Beloved

Plum Focaccia with Ricota

We haven't had a chance to make this yet, so I'm posting the recipe here to keep it safe during the impending move in a few months.  If anyone is feeling brave, feel free to let me know how your version turns out.  Yet another of those infamous 'found it in a magazine and it looked good' recipes.   I'm a little ashamed to say I tore it from a Rachael Ray mag, but I swear it wasn't mine -- I found it inthe break room at work.

Plum Focaccia with Ricota

Ingredients
One 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
lukewarm water
3 to 4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced plums
1 1/4 cup ricotta chese
1/3 cup honey

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1 cup lukewarm water.  Let sit in a warm place until foamy, aprox. 10 minutes. 

Grease a large bowl.  In another large bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups flour and salt.  Stir in the raisins.  Form a well in the center and pur in the yeast, the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and the olive oil.  With greased hands, stir the mixture, turn out hte dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding up to 1/4 cup additional flour as needed, until soft and slightly sticky, kneading for aprox. 3 minutes.  Transfer the dough into hte prepared bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, aprox. 1 1/4 hours.  Transfer the dough to a greased 12-by-17-inch baking sheet and press 1/2 inch thick.  Cover and let rise for an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Using your fingertips, press deep dimples into the dough.  Arrange the plum slices on top in a single layer, pressing in the fruit.  Dot with the ricotta and drizzle with the honey.  Bake until browned, about 25 minutes.  Let cool slightly. 


Beloved

Damn Good Chicken Soup

Aaron and I have been playing around with this chicken and noodle soup recipe for a few months now, and this is our favorite incarnation thus far.  It is a very versatile recipe;  most of ours are, and are very dependent on mood and what we feel like throwing in at the time.  Feel free to take and modify to suit your tastes, just leave an equally delicious recipe in the comments as per Aaron's instructions. As a side note, this variant takes its name from what we both exclaimed upon taking the first bite:  "that's some damn good chicken soup!"

Damn Good Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

roughly 2 lbs. chicken breast
butter
olive oil
pepper
salt
1 clove fresh garlic
fresh mushrooms
celery
chives
green onions
8oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
roughly 2 quarts + 2 cups of water
11 chicken boullion cubes
egg noodles

Directions:

Smash boulion cubes and add to a large pot of water, and bring to a boil.  In a skillet, preferably cast iron, add enough butter and olive oil to saute diced chicken breast.   Add pepper, salt, and to and minced garlic to taste, then cook thoroughly.  As the chicken cooks, dice mushrooms, celery, chives, and green onions to prefered size and add to boiling boulion with egg noodles.  Allow ingredients cook together for seven minutes, condensed cream of mushroom and celery soup base, and the cooked chicken plus all of the butter and olive oil from the skillet.  Heat through, remove from heat, and stir in entire container of sour cream. 

Serve with crackers, biscuits, or Idahoan Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes. 

Serves 6-8.