Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quick and Easy Focaccia

Let's face it--we all have those days when we need to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Days when you didn't get a chance to look at the menu list and take something out of the freezer. Days during week 2 of getting through your groceries, when all the fresh veg is gone and you were counting on freezer prep.

Yesterday was one of those days. And on those days I do my best to avoid fast food and other restaurants. In my opinion, it's best to have a run to the grocery store and see what's on sale at the meat counter, and figure things out from there.

I got a good sized roasting chicken for around $3.50. (It was around $.49 / lb.) I also picked up a bag salad ($.99) and a small bag of pizza dough ($1.25). Dinner for two for under $6.00--with leftovers.

Living in an Italian-American town means bags of homemade pizza dough right in the cheese section of the supermarket. It makes a quick and easy focaccia to accompany any meal. Just roll it out (use a little fine cornmeal to help the dough spread out and not stick to your board), use your fingers to make indentations in the dough, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with whatever you like. This one I made with only salt and pepper before baking at 350*F for about 15 minutes, until the edges were golden. I used a pizza stone (not preheated), but any cookie sheet will do--just watch it to make sure you don't overbake it.

After it emerged from the oven, I rubbed the surface with one tablespoon of butter and a sprinkling of garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Delicious!

Other toppings might include sliced olives, onions (raw or carmelized), sliced fresh tomato, rosemary or other herbs, or toppings more typically thought of on pizza.

I'd say that was a pretty good deal, and much cheaper--and better for us--than fast food!


Mary said...

That's a fantastic meal for only $6! And WAY healthier than fast food.

Lulu said...

Hey you! Yum...I'm back just in time for focaccia bread! I knew I smelled something wonderful!

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

"bags of homemade pizza dough right in the cheese section of the supermarket" -- Wow! How lucky! I would love that. And so cheap too.

Amanda said...

Mary--you are so right. And the best part is there's leftover chicken for making soup and whatever else I want! So certainly more than one meal is coming out of that $6.

Lulu--thanks, girl! I saved you a piece!

Joy--I agree, it is fortunate. When I've lived in other parts of the U.S. there was no such thing as ready-to-use bags of pizza dough! However, if you are friendly with a local pizza parlor, sometimes they'll sell you pizza dough. Definitely worth looking into--and what a time saver!

(Plus I'm not much of a bread-baker, so I don't use enough yeast and bread flour to keep them around, so it's actually cheaper for me to buy it ready-made instead of making my own dough.)

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