Tag Archives: bread

Baked Corned Beef, Spinach, and Swiss Cheese Braid

19 Mar
Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 1

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid

I am so pleased with this! Although it’s another “what to do with your leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day post,” I promise you this one is over the top. My husband and daughter raved at how good this was. I am tickled pink. We ate half of this “sandwich” and my daughter said she wanted to take the entire other half to school for lunch the next day. (My husband put his foot down on that, as he wanted some for lunch too!)

I’m astounded that I actually baked a bread-type item without it being a total failure. Believe me, I had my doubts. My prep shots looked like I had a disaster in the making, but I am so happy with how it turned out — not only in taste, but in appearance. The crescent pastry puffs up nicely and hides most of the defects from squishing the seams of the dough together, cutting it up, then braiding it. (I also added some sesame seeds on top at the last minute, what a great idea!)

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 3

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid ~ Uncut

Another bonus: Super easy to make and only 6 or 7 ingredients. Probably 15 or 20 minutes prep time, then in the oven it goes for 25 minutes. If you still have some leftover corned beef in the fridge, I highly recommend making this. (Or just go out and buy some deli-sliced.) I doubt you will be sorry.

Corned Beef, Spinach, and Swiss Cheese Braid

6-ounce bag fresh spinach
2 8-ounce canisters refrigerated butter-flavored crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups cooked corned beef, sliced/chopped
Yellow mustard
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
1 egg white, beaten
Sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Steam the spinach with a few splashes of water in the microwave (or other method) covered in a bowl for a few minutes. I used a smallish bowl and had to do two batches. Strain all the water out by pressing on it with paper towels in a colander to get as much moisture out as you can.

Spinach and Zak Spoon

Turn that Frown Upside Down! I love my new Zak Spoons and Serving Tray

Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with baking oil). Roll out the crescent rolls and press the seams together as shown below on top of it. Feel free to brag how you can do that better than me.

Crescent Dough Pressed Together

Crescent Dough Pressed Together

Add the sliced/chopped corned beef down the middle.

Corned Beef on Pastry Dough

Corned Beef on Pastry Dough

Squirt yellow mustard all over it. A pattern is optional.

Mustard on Corned Beef

Mustard on Corned Beef

Top evenly with spinach.

Spinach on Mustard and Corned Beef

Spinach on Mustard and Corned Beef

Spread the grated cheese over the spinach.

Swiss Cheese Over Everything

Swiss Cheese Over Everything!

Next cut the pastry dough on both sides with kitchen scissors in about 1/2-inch slices just up to the filling, as shown below.

Cresent Dough Cut

Crescent Dough Cut

“Braid” the dough slices over the filling. Don’t panic halfway through braiding when it looks a mess.

Sandwich Loaf Halfway Braided

Sandwich Loaf Halfway Braided

Brush the egg white over the top, then sprinkle sesame seeds (optional) over the loaf.

Crescent Pastry Dough with Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds

Crescent Pastry Dough with Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into some delicious hot sandwiches! I’m not a big sandwich eater for dinner, but this was even guest-worthy!

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 2

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

22 Feb
Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

After feeding our foreign exchange student a healthy (or unhealthy you might say) dose of American food, I decided to surprise her one night with a traditional French dish. She walked into the kitchen and I motioned her over to the crock pot. I lifted the lid and said, “Tah Da! I made you Coq au Vin!” She had a very puzzled look on her face. I said it again nice and slow, like this: “COKE UHH VEEEEEN.” Blank look. “You know, chicken in wine!”

“Ohhhh, yes, yes. It’s Coh ah Vah,” she replied. There is barely a hint of the k and n sound, but I could not seem to quite get that part right and we had a few giggles at my poor attempts. So after I thoroughly corrupted the French pronunciation, I was hoping I didn’t do the same to the meal. For one, I couldn’t find a true Burgundy wine at the store, so settled on a Pinot Noir. I also knew my daughter wouldn’t eat the mushrooms in it, so added some baby carrots. I did, however, ask Caroline what the French typically served the dish over — potatoes or noodles? She said potatoes, so then I asked her if they were boiled or mashed? Another puzzled look from her then had me pantomiming round circles for boiled and banging my fist on the table to simulate mashing. Ahh, the second one, mashed potatoes!

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

After her bowl was filled twice and mopped dry with thick slices of French bread, I can say that the meal was a success! This dish is typically made with skin-on chicken thighs and legs, but all I had were large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. So I lopped them in half, and hoped they wouldn’t come out too dry. I think using a slow cooker helped retain some of the juiciness but I think next time I would cook them only about 3 hours on high instead of 4 hours. But I was very satisfied with the results, and now I know how to properly pronounce this lovely meal even if I can’t actually say it right.

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken, skin on or skinless
1/4 cup flour, divided
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
8 ounces frozen pearl onions, thawed
8 ounces small button mushrooms
2 cups whole baby carrots
1 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Fresh parsley, chopped
Mashed potatoes and French bread, for serving

Vegetable Medley

Vegetable Medley

Cook the bacon in a large skillet, remove from heat, and drain bacon on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet, or if you used lean bacon then add some vegetable oil to make up for it. Season the chicken with pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Dust the chicken pieces with 1/8 cup flour, reserving the rest, and add the chicken to the skillet over medium high heat. Brown the chicken for several minutes on each side. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Chicken Vegetables and Bacon

Chicken, Vegetables, and Bacon

Add the tablespoon of oil to the skillet over medium heat, stir in the rest of the flour, then add in the pearl onions and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the baby carrots, then return skillet to heat. Deglaze the pan with the wine and chicken broth, scraping up all the yummy brown bits.

Wine Mixture

Wine Mixture

Whisk in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Cook and stir for about 5 more minutes and turn off heat. Place the chicken over the vegetables in the crock pot, add the bacon on top, then pour the wine mixture over all. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low 6 to 8 hours.

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Make your mashed potatoes in the last half hour or so of cooking and keep over low heat until ready to serve. Spoon mashed potatoes into bowls, top with the chicken and vegetables plus juices, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Have lots of thick-sliced French bread for sopping up all the savory juices. Enjoy!

Oh and I almost forgot. The wonderful organization that brought Caroline and my family together are now looking for more hosting families for this spring. Please, if you have any doubt about how wonderful an experience hosting is, go to the Andeo website and learn how you can sign up to host a student. You will not regret the experience! Here is a link to their website: www.andeo.org.

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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