Posted by Megan | Bread, Dinner, Misc, Soup, Vegetarian

Tonight we made an absolutely phenomenal dinner. I mean, most dinners we make are pretty delicious and/or fantastic, but this one really tops the charts. We know it’s summer and you don’t usually want to make soups or chowders this time of year, but we are so glad we did. We bought a cookbook a couple weeks ago at Ten Thousand Villages, called Simply in Season. This cookbook breaks down recipes by what produce is available during each of the four seasons, as well as including tidbits about the stories of the recipes and how to select and prepare all the produce it includes. There is a wide variety of recipes ranging from your common summer fruits and veggies to your most obscure winter produce.

So obviously, since it’s summertime, we’ve begun flipping through the summer section and selecting recipes based on what we typically see at the farmer’s market, what herbs (and tomatoes) we grow, and what our personal preferences are and/or what we’d like to try to eat more of. This gem of a recipe jumped out at me for some reason this week, probably because I knew it would feed us for a couple nights, and also because we’ve really been enjoying zucchini from one of our favorite vendors at the market. Needless to say, I’m so happy we tried this as one of the first recipes from this cookbook because we are ready to dive right into the rest of the entries in there based on how wonderful this turned out. See below for the recipe (and our minor adaptations). We also attempted some focaccia rolls from Budget Bytes, that while not the prettiest, turned out tasting just about right.

Cooking Notes for Chowder: We used a red tomato from our garden, some cherry tomatoes from our garden and some rainbow zebra tomatoes from the farmer’s market, instead of any specific kind of tomatoes. Instead of evaporated milk, we used regular 2% milk, which worked just fine. As far as corn went, we used frozen instead of fresh, which was fine, but I would imagine fresh would be better! And lastly, we didn’t have quite enough cheddar, so we threw in some Parmesan to meet the cheese quota. Original recipe shown below.

Zucchini Garden Chowder (adapted from Simply in Season; serves 4-6)
2 tbsps butter
2 medium zucchini
1 medium onion
2 tbsps fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh basil
1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
2 cups corn
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in soup pot over medium high heat. Then add zucchini, onion, parsley, and basil-saute until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper to vegetables. Gradually stir in water to make a smooth stock.

Add bouillon and lemon juice and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, milk, and corn and return to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes until corn is tender.

Right before serving, add cheeses and stir until melted. Optional: add a pinch of sugar and garnish with fresh parsley.

Foccacia Rolls (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 8)
4ish cups flour
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp yeast
2 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Italian seasoning

Day 1: Prepare the bread with about 18 hours of rise time available. Combine the flour, salt, and yeast, stirring until mixed. Add water, beginning with about 1 1/2 cups, adding more until the mixture forms a cohesive wet ball. Do not leave any flour at the bottom of the bowl and it’s okay if the mixture is a little watery (ours was way too watery, but the final product still turned out well). Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and sit at room temperature 16-18 hours to ferment.

Day 2: The dough should look like a large, bubbly, foamy mass. Sprinkle with enough flour to get it out of the bowl without sticking. Place on a well floured surface and cut into 12 pieces, shaping each into a ball. You will probably need a generous amount of flour throughout this process, so keep a friend nearby to assist!

Place rolls on a baking sheet covered with foil, sprayed with nonstick, and covered in cornmeal, to prevent sticking. Brush on olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Let rise for an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When ready, place baking sheet(s) in for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. (After 25 minutes we turned the oven off but left the bread in for a little extra baking time). 

Visit here for the original recipe: Budget Bytes: Focaccia Rolls

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