Tag-Archive for ◊ bread ◊

11 Sep 2013 Caprese Garlic Bread (with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil)

caprese bread

It’s just garlic bread, folks, but it’s garlic bread with an upgrade! After running across this recipe at Two Peas and their Pod,  I decided I needed to make it! I quickly sent texts to a few friends and invited them to come over for a light supper and four replied “YES”!  I served this bread, a platter of cold shrimp, some sliced melon, iced tea and lemon meringue pie. It’s  great having friends who are good with spur-of-the-moment things 🙂

The bread was very good!  The Balsamic Reduction highlighted the simple tomato, cheese, and basil topping.  I made a few changes to the original recipe:  I used my own garlic bread base, I adjusted the cooking time for the balsamic reduction and I baked the tomatoes on the bread instead of laying them on after cooking.  BTW, do not skip the balsamic reduction, it’s fabulous!

I hope you have some backyard (or farmer’s market)  tomatoes on hand, because store bought tomatoes just aren’t invited to this party! And the photo above shows a bit too much cheese.  I bought fresh mozzarella from Costco and it came pre-sliced, so I just went with it.  Turns out I used double the cheese!  Oooops!  No one complained though 🙂  The recipe below has the correct amount of cheese listed but if you want to up it a bit, that’s up to you. One other piece of advice, the tomatoes shrink when baked, so pile them on the bread.  I think I could have added another slice of tomato to each row!

Caprese Garlic Bread

AKA: Garlic Bread with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, horizontally cut in half (french bread would work, too.  The original recipe called for ciabatta, but I am in the SF Bay Area and sourdough rules around here!)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus and extra tablespoon or so for garnish)
  • 3 Tablespoons dried onion, if you have it
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  1. While you are getting all the ingredients together and doing the prep work, make the balsamic reduction. Place 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar to a boil, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by about half. How do you know when the vinegar has been reduced by half? Keep the measuring jug near the pan.  Every once in awhile pour the hot vinegar into the measuring cup.  If it’s not at 1/4 cup yet, pour it back in the pan and continue boiling. Keep doing this until the vinegar has been reduced to 1/4 cup. This will take about 10-15  minutes. Set the reduction aside to cool.  You won’t  need to use it until just before serving.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. In a small bowl combine butter, garlic, dried onion, basil, parsley, and parmesan cheese.  
  4. Cut the loaf of bread in half horizontally. Place both sides of the loaf on a large baking sheet with the cut side up. Spread the garlic butter mixture over both sides of the cut bread.  Spread to all the corners and completely to the outer edge of the bread.
  5. Place the mozzarella cheese slices on top of the bread, making sure the cheese covers the bread completely.
  6. Top the cheese with the sliced tomatoes.  Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper, to taste. If desired, sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese over the tomaotes.
  7. Bake the bread at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  8. Remove the bread from oven.  Sprinkle fresh basil over the top of the bread and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
  9. Cut into slices and serve.

That’s all there is too it!  Enjoy the last of your summer tomatoes!  They are special, aren’t they? And thanks for dropping by today!

31 Jul 2013 Blueberry Heaven

 

Do you ever go into a bakery?  Of COURSE you do!  Do you ever buy a pastry that looks delicious, but then are seriously disappointed in the taste…? And then, to top it off, are you overwhelmed by the amount of  fat you’ve just consumed for something that really wasn’t that all that great?  Me, too 🙁 Do you ever wish, on a weekend morning with your second cup of coffee, for that imagined deliciousness, without all greasy pastry and sugary icing?  Me, too 🙂 Pssssst…  Come here! No, come closer! I am going to tell you how to make a breakfast pastry as delicious as the one you are dreaming of…, and without the load upon load of grease and sugar!

Now. Seriously…, am I your best friend, or what?!

It’s so simple!  You need 2 slices of bread, a bit of cream cheese, and a handful of blueberries. It helps if you have a sandwich maker or a panini press, but if you don’t, use a frying pan and make this Blueberry Heaven just like you would a grilled cheese sandwich.

I found the original recipe here: http://www.fitfromconception.com/2012/06/blueberry-breakfast-grilled-cheese.html  No, I am not pregnant, roflmao.  Neither are any of my children.  I have no idea how I ended up at that website, but I am glad I did.

Blueberry Heaven

[a Stand-in for Fat and Sugar Laden Blueberry Pastries]

For each serving:

  • 2 slices of bread, any kind.  Make it whole wheat if that’s the way you roll.  I use Orrowheat Country Buttermilk Bread.  Cinnamon bread would probably be delicious, as would almost any kind of homemade bread (don’t use homemade rye bread or anything like that!).
  • Plain cream cheese, enough to spread on two slices of bread.
  • a sprinkling of sugar, less than 1/4 tsp, optional
  • a handful of fresh blueberries, about 24 (jam can be substituted)
  • Butter, optional, unless you are using a frying pan

 

  1. Preheat sandwich maker, panini press, or frying pan.
  2. Spread each slice of bread with cream cheese, no measurements here, just coat the slices of bread to your preference. (If you are using a frying pan, spread the other side of the bread with butter)
  3. Sprinkle a bit, and I do mean a bit, less than 1/4 tsp of sugar over the cream cheese, just to sweeten up the cream cheese a little bit. (I’ve made this without the sugar, and it’s just not the same.)
  4. Arrange blueberries on one slice of the cream cheese covered bread.  Use as many as you want, but I think 24 is about perfect.  I like to evenly space the blueberries on the bread so I get an equal number of  blueberries in every bite.
  5. Put the other slice of cream cheese covered bread onto of the blueberries, cream cheese to cream cheese.
  6. Put the sandwich in the press, latch close, and cook for 2 minutes. (If using a frying pan, put the sandwich, butter side down on the preheated frying pan.  When the first side is golden brown, flip, and cook the second side until it is golden brown too.)
  7. Remove sandwich from the press or the pan and let cool a bit, the filing will be mad hot right out of the press. Be careful.
  8. Enjoy! It’s a little slice of heaven, isn’t it?
  9. Repeat.  You’ll want to make one for someone else… 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! Aren’t you glad you don’t have to drive over to the Olde Time Bakery for a pastry that will only make you feel badly about yourself? Hooray!!

19 Jun 2011 Bloomin’ Onion Bread

You know how you read a recipe and you just KNOW it’s going to be good?  This was one of those recipes, a Sourdough bread round, cheese, butter, green onions and a sprinkling of poppy seeds, baked.  What’s not to like? I saw a picture of this delicious concoction on Foodgawker last week and immediately clicked to read the recipe at The Girl Who Ate Everything and The Changing Table. How I held off making it for three days, I just don’t know.  I am glad I didn’t wait any longer though!

The Bloomin’ Onion Bread was a showstopper; I was thrilled with it, and my nine guests couldn’t wait to tear into it.   Everyone thought it was delicious.  I served it with Bourbon-Brown Sugar Flank Steak (which was horrible), broccoli, a lovely salad, and fresh watermelon.  Quite an easy Summer BBQ.  Pity about the flank steak though.  That was another recipe that I thought would be great: marinate a flank steak in dark brown sugar and bourbon and then grill it.  What’s not to like?  Well, brown sugar on steak for starters.  The steak ended up being sweeter than the Yellow Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting that I served for dessert.  Why that recipe for the horrible flank steak was posted I just don’t know.  There were even comments posted about liking the steak!

Anyway, here’s a recipe for a side dish that does work, that is delicious, and looks lovely on the table.  Enjoy!

Bloomin’ Onion Bread

  • 1 unsliced  sourdough round (I bought mine at Le Boulanger)
  • 12 16 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced (12 oz. is plenty, 16 oz. would be a bit over-the-top, I think))
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green onion
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. The top of the bread  should look like a checkerboard. Cutting the second way can be a bit tricky, but the bread is very forgiving, and if you have a nice sharp knife it’s not so bad.
  3. Place the cut bread onto a piece of  foil on a baking sheet.
  4. Insert cheese slices between cuts, both lengthwise and widthwise (a good job for a young family member or a guest that arrives early).
  5. Combine melted butter, chopped green onion onion, and poppy seeds in a small bowl or pitcher. Drizzle evenly over stuffed bread.
  6. Wrap the bread in the foil.  You will probably need a second piece of foil to cover the of the top.
  7. Place the wrapped bread on the baking sheet into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake  for 15 minutes.
  8. Unwrap the bread (I just took the foil off the top)  and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  9. Serve immediately.  Place a serrated knife on the serving plate,  which would be helpful for cutting hunks of bread off of the loaf to place on individual plates. I didn’t do this,  the cretins at my table didn’t seem to mind, but you might have civilized folk at your table…

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Stop by again, and I’ll post my easiest recipe for BBQ flank steak, one I have been using for 20 years, and it’s always well received.  Be sure to subscribe if you’d  like to receive a notification when a new recipe posts. To scroll through the recipes already posted, just click the “In the Kitchen With Polly” logo on the very top left hand side of the page.  Enjoy!