Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

I <3 Anchovies October 1, 2010

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Today I want to share with you a gorgeous, oniony, sweet-salty creation called Pissaladière. It is a french version of pizza, using soft caremelised onions as the sauce, and topped with anchovies and (usually) olives.


A couple of years ago, I would have turned my nose up at the thought of olives and anchovies, but it just goes to show how tastes can change (or perhaps palates can be educated?) because now I cant get enough of either of them!


I like to serve this as a weeknight supper or saturday lunch, although it takes a couple of hours in total including proving the bread dough and caremelising the onions, there is actually very little work that goes into the dish for such amazing results.


To serve, I made a quick salad of lettuce, grated beetroot, sliced radishes and mixed sprouted seeds; dresed with a mustard vinaigrette.


If you think you don’t like anchovies, or don’t like the idea of putting little fish fillets on a pizza, I urge you to try this recipe – it may well change your mind, too 🙂



Adapted from BBC Good Food

200g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp easy blend dried yeast
150ml warm water
5 tbsp olive oil , plus extra for drizzling
1kg onions , thinly sliced
a few sprigs of thyme
2 tomatoes , skinned and chopped
1 can anchovy fillets, drained, fat ones halved lengthways
a handful of black olives (optional)

Tip the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl. Pour in the water, spoon in the oil and mix to a soft dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave it to rise for 45 minutes to 1¼ hours or until the dough springs back when pressed. Don’t worry too much is it takes more or less time.
While the dough is rising, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan or sauté pan, throw in the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring from time to time.
Sprinkle in the thyme and some salt and pepper, then tip in the tomatoes and stir well. Cover and cook gently for 45 minutes until the onions are meltingly soft, stirring occasionally and removing the lid for the last 10 minutes to reduce any liquid. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C. Lightly oil a shallow 23x33cm baking tin or tray. Knead the dough again briefly, then roll it out and press it into the tin. Don’t leave it to rise again.
Spread the onion mixture over the dough, then arrange the anchovies on top, making a criss-cross pattern. Stud each window between the anchovies with an olive (if using), then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve warm, cold or reheated, cut into squares.


Snow day baking! January 6, 2010

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Recipe: Maple Pecan buns


Due to the large amount of snow currently covering the UK, many of us (including me) are home from work as travel is near on impossible!

So what better thing to do than warm the house up with some nice baking (ok ok, any excuse to bake…)?

You may remember I had made some banana and cinnamon buns before, well I used a similar recipe but tweaked the ingredients and method to make this maple-pecan version. They are delicious! I should go to the Common and give them to all the children making snowmen but I am just too cosy and warm to brave the oustide world!

Whatever you are getting up to today I hope you all keep warm and stay safe x


Warm, bready, sticky goodness


Maple Pecan Buns
450g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
7g sachet easy-blend yeast
150ml warm milk
1 egg , beaten
1 tbsp vegetable oil
200 ml water
50g salted butter , melted
Handful dark muscodvao sugar
Handful chopped pecans
Handful sultanas
4 tbsp maple syrup


Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast, warm milk, beaten egg, oil and enough of the water to form a soft sticky dough.
Knead until smooth and leave in a warm place, covered, until doubled in size.
Roll out on a floured surface into a 40 x 20cm rectangle. Brush with butter and sprinkle over the pecans (reserving a few), sugar and sultanas.
Roll up into a sausage shape, and cut into 16 pieces.
Nestle into a buttered 20x20cm tin, sprinkle over the remaining nuts and bake at 180c for 35 minutes or until golden and puffed.
Mix the butter with the maple syrup and brush over the buns when they are still hot.

Eat with a cup of tea!!