Saturday, September 14, 2013

Focaccia the Easy Way!

OK let's face facts; we don't always have the time to make our own focaccia dough, right?  I sure don't! So this is for all my friends who have eaten focaccia at my table...sometimes it's my dough and sometimes not!

Here's the trick, use the fresh pizza dough you can buy at your local market. Hey especially when it's offered at buy one get one free! The dough will keep in your fridge for up to 2 days so you'll have time to use both of them!
All you have to do is leave the bag of dough out on your counter until it looks like it's going to blow up!

That means you can take it out in the morning and not think about it again until late afternoon if your house is cool. Hey here in Florida it only takes a few hours but then we don't turn on the AC until the house get to be 80 plus!
Dump the dough onto a parchment paper lined pizza pan or cookie sheet.  Spread the dough out using your knuckles until it is about a half inch thick. Drizzle with olive oil and then spread the oil out evenly so the focaccia dough doesn't dry out.

Now just let the dough rise a while; anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Let your schedule be your guide.  The longer it rises the higher the dough but the flavor will be the same.  Then using one knuckle or the end of a wooden spoon, poke down the dough like I've shown you in the photo.
Now you can drizzle with a little extra olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 14-15 minutes in a preheated 450 degree oven OR you can choose to add some toppings.  Today I thinly sliced an onion and distributed that on the focaccia dough.  Topped that off with a bit of Herbs de Provence and a generous sprinkle of sea salt. 
Same cooking time and temp gets the job done and you have something marvelous! Now in Nice France they would saute the onions first and add anchovies and olives, that's called pissaladiere.  Me I'm not hot on anchovies but I do often saute to onions until soft and caramelized time permitting.

15 minutes in the preheated 450 oven and this is what you get.  Do give it a light drizzle with olive oil and another sprinkle of salt when it first comes out of the oven!
How easy is that? Seriously good eating!
Feel free to let your imagination soar when it comes to the toppings! How about brie and halved grapes or sliced pears along with the onions?  Some finely minced sun dried tomatoes are also a welcome addition; just go for it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Football Season Schedule!

With the football season opening game tonight it got me started thinking about my menu schedule for the games!  After all in this family the food is as important as the game itself.  Same for you?
So I started going through my recipes looking for just the perfect opening game treat.......For tonight I have chosen one of my most popular sandwiches ever on Chat 'n Dish; Zucchini Fritters & Spicy Cabbage Slaw Sandwiches. 
These sandwiches are so delicious and hearty no one is ever going to suspect they are vegetarian so they are also perfect if you want to follow the Meatless Monday tradition!
You can have everything ready to go prior to the start of the game so you'll never miss a second of the action!
Zucchini Fritters & Spicy Cabbage Slaw Sandwiches

Ingredients for 8 fritters
2 zucchini grated
2 eggs beaten
1 bunch green onions chopped
¼ cup-1/2 cup self rising flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup pickled peppers
Wrap grated zucchini in a tea towel and squeeze to remove excess moisture
Mix all ingredients together
Heat ¼ inch oil in sauté pan until hot
Drop an ice-cream scoop full of the batter onto the hot oil and flatten slightly
Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes
Turn and fry until second side is golden brown, about 3 minutes
Drain on paper towels
Spicy Cabbage Slaw
1 ½ cups cabbage grated
1/3 cup Ranch Dressing
1 tablespoon Sriracha Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons chopped pickled peppers optional
Mix ranch dressing and chili sauce together
Combine with cabbage and optional peppers
Method for the Sandwiches:
Fill a pita pocket or your favorite hoagie roll with 2 fritters
Top with ¼ of the spicy slaw