Monday, December 20, 2010

Flatbreads, Green Chili and Lemon Loaf

Dear Jess,

What a week! Between packing, working, Christmas shopping and everything else that fills the hours of my days it's amazing I find time to breathe! But what a ride it is!

I picked these three recipes for a few reasons. All of them fall under the category of 'I have never tried this before' and 'The ingredients are not expensive.' It as been snowing (as you know) and both Jason and I wanted something warm and cozy. I made two loaves of Lemon Bread. One for me to go with my evening tea, and one for Amber for Christmas. (I have been making a lot of my Christmas presents this year!)

There were a few hiccups along the way, but it all turned out to be delicious none-the-less.

Navajo Flatbreads and Green Chili, Jamie's America, Pg 139, 165

Navajo Flatbreads
From Jamie's America
Scant 5 cups white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
2 heaped tbsp baking powder
optional: 1 tsp dried herbs or spices, such as thyme, parsley, sumac, or crushed fennel seeds (I used basil)
1/3 cup olive oil

Mix your flour, salt, baking powder, and herbs or spices (if using) in a large bowl, using a fork. Make a well in the center, then pour in the olive oil and about 2/3 cup of warm water. Use the fork to gradually bring in the flour from the edge of the bowl, and add another splash of water if you think it's too dry.* Once it starts to combine, wet your hands and use them to really bring it all together until you have a nice ball of dough.

Dust your hands and a clean worktop with flour and kneed the dough with your hands until it is smooth and elastic. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. Pop the dough back into the bowl, dust it with a bit more flour, then cover and leave to relax.

Divide your dough into 10 equal-sized balls, then lightly oil your hands and squeeze each ball between your palms to flatten it slightly. Dust with a little flour as you go, and pat and slap the dough from the palm of one hand to the top of the other. Turn and twist the dough about in a circular movement as you go and keep slapping from hand to hand - each flatbread should be about 1/2 inch thick.

Normally the flatbreads are cooked as you're making them. You can do this on a grill or in a nonstick frying pan on a medium heat. Cook them for a few minutes on each side and check the underside - you want them to puff up with a nice bit of golden colour. Keep them warm in a basket covered with a dish towel until you're ready to serve them.

*I found I needed a LOT more water... Don't be shy to add water, or else it will fail to stick together.

Green Chili
From Jamie's America
Olive oil
1 3/4 lbs ground pork
1 tsp dried sage
sea salt and black pepper
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
6 small green chiles, roughly chopped
4 large, ripe red tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
1 romaine lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry
a small bunch of fresh mint
4 scallions
optional: 1 lime, sour cream or natural yogurt, to serve

Put a large saucepan on a high heat and add a little olive oil. Add the ground pork, dried sage, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up a bit and stir it about, then cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add your onions, garlic, bell peppers, and chiles, stir everything together, then fry for 15 minutes on a high heat until any liquid from the pork has evaporated and everything is starting to turn golden. When it looks good, stir in your chopped tomatoes and half a glass of water. Remember that it's supposed to be quite dry (in a really wholesome and nice way), not stewy and wet, so don't add too much water.*

Turn the heat down to medium and let it tick away for 10 minutes or so while you wash and roughly chop up the lettuce. Pick the leaves from the bunch of mint and roughly chop them. Trim and thinly slice your scallions.

Put a flatbread on your plate/in your bowl. Put down some romaine lettuce. Ladle your chili on the lettuce, and top with scallions, mint and sour cream (if you choose, I only topped with scallions)

*I put too much water in... well, I put half a glass of water in, but it was too much. Next time I might not bother with the water, as I found the tomatoes created a lot of moisture.


Lemon Yogurt Loaf
From Canadian Living Magazine, September, 2010, Page 141
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking pwder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2/3 cup plain yogurt
3 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil

3/4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl and using fingers, rub sugar with lemon rind. Whisk in yogurt and eggs; whisk in oil. Stir in flour mixture in 2 additions. Scrape into greased loaf pan (8 by 4-inch.)

Bake at 350 until tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan; place on small tray.

In a small bowl, whisk icing sugar with lemon juice until dissolved. Brush over top and sides of loaf, moving loafe around to absorb excess liquid. Let cool on rack.*

*I totally messed up the 'syrup'... I added WAY too much lemon juice, so I just kept adding icing sugar until it looked thick enough. Also, I didn't have a whisk or anything that would properly mix the sugar with the lemon juice, so I got chunks of icing sugar which sort of look gross, but the whole thing tastes amazing!

I hope your week is going well! I can't wait to see you tomorrow night for dinner. I will miss you so much when I move. Although I am very excited to be within a community again. I never thought I would miss it so much. I know you know that I love you. Have a very Merry Christmas, babe. 

I love you,

1 comment:

  1. This looks soooo good!!! I love lemon anything... Definitly gonna make this one!