Monday, April 11, 2011

Stromboli and Homemade Alfredo Sauce

General Conference weekend was great this year - we had a bunch of family over and it was full of good food, good company, and some wonderfully spiritual direction from our church leaders.

On Sunday between sessions I caught a "hankering" for something with homemade dough. We were just so lucky that we had a nice signed copy of the Our Best Bites cookbook full of good, doughy recipes. So I started the dough and let it rise during the second session, then cooked my little heart out so we had a gourmet dinner. The Alfredo sauce from scratch was done on a total whim. I actually used some of the new Philadelphia cooking creme that's been all the rage lately, and it was seriously delicious!

My nephew also just submitted his papers to serve a mission for the church, so in his honor (since his dad went to Italy and there are some bets going on that he might go, too) I thought it was appropriate to go Italian.

Spinach-Chicken Stromboli
modified from Our Best Bites Cookbook

1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp active dry or bread machine yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3 - 4 cups flour, divided

In a large bowl (or bowl of your mixer), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until yeast bubbles. Add salt and stir, then add 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (between 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups) until dough starts to pull away from sides of bowl and barely sticks to your finger.

Spray a metal or glass bowl with cooking spray and place dough in - cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. 

Remove from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then roll dough into a rectangle about 12x15 inches. 

2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
8 oz shredded, cooked chicken
2 Roma tomatoes, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush 1 1/2 tsp olive oil over the surface of rolled out dough. Evenly sprinkle Italian seasoning and 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese on top. Keeping remaining toppings one inch away from edges, evenly spread spinach, chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella over dough.

Working from the long end of the rectangle, roll up from one end to the other and pinch seam shut. Place seam-side down on prepared baking sheet, brush remaining 1/2 tsp olive oil on top and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp Parmesan. Gently cut 3 slits along top of roll. 

Bake in oven for 15-12 minutes until top is golden brown. Cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing into 1-inch slices. Serve with marinara...or homemade Alfredo sauce!

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

1/4 cup butter
4 oz Neufchatel (or 1/3 less fat) cream cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup milk (I used skim and it worked fine)
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle of black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a bit at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Cook gently until sauce reaches desired thickness and remove from heat. Sauce will thicken quickly so add more milk if too thick. Serve in a dipping dish with Stromboli slices and enjoy!

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