Monday, October 4, 2010

Chili and Pan Bagnat

Technically I made this on Wednesday this past week, but because Jackson was being a cranky-pants (he's teething) I just haven't had an opportunity to write about about it.

Earlier this week I had a craving for slow-cooker chili. I haven't had it in a while (and Kelly isn't a huge fan of chili so we rarely eat it) but I reaaalllly wanted it. I used this recipe with a few modifications - mainly more garlic and more onions. Truth be told, I wasn't a huge fan of this recipe. In my mind, chili has to have a little spice in it. This didn't really do it for me in that area. It had a nice taste, it just wasn't spicy enough. I served the chili over rice and topped it off with cheese and sour cream. Kelly said that he liked it even better the next day. I say that if you want to make the recipe, add hot sauce!

OK on to the Pan Bagnat. I got this recipe from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. According to the cookbook, "Pan Bagnat" is French for "soaked bread". Here's the recipe (it makes 4 servings):

2 very ripe tomatoes, peeled
One 8-ounce loaf of day-old French or Italian bread, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Halve each tomato horizontally; with a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Dice the tomato shells.
2. Pull out the soft insides of the bread and tear into pea-size pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in the tomatoes, cheese, parsley, scallions, vinegar, oil and pepper.
3. Fill the bread loaf with the tomato mixture; close the bread and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight; just before serving, cut into 4 sandwiches.

First of all, I had no clue how to peel a tomato. I was about to pull out the vegetable peeler when I read the recipe a little more (it always helps to read the directions...), and this is what I learned.

"To peel tomatoes, cut an X on the bottom, just deep enough to cut the skin. In a medium saucepan, bring 4" water to a boil. Drop in the tomatoes and boil just until the skins split, 10-15 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and hold under cold running water; rub off the skins."

*I should note that I had to boil the tomatoes about 30 seconds to get the skins to split.

This recipe is DELICIOUS, even though I didn't follow the recipe exactly (yet again). Remember, this is Weight Watchers - they try to keep it healthy and sometimes have to sacrifice taste to do it. I ended up added more cheese, garlic, and salt. The garlic makes it really tasty - I suggest 2-3 cloves.

Oh, and I attempted another omelet. I'm getting better!!!

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