Friday, June 22, 2012

Father’s day meal

Last Sunday I made my husband a Father’s Day meal.  We have no kids, but we have a 17 yr. old cat that he has been a wonderful guardian of since she was 4 weeks old.  Also, the week prior was a bit stressful, so I thought he deserved a yummy meal.

He said he wanted the Cheat’s pizza that I made a few weeks ago, but wanted to try some different toppings.  After some discussion and looking at various pizza recipes, we settled on tomatoes with scallions, spinach, mozzarella, gruyere and balsamic vinegar.

It came out pretty delicious.  I bought cherry heirloom tomatoes and halved or quartered them based on size.  Then drizzled them with olive oil and really good balsamic vinegar.  I added chopped scallions and let the mixture marinate for a bit while I made the crust.

I made the crust exactly like I did a few weeks ago with just flour and water based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe.  This time I did leave it in the pan on the stove a bit longer and it did result in a slightly crisper bottom.  I filled it first with the tomato and scallion mixture.  Then nestled yummy pieces of fresh mozzarella into the tomatoes.  Covered the whole thing with baby spinach and topped it with shredded gruyere.  It came out more like a deep dish pizza this time and the flavors were fantastic!  I would probably add a little basil next time.  Also, I think I would dessicate the tomatoes a bit first just to get some of the liquid out.  It was very saucy.  Which wasn’t bad, but made it more of a “fork and knife” job.  We also drizzled a little of the balsamic on top right before eating.  Yum, yum!


Balsamic tomato quick pizza
Serves: 4

1 ½ cups of self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
½ cup Of warm Water
1 pint Cherry Or Grape Tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 Green Onions, White And Most Of Green, diced
Couple Of Good Glugs Of Balsamic Vinegar And Good Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 ½ cups Baby Spinach
1 ball Good Mozzarella, sliced or torn into pieces
4 ounces Grated Gruyere Cheese
Little More Balsamic & Olive Oil

Put diced tomatoes and green onions into a bowl and coat with olive oil and balsamic, and a little salt and pepper.  Stir and let sit while you make the crust.

Turn the heat under the frying pan up to high and dust a clean surface with flour. Put 1½ mugs' worth of flour into a food processor, then half-fill the same mug with tepid water and add to the flour with a pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil.

Whizz until smooth, then tip on to the floured board. Sprinkle the top of the dough and the rolling pin with flour (the dough will be quite wet, so be generous with the flour).

Roll the dough to a 1cm (½in) thickness. Drizzle olive oil into the pan, then dust the dough with flour again and very lightly fold it over into a halfmoon shape.

Lightly fold the half-moon in half, then move the dough to the pan and unfold it, pushing it down into the sides of the pan. If you don't have a pan this big, don't cook all of the dough at once, halve it and make two pizzas.

With crust on hot stove, pour tomato/onion mixture into crust, with all juices.  Nestle mozzarella pieces into tomatoes.  Cover entire top with spinach.  Completely cover spinach with grated gruyere.  Drizzle olive oil over whole pizza.

Put the pan under the hot grill for 4 or 5 minutes, until golden and cooked through.  Remove it from the grill, transfer it to a wooden board and drizzle over a little extra balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and take straight to the table.


For a side dish, he chose corn fritters.

It’s a bit of an odd side dish with pizza but corn is so good right now and we both love it, that these sounded yummy to both of us.  I used this recipe.  I didn’t change anything and they came out ok.  This was definitely the best corn fritter recipe I have tried.  The corn was really sweet and the paprika made the flavor nice and smokey.  I find that the ideal corn fritter I have in my head never actually materializes... they just never taste quite the way I want them to.  The flavor isn’t quite what I imagine and the texture is usually drier than what I’m looking for.  I’m honestly not even sure I know exactly what I’m looking for, but maybe I need to play around and see if I can create the corn fritter that I crave.

For dessert, I knew I wanted to make him some donuts and I chose a baked apple fritter donut because he loves apple fritters.

I used this recipe but I didn’t want to use canned apple pie filling, so I looked around for a natural apple pie filling recipe and combined several to come up with my own.  I diced up an appled really small and mixed with a bit of brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice and then let the mixture sit and get thick for a little bit.  They came out pretty yummy, but admittedly very ‘fall’.  The cinnamon and nutmeg and apple together are such fall flavors, that it was odd to eat them in June.  But the donut was so nice and moist and the bits of apple were perfect, little, juicy bursts of flavor.  I will most definitely make these in the fall... mmmm with a caramel glaze... ooh I can’t wait!!

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