Tag Archives: appetizers

Tomato Bread With Prosciutto

June 3, 2011

How good is this recipe? So good we forgot to take a picture and ate it all before we remembered. If I could pick two words to describe this recipe, it would be yummy and fast. Enough said. Seriously, so good and so easy. A quick char of the bread on the grill. A quick whir of the food processor and you are done.

I have blogged 2 of Bobby Flay’s cookbooks in the past. They are always full of good recipes. This one is no exception. The subtitle of the book is “125 Reasons to Light Your Fire”. As if we need any reasons to grill!

The Ruling: As stated above, we all loved it! Well, youngest child just ate the grilled bread. It was nice and light and really hit the spot. So quick to make. You could even use this as a fast meal, serve with a salad and you are good to go!

Tomato Bread with Prosciutto, pg 37

 Ingredients:

  • 6 very ripe plum tomatoes or 3 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 slices ciabatta or other crusty, country-style bread, about 1/ inch thick
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto, Serrano, or Smithfield ham

Directions:  

  1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender.  Puree until smooth, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the thyme.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.  (The puree can be made up to a day in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature before serving.)
  2. Heat your grill to high.
  3. Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill the bread for 1 minute on each side, until lightly charred.  Remove the bread from the grill and generously brush each slice on one side with the tomato puree.  Top each one with a slice of prosciutto and serve.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

  • Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you! 
  • Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.
  • MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click hereto find out the latest offerings!
  • For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

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Filed under Appetizers, Fast Meals, Grill

Queso Fundido

Day 153: Mario Tailgates Nascar Style

June 2, 2011

Doesn’t everything taste better with cheese? At least that is my motto. My middle child loves queso of any type and since we are trying to get him to gain weight, I thought this would be a great choice of a recipe. The rest of us don’t need to gain any weight, but I am a mom and want to do what is right, so I made him this calorie laden dish…..because I am a good mom….right?

Did you know that there was a NASCAR Style of cooking? I know I did not. Did you know that Mario Batali is an officially licensed NASCAR tailgating cookbook? I was surprised about that one too! Well he must be serious about his NASCAR and I know he is serious about food, so you must know that this cookbook is full of some yummy recipes.

The Ruling: We had a hard time with this one. Our cheese would not blend with the wine and whatever we did, we could not get it to work. I am sure that if we were to make it blend, it would have tasted lovely. The way it turned out for us, we had a hard time even getting it on a chip.

Queso Fundido, page 45

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, rated
  • ½ pound goat cheese, crumbled
  • Two 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles
  • ¼ pound cooked chorizo, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tortilla chips for serving

 Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the wine to a simmer.  Immediately remove it from the heat, and the mozzarella cheese and Monterey jack cheeses, and stir continuously until they are melted.  You’ll need to place it back on the grill for a few seconds to help it along.  (if using a gas grill, reduce the heat to low for this step.)
  2. Stir in the goat cheese, green chiles, chorizo, and garlic.  Continue heating and stirring for 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a fondue pot and serve with tortilla chips

 To Joyful, Simplified Living,

 MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

  • Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you! 
  • Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.
  • MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click hereto find out the latest offerings!
  • For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

 

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Filed under Appetizers, Grill

Grilled Pizza Dough

Day 152: Let the Flames Begin: Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Real Live Fire Cooking

June 1, 2011

Have you ever grilled a pizza? The first time we tried it, it ended in disaster! I remember coming home after my husband had grilled the pizza and my oldest son asked if we could order some “real” pizza. Needless to say, our kids were not impressed at our first attempt. That was about 10 years ago and I felt it was time to try it again. I know that people have great success with grilling pizzas, so I knew I had to try it again.

Did you know that grilling cookbooks don’t always just cover the traditional grilling recipes that you imagine. Sometimes they expand to do pizza dough! This is a fun cookbook for those who love to grill as for those who are new to grilling.

The Ruling: We made this with friends on their smoker grill. We grilled the bread and then added some non traditional ingredients, such as pesto and artichoke hearts as well as tomatoes, garlic stuffed green olives and mozzarella. One thing that I loved is that the dough that did not stick to the grill, like I thought it would. Success! I liked the addition of the beer, it added a level of flavor that was unexpected.

EZ Grill Bread with Personality, pg 77

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • ½ cup beer of your choice, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

 Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the yeast and ½ cup of the flour.  Add the warm water and mix until just blended.  Cover with a damp towel and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (inside the oven with the pilot light on, for example) for 30 minutes, until the mixture is thick and foamy and gives off a sound sort of like soda fizz when you stir it.
  2. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and the beer to the yeast mixture and mix well.  Now add the ¼ cup of cornmeal and the teaspoon of salt, then begin adding the remaining 2½ cups of flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft dough (you may not need all of the flour).  Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead , adding as much of the remaining flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, until the dough is satiny and slightly sticky, about 8 minutes.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1½ hours.  Divide the dough into quarters, then form each one into a ball.  Sprinkle a cookie sheet with cornmeal and put the balls of dough on the sheet, then cover loosely and let rise again for 30 minutes.  Or, if you want, at this point you can cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until about 1 hour before you want to cook the bread.)
  4. Build a multi-level fire in your grill:  leaving one quarter of the bottom free of coals, bank the coals in the remaining three quarters of the grill so that they are three times as high on one side as on the other.  When the coals are all ignited and the temperature has died down to medium (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grid, over the area where the coals are deepest, for 4 to 5 seconds), you’re ready to cook.
  5. Stretch each ball of dough into a rough circle or rectangle about 1/8 inch thick and 10 inches across.  Brush with additional olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, then place on the grill directly over the coals and cook until black spots from on the bottom and bubbles form on the top, about 4 minutes.  Flip the bread and grill the other side until golden and crusty, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from the grill and serve.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

  • Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you! 
  • Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.
  • MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click hereto find out the latest offerings!
  • For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

 

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Filed under Appetizers, Grill, Main Dishes

Peking Wraps

Day 139: The Soup Mix Gourmet

May 19, 2011

Seems like I am on an asian food kick lately. I try to find recipes that are pretty easy and not to complex to make. You could make a meal of the Asian Turkey Pot Stickers, the Beef Noodles in Thai Peanut Sauce and this recipe of Peking Wraps. Three different Asian flavors, but all good and fairly simple to make. I would start with the Wraps and get those made first, followed with the prep of the pot stickers and then followed up with the Beef Noodles and you will have better than Chinese take-out!

I received this cookbook from a friend who found it while doing some curbside shopping. (We have a clean up week in our community where everyone puts out their unwanted items and people come and look through it before the city comes and takes it to the dump. It is a way to prevent some things going into the landfill. It takes the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to the limit.) The theme of the cookbook is to take soup mixes of every kind and use them as the seasoning of the dish. Canned soup, dried soup and ramen soup mixes are all part of the mix. You will find all variety of meals within the almost 500 pages of this cookbook.

The Ruling: I think the only drawback was that it was a little salty. I guess that is what you get when you use a ramen soup mix pack. One drawback is that you just use the soup pack for the recipe and not the noodles. I guess you could save the noodles for another recipe. But I thought why not use a bullion cube instead. I used a rotisserie chicken to make it even faster to prepare.

Peking Wraps, page 63

Ingredients:

  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • Flavor packet from 1 package oriental flavor ramen noodles (reserve noodles for another use)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Four to six 12-inch flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 cups finely shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and dried thoroughly
  • ¼ cup grated carrot for garnish
  • 4 green onions, cut into fans, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese with the ramen flavor packet.  Blend in the soy sauce.
  2. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and center a tortilla on it.  Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture over the tortilla.  Spread a small amount of the hoisin sauce over the cream cheese mixture, and then sprinkle on some chicken, green onions, and bean sprouts.  Roll up the tortilla tightly and seal it in the plastic wrap.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate the wraps for at least 4 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, cut the wraps into 1 inch thick rounds and serve them garnished with grated carrot and green onion fans.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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Asian Turkey Pot Stickers

Day 133: Minute Meals

May 13, 2011

Who doesn’t love pot stickers? Anyone? Anyone? I thought so….we all love them! I had never made them at home before. I love ordering them in restaurants but I don’t like the fact that you get 6 for $6. Making them at home brings down the price point quite a bit. The fact that they are easy, makes me think that we will be making these more often!

Really you can make gourmet meals in minutes. This cookbook promises to do it in 20 minutes! Each recipe comes with step by step instructions for each step of the meal. While one part is cooking, get chopping on another part. No rest for the weary….but you will get a meal on the table in 20 minutes as your reward! For the meal that I made, we just did the pot stickers and didn’t have the salad or dessert! So many good choices in the cookbook.

The Ruling: We all like it. Everyone in our family does eat pot stickers and I told my husband this one is going in the monthly rotation file. I loved the fact that they were made from ground turkey and not pork. The only thing that I would change is I would add some water chestnuts for some crunch!

Asian Turkey Pot Stickers, page 92

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled ginger or grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  •  2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 24 square wonton wrappers, each 3 inches
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Chop enough pickled or fresh ginger to measure 2 or 3 tablespoons.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, scallions, 2 tablespoons of the ginger, Worcestershire sauce, and sesame oil, tossing to mix.
  3. Lay 12 of the wonton wrappers on the counter. Place a heaping tablespoon of the turkey filling in the middle of each skin. Bring the sides of the skins up and press to make them hold on the sides, then slightly down, forming a flat bottom. (Filling will show at the top.) Repeat with the remaining 11 wrappers.
  4. Heat a heavy 12- inch skillet over medium-high heat. As it heats, finish making dumplings with the remaining 12 wonton wrappers and filling.
  5. Add the canola oil to the hot skillet and heat until hot. Add the dumplings (crowding them in is fine) and saute until the bottoms brown, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and cover the pan. Lower the heat and steam the dumplings until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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Filed under Appetizers, Fast Meals, Main Dishes

Simple Asparagus Tarts

Day 131: Entertaining Vegetarians

May 11, 2011

You know Spring is here when you can find the asparagus on sale. Growing up my mom had an entire garden bed dedicated to growing asparagus. They do take up a lot of room, but they are tasty when you can get them fresh. I love to eat asparagus all year-long and I am always looking for new ways to prepare. My favorite is to oven roast them with some balsamic and sea salt. You could even top it with some shavings of fresh Parmesan on top at the end. Once summer is here I take the oven roasting outside to the grill. When grilling asparagus I do like to pop them in the microwave for under a minute to give them a quick jump-start to cooking.

Chances are that if you have a party, one of your guests will probably be vegetarian. I live in the upper midwest and I am finding more and more vegetarians. We are blessed to live in an area where we can find grass-fed beef and organic beef and chickens. So the turn towards vegetarianism is slower than it is in other areas of the country. I know I can be a vegetarian, but I live with carnivores who need to be fed meat or they get grumpy. If you are a meat eater but have friends who are vegetarians, this would be a cookbook that would help you find some good offerings for those friends. The cookbook has great photos and most of the recipes are fairly simple to prepare. I think the tortellini skewers with herb oil sounds great!

The Ruling: Well, since only three of us eat asparagus only three of us ate it. We liked it, but there was some problems in the execution of the dish. Some of the pastry cream overflowed and made a mess in the oven. I think we also underbaked it as well….it should have stayed in the oven for an extra 5 minutes. So when you make it, check on it every so often to make sure it is behaving and doing what is supposed to be doing!

Simple Asparagus Tarts, page 76

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound 2 ounce medium-thickness asparagus spears trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons semolina or cornmeal
  • 13 oz. ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 2 egg yolks
  • scant 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • a pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • heaping 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain under cold running water until cool, then pat dry.
  2. Sprinkle the semolina or cornmeal over a large cookie sheet, or over two small ones. Divide the puff pastry into two rectangles and place on the sheet. Using a sharp knife, score a 3/4 inch border around the egg of the pastry, not cutting through completely. Arrange the asparagus inside the pastry frames. To ensure that each slice has a fair share of the delicious tips, alternate the direction of the tips. Mix together the egg yolks, creme fraiche or sour cream, and seasoning in a measuring glass. Pour the mixture evenly into the middle of the two pastry frames, which should allow the borders to puff up in the oven before the custard runs off the edge. Quickly sprinkle the Parmesan over the two pastries and place int he preheated oven immediately.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pastry is deep golden and the custard is patched with gold. Serve warm, each tart cut into four pieces. Cold tarts can be successfully reheated in an oven at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

1 Comment

Filed under Appetizers, Fast Meals, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Spicy Sausage, Bean, And Cheese Nachos

Day 130: Emeril’s 20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast

May 10, 2011

I needed to find a fast meal to feed my teenage son and his friend fast. Nachos seem to be a safe option. Oh that is right, his friends is a vegetarian so we made half without the meat and been mixture. The vegetarian friend made the right choice in this case! Have you cooked with chorizo before? Have you ever read the ingredient list on a package of chorizo? We did, after we had eaten it and I must say I wish I had read it before I had eaten it. I am not going to gross you out by what is in it, trust me, read the ingredient list before you purchase your chorizo. It is not Emeril’s fault that the chorizo was not the best choice. My sister has made her own chorizo, I think I need to use that school of cooking!

Emeril is jumping on the bandwagon of helping home cooks find fast meals. Good choice as we don’t all have a long time to spend in the kitchen. All of Emeril’s food is full of flavor and of course you will get some Southern classics like catfish and shrimp and rice. This is one of my favorite Emeril cookbooks as it has many photos of the food and not all of Emeril

The Ruling: I liked the idea of the beans with the nachos to get some fiber into the meal. But every time I think about this meal it makes my stomach turn…..just the chorizo, everything else was great.

Spicy Sausage, Bean, And Cheese Nachos, page 59

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh hot sausage (such as chorizo), removed from the casings and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion bottoms (reserve tops separately)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • two 15-ounce cans pinto or black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces large (restaurant-style) tortilla chips
  • 3 cups grated pepper Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, or a combination
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices, or to taste
  • Your favorite salsa, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage, and cook until it is nicely browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  3. Add the green onion bottoms and the garlic to the fat remaining in the skillet, and cook until fragrant and soft, about 20 seconds. Add the beans, mix well, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Mash the beans with the back of a heavy wooden spoon or a potato masher until chunky smooth.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until completely warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. SPread half of the tortilla chips in one even layer on a large oval ovenproof platter or in a large baking dish. Top with half of the beans, half of the sausage, half of the cheese, and half of the jalapenos. Repeat with another layer of chips, beans, sausage, cheese, and jalapenos. Bake until the cheese is melted and the mixture is hot, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, and serve garnished with chopped green onion tops, salsa and sour cream.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

1 Comment

Filed under Appetizers, emeril, Fast Meals, Main Dishes