Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Milk Bread

This bread is an idea I've been kicking around for a few months.  Its a work in progress.  The idea is to replace the water or milk in your bread recipe with chocolate milk and see what happens.  It was interesting, but not quite what I was hoping for.  The chocolate flavor got lost in the bread, and the color wasn't as dark as I'd hoped it would be.  But it wasn't a total failure.  The crumb was nice and soft and the bread was really sweet.  The problem was that there wasn't much I could do with it.  We ended up toasting it and spreading it with Nutella. 

So I have a few ideas for next time.  I think I'll use my french bread recipe and add some chocolate chips to the dough.  Then it should make some great french toast.  Maybe stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese...  Now I'm drooling on my keyboard.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  This weekend is the LDS church's General Conference.  We get the chance to receive direction and encouragement from our religious leaders.  Its a huge family weekend for my family.  We have special meals and treats and watch the conference broadcast.  Its a fun time.  I think I'll give the french bread/toast version  a try.  So here is attempt #1.

Chocolate Milk Bread
10" dutch oven

2 1/3 cups chocolate milk heated to 115°
1 Tbs. yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5-7 cups flour

Combine the chocolate milk and yeast.  Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.  Add the oil, sugar, salt and about 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Mix until smooth (it should look like pancake batter).  Let rise for 20-30 minutes.  Add the remaining flour a little at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Allow to rise in a greased bowl until doubled in size.  Punch the dough down and shape as desired (loaf, ball, or rolls).  Let rise about 45 minutes.  Bake in a preheated 350° dutch oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Remove from the dutch oven and allow to cool.  Makes 2 loaves.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dutch Oven Santa Fe Chicken

Good morning!!  Its been a while since you've heard from me.  I'll bet you thought I was MIA and had forgotten all about you.  Not so!!  Life has been crazy, but thankfully it's slowing down.

This is a recipe I've had for a while.  Its been on the menu every week for a couple of months, but I could never seem to get the time to actually make it.  And yes, its one of those that you are kicking yourself in the pants for not trying sooner.  It is delicious!  Who knew that chicken flavored Rice A Roni and taco seasoning went so well together?  Then add the richness of the cream cheese and you have yourself a winner! 

The recipe itself is really simple.  The hardest part is rolling up the chicken with the filling inside.  But I have some tricks to make it easier.  First, instead of spreading the filling on the chicken and rolling it up, use a sharp knife to cut a pocket in the chicken breast.  This works best with a nice, fat piece of meat.  Leave the opening of the pocket fairly small, but make sure the pocket itself is quite large.  Second, don't close the opening of the pocket with toothpicks.  There is nothing I hate worse than having to pick toothpicks out of my dinner.  Instead, use small pieces of spaghetti noodles.  The pasta will soften as the chicken cooks and no one will ever know it was ever there.  Pretty clever, huh?  We gave this an A.

Dutch Oven Santa Fe Chicken
12" or 14" dutch oven

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, diced
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning
1 box chicken flavored Rice a Roni
Additional water as needed

Mix half of the green chilies with the cream cheese.  Cut a pocket in each chicken breast.  Make the pocket large, but try to leave the opening small.  (See picture below)  Stuff each pocket with the cream cheese mixture.  Secure with small pieces of dry spaghetti noodles (instead of toothpicks).  Combine the remaining green chilies, onion, broth, taco seasoning and Rice a Roni and pour into an oiled dutch oven.  Place the chicken on top of the rice.  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Stir fairly often adding more liquid to the rice as needed.  You want it soft, but not mushy.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 6-8.

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