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Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe Review 10/11/11

Week in rewind:  it was a splendid week really; I was pretty exhausted on Monday from the whirlwind trip to see the Vikings game on Sunday.  Monday the new gas dryer got installed.  Then Tuesday I had to get up early for a trip to Badora, MN, to tour the MN DNR seedling nursery.  One could not ask for a more splendid fall day - clear skies, a crispness to the breeze that heralds Fall, leaves crunching underfoot, and absolutely gorgeous Harvest Moon rising above the black spruce swamps on my way home.  Fall just doesn't get any better than this.  And on Saturday I led my once a month Rocket Series at Yoga North, followed by brunch with the Saturday Regulars.  Yum-o!  My friend and I took the hounds for a walk afterwards.  Chilly, but splendid.

Just two recipes to review this week.  We did a chicken in the slow cooker on Monday with acorn squash (my favorite!) with the leftovers going into the soup.   Then we are trying to start "Friday Pizza" again.  Last week was pepperoni and mushroom. 

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Ckng Lght, Oct 2011)
I keep my eye out for wild rice soups - since I started harvesting wild rice, I need places to use it and this is one of my favorites.  However, this dish left me disappointed.  No fault of the soup I think, more a personal taste.  I like creamy wild rice soups and this one was brothy.  The other side of brothy rice soups is the rice tends to continue to absorb the liquid and I end up with a bowl of veggies, chicken and rice.

1/2 cup brown and wild rice blend
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shredded cooked dark meat chicken
 1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine brown and wild rice blend and bay leaf in a large saucepan; cook according to rice package directions, omitting salt and fat. Discard bay leaf. Heat pan over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add onion, celery, and carrot; sauté 3 minutes. Add minced garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken, and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in rice. Remove from heat, and stir in half-and-half, sage, salt, and pepper.

Tiffany Vickers Davis, Cooking Light

Artichoke, Tomato and Spinach Pizza (Culinary in the Country Blog, Adapted from Rachael Ray)

Well, we managed to screw this recipe up.  Dough didn't behave correctly and never puffed up in the oven (we used our standard Michael Rhulman recipe).  I brain-farted the fact that there is no red sauce and thawed out the pizza sauce.  Then at the end, forgot the spinach.  So the recipe you see below is what we had  intended to make, not what actually got made.  This will probably be a do-over some point down the line.  That and Friday Pizza may get switched to Saturday because eating at 830p at night isn't working out so well.   
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and fresh ground black pepper
16 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (I used our favorite recipe)
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 ounce (about 1/3 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese
13.75 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups baby spinach, chopped

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with a rack placed in the lower third, along with an inverted sturdy baking sheet on top of rack.

In a medium bowl, stir together olive oil, garlic and parsley - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll dough to fit a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (the sheet should be roughly 13" x 18"). Transfer dough into the pan, gently spreading to fit if needed.

Dollop two tablespoons of the garlic and oil mixture on the dough, spreading to cover the top with an off-set spatula. Scatter mozzarella and about 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan over the dough.

Add artichokes, tomatoes and spinach into the bowl with the garlic and oil mixture, tossing well to coat. Evenly arrange mixture over the cheese. Scatter the top with the remaining Parmesan.

Set baking sheet directly on top of the inverted sheet in the oven and bake until the crust is golden and crisp, about 16 to 22 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 4 servings.

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