I’ve been mowing down on these healthy appetizers since I saw them in Bon Appetit a couple of weeks ago. Simple to throw together and full of healthy fats, avocado is the perfect topping for grilled sourdough – just don’t forget the copious amounts of large flake sea salt, red pepper flakes and EVOO! Enjoy!
Being just back from an incredible trip in France for the last two weeks with my husband, I’m loving anything French. It’s funny, French food to me seems to always be one of two things… incredibly easy with few ingredients and super fresh or fussy, but worth-the-arduous-labor fancy. These toasts are great because you can prepare the goat cheese spread and roast the beets ahead of time and then just throw the toasts together right before guests arrive! This recipe comes from one of our good friends, who always make great food!
Recipe after the jump… Continue reading
I’m not so sure this one even needs a recipe. It’s simple to throw together, refreshing in the heat and the pretty presentation always wows guests! Just cube up fresh seedless watermelon, top with a piece of feta and a mini basil leaf, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and voila! Now the only trick is keeping everyone’s fingers out of them until company arrives!
This is one of my favorite summer recipes. It’s delicious and looks fussier than it is!
Here’s how to make these delightful little bites…
1. Take a log of goat cheese out of the fridge and let it warm on the counter while you’re cooking away.
2. Roast the tomatoes… If you’ve never roasted tomatoes, it’s easy. Read this.
3. While the tomatoes are roasting, slice a baguette as thinly as possible. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place cookie sheet in the oven with the tomatoes and toast until lightly golden, about 10-15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and place on a platter for serving.
4. Spread the room temperature goat cheese on the toasts.
5. When the tomatoes are done, remove from oven and place one or two on top of each piece of toast. Press gently so the juicy insides squeeze out onto the cheese.
6. Drizzle plate with olive oil, garnish with micro-basil or thinly sliced basil.
Well, I’m back… Fat, rested and with six pairs of new shoes and a couple of new kitchen toys. What did I eat that I couldn’t get enough of, you ask? These delicious morsels of goodness are at the top of the list. When cooked properly, they have a light crunch on the outside and hot ooey, gooey ham meets cheese meets béchamel mixture in the middle. Seriously, love at first bite! Here’s the recipe I used to make them once getting home…
Jamon y Queso Croquettes
3 tbsp butter
1 spanish onion, diced
1/2 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 ounces gorgonzola dulce
8 ounces serrano ham, cut into 1/2” strips
salt & pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 eggs, beaten, at room temperature
2 cups panko (or dried bread crumbs)
canola or olive oil for frying
Fresh Crab Summer Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
2 cups Phillips Back Fin Crab Meat
1 cup diced mango
1 cup julianned cucumber
1 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 cup slivered red onion
8 spring roll wrappers, rehydrated
1 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
I’ve been on a crab binge the last couple of weeks. They jump out at me every week at the Dupont Farmers Market when I turn the corner to enter the section in the bank parking lot and the lovely folks at Phillips Foods sent over a bunch of coupons a few weeks ago so I could play around with some of their crabmeat. Here’s one of my favorites takes on a dip using their meat.
Hot Crab Dip
3 tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cup half and half
8 oz. cream cheese
6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
10 oz. crab meat (I like lump and backfin)
This is one of my go to appetizers. It’s easy to whip up (everything goes in the food processor) and keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, herbs and zest until all finely minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Keep in refrigerator and bring to room temperature for serving.
Today’s Chef Feature comes from Agora’s Executive Chef, Ghassan Jarrouj. Head over to this new hot spot for one of my favorites cuisines – Turkish food! The inside of the restaurant is so cozy and welcoming, you’ll want to stay all night. And with the tapas-style service, you just might!
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A good knife.
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Samuel and Sons Seafood.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Guests making alterations to a dish that requires long preparation and the guest asks for an ingredient to be taken out. When it’s a key ingredient and changes the profile of the dish that makes for an unhappy Chef.
What do you drink/eat after work?
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Burgundies, Pinot Noir from Oregon with Goat Cheese, Manchego or triple epoix.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Fresh seasonal and rustic cuisine just like Momma used to make.
Keep reading for Chef Ghassan’s recipe for Crispy Phyllo Roll with Goat Cheese, Savory Herbs and Crushed Peppers.
These little suckers are just what the title suggests – nuggets of goodness!
Buffalo Chicken Bites
4 cups cooked chicken, coarsely chopped, I suggest rotisserie
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4-1/2 cup hot sauce
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of milk
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying Continue reading