Holiday Almanac December 30: Bambinos

For more information on the Holiday Almanac, go hereOr to see what I've been up to on past Holiday Almanac days, check out this page.

I don't know what a bambino is, and chances are you don't either, because when I did some sophisticated internet sleuthing (read: checked Wikipedia) there are not any listings for Bambinos related to food. So, in the words of Sophia Petrillo, PICTURE IT! A savoury shortcrust slathered with a thick layer of garlicky, spiced tomato sauce, then topped with tiny bits of fresh mozzarella and smoky diced chorizo, toasted under the broiler and served still bubbling-hot from the oven as tiny finger foods.

Yeah, that's the definition of party food when you live in a city where it gets properly cold outside. When the wind is blowing so hard that your windows shake in their frames and you can't get close to the windows because of the draughts coming in around the edges... when the sky is spitting down cold rain alternating with sleet and snow flurries... when it gets dark at 3:30pm and doesn't get light again until 9am, then you need warm and toasty party food, and these do the job just perfectly.

Make these to serve at your next dinner party (especially if it's happening in January) and your guests may never want to leave your house.

The verdict:

4 spoons out of five. They're delicious and easy, but the dough is a little temperamental if you let it get too warm and as soon as they cool, they're not too pretty to look at... but that's not too important since your guests will be gobbling them up before they can get too unsightly.

The recipe:


the directions:

Heat oven to 200C/400F, then cover a baking sheet in foil.
Mix flour and salt, then cut in shortening with two forks or knives.
Sprinkle with water then mix with a fork.
Round dough into a ball, then divide in half.
Roll each half very thin, then use a 2” round cutter or a small rectangle cutter to cut dough.
Place on baking sheet and prick each with a fork 3-4 times.
Bake 8-10 minutes until very lightly browned.
Let bambinos cool while you make the topping.
Lower oven temperature to 190C/375F.
Mix together tomato sauce, garlic salt, and oregano.
Meanwhile, dice mozzarella and chorizo into small cubes.
Spoon small amount of tomato sauce onto each bambino, then sprinkle with cheese and chorizo.
Immediately before serving, bake for 3-5 minutes to melt cheese and warm through, then serve hot.

the ingredients:

2 c sifted flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 c shortening
¼ c water
6 oz plain tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp oregano
4 oz mozzarella
2 oz chorizo