Posts Tagged 'olive oil'

pizza bianca

pizza thinner. people happier. rosemary garlic and olive oil as a base is a very good place to start anything you do in your day. and this, the macbook of pizzas, is sexy and lovely and cant ever be wrong. sure there were a few bumps in the road, photographical ones mainly, but in the immortal words of churchill… keep buggering on. so here it is…better than the last, pizza bianca.

ingredients

1 pizza base

garlic, olive oil, pinch of sea salt, sprig of rosemary (this bashed in a mortar and pestle will be spread on the base of your pizza. call it a flavoured oil if you must.)

1 waxy potato sliced as fine as humanly possible

some fresh peccorino (and/or some mozzarella. i went with and)

some rosemary

pinch of salt and pepper

olive oil

first finely slice your potatoes. rinse them in cold water and then pat them dry with some kitchen paper. place in a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper and some rosemary. make sure they are all coated. set aside

in a mortar and pestle bash up one clove of garlic, with some salt, rosemary and 4 tbsp olive oil. set aside. thinly slice (as thin as the potato if possible) some peccorino and tear up your mozzarella if using.

preheat oven to hottest it will go. then smear the pizza base with the garlic oil, then lay out potatoes, then place the peccorino in the gaps and put some mozzarella on top. then give it some rosemary. season with salt and pepper and give it a final drizzle with the garlic oil if you are so incline.

put in the oven for about ten minutes until spectacular.

Advertisements

roast butternut squash & spinach risotto

this blog was, in its most scathing critique to date, recently described as “derivative” and “boring”. the real question is not, i dont think, is this blog truly derivative and boring but rather can the ego of this auteur bear such destructive criticism? shattered though one might be, after having being canned by one of your own supporters (a producer no less) in a review that was neither sought after nor invited, is there a way to get back up on the proverbial horse? some (mostly psychotherapists) would probably argue that in this particular case, with all its horrifying specificity, the answer is no. quit while you are behind. others however, those more perverse in character would say, why yes indeed. in no healthy way, this verbal beating needs to be embraced. and here is what i propose: a derivative and boring post…to show you what derivative and boring really means.

i was walking through my local all-round providore the other day, trying to come up with some ideas for dinner. uninspired by the range i was ready to throw in the towel when i fell upon some organic bio-dynamic and bio-logical muscat grapes. this i had to have. hubby loves muscats..they seem to have a soothing effect on his psoriasis. poor dear, he has such a delicate, flaky constitution. the little one enjoys them too..he enjoys chewing on the gummy things until he has extracted all their flavour and then spits them on the floor. i find it best to hover beneath his highchair, with cupped hands ready to catch the next bit of flying refuse…oh how we laugh. sometimes, when im feeling a little adventurous, i mascerate the muscats in a some dry sherry. hubby drinks around the muscats. and then i toss them through some yakult…baby seems to respond well to the liquor mixed with the lactobacillus gg strain. those evening often end in riotous hijinx and when the two have passed out, i often stop, and looking down at the scene, i thank the lord i have been blessed with such a wonderful family and such a culinary gift.

…think this experiment in derviation and mediocrity went of the rails somewhere. but still, in the timeless de-contextualised words of a boy i know, to the critics and sceptics i say: “you really need to stop talking to me now”. and to those who are cold and hungry i say, try this.

ingredients

half butternut squash peeled and chopped into cubes

4 whole garlic cloves

rosemary

1 white onion finely chopped

1 1/2 cups aborrio rice

3 cups stock (chicken, vegetable…whatever whatever)

50g butter

salt & pepper

couple of tbsp olive oil

couple handfuls of spinach

couple handfuls of parmesan

put the pumpkin, garlic, rosemary (or thyme if its all you got) and a few glugs of olive oil into a large mixing bowl and toss til its all coated. put this in an oven at 180 degrees for about half an hour – until soft but still shape retaining.

meanwhile, in a saucepan over low heat cook the onion in 25g of butter until it is softened (about 5 minutes). then throw in the rice and stir until all the grains are coated and have gone translucent. have your stock gently boiling on the other hob and slowly add stock to the rice, stirring all the time and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladelful. do this for about 18 minutes. once the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the liquid, remove it from the heat. put in your spinach at this point and stir until spinach has wilted. put in the other 25g of butter and a good couple handfuls of parmesan. stir once and then place a lid on and let the rice rest for a couple of minutes.

get your pumpkin out of the oven and stir through, careful not to break up the pumpkin too much. serve with some parmesan sprinkled over the top and a handful of pine nuts for greatness.

cod with romesco crust

…for joy (creator of snow) and for tomorrows dinner

dinner proper never looked like this. it was where cooking met chefing met eating and where fish met spain met summertime. and although, as i recently discovered, fish isnt exactly my area of expertise (this moment of clarity came in the market on a fine saturday morning when a stench, a dozen bellowing fishmongers, one boisterous fish man, and a lovely but disgruntled boy, nearly brought this whole operation to its knees), anything topped with this sublime culinary embodiment of the mediterranean will generally be ok. just make sure to cook the fish through. because no, that is correct, we are not japanese.

romesco ingredients

3 red peppers roasted, skins removed

1tbsp rosemary

2 cloves garlic

3 tbsp olive oil

50g blanched almonds roasted

50g dry white breadcrumbs (feel free to toast these off in some olive oil flavoured with rosemary and garlic)

2 portions cod/hake…whatever you can get


to make the romesco crust its best to have a food processor. if you only have your pounding implement then by all means but you are aiming for sandy consistency to make a crust for the fish…with the mortar and pestle i was able to achieve a wet sand but having done this before in a processor dry sand is preferable. first roast your peppers under very hot grill until the skins are black. put them into a plastic bag for a few minutes and then take them out to remove the skins…which should peel away very easily. put them in a bowl with some garlic, rosemary and olive oil and stir to combine. then in processor, or whichever way you choose to go, mix up the peppers, 1 clove of garlic, almonds, bread crumbs and salt and pepper. set this aside while you cook your fish.


put some olive oil in a pan over a high heat. add the fish, skin-side down and cook for 2-3 minutes

then transfer to a baking sheet, skin side up and crumble over the romesco topping. bake this in the oven for 7 minutes or until cooked through.

spanish salted almonds

once upon a time on a beach in alicante an old woman asked i could help her in the water. she didnt know how to swim and wanted someone aimless and with a significant amount of time on their hands to hold her hands while she kicked about. an offer i couldnt refuse. her gratitude came in the form of some severely and sublimely salted almonds. the gift economy at work. they tasted like spain, the mediterranean, the sun and well-being (which apparently, for those wondering, tastes very salty.) here is the closest i can get to the little golden, oval shaped nuggets of happiness…flowery rhetoric maybe but they taste like paradise.

ingredients.

500g blanched almonds

olive oil

best sea salt

put almonds on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. its more of a smattering than a sprinkling. cover is probably the best words. toss to combine and put in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees until golden brown. it will probably require a second or third salting when you take it out of the oven and then lay flat on paper towel to remove any excess oil. heaven.