Thursday, 15 June 2017

Viva La Revolution

By: Mr Robot

No better welcome


A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to get into a pre-opening night for the Bath branch of Omar Allibhoy's Tapas Revolution (the only time an email subscription has ever proved worthwhile, I might add).

Effectively a dress rehearsal for the staff, we were warned it may not be entirely perfect and in exchange given a frankly ludicrous discount, but of course given our love of all things Spanish we'd happily have paid full whack. They should have had no concerns, because it all went swimmingly and the staff couldn't have been more welcoming.



As we always do, we piled straight into the Jamon - promised genuine Bellota, I was expecting this to be excluded from the discount, but no, even that was included.

It was pretty much everything you could hope for. I've seen the odd negative comment since but honestly can't see why. Maybe it's not quite the stuff you find in the back streets of Extremadura, but that's only to be expected - they keep the best stuff to themselves. But it was clearly hand-cut (if I had to be critical, some slices were a little thick and so a touch chewy), deep, sweet and rich, and most importantly had that whiff of acorn that marks The Really Good Stuff.

Really, really good stuff


We went through a whole range of dishes with great happiness: croquettas were fat and crisp with a good ham level; a lovely salad of braised lettuce, peas and asparagus with runny egg; squid like armadillos (crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside); meatballs in a proper sauce done properly...

Through all of it the overriding sense was the absolute authenticity of the food - it took us straight back to our favourite experiences in Spain.

Not Armadillos

The meatballs in particular were exactly as our first encounter on honeymoon in Seville. That was a real moment of misty-eyed nostalgia.

Never mind the meatballs, here's the croquettas


Probably the highlight for me was bacalao (salt cod) with braised peas and sobrasada (chorizo goop) which was utterly lovely. When handled properly there's something almost magical about the way salty bacalao reacts with the other elements on the plate, and this was perfectly done.

The magic of Bacalao

The only real negative was the building. Like so many of these places (it's in the newish Southgate development), the units are multifunctional retail jobs modelled on - and with all the charm of - a warehouse.

While it's been managed well visually (I particularly liked the half-sherry-barrel lightshades) the atmosphere suffers: you don't get the cozy buzz of a busy bar, but instead it's just a bit loud and shouty.

Could be cozier

For drinks we opted to go Full Crass and have a jug of Sangria, which I'm sorry to say was more fruity than boozy (had an odd strawberry note) but I did manage some small hilarity in trying to order a bottle of Er Bocqueron beer and instead ending up with anchovies (boquerones). The waiter chastised me gently, as is only right, and it's the kind of linguistic snafu that marks every good  Spanish evening. I was very pleased to have achieved it.

Got there in the end

Being kind of snobby about these things, we're a bit suspicious of chains, expecting fakey plasticity and bland homogeneity over interesting excitement. Bath is the seventh iteration of Tapas Revolution which puts in that troubling genre: not a corporate monstrosity to be sure, but neither the romantically tiny, unique operation. That said, the similarly-sized Bistro Pierre is a favourite and even Wahaca has become a chain for goodness' sake.

Can't help suspecting that's plastic ham: 1. no little cups to catch ooze, and 2. health & safety would go MENTAL

In the same vein I'm happy to say that on our experience Tapas Revolution is not letting brand or consistency compromise quality, and long may that continue.

As a final thought, with Tapas Revolution alongside the truly outstanding Ole Tapas (shamefully yet to be written up) and as-yet-untried Pintxo, Bath now offers the prospect of a genuine tapas crawl. I sincerely hope they all find the space to accommodate casual walk-ups to make it possible.








All images (c) PP Gettins


Monday, 22 May 2017

A Simple Week

by: Mr Robot















I know we're extremely late to this party but earlier in the year we finally picked up a copy of Simple by Diana Henry, which is every bit as good as everyone says it is. Normally I'll pick one or two recipes to start with and slowly expand from there, but with Simple that was a hopeless task so in the end I had no choice but to devote a whole week to the thing.

So here are my six dishes (for, of course, on the seventh day He rested in the Pub).

Monday - Black Linguine with Squid & Spicy Sausage
Or, as it turned out, A Study In White since it turns out black pasta isn't a thing in darkest yokelshire. Which is a cursed shame because the dish looked much less dramatic but nonetheless tasted brilliant.

Now, I've never dabbled with squid before (one of the reasons I was so keen to do this recipe) but it's an exceptionally easy process and Henry is so blase about it, I had approached with confidence - and was rewarded by not cocking it up.



Fried off with our butcher's excellent Italian sausages and garlic, doused with lemon and parsley, and then tossed in pasta we ended up with a very light but hugely satisfying Monday dinner. In fact just writing this I count myself a buffoon for not doing it every week since.

Tuesday - Baked Sweet Potato, Chorizo, Mushrooms and Egg
Mainly because the vegbox was swamping us with sweet potato at the time, but also I could get a job lot of chorizo from Joe Le Butcher and partly because Mrs R has always found mushrooms challenging. Plus, it has A Egg on it.

This one, sadly, I did cock up in two ways:
1. I didn't give enough thought to the warning that the cooking time of sweet potatoes is variable, and
2. I did it on a night Mrs R was out on the lash so would turn up loudly demanding satisfaction, and demanding it now damnit.


Consequently my sweet 'taters, having roasted for only 50% longer than suggested, were still as hard as Vinnie Jones (this was also, incidentally, the final straw for the old cooker). So there was a fair amount of prodding and grumbling BUT the filling was a delight.

Fried chorizo will never make anyone sad and mixed up with mushroom, garnished with coriander and paprika, swimming in runny yolk was outstanding.

I kind of wish I'd left the sodding potatoes in the oven all night and served it for breakfast as I'm sure it'd be excellent with hangover.

Wednesday - Baked Sausages with Apples, Raisins and Cider


Look, if I have to explain it you'll never understand.


Just awesome. The only thing the title doesn't tell you is the raisins are soaked brandy. I know!

Beyond that it is exactly as amazing as it sounds. I'm actually kind of incoherent just remembering it, especially as the weather was perishing cold and this combined all the sausagey comfort of a toad in the hole, with the sweet/sharp apple promise that summer will be back before too long.

I served it up with some roasted (effing) sweet potato, baby spuds and spring cabbage but I'm kind of wishing I'd done about 4 kilos of mash.



Thursday - Parmesan Roast Chicken with Cauliflower and Thyme

In contrast I'd struggle to explain why I chose this dish out of all the other chicken ones available (there's even a Burmese one, riffing from the Naomi Duguid book we have - how did we resist that?) but I think the heart of it was when everything looks so very good, it can be a trigger to go somewhere you wouldn't ordinarily go.


Plus, the vegbox had delivered a LOT of cauliflower.

Like the sausage (OMG the sausage) dish above, this is basically a one-roasting-tin dish and in many ways I think the two recipes encapsulate what Simple is all about. There's little buggering around here - just the understanding that a little thought and attention, a few well-considered flavourings, can take the ordinary and turn it into a massive cliche.


So, chicken, spuds (not sweet, thank the lord), onions. Appropriately seasoned and roasted, topped with parmesan and roasted some more. Another one for a miserable evening when you can wait an hour or so for dinner because there's a good bottle on the go in the meantime.

Mrs Robot absolutely loved this, by the way, though she rejects the term Chick'n'Caul'n'Cheese.

Friday - Pork Chops with Mustard and Capers
This was the one I'd been looking forward to the most, since it's one of my favourite ways of cooking that perversely I've completely overlooked over the last few years. It is, in short, that classic French technique which (I believe) Escoffier codified as, "Put lumpy stuff in the pan until it's brown; put runny stuff in the pan until it's lumpy".

In this case the lumpy stuff is pork chops (and may I say how much I love the book just for having a chapter called Chops and Sausages), and the runny stuff is cream, vermouth, Dijon and capers.



At the risk of attempting double-insight, this too is Simple at its very best: one pan; maybe 20 minutes or so to make; ingredients you can probably get from a bloody petrol station these days; an old-fashioned (or perhaps unfashionably straightforward) technique that gives staggering pleasure. This is  the recipe I've used most, not in the following, but in the process. I've done any number of chops, or steak, or sausage, or fish, in a way I'd almost forgotten about. If nothing else, I'll be forever grateful to Diana Henry for that reminder.

Saturday - Orange-Oregano Roast Chicken, Olive Gremolata
Yeah, so I told a weeny fib earlier - I had to do at least two of the chickens. But like the Parmesan this is sort of outside my normal sphere. Mrs Robot raised an eyebrow but to me the it just screamed JOLLY EXCITING, and I was in charge.



I think I expected it to be Taste of Seville, which on reflection is stupid because the taste of Seville is jamon and jerez and other things beginning with j-pronounced-h. The oranges are only fit for marmalade and chicken is probably the protein they're least excited about. The element you're most likely to find is olives, and those as a standalone snack.

But don't take that to mean I was disappointed: this was a lovely, complex, multilayered dish and for that reason I think I prefer to the parmesan roast above. Or, as I write this on a sunny evening with a Bank Holiday looming, perhaps it just calls more to me now.



Sunday - Poorly a la Stallards
Told you so

This has been half-written for some months now and since then we've done any number of other things, not least the Balinese Pork which is oh-my-golly good. But one of the core premises of a book like Simple is that's everyday cooking and, implicit within that, Every Day cooking.

Well it was only for a week (good enough for BBC science programmes) but I did use it every day and by god we ate well, and with precious little fuss. There's a lot in the book we don't happen to have (pomegranate molasses haven't made it here either) but as I hope I made clear, there was equally a load of recipes suited for what was kicking around.

I have particular love of and gratitude for the double-page of sauces & relishes, which serves as either guide for dinner or starting point for play, depending on your mood. Looking at our recent cookbooks, this seems quite an old-fashioned thing to do; in some ways it's quite an old-fashioned book, though accommodating the huge growth in ingredients and cuisines that make us so lucky to be living now.

I can't tell you how much I love Simple. If you don't already own it, go and buy it now.




All images (c) PP Gettins


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Something fresh!

By: Mrs Robot

We're still around and still cooking - but as it's been three months since I last posted anything, I thought I'd better put something up. Anything.

It's been culinary sadtimes in the House of Robots, as our beloved butcher has closed its Trowbridge branch. We always thought it was a bit odd that a butcher as prestigious as Walter Rose had their second store in Trow, and over the past decade business in the town has slowed to the point where they're focussing on the restaurant trade. They're keeping their shop in Devizes, though, so we're taking a weekly drive over there now.

Leaving aside my sadness about what this means for my town - every time an essential shop closes, all the others lose a little more business - it is nice going to the Devizes branch, as business there is brisker so they have much more stock in the shop; among the things we got this week were smoked mutton and smoked chicken. There's also a fish counter at the Devizes branch (it had to be preordered in Trowbridge, which we were never organised enough to do) and it's been enjoyable having that as an option.

These prawns were absolute monsters, and we wanted to do them justice, so Mr Robot did them following Meera Sodha's tamarind and honey prawn recipe from her book Made In India. Served on vegetable cous cous with a cucumber and yoghurt raita, they were refreshing and delicious. We'll definitely be having them again!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A Mumbai feast

Dhansak and cachumbarIt's a while after new year, but I thought I'd write about our New Year's Day meal anyway. (Didn't want to do another post too soon after Mr Robot's last one, you might have run away in shock at two in a week.)

Mr Robot gave me a couple of cookbooks for Christmas: Mr Todiwala's Bombay, by Cyrus Todiwala, and Fortnum and Mason: The Cook Book. I don't know if I'd have picked up the Todiwala book myself, but it's really good. My go-to Indian recipe books tend to be by Anjum Anand and Meera Sodha. Meera Sodha is a particular favourite because her food has personality; you can really see how her family history and the ingredients around her in Britain have impacted on her cooking. Mr Todiwala's Bombay also has personality in spades. There's a real sense of place and of the mix of cultures that make up Mumbai as he shares the food that he loves: the street food that everyone eats, restaurant food, and the sort of thing families eat at home. I wanted to go to Mumbai anyhow as I love art deco and it's got some of the finest art deco buildings in the world, but now I want to go there for the food too!

A dish of cachumbar
I decided to make a proper dhansak (or dhaansaak as it's spelled in the book), as made by the Parsee community that Cyrus Todiwalla is part of.

Dhansaks are a curryhouse staple here in the UK, but this was very different from the oily stuff they serve up. You start by making the spicy lamb, which is then added to a pot of dal. I found the dal particularly unusual compared to ones I've made in the past as it contains fresh dill and plenty of sugar – I guess that shows the Persian roots of the Parsee people. The dal is supposed to be pureed smooth, and I did that this time but in future I might leave some of the lentils intact for a bit more texture and visual interest. There's a low ratio of lamb-to-dal. I was really worried about how all the flavours would turn out, as the mix was so unfamiliar to me, but it still tasted like 'a curry' to me, just with different herbal notes to what I'd usually expect. And that's one of the reasons I like making Indian food at home - bought ones always seem to lack the fresh flavour of the herbs.

A bowl of brown onion pulao with sheekh kebab balls on top
A gorgeous brown caramelised onion pulao, seekh kebab balls (raising the amount of meat in the meal to a level carnivores will be happy with), and cachumbar make delicious accompaniments. I'd happily make all three of those to accompany other things. Every Indian chef I own a cookbook by has a recipe for cachumbar; Todiwalla's is heavier on the onion than the others that I've seen but it works really well with the sweet, lentil-heavy dhansak. And usually when a recipe 'serves four to six' there's really enough for two greedy robots plus a little leftover. Not here! Even by our standards this recipe easily serves six. I've put two meals' worth of dhansak, pulao and kebab balls in the freezer.

The Fortnum cookbook is an oddity. I must confess, while I know Tom Parker-Bowles is a food writer, I've never read any of his food writing, I only know him as 'that bloke whose mum is the future Princess Consort.' Mr Robot got it for me because I love the funny old shop, and the history of things, and this book contains little bits of Fort Noms' history. It's also stuffed with illustrations from the company catalogues of the 1930s and 1950s. I'm not sure how I feel about a lot of the recipes in the book as they're really very simple and I have similar elsewhere, though in their simplicity they do mean you need to use the very finest ingredients – replace butter with marge and it'll be all too obvious.
Raspberry trifle

I made the raspberry trifle. I did vary things slightly, using cream rather than milk for the custard, and making a fresh raspberry compote rather than using jam. You're supposed to layer it jam, sponge with chambord, raspberries, custard, whipped cream, sponge with chambord, raspberries, custard, whipped cream, but I have a wide dish rather than a tall one so the layers came out a bit scanty. I left out the middle layer of cream and had a mere drizzle for the second layer of custard, so I think if I made it again I'd use far fewer sponges and only one layer of each ingredient. Still, it was jolly nice. Not over-fussy, just a tasty, creamy, fruity treat.

So, that was our New Year's Day meal. I hope yours was as good, and wish you all the best for the rest of 2017.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Festive Ramen

by: Mr Robot
Christmas in a bowl
Most years we have a goose around Christmas - generally on one of the subsidiary days when we have friends over, because a whole goose for two would just be ridiculously extravagant. This year, however, we decided to go all out and keep Goosey to ourselves, not least because I had this follow-up dish in mind.

I don't know about you, but get l sick of quick & simple easy-peasy ideas for using up leftovers, usually around late October. But don't worry - this isn't one of those. Ramen isn't quick and, if not necessarily difficult, you should be careful. Or at least, full of care.

The first and hardest part for this is, don't eat all the goose. Obvious but trust me it's easier said than done. With incredible willpower we also managed to reserve a couple of pigs in blankets. I know. After depriving Mrs Robot so dreadfully, I really had to make this work.

Goose Broth
The well-scavenged carcass goes in a massive pot with some stock veg, along with a tub of homemade chicken stock and a guinea-fowl carcass I happened to have kicking around. You may consider those optional.

A small handful of peppercorns, a bayleaf and the half-orange I'd shoved up Goosey for roasting also went in, along with about 6-8 pints of water, and it all boiled hard for around 6 hours, scum-skimmed occasionally. Then it was strained and left to cool overnight.

Normally you'd never remove fat from a ramen broth but goose fat is so very oleaginous I didn't want to risk the final broth being overly greasy. So I removed about half the fat and kept it back in case I needed to restore some later. As it turned out I didn't, so that's gone in the fridge for future roasties.

From there I reduced it to about 3 pints in volume, which was the point it hit the richness and intensity I was looking for. I've learned to beware over-reducing so it's always a matter of tasting and judgment now, rather than target volume.

Once reduced I seasoned with a sachet of dashi powder, about 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper, a good couple of teaspoons of salt and, because it felt it needed something, a splash of mirin. I considered a dollop of miso too but in the end opted against - I know I have a tendency to overdo it, so held back. But it was a close thing.

Goose & Pigs
The reserved breast meat and pigs in blankets were sliced about 5mm thick. Half went into the broth for 10 minutes before serving to warm through, the other half fried in a little goose fat. I did that in the hopes of textural interest but frankly we couldn't tell the difference, so that's just washing up for nothing. Some spare goose skin crisped up in the pan and sprinkled on at the end worked a treat though.

Red cabbage
Because a ramen needs some cabbage and Christmas demands it be red. I'd considered pickling but then had a better idea (see below) so simply shredded and braised it gently.

Pickled Sprouts
Oh yeah. Sprouts separated into individual leaves which then sat in a mix of rice wine vinegar, mirin and salt for about 30 minutes brought a very welcome freshness and acidity to what is, after all, an absurdly rich bowl. Honestly I was surprised how well these worked.


Sprout Genius

The Egg
Now, we had a bit of an argument about the egg. My idea, nay my vision, was to take festivity to a new level with a Mulled Egg - steeped in red wine vinegar, cinnamon, cloves etc overnight - but Mrs Robot put her foot down like a steam hammer.

In the end we went with salted duck egg which was great but not, you know, my vision.

So that was all assembled over noodles and scattered with a few sesame seeds.

Things I thought of adding but didn't
I'd have loved to incorporate spuds but really couldn't think how to make it work so in the end had to leave them out. Parsnips, on the other hand, could make a great garnish as tiny crispy shavings.

Cranberry seemed an obvious candidate for garnish but Mrs R gets cross about it. I briefly considered a dollop of apple sauce too but since we hadn't had it with the Xmas dinner it didn't feel right.

I wish I'd done more sprouts because they were delicious and they went all too quickly. But if you've never tried it, separating sprout leaves is what's officially known as A Right Pain In The Arse. It could've done with more acidity though, so some fresh apple matchsticks might have made a nice alternative, or possibly a shaving of orange zest at the last minute. To be really swank, a few chunks of blowtorched orange segments would be cool.

My guide in all things ramen is Tim Anderson's Nanban and I thought long and hard about adapting his spicy miso butter to a spicy miso goose fat but ultimately felt I was already skirting the Fatty Event Horizon and as it turned out, I think that was the right choice.

The end result was everything I'd hoped: a lovely bowl of ramen feels perfect for those chilly, grey in-between days. It's deep and intense, but gentle and comforting. Bringing the Christmas flavours in felt very satisfying and, of course, was kind of fun. In fact I'm already plotting next year's Baked Ham Ramen.


Merry Christmas peoples


 All images (c) PP Gettins





Wednesday, 21 December 2016

'tis the season to be soppy

My happy place
by: Mr Robot

I think it's fair to say 2016 has been a bit of a stinker in many ways, so as I'm sat here reflecting and, to be entirely honest, have had a few, I thought it worthwhile remembering and thanking those who've improved and enriched my life over the last 12 months or so.

First off Tim Hayward, who I only really came across through the BBC's Kitchen Cabinet but have come to worship almost as a god. He has a manner that appeals to me on a very deep level, a casually authoritative voice imbued with kindness and decency - almost the definition of avuncular. I often think he's the culinary answer to Kurt Vonnegut.

Early in the year I tackled the week-long project that was his cassoulet from The DIY Cook. Sadly it didn't turn out to be photogenic enough for a post but was as delightful in the making as in the eating.

Hayward's Knife book was one of the highlights of my year, and may well have triggered a new and vastly expensive hobby. I read it in one enchanted sitting and it has a permanent, if disturbing, home beside the bed.

Always take a Knife to bed

Mr Hayward, I salute you.

Which brings us nicely to Sr Morales of Toledo who produces wonderful knives and was kind enough to sell me an absolutely beautiful Damascus steel blade at a price I'd never even considered paying, but don't regret a Eurocent of. This knife makes me happy to a ridiculous degree. When I can't be arsed to cook, picking up that knife enthuses me. When I'm feeling keen it's like having a superpower.


My lovely lovely Toledo blade

I've used it pretty much every day for six months and it still gives me a thrill.

SeƱor, gracias.

Sticking with the Spanish theme, our trip around Spain with our god-daughter (aka adoptive juniorbot) was more wonderful than we could have hoped. We've loved Spain for such a long time, and always wanted to share that experience with others. The opportunity to show it to her took us right back to that joy of discovery - and the real joy was that she loved it too. We created a tapas monster and are very proud.

Yes those are minihamburguesitas and they are free tapas. Thank you Granada

So thanks to Lillian for taking the (probably quite scary) plunge, and to all those amazing chefs in Segovia, Toledo, Seville and Granada who gave us such happy memories.

At the risk of becoming tiresomely stalkerish, I must always give thanks to MiMi Aye and Uyen Luu who remain our Asian mentors and, certainly in the summer months, are probably responsible for around 30% of everything we eat. This year they were joined by Ping Coombes whose Malaysia book is already shamefully bespattered from enthusiastic usage.

Goes some way to explaining, if not excusing, the waistline


If you're anything like us, there are many cookbooks you like to look at, or the idea of. There are lots that you use occasionally. And there's a precious few that you wonder how you ever managed without. These ladies went instantly and permanently into that latter group. On Mrs Robot's behalf I should add Meera Sodha to the list, and closer to home Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food remains essential - as does Katie Stewart who basically taught us to cook in the first place.

It's no exaggeration to say that just about every day, no matter how crappy, ends with happiness for us, and that's mainly down to these folks. That's pretty amazing when you think about it, especially with enough beer.

Of course you can't cook anything without stuff to cook. Walter Rose is our local butcher and gives us such brilliant meat week in, week out. We revel in being the folks they can sell anything to (always up for something exciting) and in exchange they only ever sell us amazing things. Walter Rose won the national best butcher award this year, and it came as no surprise at all. Louie, Ed, Cameron - cheers guys.

Best butcher in the land. Officially

Our veg come mostly from Riverford who likewise bring us outstanding food every week of the year. We're not obsessively green or organic or anything like that, but we very much buy into to the philosophy of growing with care, and for flavour. The first Riverford carrots we ever had were just so damned . . . carroty. Had you forgotten potatoes have a flavour? We had.

Best ever soup recipe: First, kill your Riverford tomatoes....
In fact it's probably Riverford's fault my veg cookery remains so unsophisticated - there's really no need to muck it about. Roasting some tomatoes before souping is about as jazzy as we get. When's the last time you cooed over a boiled vegetable? For us it's less than a week ago, and we're endlessly grateful.

Nearly finally, since they're in large part responsible for all this, I offer up thanks to Bacchus and all His Mates for Palmers Brewery who have made me so very very happy, and sad, and excessively affectionate, and wobbly, and filthily hungover so many times. I love you guys. No seriously, I do. 'ma best mate. y'fugger. ahahahahahaha...

And least last of all, of course my thanks to Mrs Robot for putting up with the failures, the mess, the swearing, the every-pan-in-the-housery and subsequent lack of washing up. For sharing the delicious things we have, and for being the person I gladly go to such lengths for (a WEEK making cassoulet, FFS) because she deserves nothing but nice.

Oh go on then - the 7-day cassoulet. Not pretty but OMFG

So, who's brought you joy this year?


All images (c) PP Gettins

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Retro Recipe: German onion tart

 By: Mrs Robot

In my adventures in vintage, I rarely make it as far as the 1980s. However, it's a jolly interesting decade food-wise, and the recent BBC documentary series The 80s With Dominic Sandbrook made me reach for one of our inherited cookbooks, Mary Berry's Complete Television Cookbook. Sandbrook went on and on about Delia Smith in the first programme in the series, but we're definitely on Team Berry here at Casa Mechanica.

You can tell Mary Berry's Complete Television Cookbook is from the 1980s. In the section on kitchen equipment, it states, 'Microwave ovens are a luxury, but if you can run to one you will find it marvellously useful.' Nowadays most people see them as pretty much essential, and look at us askance when Mr Robot and I say we don't have one. The recipes don't feel fantastically 80s - there's nothing particularly nouveau - though the Asian recipes are more adventurous and feel much more authentic than the ones I've got in British cookbooks from earlier decades.

The recipe I decided to make, German Onion Tart, is somewhere between a quiche and a pizza. Pizza, because of the yeast-leavened base, quiche for the filling of eggs and onion, topped off with bacon. The base actually seemed easier to make than pizza dough, as it didn't need anywhere near as much kneading. I was impressed by how quickly it came together, though I rolled it out too thinly when I assembled the tart and it cooked too fast, leaving me with a darker pastry-bread case than I'd expected.
The filling is very economical, with loads of onions but only three eggs and a sprinkling of bacon. Okay, there's half a tub of double cream in there too. But still. It's very substantial and mostly onions, which are cheap in autumn. The recipe also includes an optional teaspoon of caraway seeds, which I put in as if you're going to make something that's supposed to be German, it might as well taste properly German.

The end result? Highly edible. I probably had the oven too high as the filling wasn't completely set when the case was cooked, but because the onions are softened in advance it was all perfectly edible. 'Carbonara pie' was Mr Robot's verdict. I'll give this another go at some point, perhaps replacing the bacon with sliced frankfurters. Good for autumn evenings.