Monday, June 11, 2007

Catching up! Fondue and Focaccia

I know, I know... I haven't been very good the last week or so in posting. Been busy with those calls and other work, sorry!
Sam had a friend spend the night Friday, so instead of fish for dinner we had pizza. It was good, not fabulous, and I ate way too much of it. Oh well, not the end of the world! Of course then we had leftovers Saturday night and Sunday for lunch... It's gone now tho!
I made "stuffed" cod the other night. I have the recipe for the stuffed shrooms from Olive Garden so I used that stuffing and topped the filets. The stuffing was fabulous- full of WG bread, clams, and parmesan cheese! Very tasty filling, the fish was not great tho. Cod has no flavor! Next time I will just stuff portabello caps.
Last night I made fondue for dinner. It was just a classic swiss fondue, nothing fancy. I served it with cut-up carrots, red bell pepper, and homemade focaccia! I also made a quick cucumber salad from part of one of our garden cukes and ranch dressing. All went well with a bottle of Vampire Cab. So good! Here is the recipe for the fondue:

Swiss Fondue
1# swiss cheese, cut small or shredded (I use 2% Kraft)
2tbsp WW flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic

Toss the cheese with the flour and set aside to warm to room temp. In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the wine and halved garlic clove to simmer. At a simmer, remove the clove and add the lemon juice. Slowly by handfuls add the cheese, waiting to add more until the last handful melts. Stir constantly in a figure-8 to keep from burning. It will take several minutes to melt and mix in all of the cheese. When all incorporated, serve with bread and veggies- apples are great too!

I made focaccia to serve with the fondue. This time I split the dough into two loaves so I could top one with the rosemary and onion and leave one plain. I did brush both with a garlic rosemary oil tho. Yummmmm! Here is the recipe for that:

1 cup WW flour
3/4 cup water
Pinch yeast
All of the preferment
1 1/4 cup water
3 cups WW flour
2 tsp salt
The rest of the yeast packet

Mix the preferment ingredients the night before in your mixer bowl and cover with wrap overnight. It will look very dry- don't worry!
The next day your preferment will be puffy and wet looking. Add to it the dough ingredients, starting with the water. Mix in the mixer on low speed until it holds together (it should be very slack and wet still, I usually have to add more water). Then mix on low for 2 minutes, then increase to medium for another 4 minutes. The dough will still be soft. Cover it tightly with wrap and let rise 30 minutes. A great place for this is in a cold oven with the light on!
After 30 minutes, turn it out onto a floured surface and pat it down a bit. Flour your hands well! Fold one-thrid of the dough over and then the bottom third- like you are folding a business letter. Brush the excess flour from the dough when you fold, you do not want to incorprate any more into it. Turn the dough a half turn and fold again to make a packet. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover again. Let rise another 30 minutes. Repeat the folding process and again let rise for 30 minutes. Do one more fold for a total of three. Put the bundle onto a well-oiled very large baking sheet (use good olive oil!) after the last folds. Spread the dough to the edges, you may need to let it sit for a couple minutes. Cover the dough after it is spread out and let it rise another 30 minutes. This is the time I oil the loaf with the infused oil.
During this last rise, preheat the oven to 500 degrees (yes! I said 500!). If you have a baking stone, put it in there. Allow this to heat for 30 minutes.
To top the dough, I mixed some olive oil with two cloves garlic and a sprig of rosemary and warmed that and let it steep for an hour. I brushed this oil on both loaves and topped one loaf with thinly sliced sweet onion and finely chopped rosemary. I dimpled the top a bit when I added the toppings. You don't have to add the onion tho, you could just brush it with the oil and sprinkle kosher or sea salt on it!
Reduce the oven temp to 425 and put the baking sheet in right on top of the stone. Bake the bread for 18-20 minutes until deep golden brown. Remove and let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting (use kitchen shears, they work best!).