Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Indonesian Pan Fried Noodles- Mie Goreng

I'm thinking if you like Pad Thai noodles, you probably will like these too, but these are less sweet.  Next time I make these, I will definitely spice them up a bit more!

Lots of recipes online make Mie Goreng with Ramen noodles, and I really struggled with that... somehow it just didn't seem right to me.  In hindsight, I think that Ramen noodles would be good, just barely cook them before you fry them as they will continue to cook and you don't want them to break apart. I used pad thai noodles for this because I was at a grocery store with hardly any selection... frankly I should have saved the cash and bought the ramen! Ramen is egg noodles, and Pad Thai is rice noodles, so there's a big difference in texture. If you have an Asian market near you, go buy the fresh noodles, that is the best way to do it.

I apologize that I don't have any other pictures of this dish, or the ingredients, but I made this dish at a friend's house after hiking all day!  We served it with Balinese grilled chicken thighs, which I marinated up ahead of time and brought with me.

Serves about 4-6 as a side dish
8 ounces fine egg noodles, cooked al dente and drained 
6 ounces pork, boneless finely diced or shredded
8 ounces raw prawns, shelled & deveined, if large cut in 2
4 tablespoons peanut oil
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, or red pepper, seeded and chopped 
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups green cabbage, finely shredded
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 cup fried onion flakes (optional)
4 green onions, Sliced diagonally (optional)
1/3 english cucumber, thinly sliced (optional)

Boil the noodles as per instructions but do not over cook them, rinse noodles in cold water, to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
Heat oil in a large wok or frypan. add onion and fry until almost golden. Add chili & garlic, fry 2 minutes more. Add pork, stir and cook until the pork is cooked through. Add prawns cook for 2 minutes or until they are tranlucent and pink.
Add celery, cabbage, cook for 2 minutes The vegetables must still be crisp. Add the balance of the veggies that you are using.  Add soy sauce. Season with salt & pepper.

Add noodles back to the pan, stir fry, turning the noodles into the mixture and cook until all is heated through. Sprinkle with the deep fried onions and serve. Serve with lime wedges and sriracha hot sauce, if desired.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Simple BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich or Sliders

The easiest thing ever...
I am keeping this post SHORT for a reason. I want you to know how easily you can do this.  I made this last Friday, and got it going in the late morning in about 10 minutes. Then I set it the crock pot's timer for 6 hours on high and went about my other business.  By the time we came back to it about 6pm, it was smelling terrific and the pork was so tender.

I always serve this with a bit of my Tangy, Spicy coleslaw, a little on the sandwich and more on the side for a salad.

Serves about 5-6
1 pork roast, 2-3 lbs
1/2 cup ketchup
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
smoked paprika
1 onions, minced
1-2 Tbsp mustard
1-2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
1-2 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp garlic powder

In your crock pot, this is what it looks like when you throw all the ingredients together and cover it up. Cook for about 5-6 hours on high, but 8-10 hours on low heat works too.

I lift the meat out to a deep dish and shred with 2 forks, it's simple, just rip the chunks into shreds which takes very little effort on behalf of you, or the forks.  Taste your sauce, you like it?  If not, add more seasoning like hot sauce, vinegar and salt.  Blend it is you like the sauce to be smooth, otherwise, if you are ok with chunky sauce, get ready to EAT!

You can mix the shredded meat back into the sauce, OR serve the sauce on the side. The meat is nice and seasoned on it's own, and then people can add the sauce they like.  If you were serving this for a crowd, I would probably mix some of the sauce with the meat to keep it moist, and serve extra on the side.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beef Kebabs with Chimichurri Sauce

Hey, you know what?  Father's day is coming up, and everyone know's the guys (and gals!) like grilled carne!  Kebabs are such an easy thing to make, this dinner came together in no time flat. 

Chimichurri is a condiment that is from Argentina or Uruguay and is totally yummy and flavorful on meat.  It has a variety of options, so you can add, or subtract things to yours to make it your own. It's very easy to make in a food processor, but if you don't have one... it might be more labor intensive.  Once I had the food processor dirty from chopping up the chimichurri, I made a quick rough chopped salsa and then a chipotle bean dip.  Hey, as long as you've got it out, and dirty, think of what else you can make!

I served the kebabs & chimichurri over tomato couscous (which is so pretty).  Check your bulk food sections, I like to buy my couscous in bulk, because it's about half the price of the 'packaged' stuff.... but the same product.  It was fun to see other kinds, they also had spinach couscous and a tri-color.  Fun!

I had masses of leftovers, meat, couscous and sauce, so I mixed some leftover couscous with some cut up grilled meat and added the chimchurri sauce for an incredible 'pasta' salad. 

Serves 6-8

Ingredients for kebabs and marinade
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
Kosher salt & fresh pepper
3 pounds beef tri-tip, cut into large chunks 1 1/2"

For the Chimichurri:
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
½ bunch green onions, cut into 2" lengths
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Make the marinade for the beef in a large bowl, adding the chunks of meat and tossing to coat completely.  This should marinate for at least 2 hours.

In a food processor, add the parsley, cilantro, green onions and garlic.  Pulse until you have a small mince, but not so fine that it starts to become a paste. 

Remove the green mixture to a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add salt and fresh pepper.

Preheat a grill to high. Thread the beef onto skewers, leaving a bit of space between each piece. Brush the grill with olive oil. Grill the kebabs, turning, until charred and cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes for the beef. Transfer to a platter and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with chimichurri.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Apricot, Cherry, Almond Muffins- Basic "Add in" recipe

This is a great basic recipe for muffins any time... you can make it your own, to match your pantry contents, or whatever flavors you are wanting that day!

One of the things I like best about this recipe is that it makes a decent size batch for a small family... of course, I can eat more muffins than this, but really, I should not!

Makes 12 muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (3/4 white flour & 3/4 cup wheat flour works too)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup plain yogurt, or sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (or other flavor extract, I used almond for this recipe!)

"Add in" items, go ahead and personalize your muffins
1/4 cup chopped apricots
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries, or Craisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
Mix all the dry ingredients. In another small bowl whisk together with sour cream, egg, and vanilla.

Stir butter mixture (and additional ingredients; *see note, below) into flour mixture until just combined. It's a very thick batter!

Divide the batter among muffin cups and bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Here's some great ideas for YOUR muffins:
  • 1 chopped banana, 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped drained canned pineapple and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate and 1-2 tablespoon poppy seeds.
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Heath toffee brittle chips and 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh, or frozen blueberries plus streusel topping.  (Streusel topping is equal parts butter, brown sugar, flour- rubbed together into a crumbly topping and put on top of your muffins!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Cheese Mushroom Strudel

Yummy, rich, cheesy and wrapped in crispy phyllo, pretty much heaven!  It all started with a large container of dried mushrooms that I got, in a roundabout way, at Costco.   The funny part is that a friend bought them and had them or a month or so, and couldn't figure out what to do with them… her solution?  Give it to me to figure out!  What the heck am I going to do with them now?  ***Note, even though I used these dried mushrooms, fresh mushrooms work exactly the same!

The funny part is… I am not even that big of a mushroom fan!  I eat them and all, but I would never lust after them like some big mushroom fans do.  I do like anything baked in Phyllo dough though… I mean who wouldn’t?  It’s crispy, flakey, buttery and delicious, AND easy to make.  Ha, I know you don’t believe me, but once you’ve tried this, you’ll be wrapping everything in Phyllo dough. This mushroom filling is incredible... I was hoping for leftovers to do something else with.... anything else!!!

Phyllo is Greek pastry in super thin sheets, and you find it in the freezer section, probably by the frozen pies, puff pastry kinda spot. It costs about $4-$5 but you can make a lot with one box and it does keep for a couple of weeks if it’s well wrapped. It’s thaws pretty quickly, but I would recommend that you thaw it in the fridge overnight…. Even though I bought it the morning I needed it, so I left it on the counter until I started cooking. This recipe makes two strudels, but if you only need one, you can freeze one of them after you make it, but before you bake it.  Got it?

What?  You don’t know what a strudel is???  Stayed tuned, you’ll see.

Makes 2-3 strudels

Dried Mushrooms, soaked in hot water then chopped, about 3-4 cups 
2lb fresh mushrooms, chopped, to equal about 3-4 cups
1 onion, diced and sautéed
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz goat cheese, or cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup gouda, grated
2 tsp thyme, dried, or 1 tsp fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper
Fresh parsley

½ package of phyllo dough
2 sticks of butter, melted and cooled

Rinse, then soak the mushrooms in hot water for about 5 minutes, drain (reserving the broth for something… like soup) and then chop. I used the food processor to chop everything for the recipe... onions, garlic, parsley and mushrooms. 

In a sauté pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions. Add the chopped mushrooms and the garlic cooking for 2-3 more minutes.  Add the cheeses and mix well. Add parsley, thyme,salt and pepper and make sure it tastes yummy at this stage. Cool.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, unless you are making these ahead of time and chilling or freezing. 

Melt your butter in a large pyrex in the microwave for 60-90 seconds.  Find you pastry brush, you need one to brush butter between the layers of phyllo dough.

On a large cutting board, or clean counter, unroll the thawed phyllo dough and taking 2 sheets off and laying it in front of you.  COVER the remaining phyllo with a dish towel while you work, this stuff dries out quickly.  Brush butter over the entire sheet of phyllo, add 2 more sheets, more butter, 2 more sheets.  Eight sheets total should do it.

With the long end towards you, add TWO nice logs of the filling in a 2” section, cut the dough down the middle lengthwise,  Tuck in the short ends about 1 1/2” (think burrito…) and roll into a strudel, seam side DOWN.  This will create two long, narrow logs of mushroom filled phyllo dough just waiting to be baked. Brush the top with melted butter after you put them on a pan.
I used a "silpat' silcome matt to keep it from sticking, I love mine and use them all the time.  They can be anywhere from $10-$20 for them, and well worth the price.

At this point, you could put this in the fridge, or you put in the freezer. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 22-25 minutes.  It will be light brown and crispy looking.  Don't worry if some of the phyllo cracks, that's what it does. You CAN bake a frozen strudel, it works pretty well, but might need about 2-3 more minutes.

Slice with a serrated knife, gently slicing into pieces.  Expect it to be a bit messy...
This could be an appetizer or a light dinner with a green salad.

Leftover filling?
If you have leftover filling and phyllo, here is another what to wrap it up.  Called Spanokopita when you do this shape with a spinach, feta filling, it's a nice little packet that is easier to eat.  I made both for a group of glas last night, and I think we agreed that we liked the strudel best because it had a more intense filling "hit" of flavor.  Still this is a nice way to have appetizers without the mess of slicing the phyllo. 
***Note, I did something a bit silly and did mine the "Long" way on the phyllo and it makes BETTER sense to do short rows of the pastries.  You should get 6 pastries per sheets if you cut, then fold the short way.

Take two sheets of phyllo, butter the entire top sheet.  Cut into 6 rows (OPPOSITE way that I show...) and dab a bit tablespoon of filling at the top of each row. Fold the first fold diagonal and flip flop your way down the row, just like folding a FLAG! This effectively encases the filling completely in the filling. Bake for about 16-18 minutes, until they are a golden brown and flaky.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Carmelized Green Onions, Tomatoes & Zucchini

Maybe this isn't the sexiest food blog post, but it is a really great vegetable side dish that is easy to make. We had it with baked salmon last night, since sometimes we try to eat lightly and super healthy!

I remember the first time my oldest sister told me she "fried onions" for a side dish.... "and?" I said, waiting for whatever else she added to this base ingredient.  "No, just green onions"- - I thought it was a crazy idea until I tried it.  I realize that I have just changed a recipe that I just said was good, but this dish is great too. I figure once I tell you about it, you could just saute up 2-3 bunches of green onions if you like it with tomatoes and zucchini!  Get it?

Serves 2-6 people depending on how much you like veggies!
We got 3 servings, 2 big dinner portions and a nice lunch leftover.***

1 small box cherry tomatoes
2 small zucchini
1 bunch of green onions
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Chopped parsley (option)
Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper

First, cut up ALL your veggies like shown.  I cut the green onions in about 1 1/2" pieces, the zucchini in half lengthwise, and then on the diagonal (but rounds work too!) and I cut the cherry tomatoes in half, but whole works too!

Over medium high heat, add oil to a skillet.  I use stainless steel because I think it caramelizes better, but a non-stick pan would work (and it would be easier to clean too!).  Add the green onions and saute, stirring, as you will see they pick up some color pretty quick.

After they start to pick up some nice color, add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Immediately add the zucchini and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until you like the doneness of the zucchini. I like it still firm!

***Note about leftovers, I combined them with the leftover quinoa that I had in the fridge from the other night, plus the half of salmon I didn't eat. Squeezed some lemon on the whole thing and tossed with more seasoning salt and pepper.  My lunch is ready...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cuban Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Fruit Salsa

Sweet, tangy with just the right amount of spice to please the whole family with this dish.  I usually don't love fruit salsas and won't order anything that comes with a sweet salsa in a restaurant, but this one seemed like a great paring, so I gave it a try, I'm glad I did. 

Don't be put off by the Sauce for this dish, I know 4 whole jalapenos sounds extreme, but if anything, I would spice it up more next time I did this dish - - which I know means this is about perfect for most people!  I always seed the jalapenos, and they are almost never too hot that way.  I buy jalapenos by the pound at my local Asian market, and I usually get through them all before they go bad, yep, I love them that much.

I was inspired to do this dish from a recent issue of FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE (June 2011), but the recipe was for ribs, and I had pork tenderloins, which I prefer anyways, but I took some liberties with some of the ingredients too, especially since they wanted to add sugar to fruit salsa... um, I don't think that's necessary!  

Marinated Pork
Serves 6-8
1/4 cup chile powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tbsp garlic, powdered
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp Kosher salt & ground pepper
2 pork tenderloins (about 4 lbs total)

4 jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon ground cumin

Grilled Fruit Salsa
1 lb fresh pineapple rings, 1/2 " slices
1 fresh mango, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion, 1/2 " slices
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 large avocado, diced
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cumin
Salt & Pepper as desired

In a large ziploc bag, add the chili powder, cumin, granulated garlic, salt, honey and olive oil.  Add the pork tenderloins and "massage" the mixture onto all the sides of the pork.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or even overnight, which is what I did.

Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the jalapeños with the garlic and 1/2 cup of the lime juice. Blend in the honey and the remaining 1 tablespoon of cumin. Transfer the glaze to a saucepan and simmer over low heat until glossy and thickened, 15 minutes.  Remove half the glaze to use for basting the cooking meat, and the other half of the glaze in a small pitcher to serve with the dinner. 

Preheat the grill.

When hot, grill the pineapple rings, mango wedges and red onion slices over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Chop all the grilled fruits and onion into a dice and transfer to a bowl. Add jalapeno, cilantro, avocado and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool while you cook the pork.

Turn down the grill to medium, and try to keep the temperature between 350-400 in the grill.  Place the pork and cover and cook, basting each side with the jalapeno glaze as you turn it, because the glaze can burn! It should take about 20 minutes or so.  

Internal temperature of pork should be about 145 degrees if you want to check it with an instant thermometer. The Pork Council just updated their recommended temperates, so many of you may remember it used to be 160.  Let it rest for about 5-8 minutes before serving.  The residual heat will continue to cook the pork and you won't over cook it and dry it out.
Slice the pork and serve with the salsa and the sauce.  Great with rice or quinoa.
This would also be great on tacos or burritos.... oh yum.

Even if you didn't make the glaze or the salsa, this marinade for the pork was pretty slam dunkin' marvelous... I'm going to try it out on a beef flank steak soom

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pina Colada Bread Pudding with Rum Caramel Sauce

Yum, I love bread pudding.  It's funny to me that everyone thinks it's such a great dessert to order when you go out, because to me, bread pudding really says breakfast! It's got all the great breakfast components that French Toast has, so really keep your options OPEN and don't banish this dish to dessert only!!!

My Mom used to make this stuff all the time, we loved it, even though now I know she was using up all that old bread! That's OK, I really like this stuff.  I find myself throwing bread bits and pieces into the freezer in a ziploc bag all the time, for things like this, or a savory Spinach & Feta Strata. If you don't have any stale bread, you can cut cubes out of a fresh loaf of bread and dry it out in the oven for 15 minutes or so at 350 degrees.

Here's my trick for figuring out how much bread cubes you need.... take the dish that you are going to use and FILL it over the top.  I mean heaping over the top, there's nothing worse that a flat little bread pudding- do it like you mean it! It condenses down a whole bunch once you soak it in the egg/liquid mixture. 

Serves about 6-8, 8x8 dish
12 cups bread cubes, cubed
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup half and half, or cream
1 cup (8 oz. can) crushed pineapple, with juice
1 cup coconut, sweetened, flaked (optional, I left it out of the recipe, just sprinkled the top)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum, or coconut rum
1 tsp almond extract
4 eggs

In a very large bowl, beat up the eggs, coconut milk, cream (half & half or milk works too), sugar and rum.  Beat until well mixed.  Add in crushed pineapple (and coconut if using), and then toss in bread cubes, mixing well.  Add back to a buttered 8x8 baking dish and cover.  Refrigerate for a couple hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake on a baking sheet (no spills in your oven...) at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. I baked mine uncovered, and it did not get too brown or dried out. In the last 5 minutes, sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and coconut flakes.
Serve warm, or even room temperature.

Rum Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp dark rum, or coconut rum (optional)
1/2 cup cream

Over medium high heat, melt the butter and the brown sugar together, adding the rum and then the cream.  Cook at a rolling boil for about 5 minutes as it bubbles and thickens.  Pour over the bread pudding and serve... remind people that the caramel sauce is molten if you serve it right away after the sauce is done.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Greek Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce

Ahhh, last Friday we ate our first dinner outside on Seattle's first 70 degree day... sigh, now back to the rain for a while, but you can get a taste of sunshine any time by making Greek Food.

I adore Greek Food, and Souvlaki appeals to everyone, even people who may not know that they like Greek food yet. It is so easy to make and easy to eat too.  Just grilled skewers of chicken, (beef, pork or lamb), flatbread (or pita) and some greek salad.  It's easy, it's heathy.  Tzatziki (say "Zatzeekie") is just a yummy yoghurt, cucumber and garlic spread or dip to use on top of your meal.

Here's the order I would make these dishes...
1) Marinate the chicken, best for a couple hours, or over night
2) Make Tzatziki
3) Make Salad, don't add salt, or oil until right before you serve it
4) Skewer and gril chicken, tastes under 10 minutes.

Serves about 4

Chicken Souvlaki
4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes about 1"x1"
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1-2 tsp Greek Seasoning, like Cavenders (at grocery stores, or Cost Plus)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. black pepper

8 Mediterranean flatbreads or pita breads 

Marinate all the above ingredients (except flatbreads/pita) in a ziploc bag for a couple of hours, or over night.

Soak bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes before you start to skewer the marinated chicken.  You know why?  To keep them from burning on the grill!!!  It really does help and looks better too!

Grill the chicken skewers for about 7-9 minutes on a grill that's about 400-450 degrees F. You'll be able to see that they are done, when they "bleed white".  That means as soon as you see the juices run more congealed and white looking.  Don't overcook, they should still be juicy, and not dry.

2 small persian cucumbers, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup greek yoghurt (2% or whole milk is most authentic and best...)
Salt & pepper to taste

Drain off any liquid the cucumbers give off, or pat with a paper towel.  If you leave the juices in there, your tzatziki will be too runny and not as flavorful.

Greek Salad

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2-3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3-4 small persian cucumbers, diced
1 cup small tomatoes, quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Seasoning, to taste (feta & olives are salty, you may not need any!)

Here's some more awesome Greek Recipes:
Baked Prawns and Feta with Orzo
Avgolemono- Greek Wedding Soup

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Artichoke Olive Cheese Bread

MMMmmm, cheesy artichokes with olives on bread... can it get any better than that?  Maybe!  This appetizer is so easy to make, PLUS you can customize it for what you have on hand, or what you like! I have a list of ideas and variations at the bottom of the post for you to check out.

You know what makes this so fantastic to eat?  Each slice is already pre-loaded with cheese and topping and is read to go.  No more leaning over a dish of molten Artichoke cheese dips, trying to get some on your bread, this is way easier to eat. Another thing I like about this is that it appears to have less fat that the traditional dip that is made with mayonnaise, cream cheese and sour cream.

You could even pre-make this for a party, or get together, and then reheat at about 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  I made this last night and then kept it warm while the guys had to make a beer run before the movie night.  I did my technical duty and ate one piece when it was fresh, and had to eat another one when they got back- - yep, all in the name of research.  Both fantastic, heck, I will even admit it was awesome for breakfast this morning....

Below in the photo of ingredients, I have pictured more items that I called for in the list of ingredients, but I did that for a reason. I had it! I was thinking would be good on this bread, so I threw it in the photo.... just in case I got super inspired as I made it. With this one, use your imagination, it can be so many things.

(Whoops, I missed the Panko bread crumbs!)
Serves 4-8

1 long french baguette
1/4 cup olive oil
1 14-ounce can of artichokes in water or brine, drained and chopped
1/2 cup green olives, drained and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the baguette in half lengthwise and brush with the olive oil and place on a baking sheet.

Mix the chopped artichokes, garlic, olives, chopped parsley and about half the cheese together.

Heap on top of each side of the bread 

Top each side with the rest of the cheese, and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
Give them a pat (smash...) down with your hand to make sure that the filling is firmly onto the bread and won't cause some sort of hot cheesy accident when you trip to eat it.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, then heat the broiler and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.  You can keep it in a warm oven (250) for about 20 minutes if needed.

Don't like olives?  Substitute something else:
  • Use chopped spinach instead, fresh spinach would cook quickly enough in the oven and would be great.
  • Skip brushing the bread with olive oil and spread the bread with cream cheese, or goat cheese!!!
  • Add chopped green onions to the mixture.
  • Chopped mushrooms would be great, but I would gently saute them before mixing them with the artichokes.
  • Add green chilies, sliced black olives, Mexican cheeses and a little chili powder.  Yum...
  • You know, you could add shredded chicken to it too!
  • Feta... think of the possibilities!