Flat Out

I’m trying to slow down, drink less coffee but still smell the coffee.

Integral to this downshift is simplification of dinner when I get in from work. Back to basics classic J.O with monumental dishes such as Asian steak with Pak Choy from Happy Days or any of the 5 minute wonders chapter from Jamie’s Dinners. Enough of 15/30 minute meal Benny Hill-ery, i'm kicking back with one pan and its going to be alright.

And so I find myself rotating the same few recipes each week; Sausage Broccoli and Burmese Cabbage from Leon 2, both with an added fried egg for cheap protein, fast day frittata previouisly discussed (any veg will do) and now ‘Flats’ (word nicked from J.O.). I can’t call them pizzas as my son only likes my mum’s pizzas so ‘Flats’ they are. I make them using my favourite Paul’s Wholemeal Tortillas (square so they don’t fit in the pan which is a bit stupid of me) created using flour from the romantically named Nigel Whissendines Moon Mill.

As far as I can tell all kids love Pizza and I haven’t got time to make dough so toast tortillas in a frying pan, flip and top with any and every meat , veg and herb (I rotate parsley & coriander and the basil has been excellent recently, all from Strawberry Fields). Sprinkle over various fridge cheeses and blast under the grill. Score. Extremely flexible, delicious, crispy edged, soft centred, low calorie super tasty.
The base can be thinly covered with any spread (houmous, tapenade, peppers even Harissa) or sauce (tomato, cheese, pepper ragout ) and some leftover bits of protein (chicken, salami, mince). The toppings can be quite frugal, a little goes a long way. Fully loaded is overloaded.

Current favourite ingredients are whatever I find in the fridge to finely chop and quickly hard fry (I really enjoy cooking in searingly hot frying pans and as a result my house constantly smells of salmon or meat);
1.Mushrooms & Onions seasoned with garlic & parsley and sliced olives; usually green as I’m eating an awful lot of easy-going Beldis at present which the kids love as they are soft, fat, sweet & nutty (the Beldis not the kids) and simple to nibble off the stone.
2.Caramelised Onions & Olives - natural black such as Aragon which are quite bitter and an acquired taste. For a more accesible flavour there is a whole group of little natural black olives running from South to North Italy Leccino/Nostrano/Taggiasca over the border to France Nicoise and then into Spain Coquillo. Seasoning is brought to you by garlic, anchovy & capers; Pissaladiere-esque, salty and utterly delicious.
3.Caramelised Onions, Feta, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Green Olives - those Beldis shining through again, bringing all the flavours together.

A couple of ‘Flats’, green salad on the side, abracadabra; 5 minute meal for 2 big and 2 little people.  Ridiculously easy and delicious with revolving evolving toppings, the near mythical ‘infinite variety’ which I endlessly seek.