Monday, April 22, 2013

The sweetness of onions

I have got a lot of love for onions at the moment. Which is just as well, because when I went to my local fruit and veg stall the other day, I was offered a small sack of them for a pound - the price I had expected to pay for six or eight. As well as loving onions, I also love a bargain - and it would have been churlish to refuse, surely?

This meant I had a lot of onions to use. Luckily, I was already getting into the habit of roasting a trayful of them. I love roasted onions. Red onions look a bit better but brown (or white) work just as well, I think. You just cut your peeled onions into eighths, or thereabouts, stick them in a baking tray and give them between 30 and 45 minutes in the oven, until the corners are blackened and the onion flesh is soft and juicy. Any kind of slow cooking of onions will caramelise the natural sugars in them, making them taste sweeter.

Onion and potato soup

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A double-headed pizza

A good pizza is one of my favourite things. Actually, I could probably eat pizza every day of the week without too much difficulty. A bad pizza, on the other hand, is as disappointing as a cold bath: whether it be a soggy, doughy base, a greasy topping, or (heaven forbid) a combination of the two.

One of the joys of moving to London has been the discovery of any number of good pizza restaurants, where the base is nearly thin enough to see through, crispy round the edges, and anointed with interesting toppings. Nothing, though, beats the satisfaction of making your own. I use a bread machine to make the dough, then give it a second rise after baking it, then a brief blast in an oven that is as hot as I can get it before adding the toppings.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A very red stew

It's still cold. I've enjoyed the long-overdue sunshine this weekend, but the daffodils are barely out of hibernation. Yesterday I even saw some very late snowdrops, presumably put into a state of suspended animation by the low temperatures.

My current attitude to the weather is to embrace it. At least I can enjoy cosy dinners and make hearty, warming dishes. So, stew it is then. My eye was caught by an unusual recipe called "beet bourguignon" from David Frenkiel and  Luise Vindahl's Green Kitchen cookbook. The book looks fab - quite a few unusual combinations, and they've thought about dishes that are healthy as well as tasting good.