Bread, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Persian Flatbread

August 13, 2017

Persian Flatbread - Nan-e barbari

An article in Food and Wine magazine about flatbreads from around the world caught my attention not only because of the beauty of the breads but also the simplicity of making them.  This particular recipe makes two oval flatbreads known as Nan-e Barbari.  This is the Persian version which is known for being one of the thickest flatbreads.  The first time I made this I followed the recipe closely and was very impressed.  I noticed its similarity to focaccia and elected not to stretch the dough so thin next time and the result was fabulous multi-use bread.  Though the dough was very wet, so much so that I worried how it would turn out, it worked out beautifully.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia

The bread has a wonderful crumb with large air pockets that when sliced in half create the best nooks and crannies for your sandwich spreads.  If you’re not splitting the bread for a sandwich serve it warm with salads, soups, feta & cucumbers, or grilled chicken.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia

Persian Flatbread dough - Nan-e barbari

At this point the bread has been brushed with the glaze (also known as roomal) which results in a beautiful golden crust.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia Sandwich

The bread is delicious on its own but makes a fine sandwich.

Persian Flatbread- Nan-e barbari

 

Persian Flatbread
 
Adapted from Food & Wine magazine
Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast (bread machine yeast)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cups water
  • sesame seeds
  • nigella seeds (optional)
  • coarse or flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon
  • Glaze:
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup water
Preparation
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, salt and water. Mix on medium-low speed until a loose dough forms. (You may also mix the ingredients with your hands or bread machine if you don't have a stand mixer. The dough will be very wet). Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is supple and smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough seems too wet, add a teaspoon or so of flour. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky so resist the temptation of adding too much flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly oiled plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  2. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into two pieces. Shape each piece into an oval about 9" long. Transfer ovals to a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 - 45 minutes.
  3. While the dough is rising, heat the flour, sugar, oil, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the flour paste over moderate heat, whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. The glaze will easily coat the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and set a pizza stone on top. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Cover two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and dust very lightly with flour or fine semolina. Working with one piece at a time, gently deflate the dough on the cookie sheet. If making flatbread shape the dough into a 14"x5" rectangle. Using your fingers (floured) press 5 deep, lengthwise ridges into the dough. Brush half of the glaze over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds, nigella seeds if using, and a little course salt. Slide the dough with the parchment paper on to the pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, bake the bread on the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes until the top is golden brown. If you are making focaccia rather than flatbread, shape the dough into a long rectangle that you can later cut into sandwich-sized pieces. (Try not to stretch it too thin). Bake for 15 - 18 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

 

 

Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Mango Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Popsicles

July 31, 2017

Mango Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Popsicles

Most of us loved eating popsicles as children, a favorite summer treat. Embrace your inner child with these homemade delights. You won’t regret it and neither will your children, grand children, friends, and whoever else is lucky enough to eat one of your homemade creations.  All you need for this recipe is fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream.  Since our mango trees are at their peak summer harvest now they are the major ingredient here.  Strawberries and vanilla ice cream added a beautiful color palette to the bright orange mangos.  If mangos are not available, fresh peaches would be an excellent substitution.

Strawberries

Pirie and Rapoza Mangos

Our Pirie mango tree is 30 years old and is a heavy bearer that produces the sweetest mangos I have ever tasted.  It has a long production period of at least 6 months.  The large and beautiful Rapoza mango is delightfully smooth and sweet with a texture similar to a peach.

Mango Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Popsicles

Swirl the ingredients around a bit to make beautiful popsicles that taste delicious especially on a warm summer day.

Mango Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Popsicles

There is a myriad of popsicle molds available on-line.  I bought this inexpensive Norpro Frozen Ice Pop Maker and it works like a charm.  The popsicles are just the right size and the entire mold fits nicely in the freezer. Plus, you get 10 popsicles at a time.

Mango Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Popsicles

 

 

Mango Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Popsicles
 
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces strawberries, chopped
  • 1¾ cup (heaping) chopped mango
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1½ cups lactose free vanilla ice cream slightly softened (or regular vanilla ice cream or non-dairy vanilla ice cream)
Preparation
  1. Mix chopped strawberries with ¼ sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using an immersion blender puree chopped mango, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lime juice until mixture is smooth. Pour into a 2 cup measuring cup. You should have 1½ cups (or more) mango puree.
  3. Rinse immersion cup and puree strawberries with remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Pour into a 1 cup measuring cup. You should have 1 cup of strawberry puree.
  4. Layer popsicle molds beginning with mango puree, followed by strawberry puree, and ice cream. Continue to layer with fruit purees and ice cream leaving ¼-inch space from the top to allow for expansion. Using a chopstick or wooden skewer, lightly swirl the mixtures together. Place lid on mold and insert sticks. Freeze at least 8 hours or overnight. Run popsicle mold under warm water for easy removal.

 

 

Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

July 11, 2017

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

Once upon a time, I thought the only part of the chicken worthy of my attention was the breast.  However, I have since learned that there’s something to be said about chicken thighs and how moist and tender they remain after cooking.  This herby, garlicky grilled chicken is a perfect example.  It doesn’t hurt either, that it marinates in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and lots of herbs for a few hours rendering it even moister.  It’s a quick and delicious meal, and because the thighs are boneless, they cook quickly on high heat and that gives it a nice char and extra flavor.

Fresh Herbs from the Garden

Our garden has seen tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers come and go with the seasons however the herbs are true blue.  They tolerate the hot weather we have and rarely do they get bothered by disease or pesky insects.

Ground Sumac

The sumac bush grows in the Middle East where the berries are dried and crushed and used in numerous dishes.  It has a lemony tart flavor that goes well in salad dressings, kabobs and rice dishes. It is a main ingredient in one of my favorite spice blends, za’atar.  I had never heard of it until a few years ago but now I see it frequently used both by chefs and home cooks.

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

This recipe comes from Melissa Clark at the New York Times.  She serves the chicken with a yogurt sauce that adds a creamy tanginess and compliments the chicken perfectly.

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken Sandwich

Some of the leftover chicken was sliced and used in a sandwich with a little melted cheese.  It’s a good recipe to double so that you have leftovers for the next few days.  Use it in salads, stuffed in pita bread, or in sandwich as I did.

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken
 
Adapted from Melissa Clark's recipe
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ - 1¾ pounds)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced finely, divided (reserve ½ teaspoon for yogurt sauce)
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons (more for the marinade if the lemons are very small and if you prefer a more tangy marinade)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram (or oregano)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds + extra for yogurt sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • 1 6 ounce container whole milk plain yogurt
Preparation
  1. Trim chicken thighs and combine with garlic (reserve ½ teaspoon for yogurt sauce), zest and juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, parsley, mint, thyme, marjoram, salt, sesame seeds and sumac (I use a Ziploc bag). Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 6 - 8 hours.
  2. Heat your grill and cook chicken over high heat until charred in spots, about 4 - 6 minutes. Flip pieces and continue grilling until just cooked through, another 4 minutes or so.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, combine yogurt with ½ teaspoon reserved garlic, lemon zest & juice. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Serve chicken with yogurt sauce on the side.

 

Cookies, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

July 3, 2017

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

I was intrigued by this chocolate chip cookie recipe after David Lebowitz raved about it on his blog.  A chocolate chip cookie made with tahini?  This was a recipe I needed to try for myself.  I love tahini and have often used it in savory recipes such as hummus or dressing. After doing a bit of research I found that it is not uncommon to use it in desserts as well.  These cookies are the best of both worlds.  They are delightfully rich with just a hint of tahini and lots of chocolate in every bite. The fleur de sel is the “icing on the cake.”

Chopped Semisweet Chocolate

David recommends using chocolate chunks.  I bought chocolate bars and chopped them into pieces larger than regular chocolate chips which are fairly small and tend to get lost in a cookie. David’s recommendation was spot on. Who wouldn’t want more chocolate in every bite?!

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookie Dough

I used a cookie scoop but you can certainly use a tablespoon and form the cookies with your hands.

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies
 
Adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe
Author:
Serves: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon tahini, well stirred
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon
Preparation
  1. Beat the Buttery Stick, tahini, granulated sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 - 3 minutes, until fluffy. (The dough can also be made in a large mixing bowl stirred wth a spatula).
  2. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Continue to mix for another minute, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Be sure the eggs are well incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Cover and refrigerate the dough until well chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Form the cookies into rounds using a medium sized (#40) cookie scoop. Place them evenly spaced on the baking sheets, about 3 inches apart (they spread a lot). Bake one pan at a time on the middle rack of the oven rotating the pan from front to back midway during baking. Bake cookies for about 14 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and sprinkle with a bit of fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Continue to bake the remaining cookies.

 

Chicken, Dinner, Dressing, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes, Veggies

Chinese Chicken Salad

June 19, 2017

Chinese Chicken Salad

There are a number of stories told about the origins of Chinese Chicken Salad and it appears that none are definitive although most agree that it all began in the ’60s.  Wikipedia states that it became especially popular after Cary Grant asked the chef at Madame Wu’s in Santa Monica to add it to their menu after Grant had the salad at another restaurant. Whatever the case might be, it is one of my favorite salads too.  Now, there are so many variations on this salad you could make a different version every day for months.  Some poach their chicken breasts, others use rotisserie chicken. Some use mandarin oranges (no thanks!) or nuts such as peanuts and almonds.  I prefer to use leftover Granny’s teriyaki chicken and when we make it for dinner we plan for leftovers.  The salad ingredients and dressing are quick to put together, and though it does take 15 minutes or so to fry the won ton strips, it is worth the effort.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, won bok, however it’s labeled it’s all the same cabbage.  It has beautiful ripply leaves, a crunchy texture and mild cabbage flavor with just a hint of pepper.  Whatever other ingredients you choose to use in your Chinese chicken salad, please don’t leave this out.

Blanched Snow Peas

I love crispy snow peas.  All they need for this salad is a quick 10 second blanch in boiling water. Drain in an ice bath and pat dry before slicing.

Chinese Chicken Salad Vegetables

Won Ton Pi

There are many brands of won ton pi at the markets. I just grabbed this locally made brand at Foodland.  Since you won’t need the entire package for the salad, slice the extra pieces up into larger strips and fry them up for a snack.  They are a favorite Island treat.

Fried Wont Ton Pi Strips for Salad

Fried Wont Ton Pi Chips for Snacking

I used the extra won ton pi for chips. Some of them puff up as they fry, making them light and crispy.  Salt the chips as you take them out of the pan.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 2 grilled teriyaki chicken breasts, sliced thinly (or baked teriyaki chicken)
  • 8 cups chopped napa cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 ounces snow peas, blanched and sliced thin (optional)
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • won ton pi cut into thin strips about ⅓" wide (I used about 4 ounces from the 10 ounce package for the salad and the rest I used for larger chips)
  • Dressing:
  • ⅓ - ½ cup rice vinegar, depending on how tangy you like your dressing (unseasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet mirin
  • 2½ tablespoons soy sauce (not light or less sodium)
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ground black pepper to taste
Preparation
  1. Toss together the shredded napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, sliced snow peas and green onions. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use (either in a bowl or Ziploc freezer bag).
  2. Deep fry the won ton strips until golden brown. I use a medium-sized pot and fry the won ton strips in batches. They cook quickly so watch them closely. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle a little salt over each batch. The won ton strips can be made a day in advance (store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator).
  3. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well.
  4. When you are ready to serve the salad, toss the vegetables with some of the dressing. Divide salad into 4 bowls placing chicken strips to one side. Scatter won ton strips over the salad. Serve with extra dressing.

 

Beans, Dinner, Dressing, Italian, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

June 5, 2017

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

This salad is one you will never get bored with.  Crunchy lettuce, tart pepperoncini, wholesome chickpeas, and savory peppered salami, all tossed together with a refreshing oregano vinaigrette makes this a perfect lunch.  I love serving it with slices of hearty sourdough bread or avocado toasts.  There are many fine chopped salad recipes but this one created by Nancy Silverton and published in The Mozza Cookbook is by far my favorite.  This beautiful salad will bring much satisfaction to whomever you share it with.

Iceberg Lettuce, Radicchio, Pepperoncini, Onion, Chickpeas, Tomato, Salami & Cheese

Peppered Salami

There are so many different types of salami however I always reach for the peppered version. The slightly peppery crust adds an extra level of flavor to the salami.  Leftover slices are perfect in a sandwich or served with slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Oregano Vinaigrette

Don’t hesitate to use lots of dried oregano in the vinaigrette. It really makes the dressing stand out and goes well with the chopped salad.

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette
 
Adapted from Nancy Silverton's Chopped Salad Recipe
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, crushed + 1 small garlic clove, grated finely
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • Salad:
  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce cut into ribbons ⅓" wide
  • 1 small head radicchio cut into ribbons ¼" wide
  • ½ small sweet white onion cut into thin strips
  • ¾ pounds diced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 6 ounces yogurt cheese sliced into ¼" wide strips (you may substitute with provolone)
  • 6 ounces peppered salami sliced into ¼" wide strips
  • 5 medium pepperoncini sliced into rings
Preparation
  1. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl toss the lettuce, radicchio and onions together. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cheese, salami and pepperoncini. Spoon dressing over the salad and toss well so that all ingredients are well seasoned with the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and more vinaigrette. You will not need all of the dressing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and use within a week. Serve the salad with some good sourdough bread on the side.

 

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