Tuesday, May 11, 2010

French Bread is for Wimps Like Me

So easy, even a caveman can do it. I didn't think it would be easy until I tried it. There are a few steps involved, but the end result is worth it. When I pulled it out of the oven I was afraid it was ruined. It seemed extremely tough on the outside. So tough that I thought it was hard all the way through. As soon as I took my bread knife to it, it cracked open with steam oozing out as my knife slid down easily through the fluffy bread. I was pretty proud of myself, I think you will be too.

French Bread Directions

2 Tbs active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2-5 cups bread flour
1 tsp cornmeal

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the salt, sugar & 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth & elastic about 6-8 min.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover & let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into 12" long loaves.

Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover & let rise until doubled, about 30 min. Sprinkle with cornmeal. With a sharp knife, make 4 shallow slashes across the top. Bake at 450 for 15-20 min or until golden brown.

I used my french bread to make my favorite sandwich. Spread slice of french bread with pesto, add artichoke hearts from a can, and top with baked rotisserie chicken. I sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and broiled until crispy around the edges. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Soup's Chicken Tetrazinni

Chicken Tetrazinni has been running through my mind and tummy ever since I saw this episode of The Soup. I had no idea what Chicken Tetrazinni was but after some research I put this delicious recipe together. It really is yummy! What I loved about this recipe is it is fully of chunky vegetables. I recently canned chicken by using my pressure cooker and I have been looking for recipes to use it in. This recipe was a great way to use my canned chicken.

4 cups cooked chicken breasts (cubed)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (I use a brand with no MSG)
1 (12 ounce) package pasta (angel hair or spaghetti) cooked as directed
1 large onion (chopped)
3 large celery ribs
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 cup green pepper (chopped)
1 cup carrot diced
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen peas
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Italian Style bread crumbs

Prepare pasta as directed on package, set aside.
Saute onions, green peppers, celery, and mushrooms in a lightly oiled large pan (preferably a deep skillet, 12" or more).
Dissolve the bullion in the hot water to make broth.
Stir in soups, broth, peas and shredded carrots and cook until all is heated. Add in seasonings.
Transfer above into large casserole dish.
Mix in the chicken and cheddar cheese.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese followed by bread crumbs over the top(s).
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Raw Spice Bar

Raise your hand if you love to cook, but find yourself just finishing up your 8,987th meal and you are fresh out of ideas. Just me?  I h...