Rosemary Focaccia

I love the smell of fresh baked bread.  Heck, I love the smell of the yeasty-ness from the time it is all mixed up until it comes out of the oven.

In fact, I love the smell almost as much as I love eating bread.

Zack and my favorite grocery store has shelf after shelf full of focaccia bread.  I really wanted to try some, but of course, I had to try making it myself.  It turned out beautifully.  I was so pleased.  It was really easy to make, too.  Plus, it has one of my all-time favorite ingredients in it – rosemary!

I wonder if it bothers people that I don’t take the time to take really artsy pictures of my food.  My mindset is, I just spent all the time making it, I don’t want to waste time setting up a photo session just for one picture…and allow the food to get cold.

I love to eat way too much for that!

Zack and I are leaving tomorrow for Pennsylvania Amish Country to celebrate our three year anniversary.  I am so excited for this trip!  I can’t believe we’ve been together three years.  Ah, I am so in love.

PS – remember that wreath I mentioned in my previous post, totally finished it and I love it!

Rosemary Focaccia

– 2 medium onions, chopped

– 1/4 c olive oil + 3 T, divided

– 1 1/2 t active dry yeast

– 1 1/2 c warm water, divided

– 1/2 t sugar

– 1/2 t salt

– 3-4 c AP flour

– 2 T fresh rosemary or 2 t dried, divided

– cornmeal

– coarse salt

In a large skillet, saute onions in 1/4 c oil until tender; cool.  In a large mixing bowl; dissolve in 1/4 cup warm water.  Add sugar and let stand for 5 minutes.

Add 2 T oil, salt and remaining water.  Add 2 c flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Add onions and half of the rosemary.  Knead 1 minute longer.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half.  Pat each piece flat.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Grease 2 baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Stretch each portion of dough into a 10-in circle on prepared pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.  Brush with remaining oil.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and remaining rosemary.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 2 loaves.

Rosemary Chicken and Rice Dinner

One of my favorite summer dinners is grilled rosemary chicken.  Since grilling season is taking a back seat, I needed a new way to enjoy this delectable chicken.

I had the idea to cook it in a cast iron skillet, because let’s face it, everything is great cooked in cast iron.

I had some mushrooms left over from a previous dinner, so I threw those into the marinade, too.

Rice was an obvious choice for a quick and easy side dish.

It turned out great.  Just as delicious, in a different way, as the grilled variety.  Plus, the mushrooms were easily some of the best ones I’ve ever had.  The marinade made them incredible.

Rosemary Chicken & Rice Dinner

– 1/3 c red wine vinegar

– 1/3 c olive oil

– 1 t garlic powder

– 1 t rosemary leaves

– 1 t salt

– 1 t Dijon mustard

– 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces

– 1 c brown rice, cooked

– 1 c mushrooms

Whisk together first six ingredients in a small bowl.  Place chicken and mushrooms into gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over it.  Allow to sit 2-24 hours (longer the better).

When ready to make, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and mushrooms and a small amount of the marinade.  Allow to cook, tossing occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Serve over cooked rice.

Serves 2.