Thursday, January 28, 2010

Peach Cobbler

For those of you who do not necessarily know what a cobbler is, I can tell you that it is one of the tastiest and simple to assemble, not to mention its versatility.
It can probably be called a summer dessert, but using the wonderful wonder called frozen fruit

from your freezer section of your local can make it all year long and virtually with any choice of fruit you have on hand.
Short of maybe peaches in this case, I'm pretty sure you already have everything on hand, and I suggest you give it a try....maybe even tonight, why not ?
Shall we get to cooking now ?

1 cup all purpose flour or 125 gr
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar or Splenda, if you have it
1/4 cup sugar or Splenda
1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted (8 TBSP)
6 cups sliced peaches


Preheat the oven to 350 F and have a shallow baking dish handy.
Combine the fruit with the 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon,

then spread it evenly in the dish.

In a glass bowl combine the flour, the 1 cup sugar/Splenda, the lightly beaten egg, pinch of salt and the baking powder until it reaches a crumbly consistency

and then sprinkle it over the fruit.

Melt the butter or margarine and pour over the sprinkled flour mixture.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until it looks lightly golden.

Serve hot by itself or paired with ice-cream.

I cannot wait to make this again !

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best ever Grilled Chicken Salad

One of the best ways that you can enhance a salad is by adding a good grilled piece of chicken and if you are going to make this salad like I show you, you will agree that this is indeed the best ever grilled chicken salad.
It's rather fast too, not just healthful, considering the fact that boiling the eggs for 5 minutes while the chicken is grilling for 4 minutes is not a long time at all.

2 eggs
a few slices of bacon

1/4 to 1/3 of a salad head, chopped

Kalamata olives

1 tomato

Mozzarella cheese

2 to 4 pieces of chicken breast

Chicago steak seasoning

Place the eggs in a small pot, cover with water by 1 inch and bring to a boil.

Boil them for 4 to 6 minutes from the moment the water starts to boil and when ready, let sit in cold water for 2 minutes,

then peel and cut in small pieces.
Season the chicken and set aside until the grill is ready.

Heat your grill to medium and grill the bacon

until slightly crispy, but not burned.
Once ready, place on a cutting board

and cut into tiny pieces.

Then go on grilling the chicken strips for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked nicely.
Be careful not to overcook the chicken breast because it will become dry and chewy.

Slice the chicken pieces and go on with the assembling of the salad.

Place the chopped salad at the base...

then add the tomato...

the egg...

the bacon...

then carefully transfer the sliced chicken pieces...

(In my case I had 2 pieces for Jeff and 1 for me.)

then add the cheese...

and finally....if you like olives, add those.

Enjoy !
I also added some ranch dressing at the end, but you don't have to do that.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What is your Favorite Book ?

My favorite book of all times is "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt.

Which one is yours ?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Focaccia alle Patate

Also known as the Italian focaccia with potatoes, it is one of the most moist breads you will ever taste.
You can use any potato you like or have, but I would choose a starchy one, that crumbles nicely, like the Idaho potato.
The crumb is wet, big,

with deep flavor and will pair with anything you want to eat it with.
Makes wonderful sandwiches and compliments any soup.
If you feel like being creative, sprinkle cheese or cherry or grape tomatoes on top before placing it in the oven to bake.

1 medium-large Idaho or other white starchy potato
1 egg
2 TBSP active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1 cup water
6 cups or 750 gr flour, plus more as needed
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for oiling the baking sheet and the surface of the focaccia
2 teaspoons salt, of which 1/2 teaspoon is for sprinkling the surface right before baking
1/2 teaspoon rosemary (I ground mine)
1/2 oregano

Scrub the potato very well, then place in a small pot, cover with water by 1 inch and let boil for 20 minutes, or until well boiled.
When ready, remove from the water, let rest 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle safely and peel.
Using a potato mashed, smash it to a fine powder.
If this sounds strange to you, you will understand what I mean by powder once you do this yourself.
Set aside and go on with the rest of the cooking process as follows.
Warm the milk and water and dissolve the yeast in it, but be careful not to warm the liquid too much, because if too hot the yeast will die and we want our focaccia light and puffy, don't we?
Then add the rest of the liquids, followed by the mashed potato and salt and flour.
Mix well and let rise for 25 minutes.
Oil a baking sheet that has a nice 1 to 2 inches rim and spread the dough in it.

Oil it on the surface, make some dimples or holes with your fingertips and sprinkle some kosher salt, oregano and the rosemary.

Let rise for at least 30 minutes (here is after it rose for 45 minutes)

and up to 1 hour and bake in a preheated oven at 450 F for 12 to 18 minutes, keeping an eye on it.
When light golden, it should be done.

Here is the focaccia still very hot, with a piece torn to expose the crumb.