It’s 4:50a.m. Trinidad. There are birds chirping. The sun is going to make a full show in about half an hour or less. I am here. I am a little mad and a little worried about my life. I am mostly annoyed that I am up at this hour. Won’t say why, it’s complicated. But everything works out eventually. Right? My blog so far is a structured as my life. (smile) . I just want something better for myself. I don’t know why I have allowed fear to cripple action.
So this is where I am at 5a.m. I know I have to do something and i will.
The Italians call this ‘pan bagnat’ – a loaf hollowed out and stuffed with grilled vegetables, herbs and creamy mozzarella. Take it on a picnic or serve it up for an indulgent lunch.
Takes 50 minutes to make, plus marinating and pressing
1 small red pepper, quartered and deseeded
1 small yellow pepper, quartered and deseeded
2 small courgettes, diagonally sliced
2 portabella mushrooms, halved
1 small aubergine, sliced lengthways
5 tbsp good-quality olive oil
Splash red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
Large handful fresh basil leaves
Large round day-old crusty loaf
3 tbsp black olive tapenade
2 x 125g tubs buffalo mozzarella, drained
How to make Italian picnic loaf
1. Preheat the grill to high. Put the vegetables into a large bowl, drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil and season to taste. Toss together, then lay half in a single layer on a wire rack resting on a baking tray. Place directly under the hot grill and cook for 4-5 minutes each side or until just tender and lightly charred. Set aside in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining vegetables.
2. Mix the remaining oil, vinegar and garlic and toss through the vegetables with half the basil leaves and some seasoning. Leave to marinate for 2 hours, stirring halfway. (Angela Hartnett’s tip: Leave out any vegetable you don’t like and up the quantity of another in its place. You could also add anchovies.)
3. Cut the top third off the loaf to create a lid and base. Using your fingers, scoop out the soft bread from the base, leaving a 2-3cm shell near the crust – it’s important the shell isn’t too thin, otherwise it won’t stay crisp once filled. Repeat with the lid. (Angela Hartnett’s tip: Whizz up the soft bread from inside the loaf to make breadcrumbs and freeze to use another time.)
4. Using a spoon, spread 2 tablespoons of the tapenade in the base of the hollowed-out bread. Spread the rest in the lid.
5. Slice the mozzarella and pat dry with kitchen paper. Tip the drained vegetables onto plenty of kitchen paper and also pat dry thoroughly – this is really important, as wet vegetables will cause the bread shell to turn soggy. Start layering the mozzarella and vegetables (except the mushrooms) in the base, seasoning and scattering with the remaining basil leaves, freshly torn, as you go. Slice the mushrooms, pat dry with kitchen paper and lay them in the lid.
6. Put the lid back on the loaf and wrap well in cling film. Transfer to a baking tray and place another tray on top. Weigh down with a few full jars or cans of vegetables – about 1kg in total. Set aside in a cool place for 2 hours to compress slightly. Unwrap the loaf and cut into thick slices to serve. By Angela Hartnett © delicious. magazine
Choose a fruity wine, either white or red, but make sure it is ripe and soft in style. A buttery Chardonnay would be the best white or, for reds, a plummy Chilean Merlot would go down well
Ok, I have lamed out on the blog thing! I admit I am better at posting things on my Facebook page than updating this blog. Sigh. Visions of greatness slide quickly away haha. I am now trying to start a food page on FB needs work and the small creeping insecurities about what my friends will think stalls me from time to time. I only have 5 likes since I started yesterday. But all things take time so and who cares what the folks think!
Just now coming up for a little breather. I have been shooting for the past 2 weeks under a ridiculous schedule. One cool thing is I have a really nice tan.
Despite the challenges within this project I am feeling really great. I am thanking God for life, my life and the lives of others which impact upon mine. I pray to make positive impacts.
I breathe in and breathe out.
Now back to work.
Well work has rolled in like floods in Australia and the snow in the US. All of a sudden I am very busy. The blogging challenge seems to be dangling out of the window. Nah, I am just going to do it when time permits.
Went on a site visit today. My client is not very video/film savvy and seemed to be shocked at the prices quoted by production houses. This is going to be an interesting job.
By the way, my boyfriend of 3yrs told me today (after struggling to find words to express himself) that he thought I was the bomb! Had it not been for his complete sincerity I might have been a little disturbed that ‘the bomb’ was all he could come up with, but I really knew where he was coming from. It really made my heart swell and I had to laugh at how sweet it all was. I am smiling, inside and out.