Adventures in Flatbreads…

May 25th, 2010


I had mushrooms in the fridge… a little mozzarella… I remembered the two different types of mushroom flatbread that I tried at Sable and the Wit with @chicagobites… both were quite delicious…  so I thought I would try my own…

I sauteed mushrooms and two sliced garlic cloves in a little olive oil, mixed about 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red peppers and some salt. I made thin crust pizza dough and spread on some Bechamel Sauce in which I had melted about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, spread the mushrooms and some more mozzarella.  Baked at 475 for about 12 minutes until the cheese was all melted.  It was very good… next time… wild mushrooms…

With the other half of the pizza dough, I made a Balsamic Onion and Artichoke Pizza. I spread Bechamel sauce, topped with balsamic onions, artichokes and mozzarella… another success!

Happy 10,000th day birthday!

May 23rd, 2010


Last fall, Juan sent me an email that his 10,000th day birthday is May 21, 2010 and mine is December 28, 2011… I love randomness and celebrating quirky days (we did celebrate Valentine’s on Flag Day last year) so I put the dates on my calendar…

of course, as the date got closer I did not know what to do… luckily, I was in town but Juan had been saying how he was sick of sweets (yes, he’s odd) so no cupcakes… He loves my quiches though so I made little breakfast “cupcake” quiches.  I couldn’t find the cupcake holders anywhere…hence the improvisation but they tasted good and Juan loved them…


but that was just the beginning of my plan (can you tell I’ve had a lot of time on my hands since school ended?)… while Juan was at work, I hung this awesome half-homemade banner… and I made dinner…

Now, I would have made this dinner regardless of any special occasion. I have this very elaborate idea for a dinner party but it involves some techniques that I have not mastered… such as handrolling pasta…

My first pasta attempt was not very successful (hence, it never made it up here) but this time I used this pasta recipe and was very pleased with the results.  I couldn’t find the rolling pin (it isn’t my kitchen and sometimes it is hard to find things!) so instead I used a SIGG.  It worked great and, of course, I promptly found the rolling pin after I finished.

I let the pasta dry for about an hour and put it in the fridge until dinner time.  I served it with Sun-dried Tomatoes Pesto with Slow Roasted Tomatoes.  I added some more garlic to the pesto and a few of the slow roasted tomatoes.  It was really good… Juan said the best part was the pasta…

So, yes, it was a very successful 10,000th day birthday celebration… plus, I feel more comfortable with my pasta technique… next, mastering Carolina BBQ…

Cooking to Combat Cancer…

May 13th, 2010


Blog events are not exactly what they used to be… with the increase of facebook/twitter participation bloggers do not need to use events as much to get involved in the foodie world. Also with the Daring Bakers and Tuesdays with Dorie, how do people find the time to bake/cook so many different things?

However, I really enjoy them because 1. I’m always up for a new challenge. 2. I like discovering new blogs that I wouldn’t have found in another way.  3. I like it when the events have a purpose.

Chris of Mele Cotte invented this event that encourages healthy eating to fight cancer.  After looking over a couple lists of healthy cancer fighting foods…I realized that a recent dish I made fit perfectly with this event… Spiced Chicken on Melting Onions… it has garlic, onions and tumeric… I paired it with some whole wheat orzo (another food on the list)… it was delicious!

The recipe came from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons that I have had for years.  It was one of those cookbooks that I bought on a whim because it sounded cool.  It is a gorgeous cookbook of Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean food.  I love just looking through it and was happy to finally make something from it… next perhaps those chocolate dipped figs…



S
piced Chicken on Melting Onions
(adapted from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons)

4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, halved and sliced into half-moons
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 cup chicken stock or water (I used water and it was great!)
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
3 oz. green olives

Marinade
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. For the marinade, mix together all the ingredients. Rub it all over the chicken and cover with the rest of the marinade. Marinate for a least 3 hours or overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.

2. heat the olive oil in the bottom of a shallow, ovenproof pan. Add the chicken and quickly cook the outside until nice and golden. Put the chicken aside.

3. In the same pan, start to cook the onions. When they are softening and beginning to turn translucent, add the turmeric and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute. bring the stock or water to a boil and dissolve the saffron in it. Add this to the pan, along with the chicken pieces and any juices that have come out of them.

4. Cook in an oven, preheated to 350F, for 30 minutes. Add the olives to the pan about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Scatter with parsley or cilantro to serve.