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Blog Archives

Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemon

If you should get invited to a Spanish ‘tapas’ party, this makes a perfect dish to bring. Okay, in English we might say appetizer, in French hors d’oeuvres ??? No matter it was another great find on Pinterest. It was also quick to prepare.

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Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemons

Ingredients

  • one block of sheep’s milk feta (sold in the brine) about 10-14 ounces
  • 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1 – 2 cups mixed olives* (recipe calls for whole and pitted) see below
  • a few sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few coarse grindings of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Put the feta in a gratin dish or other small ovenproof dish that you will also serve out of.
  3. Pour the olive oil into the dish, followed by the lemon juice. Arrange the olives* (I would suggest using ONLY sliced olives as they whole ones fall off when you lay them on the cheese when serving) around the cheese, with the rosemary.  I quarter the squeezed lemon half and throw that in as well. Sprinkle the red and black pepper over all. I also added some slices of sundried tomatoes.
  4. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. I loosely laid a sheet of foil over mine. You can finish under the broiler if you like for a little charring effect.
  5. Serve hot with toasted bread
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Garlic Roasted Sundried Tomato Shrimp

One of my blogs which I follow, Rasa Malaysia, shared this recipe recently. Its a great site, well worth visiting – http://rasamalaysia.com/ The recipe was full of flavour, ok, a little spicy, but you can adjust the original amount of chili flakes to your taste. You can always put some flakes in a small dish on the table and let your family or guests adjust the heat. It makes a beautiful dish!

Garlic Roasted Sun-Dried Tomatoes Shrimp Recipe

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 10 Mins | Cook Time: 10 Mins
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 heaping teaspoon chili flakes, or more to taste
1 lb shelled, deveined and tail-on shrimp
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped
Method:
Heat up the oven to 375F.
Heat up a skillet with the olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and lightly sauté. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the chili flakes, stir to mix well, until the oil becomes slightly red in color. Add shrimp, salt and parsley leaves, stir to combine well.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes*

* I have to admit I served the dish, forgetting all about the 10 minutes in the oven…LOL.It was still really awesome, but next time I should follow the recipe and see what difference it makes…

Serve over pasta or rice…

Appetizer Party!

In response to popular demand, this post will not only give you some great appetizer recipes, but also an idea for having an appetizer party! For several summers, my wife and I hosted an annual Appie party WITH A DIFFERENCE! Rather than having every couple bring an appetizer, they had to bring only a bottle of wine! The purpose of the party was to prepare and serve appetizers from recipes which I had collected over a period of time which were simple to prepare with a minimum of time (no more than 30 minutes). We usually had no more than 8 couples.

I printed out the recipes (none of which I had previously tried), purchased all of the required groceries and set up our kitchen for the ‘appie cooks’ with all of the required utensils, etc. When the guests arrived, they divided into pairs (spouses were not allowed). Every thirty minutes a new couple was sent into the kitchen to prepare an appetizer. Each couple was given a recipe to prepare and serve to the waiting other couples. While waiting, the non-cooks enjoyed wine on the patio. Each round of cooks had to wash their dishes before the next cooks took over.

After each appetizer was served and discussed, another couple was sent into the kitchen to prepare a different appetizer from my selected recipes. This continued until all of the invitees had completed their “assignments”.

At the end of the evening we rated the recipes and the winning ‘couple’ received a special prize. ALL of the couples received a copy of the recipes which had been tasted during the course of the evening.

HONESTLY…some of the recipes we tried were Baaaaad..… but that was not the fault of the preparers… All in all, it made for a fun party.

Below are four of my favourite appetizers from those parties –

Crab OR Chicken Puffs

Ingredients –

  • 250 g. Mexican cheese whiz
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1/4 softened butter
  • 1 can flaked crab meat or shredded cooked chicken
Prep-
Mix ingredients in food processor. Spread on English muffin halves. Cut into quarters. Bake at 450F for 10 – 15 minutes.

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Sun-Dried Tomato & Garlic Dip

Ingredients

1 tub  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup  MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
1/2 cup  oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, chopped
2 Tbsp.  finely chopped fresh chives
1 clove  garlic, minced
1 tsp.  freshly ground black pepper

Make It

 MIX ingredients until well blended.

SERVE with NABISCO Crackers and cut-up fresh vegetables.

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 WARM BRIE WITH FRUIT PUREE

Ingredients –
  • 4 portions of Brie
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 4 oz. mixed herbs – basil, mint and thyme
  • 12 oz. black currant jam
  • 1 oz. Sambucca liqueur
Preparation –
Make an egg wash. Place bread crumbs in large bowl and add herbs. Bread one portion of Brie by placing in (i) flour (ii) egg wash (iii) bread crumbs. Place on tray in fridge.
Mix jam and Sambucca in a saucepan and heat until slightly thick.
Place Brie in oven on a non-stick pan for 3-5 minutes @ 350 degrees.
Pour the sauce over the Brie on a large dinner plate. Serve with melba toast and mint garnish.
Notes Increase the sambucca as desired.
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The last one here was one we sampled in Niagara-on-the Lake in 2012. We all decided that this was a keeper too! Try it, Mikey…you’ll like it!

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Tart (or Quiche)

1. THE POTATOES:

Roll pastry and line 9 inch French tart shell or 24 mini tarts. Pre-bake at 450 degrees using weights to prevent the pastry from bubbling up.

Peel and dice 3 – 4 large sweet potatoes. Place on a sheet pan and sprinkle generously with olive oil, tossing to coat.

Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence, season with salt and pepper. Toss again.

Roast in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so potatoes cook evenly.

The potatoes should be soft when pierced with a fork and the edges should be caramelized. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

2. GOAT CHEESE FILLING:

130 gram package of goat cheese

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence

Combine these ingredients until smooth.

3. EGG FILLING:

5 large eggs

1/2 cup 10% cream

Beat together.

4. THE ASSEMBLY:

Crumble prepared goat cheese mixture evenly on bottom of tart shells.

Fill tart with prepared sweet potatoes chunks.

Pour egg mixture into tart slowly till it comes close to the top edge of the pastry.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until tart souffles in the center (about 10 minutes for tarts).

I had previously posted this in 2012…in case you missed it!