And so before we knew it, October. And the prospects are bleak, with COVID, jobs, economy and the rain outside the windows. Move to Provence? Yeah, right – COVID, economy and Brexit to boot.
But I have a good antidote to all the woes: pizza! Let’s have a pizza week, or weekend, whichever suits.
I have hosted a couple of pizza events recently (bubble mixing only) and they have been tremendous. A dozen pizzas altogether, base from scratch, sauce from scratch, ham and pepperoni, mushroom and three cheeses, bacon and prosciutto (all of us meat eaters). If you’ve never tried to make it starting with flour and water, maybe now is the time?
Pizza dough is really easy, even easier if you have a food processor or a mixer with dough hooks (those weird spiralley ones you never use). Rolling out is fun; topping is always according to the ‘less is more' rule and baking is frying. I’m serious – the best pizza this side of Naples is born between a frying pan and a grill.
Check out the details for frying pan pizza and give it a go. Dough rises overnight so it’s not stressful. And then you have the pizza bianca if you prefer or the Sicilian pizza, or the French Provencal interpretation of pizza which is pissaladiere. And if there’s a ball or two of dough left over, freeze it for an occasion of a tart topped with beet leaves, mushrooms or sweetcorn.
Apart from pizza, how about chunky ratatouille with chicken? And if you have a supplier of fresh wild mushrooms, try turkey steaks with chanterelle sauce, or any other wild funghi you can get hold of. Maybe you’ll have a go at homemade porchetta for the next Sunday roast? It really is not that hard – there are two videos on it on the page.
Shaved brussels sprout salad would go well with the roast porchetta, and the sprouts have just turned up and they are gorgeous enough to have them raw.
Dessert could be pumpkin bread – or is it more fitting for breakfast? In which case for afters make the midnight cake with fruit salad topping or plum brioche with crumble. I’m going to start practising my mince pies soon!
Hope you keep well, cook well and eat better. There’s my newsletter and YouTube channel to subscribe to if you feel like keeping in touch. Stay safe!