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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Stomachs Eleven: Pizza and friends

Sometimes pizza and friends is all you need for a perfect night in.

Our happy group of food-loving friends (also known as Stomachs Eleven) converged on the home of Miss Rice and Mr Potato Head. It was always going to be a casual affair, A Little Feast Around the World said the handwritten menu on the coffee table.

It was a pot luck dinner - everyone volunteering to bring a little something to add to the spread. There was no central theme except a celebration of taste. An antipasto platter held strips of roasted red capsicum, olives, salami, gherkins and cheese. Pig Flyin contributed his own homemade pesto, tortilla espanola potato omelette and a mushroom dip made from pureed mushrooms, thyme and labneh.

Spicy prawn cocktail

Miss Rice's travels through Mexico prompted a recreation of one of her favourite dishes - a spicy prawn cocktail made with avocado, lemon juice and tabasco.

Slow-roast chicken wings with Sichuan-style dry spice rub
[Edit: Recipe here]

In-between mouthfuls of J's homemade spring rolls, we scooped up the G-man's blue cheese guacamole and nibbled on Pig Flyin's slow-roasted chicken wings with Sichuan-style dry spice rub. Inspired by a similarly designed lamb rib dish at Spice Temple, Pig Flyin cooked the wings in the oven and then liberally tossed them in a spice rub of cumin, chillies, sichuan pepper, fennel seed, cinnamon and salt, a mix he made up himself based on what he tasted at Spice Temple.

Rolling out the pizza dough

And what is homemade pizza without getting everyone else to pitch in?

Some of us made the salad, others helped dress the pizza.

Red pizza: Spicy chorizo and chilli
with cos lettuce salad and raw beetroot salad

White pizza: Brussel sprout and pancetta

Brussel sprouts, according to Miss Rice, were all the rage in New York City when she visited recently, even turning up on pizzas. The brussel sprouts were blanched and then lightly pan-fried before being assembled on the pizza with pancetta and grated mozzarella cheese.

I loved this idea, and we perched on lounges or sat cross-legged on the floor, eating slices of pizza with our hands, sipping glasses of Pimm's lemonade and digging into two bowls of cos lettuce and grated beetroot salad.

Fresh fig and brown sugar tarts

Dessert was equally simply but delicious. Fresh figs on puff pastry, scattered with brown sugar and baked in the oven until caramelised. And yes, this post has been in backlog for some time, as figs were at their peak during this dinner.

Flaky pastry, sweet figs and scoops of cool vanilla ice cream. Friends draped all over the living room and nothing but empty pizza trays in the kitchen.

Related GrabYourFork posts:

Stomachs Eleven: Christmas 2010 (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Teochew feast (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Mole poblano and pulled pork tacos (Me)
Stomachs Eleven: Pizza and friends (Miss Rice)
Stomachs Eleven: Ten kilograms of mussels (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Shanghainese banquet (M&L)
Stomachs Eleven: Wagyu shabu shabu and dessert sushi (Silverlily)
Stomachs Eleven: Stuffed deboned pig's head + nose-to-tail eating (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: French feast (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Whole suckling pig and Chinese banquet (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Hotpot night (M&L)
Stomachs Eleven: Crackling roast pork and black sesame cupcakes (me)
Stomachs Eleven: No ordinary steak dinner (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Polish feast (Miss Rice)
Stomachs Eleven: Christmas 2009 (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Char siu and Hainan chicken (me)
Stomachs Eleven: Amazing impromptu dinner party (Pig Flyin)
Stomachs Eleven: Dumplings and Shanghai soy duck (M&L)
13 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/07/2010 12:44:00 am


  • At 8/07/2010 2:12 am, Anonymous Mrs Pig Flyin' said…

    That white pizza is the best I had for a long time and nothing is as good since. You forgot to mention your cannellini bean dip, Spanish tortilla, and Miss Rice's lovely homemade burnt fig or plum jams to take home....yes, it has been quite a few months and you have so much to catch up :p

  • At 8/07/2010 6:26 am, Anonymous Trissa said…

    Please Helen you can't post those chicken wings without a recipe for us!!! Not fair! I love this group of yours. Looking forward to more stories!

  • At 8/07/2010 9:14 am, Blogger mimbles said…

    Hmm,I have both brussel sprouts and pancetta in the fridge - pizza tonight perhaps?

  • At 8/07/2010 11:33 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Blue cheese guacamole sounds heavenly, as does brussels sprouts pizza! I wonder if I could convert my brussels-averse PhD supervisor to the delightful little sprouts with that creation? It'd be worth a shot... :D

  • At 8/07/2010 7:48 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Love the look of the fig tarts but not quite so sure about the brussel sprout pizza - could be a bit far out brussel sprout for me!

  • At 8/08/2010 2:38 pm, Anonymous thang @ noodlies said…

    wow Helen, chorizio chilli pizza is right up my alley!

  • At 8/08/2010 2:41 pm, Blogger Brenda said…

    I love reading about the stomachs 11 food adventures. You guys produce the best food I've seen!

  • At 8/08/2010 4:35 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Your stomachs 11 gatherings are always fun to read...I love everything presented at this spread helen! That pizza looks amazing!

  • At 8/08/2010 5:13 pm, Blogger Y said…

    Whoa.. slow roasted chicken wings. Recipe please!

  • At 8/08/2010 8:20 pm, Anonymous Tresna said…

    Wow - looks like you had an incredible feast! I agree with Trissa, I want the recipe for the chicken wings. I'm not usually a fan of wings but they look so delicious and spicy!

  • At 8/08/2010 11:34 pm, Blogger K said…

    I'm not a fan of brussel sprouts but that pizza was my highlight. I couldn't stop eating it. And now that you've blogged it, I'm inspired to make it. Or ask Miss Rice to make it FOR me. Hehehe.

  • At 8/10/2010 8:25 pm, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    I love how food can connect a whole group of people together =D Ohhh dear getting so hungry again.

  • At 8/23/2010 3:27 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mrs Pig Flyin' - White pizza is definitely a favourite. And yes, I am terribly behind!

    H Trissa - lol. Your wish is my command.

    Hi mimbles - Sounds like a great idea!

    Hi Hannah - I say go for it. Brussel sprouts are great - it's all about the caramelisation.

    Hi Gourmet Chick - ha, I remember that. I love brussel sprouts. They are so awesome with bacon or pancetta!

    Hi Thang - Chilli is always good, and chorizo is always a winner.

    Hi Brenda - We're a food lovin' bunch and it's always fun having appreciative people to cook for!

    Hi Peter G - This was one of the more low-key events but just as tasty!

    Hi Y - lol. Just for you!

    Hi Tresna - You can find the recipe here. Hope you enjoy it!

    Hi K - I agree. Who knew that brussel sprouts on a pizza could taste so good?

    Hi Angie - It's always a fun night. I think everyone should start their own Stomachs Eleven group!


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