Sourdough bread…..just fine all on its own.
But what happens when you decide to use the brine from some fabulous Mexican Spiced Pickled veggies instead of water in your bread recipe?
And toss in a generous helping of pepperjack cheese?
Don’t expect much rise….I suspect the pickle just has something to do with it. The dough just smells dangerous.
The advantage of minimal rise, I discovered, is that I can score it really deep without deflating.
You can tell by the spaces between the cut lines that it really rose in the oven (it’s called oven spring).
By far, the most beautiful loaf I’ve ever baked. A hint of heat but not as spicy as I would have hoped. The first loaf was a bit dense and gummy so I let the second loaf sit for a day or two and it sliced up just fine.
As long as I live, I’ll probably never be able to replicate this recipe. But for those of you that want to try, pickle juice will work in place of the veggie brine (reduce the salt in your bread recipe). I use the Extra-Tangy Sourdough from King Arthur Flour. For the Mexican Spiced Veggies, click on the link.
I firmly believe in child labor- especially in the kitchen. The kid that helps to make dinner is far more inclined to actually eat it too. This lasagna dish goes together quickly with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and freezer. I’ll often make two at a time and drop one off to a friend in need of a break from making dinner.
From Cooking Light (again, I know, I love their recipes) comes Tex Mex Lasagna. Very few tweaks on my end- I use the frozen roasted corn (and don’t bother thawing it) and the no-boil noodles from Trader Joe’s. Some of the recipe reviews call for using corn tortillas instead. Maybe one day I’ll try that too.
- 3/4 cup bottled salsa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 (8-ounce) can no salt-added tomato sauce
- Cooking spray
- 6 precooked lasagna noodles
- 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups (8 ounces) pre-shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Preheat oven to 450°.
Lots of tasks for little hands.
- Combine first 4 ingredients; spread 2/3 cup sauce in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; top with 1/2 cup corn and half of beans. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese; top with 2/3 cup sauce. Repeat layers once; top with remaining 2 noodles. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
Luke Skywalker here enjoyed wielding a spatula in place of the usual light saber.
Layering the lasagna correctly involves reading AND paying attention to the directions- good practice for a Jedi.
No-boil noodles are key to putting this together quickly.
- Cover and bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with onions.
Dinner in under an hour. You can also assemble it a day or so ahead and pop it in the oven to bake while you make a salad.
Served with cornbread, Spanish rice and tortilla chips & guacamole. Leftovers are rare.
Quinoa…it’s a nutritional powerhouse, a complete protein, a whole grain that satisfies like a starch and cooks up faster than rice. Yep, I’m in love with it. And this is one of my favorite recipes for it from the Real Simple magazine.
Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 20m| Total Time: 55m
- Heat oven to 400° F. In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut-side up.
3. Fluff the quinoa and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons of the oil.
4. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining tablespoon of oil and ¼ cup Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.