Showing posts with label Zucchini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zucchini. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia

When it comes to baking breads, rolls, and other baked goods with yeast...I don't do much of that. I've been spoiled, growing up as a child with all the amazing homemade breads and and sweet pastries made by my mother, grandmother, and aunts. When my children were little, we still had my sweet Hungarian (aunt) Mariska néni who made all the wonderful treats for us, not just for the holidays, but every week something different. She is no longer with us but we still have the fond memories of all the yeasted treats she baked with so much 'pride and joy'...but seriously, we are the ones that was given so much joy and happiness. That's what home baking does; honest!
 
This is my favorite topping; paper thin sliced zucchini, and sweet-crunchy caramelized sliced onions. Focaccia and pizza dough is so easy to make, just pop the ingredients in the standing mixer with the dough hook and the machine does all the work for you. The only dry yeast I trust is RED STAR. It is fail-proof rapid-rising dry yeast...never have to worry about the dough not rising.
 
 
To make a single focaccia, you need at least 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour. I highly recommend bread flour. Some recipes do not use olive oil in the dough, but I prefer to add olive oil in the dough, and brush some on the top...as well!
 
Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia
recipe by; Elisabeth
 
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup of warm water
2 teaspoon RED STAR or your favorite rapid
rising yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
corn meal for dusting
 
Topping:
 
2 medium zucchini, sliced thin with mandolin slicer
1 medium onion, sliced into thin circles
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
 
In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand for 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve the salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in the 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine from time-to-time to scrape dough off the hook. Mix the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. (I added another 1/2 cup more.)
 
Turn the dough onto a work surface and form into a round. Place in a large oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise on a draft-free place, until doubled in size, for about 45 minutes.
 
You could coat a baking sheet pan with olive oil, or just use a large parchment paper, and directly coat the parchment paper with corn meal. When dough is doubled in size, punch down the dough and turn directly onto the cornmeal lined parchment paper. Pat the dough into an oblong shape but do not force dough to make it thin. Cover with a tea towel and let the dough rest for about 20 minutes so you can stretch it and shape it again. (In the meantime you could make the topping)
 
With your thumb, make indentations in the dough and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and pre-bake for about 10 minutes without the topping. Spoon topping over the pre-baked focaccia; don't worry about having neat slices if zucchini is paper thin. Finish baking for an additional 10 more minutes, until focaccia is light brown, and vegetables are caramelized.
 
For the topping: Use remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and in a large skillet sauté onion and garlic first... adding salt, pepper, and brown sugar. When onion mixture gets nice and caramelized add the thin zucchini slices and just mix all together...no need to cook zucchini; it will finish cooking in the last baking process. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Asparagus-Potato Frittata

Although I've been feeling so 'out of it' and not really in the mood for driving, grocery shopping, and...especially cooking, due to not feeling my best with the bandage on my forehead to cover and protect the 'skin cancer surgery'...and taking strong antibiotics is not my favorite thing at all. I finally had the stitches removed and now I'm on my way to healing with a slight scar about 1 1/2 inches which will fade in time. I scheduled for my next surgery appointment  a month away!

When you know you have a dozen eggs in your fridge...actually, you only need 8, have onions, and some kind of fresh veggies, you could whip up a frittata in no time, at all!

I really do not need a recipe for this simple frittata, but I got inspired by Martha Stewart's Whole Living magazine...sad to say, is no longer in circulation. Again...I swapped the vegetables and omitted the jalapeno peppers which I did not have, but no worries...if you want it spicy, you can use chili pepper flakes for a spicier flavor. Recipe also calls for fresh corn kernels (you can use frozen)...I used diced potatoes, instead...otherwise, you can be creative and add veggies of your choice! Click on the link, for the recipe!
SPICY ZUCCHINI FRITTATA

The next day, I still had a lot of leftovers and had a yummy cold frittata sandwich for lunch. Some people do not like cold eggs...but as for me; I love cold hard boiled eggs, or a frittata (fried-scrambled eggs) especially on simple, fresh whole wheat bread.
My poor little kitty, Mush has found a little 'me space' which I usually have it stacked with cook books and some novels, and just stared out at me feeling left out, while I am finishing my post.
Pets can pick up on your 'moods' and feelings. Poor baby has felt neglected all week long...or is she just watching the red ribbons protruding from the book?...most likely. She is such a comfort, so sweet and delicate little thing, and oh, so 'finicky'...just like most female cats are. (she still misses Prince, can't believe its been already over one year that he had to be put down...sigh!)

I really appreciate all your caring and friendship; if I neglected to comment on your blog...I will try to catch up visiting and commenting, and as for my posts; I need to step that up, as well and post at least twice a week. Take care, and Hugs to all!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

#BundtaMonth-Banana Zucchini Bundt Cake

banana-zucchni-bundt-cake-1
I’ve loved baking Bundt cakes since my kids were little. Baking a Bundt is homey and comforting. There’s something about a round Bundt with the glaze drizzled down the side that is irresistible. Perfect for coffee or tea time with friends or to bring to a party.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Zucchini in Tomato Sauce...and Restaurant Review

I hope you have an extra few minutes to hang out on my blog...just wanted to share the latest...I mean the really most recent, meaning, from yesterday's event! What a wonderful day I've had yesterday, that was totally unplanned.
I'm so happy that my family is back now, from Italy, and I'm back in my own little place, with my sweet little Persian kitty, Mush, who I rarely mention. I've had her since she was a kitten, 13 years ago...and she is still the size of a kitten, has not grown much, but so cute and sweet. She was my beloved Prince kitties constant companion...and now, my little 'shadow'...always been sweet and aloof, but now that Prince is gone, she constantly wants to be around me!



I'm not starting out with the restaurant review...although that came earlier, at lunch time, but for dinner, I made this batch of zucchini for a light dinner, just enjoying it with crusty slices of bread. Still have plenty left over, which could be added over pasta of your choice! So easy to make, and so delicious.

Zucchini is in season now, and so abundant in our supermarkets, and especially in the fresh produce market. I also picked up a small batch of thyme, a bunch of Italian parsley, and decided to make a different herb version for my zucchini and tomato sauce.



Zucchini in Tomato Sauce
created by; Elisabeth

4 small zucchini sliced,(but not too thin)
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of Italian parsley chopped
few sprigs of thyme snipped, or
(you can use basil, rosemary, or your
favorite herbs)
1 cup fresh, or canned tomato sauce
(I used Flora tomato sauce)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine, or vegetable broth

In a large cast iron, or non-stick skillet, saute onion and garlic first, for about 5 minutes, add the sliced zucchini, and saute over medium high heat to get a little color on them. Add the wine, or broth, let it cook down a little...another 5 minutes longer.

Add the tomato sauce, and let it cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. The entire cooking time should not take more than 25 minutes. Serve over pasta, or just simply enjoy with crusty bread of your choice...and there's your 30 minute meal. You can also grate Parmesan cheese on top if you prefer!

Simple, and easy...guaranteed that you will love it, if you like zucchini, this is a great way for kids to enjoy their veggies...smothered in tomato sauce!



...and now, for the Restaurant Review!



Ahh, here we are Lemongrass, Asian Restaurant...haven't been here in 2yrs...food is so good, and a pleasant friendly atmosphere!
There's 2 identical section like this...2 bars, so if you have too much Saki to drink...you may think you're seeing double!...no Saki for me, it's only a little over 12: noon! (Lora in the blue shirt, walking in)
I ordered the Lemongrass soup, with mussels, squid, scallops and fish...a light lemony hot 'paprika' broth...did not know that they use Hungarian paprika in Asian cuisine...I loved it, it really 'hit the spot'. Fabrizio ordered the same thing.


We all shared these 2 rolls...the front one was called ...Volcano Rolls...some really yummy sauce, not spicy...covering the rolls...even the little guy enjoyed it, wanting to learn how to eat with chopsticks!
Gabby's Pad Thai noodles, with chicken...and some brown rice from Lora's shrimp and brown rice...on the same plate...really delicious, (but not crazy about the presentation)
Since no-one would pose for me...all you can see them is walking, and me taking photos of other restaurant buildings...such as this lovely building on the corner, next to the railroad track...for years, this building was a breakfast eatery...then, abandoned for a few years, and in the last ten years, it's been a chic eatery, and always packed on the weekend, and during season. (didn't check the name of the place, but dined there 2yrs ago)

As we were strolling down the avenue...I spotted these gorgeous expensive dogs...their masters walking them...
I don't know the breed of these beautiful dogs...just took the picture, and thanked the owner (no time to ask for permission)...but they said "you're welcome"...isn't it nice how people can be so friendly, and courteous?
Just look at the strong legs on those doggies...wonder if they are poodles...just have them groomed differently!
On this corner, is a very nice seafood restaurant...outdoor eating has a fresh mist blowing...you can even see the mist, above the entrance where it says...Lobster Roll!
 Heading on to this 'parkway' ...there is a brand new amazing restaurant...gigantic outdoor eating, and indoor, as well!...check this out!
This is all part of one restaurant...I have not seen this until now, since they've only opened a few months ago! Totally, amazing!
This was my very favorite...beautiful, and just check out the upstairs...two stories. Love the architecture of the modern building!
A whimsical gift shop, with art, as well...wonder if these cute sculptures are for sale?...love the turtles! So, that was a very nice day, well spent, and totally NOT planned. This is how my family plans events like this...sometimes at the 'spur of the moment'. Have a wonderful day, and hope you're not suffering the heat! We are having 10 degrees cooler temps. now...only about 88 degrees the highest...just lots of rain every day...and mostly grey skies!







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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lemon-Glazed Zucchini Bread...and More Tomatoes!

I have not made zucchini bread for years, maybe since my children were little, and they actually loved it!...why not now?...I really don't know!

I used to have a fantastic recipe from Bon Appetit, but that was from the seventies, or eighties and those recipes almost, always called for at least 1 cup of vegetable oil, and 2 cups of sugar...yikes!!! there goes your cholesterol level, and killing you with sugar!...no thank you! At any rate, this recipe, I assure you has very little oil (1/4 cup) and lot less sugar (1/2 to 3/4 cup)...so, no wonder I didn't make it until now, although I've always been relying on my banana breads with excess ripe bananas always at hand. ...also having zucchini on hand, but using it in savory dishes!
Whatever you do, just don't tell your 5yr. old child that this is zucchini, the green vegetable that they are being served, tucked away, inside this wonderful lemon-sugar glazed bread. I made that mistake, and my 5yr. old granddaughter would not touch it with a 10ft pole! I posted this photo, because I wanted to show off the glaze on the top, and also the photo itself. Both was done by Sophia, my 10yr old granddaughter. She certainly loved the bread, and even had seconds. What a difference 5year makes! If you really want to camouflage the zucchini, all you have to do, is to peel it first, then grade it, the way my daughter Lora made it, with the same recipe. I, of course left the little green specks in it...which is the "beauty" of this delicious and moist zucchini bread!
See the little specks of green?...that's what real zucchini bread is all about...seeing the actual specks of the beautiful shredded fresh zucchini.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ziti with fresh Tomatoes, and Zucchini

I still have some photos of my $ 1.00 thrift find bag of mixed vegetable, that I did't get to post about in the last few months. Now, that I'm back and forth to my place from my son's house, I rarely get a chance to do much other than taking care of the pets, (mine, and his)...not much chance for cooking or baking.
Good thing I went to check on my place because I came home to a surprise...a flood of water gushing from my A/C unit ceiling all soaked. Good thing I wasn't sleeping there because I turned the A/C and called the service first thing in the morning.
Really there's no set recipe for this wonderful sauteed mixed zucchini, squash, onions, and blanched chopped fresh tomatoes, served over a pasta of your choice, I used ziti pasta.This is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta dish!
I could easily have at least 3 or 4 vegetarian meals a week...eating something so healthy and delicious like these veggies! When we were kids, growing up in Cleveland in the late fifties and mid sixties, I remember my mom only made a meat dish about once or twice a week on the weekend...everything was prepared in season, and canned for the winter. Homemade breads, rolls, danishes were not an option, it was made regularly, just as homemade noodles. As a nation, we have consumed way too much meats over the decades...time to slow it down a bit and eat what mother nature produces for us!
Last night I did  not feel like doing much, just cleaned out my son's refrigerator, and defrosted one of my pizza crust that I make ahead of time to freeze, thaw out and bake...I  topped it off with caramelized onions, fresh tomato sauce fresh basil leaves and crispy fried and crumbled pancetta...thick sliced chopped bacon is OK to use in place of pancetta. Just because you're spending time alone, does not mean that you cannot treat yourself to something homemade and delicious. If you don't want to make your own dough, you can get fresh bread dough in the bakery section of your supermarket. It's that easy!
Here's the source I used for my pizza dough, since I'm not posting from my home, I didn't have my personal pizza recipe with me. This is an excellent recipe...Epicurious always has the BEST of all the recipes!
Did you ever see such gorgeous clouds in your life?...only in South Florida you get to see the sun going through such a transition...the sun, perching through the clouds in late afternoon that looks like a huge marshmallow, the palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze. (a view from my beach condo apt.) ...as I was leaving to go back across the bridge, just a matter of a 10 min. drive passing through A1A route taking a slow drive, and almost wanting to stop the car to take a few pictures of Rod Stewart's well hidden mansion...but it's just a dream, that I would ever even enter in one of these mansions!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Spicy Sautéed Vegetables...and an Amazing Weekend!

It all started Saturday, when my daughter gave me a huge bag of mixed vegetables from our favorite produce market...one of those fabulous deals that her m-in-law discovered, while she was here from Italy. $1.00 for a hug bag of vegetables, all mixed...zucchini, peppers, onions, some iceberg lettuce...a huge bag, no joking. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the veggies, except, they had a few bruises here, and there, and maybe starting to get a bit over ripe on some of the peppers that made the long green peppers turn orange. So, what to do with them?...what is not to do with them, but cook them up, and the best way, is to saute them with the onion, garlic, in some nice fruity extra virgin olive oil, and some great spices...don't forget the red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper, and some nice sea salt, and you got yourself, a FEAST!...well, I prepped up all these great veggies, and took them over to a friends house with all the yummy things that I brought from Lora's to share with her, and her brother who is visiting their mom, from out of state.

I'm linking this to Tuesday Night Supper Club # 40... Christy @Fudge Ripple
Also made some pork ribs, marinated in Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and garlic powder, and baked to perfection, in a 375 degree F. oven for about 1 1/2 hrs. till tender. (These were also the ribs my daughter gave me that were in her freezer from my son, who is the on-again, off-again vegetarian.) Lora did not want to deal with these because she said it's been in the freezer too long. Yea, right!!! ...since December?...so that makes it 5 months?...still like fresh, no freezer burns, so why not cook them up. They were so tender, fall off the bone, delicious!...So that's what you do for your friends...you share!...and you cook for them.
These sweet potatoes are my friend Dianne's creation. She cuts them in half, drizzles a little olive oil on them and sprinkles them with cinnamon, and adds bits of garlic...encloses the potatoes in aluminum foil and bakes it in the toaster oven on 350 degrees, F. till tender, which is at least 1 hr. or longer.
Saffron Risotto with Shrimp, Zucchini, and Peas....recipe, on this page

This is Lora's creation, and she makes this just about once a week. She does not post it on her blog because her blog is mostly about cakes, and desserts. She does not like leftovers, as a rule, unless it's spaghetti, and meatballs, lasagne, or pizza leftovers and I get her leftovers to share with friends...and truly this is gourmet, and yummy, even reheated. Just add a few drops of water, and heat on top of the stove. Now, on to the next fabulous things!