Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apple and Sausage Strudel

Jan Jacobson brought this to me after I had Jane. It is now an official member of our dinner line-up.

1 lb ground mild sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup cooked rice
1 lb sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
2 puff pastry crusts

Brown sausage in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent, drain fat. Add apples, rice, one beaten egg and 3/4 of the cheese. Mix well, add salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheddar down the middle of one of the puff pastries, top with half of the meat mixture. Cut the sides of the pastry into strips and braid. Pinch ends to close. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Beat remaining egg and brush both pastries. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Enjoy.

Focaccia Bread

1 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp chopped red onion

olive oil
coarse sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and mix into a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface the knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (1 - 1 1/2 hours).

Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead in the sage and onion. Shape the dough into a ball, then roll out into a round of about 10 inches (pizza pan size). Cover and let it rise again until doubled, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400.

Poke dimples in the bread and drizzle olive oil on top, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden.

Serve warm. Tastes delicious dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I often am really lazy and use 1 tsp dried sage and 1/2 tsp onion powder in place of fresh, and it works just fine. I have also used other spices, rosemary, thyme, oregano to change the taste a little.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Deborah asked for this one.

2 cups chicken (I use a rotisserie, the texture and taste of the meat is just better)
2 cups sliced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups water
6-8 tsp. bouillon (or just use 6 cups of broth)
1 box Uncle Ben's Seasoned Wild Rice Mix (reserve seasoning packet)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine chicken, vegetables and water/bouillon/broth and boil until vegetables are tender. Add rice, cover and cook until rice is done. In a separate saucepan make a roux of the butter, salt, flour and pepper. Add cream and seasoning packet and cook over medium heat until thick. Add to soup and stir to combine. Serve immediately, enjoy immensely!

*I usually make this the day after we have a homemade rotisserie chicken. Here is the recipe as well as instructions on how to make the broth. If you do it this way, I promise you will feel very industrious and exactly like Martha Stewart.

Pizza Dough

This has been requested by several people. I got this from Deborah. It's nice because you don't have to let it rise.

1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. oil

Combine yeast and water and wait for it to bubble. Add sugar, salt and oil. Mix in flour. Roll out immediately and top as you please. Bake at 400 until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.