We indulge in a pizza perhaps twice a year. We love pizza, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the healthiest of foods for a diabetic or someone watching salt intake or even saturated fats. We’re a simmering urge that builds to a if-I-don’t-have-a-pizza-soon-I’ll- pop. And our local pizza take-away has a two-for-one offer on Tuesdays. Buy one, get the second one free. We ordered pizza. And we had a lot of leftovers.
Now I’ve tried many methods of reheating pizza, mostly because Mr Misky detests cold pizza (personally, I love it). I’ve microwaved it, which turns the cheese to tarmac, I’ve warmed it on low heat in oven, and I’ve warmed it on high heat in oven. Those methods are unsatisfactory as either the crust goes hard and brittle, or the toppings go hard and brittle. But I think I’ve found the best way to reheat pizza. It works best if you do one or two slices at a time.
You need a skillet or frying pan preheated on the stove. Don’t put your pizza slices in the pan until the surface is HOT.
1. Lid off: warm the slices for 2-3 minutes. Don’t let them burn. If it starts to scorch, turn down the heat.
2. Add a few drops of water to the pan’s surface – but not on the pizza. Now quick….
3. Clap on the lid or cover tightly with foil, so the water evaporates and creates steam. About 2-minutes should do the trick.
Every month, Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts the very popular “In My Kitchen”. Friends around the world join in to share a few items that make their kitchens fun and interesting. To join in the fun, pop over to Celia’s blog and follow what others say about their kitchens.
In My Kitchen this month is the return of hot, home-made soup. This is such an easy soup to throw together at the last minute. Chicken broth, a hint of tomato (either from a tin or freshly chopped or even from paste), sautéed chili peppers, onion and garlic, and a handful of cooked mini tortellini in each bowl. Spoon the broth over the pasta, your choice of filling but we like the spinach and cheese, and then garnish with freshly chopped chives, which are still growing like weeds in the garden. Bon appetite!
And speaking of soup, In My Kitchen are Pepperidge Farm Gold Fish. What fun! I love a sunny-colour, smiling fishy cracker floating in my home-made creamy tomato soup. These are cheese flavoured. Great fun to see one floating in a bowl. Childhood memories…
And then here’s a real find that I’m really excited about. I haven’t seen this in our local supermarket for years. It’s magic. Truly. In My Kitchen is Anchovy Sauce! Add it to home-made salad dressing, perfect for fish pie as it kicks the flavour up a notch, brilliant on scrambled eggs, surprising in gravy and rich brown sauces. If you’ve never tried Anchovy Sauce, look for it in your supermarket. It’s very handy for adding flavour.
And finally In My Kitchen is the proof that autumn is here. Clementine oranges are in the supermarket produce section again. I love them. No seeds, peel easily, tart and wonderful.
So that’s what’s in my kitchen this month. What’s in your kitchen?
The October food photography challenge is finished but I want to try a little experiment.
One of the food photography students suggested that this photo would benefit from a bit of ‘lightening up’. Now I don’t have fancy photo editing software. I use one of those free online ones, PicMonkey, plus a Google program that suits my purposes well enough. So I tried ‘lightening up’ the photo, and here’s what happened.
So the question is: Which one do you prefer? I know which one I prefer – how about you?
The Food Photography course is still on, but now it’s a monthly challenge. For October, the challenge is the colour orange. Three photos concentrating on the colour orange. I chose oranges. Not very original, I know, but I had a load of oranges in the house. And a vine strapped with cording to the fence groaning with grapes.
I have learned that lighting is everything. I took shots on cloudy days, shots on sunny days, shots under artificial lighting, with tripod and without … turns out early morning sunlight (but not sunshine) works best. At least I think so. I like the colours, the depth of colour, the contrast. Some of my fellow students (very politely) suggested that the contrast was too much on the photo of grapes and oranges. I very politely told them it was my favourite. I like contrast. I like ying and yangs that beg to bark.
Anyway….here are my three photos of orange stitched into a collage.
A bit of late summer lunch with mushrooms quickly fried over high heat so they take on a golden tint, chopped fresh thyme and lots of pepper, and a few asparagus spears tossed with Parmigiano-Reggiano parmesan butter. The bread is homemade sourdough wholewheat, white, and rye (60:30:10).
I also discovered today that a splash of dry apple cider works brilliantly to deglaze the pan.
I love streaky bacon. I don’t particularly love cleaning up the mess on the cooker afterwards though. But there is an easy, mess-free way to do this. Pop your streaky bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet, and you’ll find that this same bacon hardly shoots a drop of fat anywhere. Yes, it will sizzle and it will bubble but it won’t go into fits and spurt all over the place. Here’s how you do it.
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Adjust one oven rack to the lower third of your oven. While the oven heats, line a baking sheet with foil so you have minimal clean-up of your pan afterwards.
Place each strip of bacon side-by-side, as close as you wish, but not overlapping. They cook together and stick if they touch.
When the oven comes up to temperature, pop the baking sheet with the bacon on to the rack (in the lower third of the oven) and bake for 15-20 minutes or so. The amount of time depends on how thick your bacon is, so start checking at about 12 minutes … and don’t walk away from it. It turns crispy and golden quite quickly at this point.
When the bacon is cooked to your liking, drain it on kitchen paper. Let the fat on the foil-lined baking sheet cool and solidify, and then toss it out. Or save it for use later.
This week we enjoyed a lovely smoked ham that carried us through 3 meals. And then there’s this small knob of ham leftover sitting sadly in the fridge, staring back and begging for attention.
I made Deviled Ham for sandwiches. Threw the chopped knob of ham into a food processor with half an onion (also chopped) and some fresh parsley. Zip-zip-zip. Tipped it into a bowl, and added white pepper, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, and enough mayonnaise to bind the whole thing together. Lovely. Smoky sweet. Cheap as chips.