Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Enjoying the fruits of the season

What could be better than fresh bread warm from the oven? A nice big pot of creamy soup to go with it!
It's cooled down a bit here, which inspires me to come up with some cool weather dishes. We had some dutch oven chicken left over from a dinner last week, but not enough to take care of the both of us. So I took a boneless, skinless chicken breast and threw it in a 2 qt. pot with some fresh Rosemary, Sage, and 1 1/2 quarts of water, along with 1 cup of wild rice mix. I let that simmer while I sauteed 1 chopped onion in 3 T. butter and 1 of oil in a large soup pot. I also took half each of one very large green, and one very large orange bell pepper and roasted them in the oven. After the onion was nice and caramelized, I added the mixture in the small pot, as well as 2 more quarts of water. I cut up one large carrot, and cut the kernels from one ear of fresh sweet corn. I added 2 chicken bullion cubes, and one small can of diced green chilies. I seasoned with 2 tsps of seasoning salt, and 1/2 t. garlic powder. Then I added 1/2 tsp thyme as well as 1 tsp course ground pepper. One bay leaf went in as well. This simmers until the rice was done. I turned down the burner and pulled out the chicken to cut up. I added the leftover dutch oven chicken from last week, and that gave the soup a nice creamy consistency. I also chopped up and added the roasted bell peppers at this point. For anyone who would like to try this or a variation, I would add a can of either cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup since you probably won't have dutch oven chicken sitting around. I would also use 2 chicken breasts, plus 2 carrots.

The bread was a variation on my Italian bread recipe. I'll make this easier to follow here. The one thing I noticed about this bread is that it is so soft and delicious. I think it may be because we used actual best for bread flour instead of unbleached flour. My husband raved about it.
Place in mixing bowl of mixer fitted with a dough hook:
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
1 t. sugar
Let sit in bowl to proof or get foamy. Add:
3 T. oil
1 t. salt
1/4 c. corn meal
1/2 c. oats

3 cups of Best for Bread flour
Mix well. Gradually add more flour, 1/4 of a cup at a time, until dough forms a nice smooth ball.
Place in well oiled baking dish or casserole. Let rise until doubled and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

This bread is not only great for soups, but makes a fabulous french toast for breakfast. As an added healthy topping for our french toast this morning I took about 1/2 cup of maple syrup and warmed it up in a small pot, added a small chopped, unpeeled, granny smith apple, and a handful of walnut pieces. This was so wonderful over the french toast, you should really give it a try!

No comments:

Post a Comment