Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sexy Summer Bruschetta

 What??  The temperatures are hot and sultry and your ready for a light fare.  Try my Sexy Summer Bruschetta on for size.  Super simple, delicious and sultry!
 
These 90 + degree days in Florida it's time to abandon the hot stove  and make it quick and lite. 
Summer is the perfect time to get creative with the grill.  Why not toast your bread for the Bruschetta  on the grill rather then fire up that oven.  We had this great summer dish over the fourth of July weekend, it was so easy.  First it's happy hour of ice cold Home Brew served in a frosted glass.  Well THAT part of our evening was so refreshing we extended happy hour right into the dinner hour! : }
 
Suggestion:  Serve a few sides with your Bruschetta for those with a healthy appetite.  We enjoyed some fresh melons that were in season, some leftover cold sliced chicken and shrimp.  Put your stamp on it.  Switch it up, add what's interesting to you..on your plate or on your Bruschetta.  Just keep it simple and pure and it's a guaranteed winner!!  
 
Cathy

  • Prep time: 15 minutes

  • Cook time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 6 fresh tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 8 ounce prosciutto mozzarella cheese roll {room temp] *this is a ready-to-eat cheese type roll sold in your grocery store near the packaged imported cheeses, refrigerated section.
    • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
    • 1/4 cup olive oil

    Method

     Baking choices for your bread! Grill or oven...

  • If in the oven -Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.

  • If on the grill place slices over medium heat for a minute on each side.. it will toast quickly with the olive oil on the bread.. if possible place bread on a raised rack on the grill to avoid charing. Flip bread til golden on each side.

    3: While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes. Slice the prosciutto mozzarella cheese roll into 1/4 inch slices then cut each slice in half. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil and the prosciutto mozzarella . Add coarse black pepper to taste.

    4: Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

    5: Place bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. So many ways to present and serve this: place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

  • Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Golden Gratin Egg Muffins

     
    Do you need a little wiggle room for your favorite sins?  Like, sinfully rich dark chocolate or red wine and crusty artisan breads!  Well ok then, let's talk healthy, nutritious, savory and easy. 
     
    My Golden Gratin Egg Muffins are a meal in themselves.  How can it be sumptuous, yet low in cholesterol, high in protein, big on flavor and bursting with fresh garden vegetables and easy?  I'm gonna tell you just how I came up with this savory decision!.
     
    My Egg- brainer came to me when deliberating over the Thanksgiving leftover saga.  As I stared down the ziplock bag of stuffing in the fridge,my eyes glanced to the item residing in a tall yellow container commonly know to man-kind as Egg beaters.
    Well the light bulb went on in my brainer...and a recipe was born.  Why not use a tablespoon of  stuffing placed neatly into the bottom of a  well greased cupcake tin, then start layering the egg mixture along with leftover turkey pieces some cranberry, egg beaters and top with cheese. The aroma of  these Golden Muffins baking in the oven brought everyone in the kitchen as if they were in a trance!~!  Simply stated, the aroma of these Egg'rs in the oven will have everyone in the house on alert and arriving in your kitchen to just tear em' up!  They are just that good.
    So try this out.. tweek my recipe to your liking with health and taste preferences.  The version you see below is brimming with fresh zucchini and red peppers that are in season.  This gorgeous twosome dance well with melted swiss cheese and a savory crust of pumpernickle and rye croutons I used as my crust. 
    Did I mention they freeze beautifully?  Yep - 2 in a ziplock, pop in the freezer and send em' off with hubby to work.
                                    Golden Gratin Egg Muffins 
     
    *Preheat oven to 400.
    *Lightly spray cupcake tins with oil
    **Makes 12-18 individual servings
     
    Ingredients
    1 quart Egg Beaters Southwestern flavor
    8 oz. shredded lite swiss cheese {or your pref. of cheese type}
    1 green zucchini squash  sliced thin
    1/2 cup of chopped sweet red bell peppers
    2 cups of cubed wheat, pumpernickle or rye breads
    Note - stale breads work best - I keep a stash of them in the freezer for bread crumb making
    OR: You can  substitute Stove Top Stuffing rather then the cubed bread idea.
    1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth
    Sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese
     
    Place your bread cubes in a mixing bowl and add in the chicken broth a little at a time.  When the bread is sticking together without being to wet, your ready to go.  Sometimes it's a 1/4 cup of broth sometimes its more. Now place a tablespoon or so of the stuffing mixture into the bottom of the cupcake tins.
     
    Pour into a separate bowl the quart of Egg Beaters, add in the peppers, swiss cheese and zucchini.  Feel free to whisk in a bit of milk for a lighter consistency.  Spoon egg mixture into each tin a little more then 3/4's full.  Now grate a bit of fresh parm over the top of each muffin.  Place the egg filled tins onto a cookie sheet in case of spillage.  Bake 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack  in a non-breezy area.  You can expect the Egg muffins to fall a bit once removed from the oven. Don't worry, they are still gorgeous!!  Once cool enough to handle run your knifes edge around the edge of each Egg muffin to loosen from the pan.  Remove egg muffin from the tin and "dig in"!
     
    Alternates: 
    * Add a tablespoon of melted "I Can't Believe It's Butter" to the bread crumb mixture, if your feeling like calories and fat aren't on the agenda for the day.
    * Try this dish with your favorite leftovers.  The leftover turkey and a 1/2 teaspoon of cranberry sauce  with whole cranberries in it was just delicious and don't forget the swiss cheese baked in! Wowza!!
    There's a million ways you can go with this and none of them equal a mistake in the kitchen.
    Enjoy!