skip to Main Content
Menu

Fig Focaccia

I know, I know. It’s the third fig recipe in a row I’ve posted, but I couldn’t help myself. Before figs disappear from the markets (or your fig tree), this is a recipe you have to try. It’s got that mixture of sweet and salty that’s so addictive, you’ll find yourself eating the whole pan, unless you share with friends and family. I made it for a first anniversary party of the artists’ coop I’m involved with, and it disappeared quicker than a popsicle on a hot day. The dough is the same as other focaccia post I’ve written — it’s a very shaggy dough and you leave it to rise overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day, you punch it down, then dump it onto a cookie sheet but don’t try to stretch it out immediately. Let it sit for a half hour or more, then spread it out, using fingers that have been dipped in olive oil.

It should look like this after it’s been rising for another hour or so.

Place the figs on top, gently pressing down, then scatter some kosher salt or coarse sea salt on top, plus some minced fresh rosemary.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes at 450 degrees and your house will smell divine.

To finish, drizzle a little honey over the whole thing.

I guarantee people will come back for seconds and thirds.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Fig Focaccia
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1¼ oz. envelope dry active yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • 2½ cups lukewarm water (from 105 degrees to 110 degrees)
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 4-5 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt or 5 teaspoons table salt
  • 6 Tbspns. extra-virgin olive oil
  • about two cups of figs, cut in half or quartered, if large
  • a few tablespoons minced rosemary
  • kosher or coarse sea salt
  • honey to drizzle at the end (about ¼ cup)
  • olive oil or butter to grease the pan
Instructions
  1. Put the yeast into the water and add the honey.
  2. Let it sit a few minutes to see if the yeast is active.
  3. It should start foaming slightly.
  4. Add the water mixture to four cups of flour and the salt, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Keep adding more flour until you have a shaggy dough.
  6. Grease a large bowl with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
  7. Dump the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Remove the dough from the bowl and dump onto a cookie sheet that's been generously greased with olive oil.
  9. Don't try to spread the dough out now.
  10. Let it rest for at least a half hour or more and it will be easier to spread out.
  11. Put some olive oil in a bowl, dip your fingers into it, and then dimple the dough all over using your fingers.
  12. Place the quartered figs on the dough, pressing down slightly.
  13. Scatter the kosher coarse or sea salt and rosemary on top.
  14. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 450 degrees until brown.
  15. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with honey.
  16. Cut and serve.
 

Fig Spice Cake

  • September 12, 2022

Pardon me for posting two fig-centric recipes in a row, but it’s the height of fig season and this cake is simply too good not to try. Even if you haven’t got a fig tree, or FWFT (friends with fig trees), you can find figs in the farmers’ markets right now, so hurry and get some to make this cake. You’ll need about a cup’s worth, half the amount of the bowl of figs I was lucky enough to receive from my friend Madeline.

The cake comes together quickly in a bowl, stirring by hand. No waiting for butter to soften either, since it uses oil (I used olive oil and a little less than originally called for) instead. The recipe, from a book called “Under the Fig Leaf” also contains pecans as an optional ingredient, but if I were you, I wouldn’t skip them. They add a nice crunch to the cake.

While the cake is nearly finished baking, you make a quick glaze that you cook for three minnutes.

Then poke holes all over the cake and pour the hot glaze over everything.

It’s such a moist and flavorful cake with a great texture all by itself, but next time I make this (and it will be soon with those leftover figs), I’m going to make sure to have either whipped cream or ice cream on hand to serve alongside the cake.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Fig Spice Cake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used about ¾ cup olive oil)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extraaact
  • Recipe from the cookbook "Under The Fig Leaf"
  • 1 cup fresh figs, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • FOR THE GLAZE:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Blend together the first 7 ingredients in aa large bowl.
  3. Stir in the eggs, oil aand buttermilk, mixing well.
  4. Fold in the vanilla, figs and pecans.
  5. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish,
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove to a wire cooling rack.
  8. Pierce the top of the cake all over with a toothpick or a fork.
  9. Drizzle glaze over the cake.
  10. Serve witth whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
  11. FOR THE GLAZE:
  12. Bring all the ingredientts to a boil in a small saucepan and cook for 3 minutes
  13. Pour over the cake.
 

Fig Pecan Scones

  • August 30, 2022

It’s that time of year when figs are in abundance both in farmers’ markets and on backyard fig trees. However, my ornery fig tree has an abundance of healthy leaves but few figs growing on it. I’ll be lucky to get a half dozen to ripen at most. Last year was a bit better, and we enjoyed perhaps a dozen ripe figs, all ripening one at a time, making it impossible to bake anything that required more than one or two. It’s not the first fig tree I’ve grown, and hope springs eternal, but let’s just say I’ve given the ultimatum before to fig trees that don’t produce. I’ve got one planted in a pot for a year now also, and I’m going to try that as a backup in case this turns out to be a recalcitrant producer too.

In any event, I froze some of last year’s harvest, intending to use them sooner than this, but here I am making fig scones again. I made them in the past with fresh figs and found the flavor a little too mild, so I added some dried figs to the mix too, and I loved the combination of both types of figs.

I also added some pecans to the dough, just because I love pecans. But almonds and figs are a great combo too. If I were to do that, I’d add almond extract instead of the vanilla in the recipe.

Chop the figs into small pieces. If using frozen figs, don’t defrost them fully. Just enough to cut into pieces.

Shape the dough into a circle (be careful not to overwork the dough or the scones will be tough). Cut into eight sections, almost to the bottom of the dough to the pan. Sprinkle more pecans on top.

Cut them and separate the scones and serve as is, warm from the oven.

But for a little sweeter touch, drizzle some of the sugar-y glaze on top.

They are soft and crunchy at the same time. I hope you enjoy them. By the way, if you’ve got a stubborn fig tree that is slow to deliver, try using the leaves alone in this quick and delicious recipe for flounder baked in fig leaves: https://ciaochowlinda.com/2020/09/flounder-baked-in-fig-leaves.html

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Fig Pecan Scones
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup heavy cream , plus extra for brushing the top
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh figs
  • ½ cup chopped dried figs
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (save some for the top)
  • ¾ cup confectioner's sugar
  • enough water to form a drizzle
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  3. Blend in the butter with your fingers, a fork or a pastry blender, until it resembles coarse sand.
  4. Beat the egg with the cream and vanilla and stir it into the flour and butter mixture with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the pecans and the figs.
  6. Do not overmix.
  7. Knead it together until it forms a ball, then flatten into a 9 or 10 inch circle.
  8. Take a knife and make indentations, cutting into eight pieces, almost down to the bottom of the pan.
  9. The mixture will be sticky.
  10. Sprinkle more pecans on top, if desired.
  11. Bake at 400 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
  12. It may need another 5-15 minutes depending on the diameter and thickness of your circle.
  13. If you want, you can cut all the way through the dough and bake each scone individually.
  14. It will take about 20-30 minutes if you do it that way.
  15. Let the scones cool completely if you want to glaze them.
  16. Otherwise eat warm from the oven with butter.
  17. If glazing, mix the confectioners' sugar with enough water to get a consistency of a glaze.
  18. Drizzle on top.

Bulgur Salad

  • August 19, 2022

Summertime is the season for barbecues, picnics and salads, but you may be looking for something different than the ubiquitous potato, macaroni or tomato salad. If you’ve ever eaten the middle Eastern dish of tabbouleh, you’ve had bulgur, a cracked wheat grain from kernels that are parboiled and dried before packaging. As a result, bulgur takes just a few minutes to cook, making it the perfect, easy grain when you want something different and don’t have much time. Just bring some water to a boil, dump in the bulgur, place the lid on top, turn off the heat and wait ten minutes. Fluff it with a fork, and you’re ready to use it — either hot with condiments, or in this case, cold with a lot of veggies and salad dressing. It’s like an artist’s canvas waiting for your creativity. In this case, I added chickpeas, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, scallions and parsley, plus some sheep’s milk feta cheese, then tossed it with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. It’s a great side dish, but could be a whole meal in itself, since it’s got the chickpeas and feta for protein, along with the vegetables. So try it and bring it to your next party or make it just for yourself. It lasts for a few days in the fridge, so you can enjoy the leftovers for lunch.


Bulgur Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bulgur
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ cup cucumber, finely diced
  • ½ red pepper, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • a dozen cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 6 ounces sheep's milk feta, cut into small pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • a bunch of parsley, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar (I used white balsamic)
  • salt, pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the bulgur, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot.
  3. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then fluff with a fork and place in a bowl to cool.
  4. When the bulgur is cool, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with the oil and vinegar.
  5. Adjust seasonings if more salt or pepper is needed.
 

Ravioli with Creamy Corn Sauce

  • August 2, 2022

 

Summertime is the best season for flavorful produce here in New Jersey– peaches, melons, tomatoes, and sweet corn, among others. That’s why we’re known as the “Garden State!” I hope you’re in the midst of corn season too because you’ve got to try this luscious dish to be savored only when fresh corn on the cob is available. These ricotta-stuffed ravioli are bathed in a sauce based on butter, cream and sweet corn. This dish is not only delicious but really quick to make too, assuming you use purchased ravioli. Strip the corn from the cobs and mince the herbs.

Place the ravioli into a pot of water that’s come to a rolling boil.

For this dish, I bought cheese ravioli from Pastosa in Manasquan, NJ. The flagship store is in Brooklyn, but there are several other locations in New York and New Jersey. I got to the store just as it was closing at 6 pm so had little time to browse, but was amazed at the large selection of Italian products, fresh meats and prepared foods. I can’t wait to go back and peruse longer.

The sauce comes together quickly while the ravioli are boiling. Just melt the butter in the pan, and add the rest of the ingredients. Let the sauce reduce slightly, then add the ravioli directly to the pan once they’re cooked.

Don’t worry if a little water comes along with the ravioli. You can just let it cook a couple more minutes to reduce further.

The first time I made this, I used home-made ravioli and white corn, which has become the most prevalent in markets these days. If you can find yellow corn, it really makes for a prettier dish. And if you can find ravioli as good as Pastosa makes, save yourself the time and trouble of making your own.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Ravioli with Creamy Corn Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 ears of yellow corn, kernels stripped off the cob
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • a few sage leaves
  • minced chives
  • a few basil leaves
  • a small grating of nutmeg
  • salt, white pepper to taste
  • 3 dozen small cheese ravioli
  • grated parmesan cheese for topping
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Pour the heavy cream and white wine into the saucepan.
  3. Add the corn and cook the ingredients at high heat for a couple of minutes until it starts to thicken slightly.
  4. Add the salt, pepper and herbs and stir.
  5. Remove the cooked ravioli from the boiling water and place into the pan with the sauce.
  6. Don't worry if a little water comes along with the ravioli, you can reduce the sauce further if you want.
  7. Gently stir the ravioli in the sauce.
  8. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
 

Easy Grilled Sea Bass

  • July 25, 2022

This summer’s heat wave has been unrelenting, with many places in our area reaching more than 100 degrees. Who feels like heating up the kitchen in this weather? Not I, but I still like to eat well, and can only eat out so often or get takeout before I crave a home cooked meal. This sea bass dish is so simple to make, when you use a disposable aluminum pan on your grill. It keeps the heat outdoors; it’s delicious and good for you too. I cooked the tomatoes in the pan for a few minutes first, before adding the fish, because the fish takes only five minutes on a hot grill, not enough time for the tomatoes to soften, especially since some of them aren’t on the bottom of the pan in direct contact with the hottest part of the pan. Just snuggle all the ingredients in the pan. It’s easy for us to get locally caught sea bass this time of year, but if you don’t have access to it, use another type of fileted fish, like flounder, branzino or snapper. Make sure to use abundant minced herbs. In this case, I used chives, thyme and parsley.

In addition to the capers and olives, I added a couple of small hot peppers to give it a bit more tang. It really wasn’t very hot since I didn’t split the peppers and expose the seeds, so give it a try. I also added some pickled green peppers and they gave it some zip too.

It took only five minutes to cook on the grill, resulting in this flavorful, easy-to-make meal fit for company. I’ll be making this many times before the summer is over, substituting whatever is the freshest catch in the fish market that day. If your fish is thicker, just leave it for a longer time on the grill.

I served it with some rice (and other vegetables not shown). I’ve even been known to plug in my rice cooker in an outlet outdoors, eliminating the need to turn on the indoor burners entirely.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Grilled Sea Bass
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • one pound sea bass (or any other filleted fish like flounder, branzino, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • about 6 to 8 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half or quartered if large
  • about a dozen olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • a couple of red hot peppers
  • a few green pickled peppers
  • minced fresh herbs (I used thyme, parsley and chives)
  • half a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • a disposable aluminum pan
Instructions
  1. Place the olive oil and butter in the disposable pan.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, a litlte salt and pepper and place the pan on top of a grill.
  3. Cook the tomatoes for about five minutes to soften a little, because the fish will take only five minutes and in the tomatoes won't soften enough if you wait to put them in when you put in the fish.
  4. Meanwhile, season the fish with salt and pepper and the herbs.
  5. After the tomatoes have cooked for five minutes, remove the pan from the grill and add the fish to the disposable pan, flipping them in the butter and olive oil once to moisten the fish.
  6. More liquid will be released from the fish after a few minutes.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients, spreading them evenly around the pan.
  8. Place the pan on the hot grill once again, and close the lid on the grill.
  9. Cook for about 5 minutes, longer if the fish is thick.
  10. Remove to a serving platter aand enjoy.
 

Peach Upside Down Cake

  • July 15, 2022

I don’t know about you, but when peaches are in season here in New Jersey, you won’t find any other fruit that’s as delicious, in my opinion. They’re juicy, full of fragrant flavor and plentiful — although this year, I’ve found that the cost has risen significantly (but what hasn’t?). In addition to eating them in my morning oatmeal, and just out of hand, I had to bake with some of them, and the combo of brown sugar, butter and peaches is hard to resist in this upside down cake. The recipe comes from Cake By Courtney but I skipped the vanilla and added Amaretto liqueur instead. The almond flavor is subtle, but detectable and adds even more reason to dig in for a second or third slice.

The cake has a fine crumb and tender bite to it, and it’s good the second day too, but like most fruit-topped cakes, it’s best eaten the day it’s made, especially fresh from the oven. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side would be most welcome too.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Peach Upside Down Cake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE PEACHES
  • 2 cups (300 g) peeled and sliced peaches about 3 small to medium size peaches
  • juice of half a small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon (2.4 g) cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (42.4 g) butter
  • ⅓ cup (73 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
  • FOR THE CAKE
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • ¾ cup (180 g) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
Instructions
  1. FOR THE PEACHES
  2. Stir together the sliced peaches, lemon juice, cinnamon and Amaretto liqueur.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  5. Once the butter is melted, add the ⅓ cup brown sugar.
  6. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has completely melted. Add the sliced peaches and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, just until the peaches soften a bit.
  7. Set aside.
  8. FOR THE CAKE
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  10. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  11. Set aside.
  12. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  13. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  14. Stir in the Amaretto liqueur.
  15. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients.
  16. Mix on low speed until just combined.
  17. Gently spread the batter in the cast iron skillet over the peaches.
  18. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  19. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife, then using oven mitts on both hands, place a serving platter over the pan and invert onto the serving platter.
 

Blueberry Crumb Pie

  • June 30, 2022

It’s blueberry season in New Jersey, but if you don’t live here in the Garden State, maybe you can find your own source for blueberries to make this All-American blueberry pie. It’s packed with blueberries, but it’s also got a lemony tang that cuts through the richness of the berries. I love double-crusted fruit pies, but I’m especially partial to those with a crumb topping, for that extra crunchy texture you get with each bite. Making a crumb topping, instead of a second crust on top, also means there’s not goimg to be a gap between the fruit and the top crust, something that frequently happens with fruit pies, as the fruit sinks during the time in the oven.

Another way to avoid the “sinking fruit” syndrome is to partially cook the fruit before placing in the crust, which is what I did with these blueberries. Even so, don’t try to cut into the pie until it’s completely cooled, or you’ll have a runny mess. Here’s a shot from the second day of the pie, when it’s had a chance to cool in the refrigerator overnight. It holds its shape really well, as you can see.

All the better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Just in time to enjoy for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Blueberry Crumb Pie
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of fine salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
  • FOR THE PIE FILLING:
  • 8 cups blueberries (about 3 pints)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice from half a lemon
  • FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
  • ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the crumb topping, using your fingers to mix everything together until butter is absorbed into the dry ingredients.
  2. Set topping aside.
  3. FOR THE PASTRY:
  4. Mix the ingredients for the pastry, adding the butter to the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mixing with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
  5. Add the egg with a fork, then use your fingers just until the dough comes together.
  6. Shape into a ball, then flatten and roll out on a floured surface to a diameter slightly larger than the pie plate.
  7. Carefully lift the pastry (using a rolling pin to help) and place over the pie tin.
  8. Crimp the edges and prick the inside of the pie shell.
  9. Place the pie shell in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  10. Remove it from the refrigerator and line it with tin foil, coated with butter or sprayed with baking spray, then fill with pie weights, dry beans or rice (I've got a mixture of beans and rice that I have been using over and over again for at least 12 years.)
  11. Bake the crust in a preheated 475 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. while you make the filling.
  13. FOR THE FILLING:
  14. Take about six cups (2 pints) of the washed blueberries and place in a saucepan with the sugar.
  15. Cook on high heat for about ten minutes for the blueberries to release some of their juices.
  16. Using a spoon to mix, make a slurry with the cornstarch (or flour) with the water.
  17. Add the slurry to the blueberries in the pan, cooking until the blueberries thicken.
  18. If it looks like there is too much liquid, drain some of it using a colander.
  19. Add the remaining two cups of fresh blueberries to the cooked blueberries.
  20. Add the lemon juice and grated lemon peel to the blueberries.
  21. Place the mixture into the partially baked pie crust.
  22. Spread the crumb topping over the blueberries.
  23. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, covering the top with aluminum foil for the last ten minutes if it starts to get too brown.
  24. Carefully remove from oven and let it cool completely.
  25. If it's not completely cool, the filling will run a lot.
  26. Enjoy with a topping of vanilla ice cream.
 

Old Fashioned American Potato Salad

  • June 20, 2022

With the fourth of July coming up, many of us will be holding backyard picnics and barbecues. If you’re like me, one thing that’s always on the picnic table is potato salad, although I generally make the kind I grew up with, that uses vinegar and oil as the main dressing, like this version I posted about years ago. You’ll find that recipe here:

Mom’s Potato Salad

But occasionally, especially when my father isn’t among the guests (he hates anything with mayonnaise), I’ll make a classic old-fashioned American-style potato salad, using mayonnaise. Both versions are delicious, so it’s nice to mix it up once in a while. After you boil the potatoes and cut them into chunks, add some sliced celery, minced red onion, eggs, sweet pickle relish, parsley and salt and pepper.

Mix everything together with mayonnaise and some Dijon mustard. Don’t worry if you don’t have the exact amounts of ingredients in the recipe below. It’s very forgiving if you want to add more potatoes, or less, or more of any of the other ingredients. Just taste as you go along.

Serve at room temperature or cold from the fridge. It makes a great late night snack too. Happy Picnicking!

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Old Fashioned American Potato Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds red skinned potatoes, boiled and peeled (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, minced
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
  • a big handful of minced parsley - maybe ½ cup or so
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I like Hellman's)
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender, but not falling apart in the water.
  2. Test by pricking with a knife to see if they're cooked.
  3. If they're small, they shouldn't take longer than 15-20 minutes.
  4. Drain the hot water and cover with cold water.
  5. When cool, peel the potatoes (if desired, if not, leave the skins on)
  6. Cut into chunks (not too large, and not too small)
  7. Place the potatoes in a bowl, with the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Mix thoroughly and serve cold or at room temperature.

Potato Sausage Focaccia

  • May 24, 2022

Don’t make this recipe unless you’ve got a crowd on the way, or you’ll end up eating way too many slices of this addictive, potato sausage focaccia. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when you have to loosen your belt buckle. Seriously, if you’ve never had the combination of potatoes on pizza or focaccia, you’re in for a treat.  Years ago, I posted a recipe for Jim Lahey’s potato pizza, and it’s delicious but a whole different texture – thinner and crispier.  This recipe is thicker and uses potatoes that are cooked, along with sausage and mozzarella cheese. Are you salivating yet? Well, let’s get started first by making a very shaggy dough. I start it the night before I bake it, allowing the dough to rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight until it’s more than doubled in size and looks bubbly like this:

Then I punch it down using a silicon spatula (hands are good too).

Then plop it into a buttered and oiled baking sheet. Don’t try to spread it out now or it will fight you. Let it rest for an hour or more and then come back to it.

It will have spread part way all by itself. Using your fingers dipped in some olive oil, spread it out to the edges of the pan and make dimples in the dough.

After an hour or more, it will rise further in the pan like this:

Spread some cooked potato slices, and bits of raw sausage on top, along with a drizzle of olive oil, minced rosemary and some sea salt. Place it in a preheated 450 degree oven for twenty minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle on some grated mozzarella. Bake it for another ten minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned on top.

It will be hard to resist, but wait a few minutes to cut into it.

Or not.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

 

Potato Sausage Focaccia
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1¼ oz. envelope dry active yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • 2½ cups lukewarm water (from 105 degrees to 110 degrees)
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 4-5 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt or 5 teaspoons table salt
  • 6 Tbspns. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for hands
  • 1 large baking potato
  • 1 link of Italian sausage
  • a few tablespoons minced rosemary
  • kosher or coarse sea salt
  • butter to grease the pan
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Whisk the ¼ oz. envelope of yeast with the honey and 2½ cups lukewarm water (temperature of water can be from 105 degrees to 110 degrees)
  2. Let the yeast sit for 10 minutes or so to see if it activates in the water.
  3. If it doesn't look creamy or foamy, your yeast is dead.
  4. Start adding the flour and salt, adding only 4 cups to start.
  5. Add more flour if needed, but what you want is a shaggy dough, with no streaks of flour.
  6. Put 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl.
  7. Transfer the dough to a bowl, turn to coat the dough, and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  9. If you're in a hurry, let the dough rise at room temperature.
  10. Meanwhile, boil the potato in water until it's cooked nearly all the way through.
  11. Don't let it cook past that point since it might fall apart in the water.
  12. it's actually better if you slightly undercook the potato.
  13. Let the potato cool, then peel and slice it thinly.
  14. Generously butter a 13" x 9" baking sheet, for thicker focaccia, or a 18" x 13" rimmed baking sheet, for thinner, crispier focaccia.
  15. Dump the dough into the pan and let it rise a second time before trying to stretch it out to fit the pan.
  16. After it has risen another hour or two, grease your fingers with olive oil and spread the dough across to the corners of the pan, dimpling with your fingers.
  17. If you want a thicker focaccia, you can let it rise another ½ hour to an hour.
  18. Otherwise, slice the potatoes and layer them gently over the focaccia.
  19. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary, and spread pieces of sausage all around.
  20. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.
  21. Bake at 450 and check after about 20 minutes.
  22. Add the grated mozzarella and bake another ten minutes or until browned on top.