September 1, 2009

Grilled Fry Bread (and my panzanella recipe)

School has started again, which is why it’s been a while since my last post. People who aren’t teachers usually have no idea how time-consuming being a teacher really is. Between the lesson planning (always trying to come up with new & exciting projects, which students won't even do most of the time), reading & paper grading (the curse of an English teacher), there is little time for much else. Right now, I am teaching three different classes, including an American Studies class that is new to me. It’s a team-taught English & history class that we organized into themed units instead of chronological like usual.

Even though I’ve been busy with school for the past three weeks, we’ve still had some home-cooked meals...sausage & peppers with polenta, grilled London Broil, mustard chicken, panzanella. I’ve been making a lot of panzanella, my favorite summer recipe and a great way to use of overly ripe, late season tomatoes.

First, cube a baguette or other crusty loaf of bread (day-old works best but fresh is okay). Toss it with some olive oil, truffle salt, & pepper. Toast in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned & crunchy. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, add to a bowl & sprinkle with Kosher salt to let the juices flow. Add the toasted bread cubes & toss. Add diced mozzarella (or those tiny mozzarella pearls) & fresh basil (or chopped fresh rosemary). Taste. Add more salt & pepper if needed. If your tomatoes are particularly juicy, you may not need much else. If not, you can drizzle in some extra-virgin olive oil & a splash of red wine vinegar. I even like leftover panzanella the next day. If the bread is crispy (and old/dry) enough, it won’t get too soggy overnight. I even ate leftovers topped with a fried egg for breakfast.

I wanted to try a zucchini pasta recipe from the Chocolate & Zucchini cookbook last week, but I ended up making angel hair pasta with prosciutto & tomatoes in a rosemary cream sauce (an off-the-cuff kind of recipe) instead. I’ll get to that zucchini this week. I’m also thinking of making some moussaka with the farmers market eggplant I bought on Saturday.

I DID make one new recipe recently...grilled fry bread, from a Mexican grilling class I taught at Kitchen Conservatory.

Grilled Fry Bread

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons powdered milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons Crisco
2/3 cup hot water, or more if needed
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter

  • Place the flour, powdered milk, baking powder, & salt in a mixing bowl and whisk.
  • Add the shortening, cutting it in with a pastry blender. The mixture should be the texture of cornmeal.
  • Add enough hot water to obtain a soft, pliable dough.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap & let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 8 even pieces & roll each piece into a ball.
  • Working on a lightly floured surface, roll a ball into a thin disk 5-6 inches across. Place the disk on a floured baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining balls of dough. Keep the rolled-out dough covered with a damp cloth until your are ready to grill.
  • Heat a grill to high (or heat a grill pan on the stovetop). When ready to cook, brush oil onto the grate or pan. Brush the top of each disk with oil. Place a few disks, oiled side down, on the hot grill. Brush the other side with oil.
  • After 2-3 minutes, the bread will start to puff & blister and the bottom will become golden brown. Turn the bread over and grill the other side for 2-3 minutes longer.
  • Serve at once.
You can use this bread as a base for tacos (fill or top with meat, beans, & veggies), or you can sprinkle them with cheese to serve with a meal (add tomatoes for a meal). If you roll them out thin, you can crisp them on the grill until they are like crackers.


Steph said...

This looks divine! I am also not surprised you have truffle salt in the recipe!

Jennie said...

Man, I love fry bread! Looks great with the tomatoes, mmmmmmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

To my ear this sounds like a traditional native American bannock. I've been wanting to try such a recipe for a while now...either on the grill or wrapped around a stick over a wood fire. Thanks for reminding me.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Truffle salt? Huh. I've heard of truffle oil, but not salt. Is it that different than regular salt?

KELLY said...

TRUFFLE SALT is salt with bits of dried black truffles. I bought some from Amazon. It's amazing. We call it "crack" around my house. I put it on everything...bread, popcorn, eggs, roasted veggies, french fries, bloody marys...

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to get some truffle salt. It sounds amazing. I love making panzanella. YUM.

Jamie said...

Wow, this looks lovely. Thanks for the recipe.