Monday, October 15, 2012

Home Run for Dinner

Wooo!  Tonight I scored a home run with dinner.  NO complaints - not a one!  Do you know how rarely that happens?!  Basically never.  So I am really happy with both recipes for today and highly recommend them.

First: French bread.  Now, I have baked plenty of bread this year, and I know that it is a slow process.  There's lots of time to let it rise.  In fact, lots of breads (bagels for instance) take two days!  So when I found a recipe that claimed to make two or three loaves of French bread in an hour, I was skeptical.  All the other French bread recipes that I have seen are two-day-ers.  This meant that clearly I had to give it a try.  I have brand new yeast since I am fairly certain my old jar died.  I am keeping this jar in the freezer to keep it fresh longer.  Anyway, the rising was cool because you put it in the (off) oven with a pot of water that you boiled.  The boiling water warms the oven and keeps the dough moist; this helps it rise faster.  Then you form the breads and let them do their final rising in a 170-degree oven until they are the size you want them to be; them you just turn it up to 375 for 30 minutes, and voila: fresh, hot, giant loaves of French bread!  I had my doubts, but I am now a believer!  The bread is soft and chewy with a great crunchy crust (thanks to an egg wash).  And it makes a ton.  We have almost eaten an entire loaf.  We ate it with our  meal, and Mom and Rachael even ate it for dessert with honey.  Mom says it's the best bread I ever made and requested it to be available every day :)  To be truthful, it did take longer than an hour - probably closer to 2 because I let it rise three times in the oven, but still, way quicker than normal bread, and soooo much better than store-bought!

For dinner, Kenzie has been requesting a soup that she saw in the Food Network magazine last month: tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons.  I was intrigued mainly because I love bread in my soup, and I love Gruyere cheese, and I was very interested in cooking with saffron, the world's most expensive spice!  (Thanks Marky for buying it for me!).  The soup was easy and quick to throw together.  I doubled it, but I did not double the salt, pepper, saffron or cream.  I recommend doing the same. It is the most delicious tomato soup I ever tasted!  Not to mention the fact that you top each bowl with little grilled cheese croutons.  I used the panini grill to grill up thick slices of bread (no, not my own!) with Gruyere, then sliced the sandwiches into little cubes.  They were amazing on their own, but added to an already amazing soup?  Perfection.  Make this soup ASAP.  And do not skimp on the croutons!

Okay, gotta go watch The Voice to cheer on our friend Sam James!  GO SAM!

French bread
tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons

No comments:

Post a Comment