Le Scotch Henri IV and Homemade Pizza

Faux-Filet Henri IV

This is straight offa page 266 of the Cordon Bleue at Home. It seemed like a nice idea at the time for Sunday dinner but it took forever because of poor planning and timing and a desire to keep the number of pots and pans to three. You’ll notice that the béarnaise sauce has de-emulsified because I had to reheat it and wasn’t paying attention – tsk.

The artichokes were prepared as per The Tart Heart of the Artichoke Folk and boiled in salted water for 20 minutes. The potatoes were parboiled and then roasted in a very hot oven in preheated vegetable oil and goosefat. The steak was scotch fillet and you can make the marks by cooking it on a very hot grill plate and then turning it 90 degrees and that’s it.

It’s actually called Coeur de Filet Henri IV. I would tell you what the name would be in French for using a scotch fillet but it was all too hard and frankly (if you’ll excuse the pun) Henry IV of France was much more interesting. Twice the man Henry VIII was and, in addition to helping end the religious war with admirable tolerance and dedicated to public works, was quoted as such:

Si Dieu me prête vie, je ferai qu’il n’y aura point de laboureur en mon royaume qui n’ait les moyens d’avoir le dimanche une poule dans son pot.
(If God allows me to live, I will see that there is not a single labourer in my kingdom who does not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday)

Huzzah!
Sadly, killed by a loon.

pizza

A voice in my head said “make a pizza” on Friday night while driving home from Fremantle. It also said “make your own dough too“, “sleep no more” and “look out that car’s braking in front of you” as well as “mmm mmm black betty bambalam, mmm mmm black betty bambalam“.

I’m afraid you have to make your own pizza dough too. It’s not that hard: Basic Pizza Dough – Recipe Pizza Dough. It’s really good and you’ll never want for a prepared base again much less something on a piece of pita bread. Lovely little airy bits all the way through it. Make it nice and thin while you’re at it. Four a sauce I just used a jar of pasta sauce with some onion and garlic and marjoram. Toppings were mozzarella, basil, proscuitto, tomato, field mushrooms, eggplant, and anchovies in various combinations.

The trick, and this is why people use wood-fired ovens, is to get the base nice and crispy without overdoing the top. This requires a very hot base. What I do is use a cast iron bessemer pan that my Mum bought in the seventies from a woman that was convinced she was reincarnated from Mary the Queen of Scots that I get really hot* on a wok burner to get it crisp and then finish it off in the oven as hot as it goes.

Reviews are in: “delicious”

*the pan, not Mary Queen of Scots, or the woman.

Henry IV en admiration devant le blog de épice

15 comments

  1. pseudo chef’s avatar

    Pizzas with field mushrooms and just mozarella are dreamy. I think I will have to go on a hunt for a wood-fired pizza this weekend.

    The scotch looks tres magnifique ;)

    Jean

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Jean
    It takes a bit of restrint ut unfortunatley I’d set myself up with a bank of stainless steel containers of ingredients and couldn’t keep myself to under five ingredients on each one. Lots of places around with wood-fired pizzas or you could make your own, a few bricks, a bit of cement…

    Scotch steak is pretty good but I was after a fillet steak but well it’s kind of a long story.

  3. Anthony’s avatar

    “restrint ut unfortunatley”

    Wow! sorry about that first line, should look at the screen when typing.

  4. Gracianne’s avatar

    Magnifique ce filet Henri IV, Anthony. Apart from the “poule au Pot” story, that king was known for “smelling like a goat” and eating a lot of garlic :) He was forced to convert to catholicism in order to become king, and on that occasion said “Paris vaut bien une messe” – Paris is well worth a mass.
    I am also a fan of thin crusted homemade pizzas, the dough is easy to prepare and tastes so much better. I recently bought a pizza stone that you preheat in the oven. It cooks crispy pizzas in about five minutes.

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    “Smelling like a goat and eating lot’s of garlic” – I love this guy! Didn’t he change back after becoming King? What a joker! I’m thinking of having him a my blog’s patron.

    I’m not much of a dough maker but pizza is pretty easy to get kind of right because it’s going to be flat anyway (sorry if I’ve offended anybody here). I’ve heard of these stones. I once watched a friend use a paving stone. We laughed. We ate.

  6. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Homemade pizza huh? I’m going to have to try this at home sometime. My favorite is the classic margherita, but anchovies and proscuitto sound delicious right now.

  7. Sue’s avatar

    Anthony, I am sad for you have cursed the pita. I do agree, the homemade base is perfection but sometimes the pita/lebanese bread is good. I do let it crisp up first on a hot oven tray before lathering on my HOME MADE tomato paste, hot sopressa and random vegetable.

  8. pseudo chef’s avatar

    A pizza oven in our backyard will have to wait for a few more months, but the hunt for a good place that sells such pizzas is on!

    Typos happen :Þ, it’s all good.

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Reid

    Less is more with pizzas, I’d love a mozarella and anchovy right now. What I really need to do is make 10 pizzas instead of 3 and work through the ingredients. Would make for a nice party.

    Sue

    My apologies, in my pride I’ve brought sadness, my intention was a leg-up rather than a boot downwards for pita eaters. Have you ever thought of Hot Sopressa and Random Vegetable as a super crime fighting duo?

  10. Anthony’s avatar

    Jean

    I spent 6 months demolishing the 70′s brick BBQ at ours so I think I’m banned from putting anything in its place. Hmm pizza usually gets the can’t be arsed going anywhere food but I should keep an eye out. Actually maybe they should build a few public ones instead of the half arsed electric bbq’s. Goats!

  11. Kimberly’s avatar

    Blast From The Past…

    I just was looking up “koeksisters”, because I am taking a trip to South Africa in Feb, and am told I will be trying one of them.. and who did google give me? Your page, here:

    http://spiceblog.blogspot.com/2004/05/koeksister_25.html

    So, I followed your homepage up to say “thank you” and I look forward to trying it!

  12. Sue’s avatar

    I will not be comforted. Oh alright, maybe just a tiny slice of that prosciutto, mozarella and rocket. mmm.

    By the way, I was perusing a takeaway pizza menu the other night that had macedonian and mexican flavours, the only difference being macedonian had bacon. Ole? Obviously pigs in mexico don’t produce bacon but they do produce pepperoni.

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    Kimberly

    Hello. Glad you could make it up here, commenst tend to get a bit lost in the cellars. I’d hope there’s not somebody waiting for a few months with a question on pickled daikon or something.

    You’re welcome and have a good trip. I’d like to get there myself one day. I’d also suggest Cook sister! for things South Africans.

  14. Anthony’s avatar

    Sue

    Let it go, it will heal.

    Hmm were I feeling less charitable I’d have to say they’re making shit up. I will so they though that it’s nice to think we can mention Macedonia without somebody going IT’S NOT MACEDONIA IT’S GREECE. Don’t mention the eralexaday.

  15. molumarket’s avatar

    You can bake now real lebanese pita pockets in 20 Seconds each without buying a huge oven. The Pitas open exactly in the middle and don’t break in pieces the next day. Check out our unique Middle Eastern Pita Pot on http://www.Madbuy.com.au. We also sell it successfuly on ebay as Fast pizza maker!

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