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.


Rhubarb and Custard reunited April 11, 2010

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Recipe: Melting Moments


You may remember some time ago I made some rhubarb sorbet to celebrate valentine’s day. Well, the poor sorbet has been dwindling away since then, and although it has been served with a few desserts, including one of it’s very best friends panna cotta, it refused to give up the ghost. Until now, that is.

Rhubarb has been reunited with it’s oldest friend, custard, in these beautiful buttery melting moments.

The custard gives the biscuits a lovely sunny yellow colour, and they literally melt in the mouth. Rather unfortunately for our arteries, the two of us managed to finish the batch of melting moments, together with all the remaining rhubarb sorbet, within one day. And if that isn’t recommendation enough, I don’t know what is.




A Match Made in Heaven April 1, 2010

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Recipe: Pear and Dolcelatte Tart





If pears and blue cheese were people, they would be those guys that seem to have nothing in common but get on like a house on fire. An unlikely friendship, but as they say, opposites attract, and the salty sharp cheese and the juicy fragrant pear is a winning combination. Add some thyme, honey, pine nuts and pastry in the mix and you’ve got a winning team!


Wait, wait i'm not ready yet!!



Brunch time March 21, 2010

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Recipe: Chilli Cheese Scones


I was going to make Joy the Baker’s carrot cake pancakes for this sunday brunch, but for once I felt like I couldnt handle what was essentially a dessert before lunch time. A rarity, I know.  Instead, I had the ingredients kicking around for some simple scones, which when eaten fresh from the oven (just cool enough to handle) are so comforting and were just what I fancied.


It’s kind of a sunny day today, like spring is finally on its way, and the radishes and beets have just started sprouting in our little window-box garden. It’s making me long for summer, when we can crank up the Paul Simon’s Graceland (best. summer cd. ever.) and go strawberry picking at the crack of dawn…


But, in the meantime, the sunny flavours of chilli, spring onion and cayenne pepper will keep me smiling.





Some sea bass… and an apology March 15, 2010

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Recipe: Roasted slashed fillet of sea bass stuffed with herbs, baked on mushrooms and potatoes with salsa verde


Somehow, a couple of days has turned into a couple of weeks without me noticing.


Sorry about that, blog.


I have been a little preoccupied, I guess.


Hope you didn’t miss me too much.


Look – I brought you a recipe, from Jamie Oliver when he wasn’t trying to get political, when he just cooked nice things.


I hope you like it…




Summer-in-winter Tomato Tarte Tatin March 1, 2010

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I don’t know about where you are, but here in England it feels like the winter is never going to end. It has been grey, drab and rainy for what seems like forever, so I felt something summery was needed to lift our moods a little.


I am aware that the tomatoes around at the moment are a bit a lot on the watery side, but 2 hours of low roasting really concentrates the flavour and gives a little taste of sunshine!



I decided to try this recipe initially because I had some tarragon left over from another dish and the flavour combination sounded interesting. I can safely say that it was delicious, and I am looking forward to making this when the summer (eventually) rolls around again…


Burger Night February 25, 2010

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Here in the Chez Luce household we take our burgers very seriously. There are no half-measures when it comes to burger night.


I would like to share with you today our painstakingly tested formula for American-style beef burgers, with all the trimmings including home made barbecue sauce and banana milkshakes!


So these are the super-duper additions that really make a Chez Luce burger. I would say they are optional, but I really can’t imagine our burgers without every one of these beauties:


Roasted to the point of being charred, red or yellow peppers
Cheese (Gouda is my personal favourite, but have used cheddar and emmental and all have turned out melty and gorgeous)
Round lettuce leaves
Sliced beef tomato
Barbecue sauce (recipe below)
and Mayonnaise, copious amounts of mayonnaise.


Serve with the TV show of your choice (we chose series 7 of ’24’ but I would also recommend Chuck or 30 Rock…)

p.s. if you are a grown up and you fancy a beer with your burger rather than a milkshake, why not pay a visit to this awesome blog?