Remember those tasty, squared little focaccia samwiches from my focaccia bread post?
If you are entertaining at home this weekend, these mini samwiches (I love calling it a “samwich”) are something that you will want to serve. They are crunchy, creamy and delicious.
Serve them at your next party, or you can just stick them in your lunch box; they are great any way that you want to enjoy them.
You will need:
- 1 homemade focaccia bread, cut up into squares
- Red Peppers, 1 per sandwich (my bread recipe should yield 8 to 10 sandwiches)
- baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- Herbed goat cheese spread
For the goat cheese you will need:
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package (3 oz.) of goat cheese
For the Peppers:
- To roast the peppers, preheat the broiler and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, or grease it lightly.
- Cut peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds and stems.
- Place peppers cut side down on the sheet pan.
- Broil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Peel when cooled.
For the Herbed Goat Cheese Spread:
- In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the goat cheese, mix well.
- Coat the goat cheese with the mixture, press the mixture into the cheese with a fork and combine well.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you have the time, prepare this a day ahead; the longer it sits, the better it tastes.
Assembling the Sandwiches:
- Spread the herbed goat cheese on two squared slices of focaccia.
- Layer the portobello mushrooms on one slice, then follow up with the roasted pepper.
- Cover with a slice of focaccia, and serve.
I love a good bread.
And I especially love that bread when it has been made for me by someone else.
You want to know what I don’t love?
(I’m not going to mention any names)
When I get to a dinner party and discover that everything on that table was prepared by the hands of your local grocer; petite quiches, jalapeno poppers (at a dinner party?) and other finger foods from Sam’s… a cake from Sam’s bakery… and, the one thing that infuriates me the most… sliced bread… also bought at Sam’s.
Are you kidding me?
You just invited me to a dinner party that was catered by your local Sam’s. Why on Earth didn’t you just tell us to meet you at the cafe over at Sam’s instead?
Come on, at least make the bread!
Please allow me to show you how easy it is to make a really good bread that you can wow your guests with. It tastes oh so yummy good, it takes one hour flat to make it, and your guests will love it just because it sounds foreign. 🙂
Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread
You will need:
- 1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour (I use King Arthur)
- 1 cup AP flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 package (.25 oz.) instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 cup of water, divided
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- Preheat oven at 475.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, and garlic salt; stir well to combine.
- Stir in 1/4 cup of water, mix, then stir in the rest of the water slowly, until all of the flour is absorbed.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.
- Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. I always put it on top of my warm stove and the rise is done within 20 minutes.
- Grab the dough and knead it again, briefly, on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 1/4 inch thick, and place it on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Dimple the bread with your index finger.
- Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano and rosemary.
- Bake the bread for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness.
- With a sharp knife, slice the focaccia into wedges and serve it with garlic sauce, or cut it into squares and make little bite-sized sandwiches.
(recipe soon… it’s a darn good samwich!)
That’s it! How hard was that?
Please, if you’re going to have friends over for dinner, bake something, anything! The bread is probably the easiest thing you can attempt to make.
I am so thrilled to announce that today I have a guest post over at my friend Chef Dennis’ place, More Than A Mount Full!
If you have never visited his blog, prepare yourself for a great read and oh-so-yummy-good treats. It’s the one place where you either need your recipe book and a pen in front of you, or the printer next to you because you do not want to miss any of his delicious bites.
Please hop on over and join us for a lovely Irish meal that I prepared in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! I know – there’s not an ounce of Irish in me, but isn’t everyone Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? 🙂
When I was in school and they would announce that we were going to have a snow day for the third day in a row, it was like winning the lottery! Now, the first day feels like a win, but by the third day I need to get out there and see the world!
To keep myself busy these past couple of days I of course spent most of the time in the kitchen making soups and stews since that’s all that we were in the mood for. But, by the end of the third day, I ran out of items in my kitchen pantry. Even my fridge was emptied out! Thank goodness today looks like munchkin and I are going to hit the market – finally!
This bread that I made yesterday was out of pure necessity – I’m telling you, that kitchen pantry is empty. It’s a good thing that I buy flour in large quantities – when I bring the bag of flour home, my husband says that it looks like I’m preparing for doomsday…funny guy. It’s more like I’m preparing for him because he ends up eating most of the bread that I make. That loaf up there was gone in one sitting. I had one slice, and he and my daughter literally attacked it – they didn’t even use a knife to cut it. So is the reason why I don’t have a pretty picture with a few slices.
This bread is my take on the country type bread served at steakhouses, only healthier.
You will need:
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of water
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a deep mixing bowl, mix your dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, mix liquids and add to the dry ingredients.
- Stir until there is no more dry flour.
- Depending on the humidity of the air where you live you may need more or less liquid. The dough should be moist but not sticky. It is important not to overwork the dough.
- Shape into a ball or an oval with oiled hands.
- Rub the dough ball with EVOO and sprinkle sea salt and oregano.
- Lightly cut an X onto the surface to prevent splitting of the crust.
- Place on a clean baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
But we can’t stop at just the bread! I have to show you my yummy soup that soaked up all of that bread! This is the “clean out your pantry” soup.
If you have an hour and some to spare, get out your chopping block and start cooking.
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 2 medium-sized onions, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, sliced crosswise
- 2 celery stalks, sliced crosswise
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 fresh ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon basil, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley, chopped
- 6 cups of water
- 3 cubes of Vegetable buillon
- 1/4 cup elbow macaroni
- salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large deep pot place in the onions, carrots and celery; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, EVOO and mix with wooden spoon.
- Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened, then add in the minced garlic, tomatoes, kidney beans, garlic powder, garlic salt, paprika, parsley, and basil; stir and cook for another 10 minutes on medium heat, or until the mixture begins to bubble.
- Pour in the water and turn up the heat to high and wait for it to boil.
- Add the bouillon cubes, mix well, and turn down the heat to a medium-low.
*You can skip the above two steps if you have six cups of vegetable broth on hand.
- Let it simmer for about 30 minutes then add in the elbow macaroni.
- Allow it to cook for another 10 minutes on medium heat before removing it from the stove.
- Serve it warm with a side of that bread! It was delicious!
With all the work that you will be doing for the upcoming holidays, I thought you would probably appreciate a shortcut. This is one of the quickest double crust pie recipes I have ever come across. I do not know where it came from, but kudos to the person that thought of it!
Double Crust Pie
Isn’t that gorgeous? Golden brown and flaky; the way it ought to be.
You will need:
- Food Processor
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
- pinch of salt
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour and salt.
- Add butter and mix until it resembles a coarse meal.
- With the machine running, slowly add water and process until a dough comes together.
- Add more water if dough seems too dry.
- Divide the dough into two equal size balls and flatten into disks.
- Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour before rolling out.
- Roll dough out on a floured surface and then place in pan.
That’s it! Wasn’t that easy?