Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Greek Week Begins!

Tonight's dinner was Fassoulada (Greek Bean Soup) and Olive Bread. First off, let me start by saying that I should have read the Olive Bread recipe before jumping right in. I should have known something was awry when I thought to myself "gee, this is alot more yeast than I used the last time I made bread." Not to mention that there was so much "dough" I couldn't use the cuisinart but had to go instead with the Kitchenaid (plus dough hook) and even that was a bit overflowing. Yeah. That's because I had enough dough to easily make 20 rolls. The Olive Bread was pretty easy to make but for some reason the kalamata olives I used made the bread a bit bitter at times. Though, all in all, fresh baked bread (once you put a touch of butter on it) is always tasty. Also, though the recipe didn't indicate, I did bake the rolls in the oven with a cast iron skillet filled with water. This creates a steam environment which permits the bread to have a nice crispy exterior (a tip learned via the Cuisinart bread recipe).

As for the Fassoulada, it was easy to make and tasty. I started off with two cans of cannelini beans, a half a can of kidney beans, one can of diced tomatoes and two tablespoons of tomato paste. I added a bit of water (so that the beans and tomatoes were covered) and brought the soup to a boil. I also added in diced celery, onions and rough diced carrots. The recipe called for two bay leaves and a handful of chopped fresh flatleaf parsley. I simmered the soup (after it initially came to a boil) for about 60 minutes (or until the carrots were tender). I also added in mini pasta shells (because you can never have enough starch). Before serving I added salt and pepper to taste, together with a bit of oregano and a touch of balsamic vinegar.

Tomorrow's challenge--- Dolmades and Pastitiso!

No comments: