Friday, October 16, 2009

Famous French Bread

This recipe is from my friend Kathleen. I am not much of a baker so I was a bit hesitant. However, the bread turned out great and it was relatively easy (even without a mixer). So if I can do it, you can too! Enjoy!

2 1/2 cups very warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
6 cups flour
2 packages of yeast (or approximately 5 teaspoons)

Measure out water and add yeast and set aside (also add part of the sugar). In mixing bowl add all other ingredients as well as the yeast mixture. Stir for 2-3 minutes and then turn off mixer and let dough stand for 10 minutes and then mix again/ Repeat this process 5 times. Turn dough onto floured board and divide into two parts. Roll each part of dough into rectangle about 9"x12" and roll up like a jello roll, rolling from the long side. Pinch edge of loaf to seal the dough. Arrange lengthwise on a cookie sheet. Cover lightly; rise 30 minutes. With sharp knife, cut three gashes at an angle on top and bursh entire surface with slightly beaten egg. May sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake immediately at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tacos with Chicken and Black Beans

This is one of our favorites. I got the recipe from my friend Mary and we have enjoyed it time and time again.

2 chicken breast, no skin, no bone, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil (more if necessary), divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup cooked black beans or 15 oz. can, darined
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup red pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 pinch cayenne pepper
10 fresh corn tortilla shells, best cooked in hot oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or Monterey Jack
1/2 cup sour cream

Stir 2 teaspoons lime juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil to coat chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Stir-fry chicken for 1 minute until seared; remove with a slotted spoon, cover and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Saute onions and garlic for 2 minutes until softened. Add beans, tomatoes, red pepper, and jalapeno. Saute 2 minutes to warm, shaking pan.

Gently stir in remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice, salt, cilantro and chicken. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until warm. Taste, add cayenne and adjust seasonings. Serve in warm, crisp taco shells with cheese and sour cream. Buen Provecho!