Last month I came across a naan pizza recipe while looking for new ways to cook my boring potatoes. It looked very good and tasty yet quite fast and easy to make.
I was also intrigued by the “naan bread” that I first confounded with pita Mellark.
I went straight to the store looking for this Asian bread I never heard about before and found it litteraly next to pita on the bread shelf. Though they both look relatively similar, naan bread is puffier, which is perfect to get the soft and chewy pizza crust I like.
I bought garlic and coriander naan for this recipe, but plain naan bread is also perfectly fine. I would just add some chopped garlic before putting the mini pizzas in the oven because I would miss the condiment’s savory and the bad breath.
For the topping I first put a layer of grated cheese followed successively by slices of potatoes, red onions and cherry tomatoes.
Making very thin slices of potatoes allows them to cook more quickly and evenly, which is important to prevent the other ingredients from burning.
I season with salt, pepper and herbs and drizzle about two spoons of olive oil on each pizza.
I put them in a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes (180°C / 356°F) depending on how fast the potatoes cook.
After this successful first attempt at making mini pizzas I tried a few variations of topping including vegetarian mincemeat, sweet chili sauce or raw tomatoes slices.
I love cooking au gratin because putting grated cheese everywhere just makes things smell, taste and look better to me.
Potatoes gratin is my favorite and it’s perfect to face a cold winter day. Naturally, this is the first dish I cooked when the flat’s oven got repaired last month.
Here are the ingredients I used to make it as simple and student-budget-friendly as possible:
You just need enough butter to grease the casserole dish and to add on top of the gratin before putting it in the preheated oven (200°C / 392°F). Use as many potatoes as your dish and your belly can contain. They have to be washed and peeled.
I usually cut them in half vertically then into thin slices to facilitate the water, cream or sauce absorption. If you wanted to use chunks of potatoes instead for any reason, you would have to parboil them beforehand.
This potatoes gratin basically consists of successive layers of potatoes slices/chunks, cream and cheese until you reach the top of the dish.
I start with a layer of potatoes “fish scales” and add some creme fraiche right on top of it.
Then I add some salt, pepper, and some spices I have in the cupboard. Last time it was ground ginger and cinnamon.
The third layer is made of grated cheese. I used grated cheddar for this one but you can use any other cheese, depending on your preference. If the cheese you want to use is already salty, be careful on the seasoning from the previous step.
Just restart and repeat the layering process until the dish is full or you have nothing more to put in it.
I never know whether to end with a layer of potatoes or a layer of grated cheese. This time it was potatoes, so I added some butter to melt on top and prevent them from drying. I put the dish in the oven for about 30 minutes.
This time I took it out from the oven a bit late and the gratin was a bit burnt on top but still fine.
If the outside is cooked and the inside is still liquid because of the melted creme fraiche and cheese, you can let it cool down for some time. It took me about half a hour to get a more solid consistency.
The Douaumont ossuary, built within the Verdun Battlefield.
Back to France, we took a couple of days to visit Verdun, one of the main battlefields during the First World War.
On the 28th we went to Gien, a city built around the Loire, which is the longest river in France. This is the kind of cities I like, maybe because on the continent, the river is the closest link I have to the sea I miss so much.
The day after we drove to my partner’s birthplace in Issoire, then on the 30th we split up for a few days at Clermont-Ferrand where I took the train to Bourg-en-Bresse, to my cousin’s place.
We are meant to meet again in Lyon tomorrow, for a few more days, the last of the holidays.