Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lentil Cassoulet and Focaccia Bread

If you know me, you know that I have an ongoing love affair with my crock pot and my bread maker. Wintertime is my favorite because I love making soup. And I always eat bread with soup. Enter crock pot and bread maker!

Lentil Cassoulet (fancy name for soup, I suppose!)

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (chop the leaves and add them too, they add great flavor!)
3/4 cup dry lentils (rinse well)
1-2 tsp dried rosemary
1-2 dried bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Brown the meat with the onion and garlic in a pan, season with salt & pepper. Once brown, add to the crock pot with all the other ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.

You can also make this with ground turkey, or pork.

Bread Machine Focaccia Bread
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp dried italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Add the ingredients in order. Set your bread machine to the dough cycle. When it is done, grease a 9x13 inch pan, and with greased hands, remove the dough from the bread machine. Spread the dough into the bottom of the pan, until it is covered. With your finger tips, make indents in the dough. Put it somewhere warm and let it rise for 20 minutes. (Tip: If you need a warm place to let the dough rise, heat the oven to 100 degrees, then turn it off. Put the pan inside the oven. It's warm enough to let the dough rise, but not so warm that it will cook the bread).

While the dough is rising, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan over low heat (I usually do a little less). Once the oil is hot, add 1 tsp oregano and 1/4 cup minced garlic (again, I usually do a little less). Remove from heat after about 30 seconds (DO NOT let the garlic burn!). Brush this mixture onto the dough with a pastry brush. Sprinkle 1/3 cup parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (my oven runs hot, so I usually check it after 13 minutes or so.)


Mariley Johnson said...

Always looking for a way to use those lentils. Can't wait to try it.

Molly said...

The focaccia bread looks yummy - but I don't have a bread machine - I'm still going to try it and see if I can get it to work. Thanks!

Shannon said...

I love soup. Molly I make Macoroni Grill's focaccia bread with out a bread machine. The recipe is similiar but you put kosher salt and rosemary on top. Good luck!