Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cheesy Chicken-and-Spinach Stromboli Ring

Another one from the September Cooking Light, which is proving to be a real winner. This was absolutely delicious. I'd never heard of a Stromboli before and when I went researching it most of the recipes looked like variations of an Italian sub sandwich made in a pizza dough jelly roll. Which I'm also fine with. But this has a creamy element which I'd be loathe to give up as well as a satisfying heft.

We wound up adapting the recipe a fair amount:
  • We made a white flour pizza crust (using flour instead of Parmesan in the linked recipe). I just felt like whole wheat would compete with the filling too much.
  • We did use the fresh spinach specified by the recipe but will use thawed frozen spinach next time since it just gets cooked in with the rest of the filling.
  • We didn't want to buy a rotisserie chicken (which we almost never do) just for this recipe so just cooked up a chicken breast ourselves in the oil and garlic. It would be a perfect recipe for using leftover chicken.
  • The ring adds a very festive air but we might also try it as a straight Stromboli.

Cheesy Chicken-and-Spinach Stromboli Ring
Serves 4

12 ounces fresh prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (Cooking Light's note: Most store-bought pizza dough comes in 1- or 1 1/2-pound portions, but you only need 12 ounces for this recipe. Use the leftovers to make breadsticks or flatbread the next day.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh spinach
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
6 ounces shredded skinless rotisserie chicken breast (about 1-1/2 cups)

Step 1
Let pizza dough stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Step 2
Heat a large skillet over medium-low. Add oil and garlic; cook, swirling occasionally, until garlic is golden, about 2 to 4 minutes. Drain oil from skillet into a small bowl to reserve, keeping garlic in skillet. Add spinach to skillet; increase heat to medium-high, and cook, tossing constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes to cool.

Step 3
Stir together ricotta and Parmesan in a medium bowl. Add spinach mixture and chicken; stir well to combine.

Step 4
(Cooking Light has pictures which really help with this part.)

Place dough on a large piece of parchment paper, and roll dough into a 20- x 6-inch rectangle. Spoon chicken mixture down center of dough to make an approximately 20- x 3-inch strip.

Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, create tabs in dough on both sides of filling: Starting at the edge of dough, cut 1-1/2-inch-long diagonal slits (1/2-inch to 3/4-inch apart) in toward filling.

Fold tabs over filling, and pinch tabs together to seal.

Carefully shape stuffed dough into a ring; pinch ends of dough together to seal.

Step 5
Transfer stromboli ring on parchment to a baking sheet; fold or cut away excess parchment to fit baking sheet. Brush half of reserved garlic-infused oil over dough. Bake stromboli at 450°F until dough is browned, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven; brush with remaining garlic oil. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

White Cheddar and Bacon Risotto

This is from Cooking Light and loaded with flavor. I got Hannah a subscription for her birthday and gave her the August issue so she had something to unwrap. It had so many interesting recipes that I had to get myself the August issue also!

The only change we made was to double the bacon and just going from two slices to 4 was not that unhealthy.

The cooking time is half an hour, but that doesn't include things like dicing onions. So plan on 30-45 minutes.

White Cheddar and Bacon Risotto
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 cup)

4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs (we used a pinch of dried)
2 bacon slices
1-1/4 cups diced onion
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (we used a bigger pinch of thyme)
3 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Step 1
Bring stock and thyme sprigs to a simmer in a saucepan over medium; keep warm over low.

Step 2
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium for 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove from pan; crumble.

Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.

Stir in 1-1/2 cups stock; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Add 2-1/4 cups stock, 3/4 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion is absorbed before adding more.

Reserve remaining 1/4 cup stock; discard thyme sprigs. Stir in salt and pepper.

Step 3
Stir in peas, chopped thyme, and cheese; cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in reserved 1/4 cup stock.

Divide rice mixture among 4 bowls; top with green onions and bacon.