wreck with ripped-apart agent provocateur undies, butchered chloe bags, smashed bottles of italian black truffle oil and shredded prada strewn about the place and, in the corner, a small perfectly-clad shop assistant hunched up and quietly weeping behind her counter…
I’m the shop assistant I think. Well, a male version of her. It’s not making huge sense really, but hopefully you get the idea..

Anyway, on to food. This is an old one that I just saw a picture of and it’s a good crowd pleaser – especially for the house wrecking entourage. It’s also really easy to do, so well worth a try…

Roast chicken, in a casserole dish, with some onions and garlic.

Start with a whole chicken (splash out and get a decent one – it makes a big difference especially with this recipe) and cut it into pieces (wings, breasts, legs and thighs), putting them all in the dish with the skin facing up. Next, take some small onions or shallots, peel and cut in half, and a few bulbs of garlic also cut in half. Now pour over half a bottle of half decent white wine (with a large spoonful of wholegrain mustard) and some good olive oil –  covering the onions, chicken and garlic. Season it very well with lots of salt and pepper and loads of tarragon.



Shove it in a hot (220 degrees) oven for 40 minutes and you’re done (for the avoidance of doubt this is before it went into the oven…)

In the meantime make whatever veg you like – this time I made mash (with milk and cream and wholegrain mustard), and steamed green beans tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and chopped garlic – my favourite…

Actually, you can see a mushroom in the pic (you can’t any more because I removed the picture from the post) – I must have added a few half way through the cooking – makes sense – give it a try…

As I think about it, I really need to get some decent lighting for these photos. And a decent camera. And maybe some photography lessons, because they really are quite crap…


Goat’s cheese tarts

It’s the weekend again and the shorts are back!

I pick them up at 5 and we come straight back for our now traditional meal of penne with tomato, garlic and basil sauce (with a dash of cream of course)In the morning we go to Tesco (I know, I’m sorry but we don’t have local shops any more and I can’t afford Waitrose at the moment – I will sort this out at some point I promise) and I notice that egg sizes at Tesco have gone all MacDonalds – you can now only buy eggs in Medium, Large and Very Large…Just pick up a carton of 6 medium eggs and have a look inside. Tiny. That’s what they are.

Anyway – we get the food for the weekend – the obligatory pain au chocs, nibbley bits for Saturday night in front of the telly, and the main ingredients for our DATW meals. I also spend half an hour thinking about what I’m going to cook this Christmas – it’s started already – by the time we get to the day I’ll have a full spreadsheet with timings covering every minute of the day and every single things that will pass through anyone’s lips throughout a three day period. Bit sad really. Someone told me the other night that lists are something specific to our generation and that our kids manage without. How can that be? Lists to me are the very foundation of my ability to function as a human being – in fact there are very few things I can achieve without a line or ten on a piece of paper…We get back and I get going with our lunch – lasagne – I’m not even going to bother – there isn’t a cook book in the land that doesn’t cover this one…
Anyway – Saturday night and after the kids go to bed I decide to use up some left over puff pastry – Goats cheese and red onion tart
I use a baking tray with the moulds for making little tarts and pies (about 5cm in diameter). Grease the tray and cut the puff pastry (bought not home made) to fit the moulds with a litte bit sticking up out above the tray. Fill the cases with a couple of spoonfuls of mild goats cheese (spoon the cheese loosely so that you don’t have densely packed cheese). Then fry a red onion in a pan with a little butter and a spoonful of sugar until is softens. Spoon the onion over the tarts and put in an oven at 190c for 10-15 mins, until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Serve with rocket dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil…