Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eggplant and Mozzarella Pizza

Eggplant and Mozeralla Pizza
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg
Oh, my! Since I had the dough, I went crazyyyy with pizza too!!!
After a fruitless afternoon of trying to mount shelves in upstairs hallway (we SHALL return...) I turned my hand to pizza. We hadd everything necessary to hand so it was just a matter of warming up the pizza dough ( the remainder of the poolish dough baguettes...) and preparing the sauce and toppings. The organic eggplant was from our weekly vegetable box and the sauce was home-made - we keep mozzarella in the fridge as a 'staple'... Wow! The fermented dough made the absolute best pizza dough we have ever made (or possibly, had!)!!! Fantastic!! I guess there will be other 'weekend projects - which this most certainly was - to come! I'll keep blogging...
xx Lisa

Bread Crazy!!!

Bread Crazy!!!
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg
Today I decided to step up to the next level in my bread baking - I tried making bread with a 'poolish' ferment. According to the recipe as described in Richard Bertinet's book 'Crust', it meant making a ferment with flour, yeast and water overnight and then adding flour and rising (and rising and rising) until the baguettes are finally formed and baked. It turned out to be a weekend 'project' (okay, well, the weekend project that actually WORKED...) and I made pizza with a small proportion of the dough that I stole from the baguette recipe! Wow! It was all pretty good... More to follow, for sure... xx

Monday, August 25, 2008

Carrot & Courgette Soup with Lentils

One evening I had to work particularly late so I called Steve at his job and asked if he would cook dinner for us. "Sure!" came the ready reply. So I asked him to check his email because I'd be sending him a recipe that would use some of the wonderful vegetables that had come this week in our vegetable box from Abel & Cole. Then I sat at my desk and wrote off this recipe:

Carrot and Courgette Soup with Lentils

1 medium organic onion, chopped finely*
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 large organic carrots, chopped finely
1 large (or 2 medium) organic courgettes, chopped finely

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1 can chopped tomatoes
125g split red lentils

2 pints water, boiling
1/2 cube Vegetarian stock (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cracked black pepper

1-2 bay leaves (depends on size)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 (generous) tsp crushed red pepper

* You can either chop and crush the first 4 ingredients by hand...
or do what I'd do which is chop them each roughly then blitz them
(until chopped only, NOT too much, use "Pulse" setting) in batches in a food processor.

1. From there, put the chopped/processed vegetables in a large pot with the olive oil.
2. Heat and stir until they smell really good (approximately 10 minutes) then
3. Add all of the rest of the ingredients.
4. Once it's bubbling nicely, turn the heat down to medium and let it bubble gently, covered for at least an hour.

If you want to spice it up a bit more, you can add some cooked meat (beef, chicken, chicken frankfurter etc.) Serves 4 as a meal, with bread and a simple salad.

When I got home, the house was smelling wonderful. Steve was relaxing on the sofa and dinner was just about ready. It turned out to be better than I'd thought it would be. We enjoyed it so much, as an easy, inexpensive and simple meal to prepare that we made it again yesterday!

Hope you try it too - it's easy to make and so satisfying!
Bon Apetit!