Friday, 5 July 2013

Rocking those Boats!

Barchette di Pane con Pomodoro, Feta, Pancetta, Timo, Limone & Miele
Pizza Dough "Boats" with Tomato, Bacon, Feta, Lemon, Honey & Thyme

How would you like to take a little boat-trip to the Mediterranean? I am sure if you take one of these little boats- you may end up being back for more! These simple little snacks make great party food, are easy to make and taste great hot or cold... and using a store-bought pizza dough, you can have them made fresh and delicious in just 15-20 minutes... which would make them speed-boats rather than yacht's I would say :-) Haha!

With a nice filling of tomato and Feta cheese, some bacon, onion, lemon, thyme and a surprising addition of honey, they are filled with Summer goodness and flavor that everyone is bound to love! It wouldn't even be the end of the world if you were to skip the bacon on the occasion of you needing to prepare them in a purely vegetarian version. But if you don't have to... then don't skip it... because bacon DOES make things taste yummier... word!

I made the filling for these 7 little boats from a half-block of crumbled Feta cheese- about 2 handfuls, 8 diced cherry tomatoes, 2 finely sliced Spring onions, a little crushed garlic, the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. I stirred this all together well and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to soak up the flavors together, whilst I turned on the oven and my stove top and got busy building my little boats!

I cut the pizza dough into rectangles of around 4"x5" and spooned some of the cheese and tomato mixture into the center- around 2 tablespoonfuls. I then folded the dough over from left and right, squeezing the ends shut, but leaving the middle open, like a boat or a bag. I then sprinkled them well with a little more salt and pepper and laid them carefully into a dry frying-pan for 2-3 minutes until the base became firm, then took them gently out and laid them onto a regular baking tray, on a sheet of baking paper to finish underneath the broiler- which I had going full power and ready for action!

The initial heat to the base that the pan delivered, made the crust crispy and firm in advance of the baking in the oven- a trick that you know I love to use especially in cases like this, when the filling is rather moist... it is just a safe way to make sure that the lemon juice, tomato juice and oil in the filling does not seep through and make the pastry soggy. 

So, after just 2 minutes at the most under the broiler, the crust was lightly brown and beginning to get crispy and it was at this point that I gave my little boats a nice, light drizzle of honey... awesome!
One last minute under the broiler turned them a wonderful golden brown and a generous sprinkle of both fresh thyme and tangy lemon zest made the flavors skyrocket... whoosh!

Take your taste buds on a boat trip- you know you want to... and I already want to all over again too!

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