For the last week and a half we have had a very special friend visiting. Berangere, from France, came to us first as an exchange student three years ago while we lived in Florida and I believe she fell in love with the U.S. We are unique as a country, that is for sure! She has returned to us for an all too short visit in the state of Georgia this time! Tonight I hoped to give her a taste of home. I don't know if I hit the mark of "home" but the meal has become a fan favorite! Poulet Marengo is a dish taught to me by my mother many years ago. This is one I have not altered except to add MORE for the additional family members. We have also changed the white rice of the original accompaniment to the more flavorful whole grain brown rice. The bread is a new addition. At 17:00 (or 5:00PM) I realized that I had waited too long to start some nice fresh bread for dinner. I scoured the internet and found a savory quick bread that is said to be French. I didn't have exactly what the recipe called for but close enough! The bread is a roasted tomato, bell pepper and feta cheese or in French: Cake aux Tomates Séchées, Poivrons et Feta. I don't speak French AT ALL so I will leave that for someone else to correct. To describe the bread, I would have to say it was almost the cacciatore of breads! Made with the rich oil of olives and the firm creamy goodness of feta cheese, the bread keeps a great moist texture much like a cake. The herbs and garden flavors of the tomatoes and peppers creates a fresh burst of summer on your palette. The bread is easily a new household favorite! Please enjoy the recipes and let me know what you think!
1/3 cup flour2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt2 Tbs butter (use the real stuff, trust me)
1/2 tsp tarragon3/4 cup white wine (whatever you're drinking)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper1 can (15 oz) stewed or diced tomatoes
Mix flour, salt, pepper and tarragon; dredge chicken with the seasoned flour. Reserve remaining flour.
In a large skillet heat olive oil and butter, add the chicken and brown on all sides.
Remove the chicken to a heavy casserole. Add reserved flour to fat remaining in skillet and gradually stir in the wine. When gravy is thickened and smooth, pour over chicken in baking dish.
Press fresh garlic over chicken, cover with mushrooms, tomatoes and parsley. Cover and bake in a moderate over (350*) for 45 minutes.*
Serve over rice, we like whole grain brown.
*tonight I baked at 400 for 40 minutes to coordinate with the bread.
Cake aux Tomates Sechees, Poivrons et Feta OR
Dried Tomato, Bell Pepper and Feta Cheese Bread
1 1/2 cup flour
2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin is the best)
1/2 cup milk (we used 1%, doesn't matter, whatever you have)
1/2 cup roasted tomatoes (original called for sun dried but I had recently roasted some organic tomatoes from a farmer's market so used those)
1/2 cup canned red bell pepper - drained
7 (ish) ounces of Feta Cheese (We use Feta in many salads and happened to have 3 OPEN containers of varying amounts and flavorings. We used them all and the herb flavored added another level of flavor which was delightful)
Mix flour and baking powder then gradually add eggs one at a time until consistent. Add oil and milk and note that this is a quick bread and will be very wet! Chop tomatoes and peppers to desired thickness and add to batter. Finally stir Feta Cheese through and pour into greased bread pan.
Bake at 400* for 40 to 45 minutes. Insert toothpick or cake tester and when it comes clean, Bon Appetit!! You will not be disappointed!!!