Archive | Appetizers

PROSCIUTTO CHIPS

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Prosciutto Crisps. The chips are delicious on their own, so San Bartolome suggests doubling the batch so there are enough to eat solo.

3 ounces sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, stems removed

Preheat oven to 375°.

Gently toss prosciutto slices in olive oil. Place them individually on a silicone mat or a parchment-lined baking sheet so that they don’t overlap.

Finely chop sage into thin strips and sprinkle over prosciutto slices.

Bake until prosciutto is crisp and edges begin to curl up, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

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GRILLED AVOCADOS

This recipe comes courtesy of Randy Graham, author of So You’ve Inherited a Vegetarian … Now What? He was introduced to this appetizer by his son, Robert. “It is sort of a caprese salad folded into a grilled avocado,” he writes. “Who’d a thunk it! Easy to prepare, it is full of nutrition, and it doesn’t hurt that it looks and tastes fantastic.”

Serves 6

1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus
more for the tomatoes
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
3 avocados
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
18 grape or mini-heirloom tomatoes
12 ciliegine whole-milk fresh mozzarella
balls (ciliegine are small-size balls)
1 serrano chile (stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons basil (chopped)

Heat grill to medium-hot (about 400°).

Place garlic in a medium-size bowl. Add oil and lime juice, and whisk together. Cut the avocados in half (lengthwise) and remove pits. Brush some of the oil mixture onto each avocado half. Reserve the balance of the oil mixture for later (see below). Season the avocados liberally with salt and pepper.

Skewer the tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt.

Place the avocados on the grill cut-sidedown. Add the tomatoes to … Read More

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ROASTED EGGPLANT SPREAD

(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
From Margaret Menninger

 
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon crushed chile peppers (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cut the eggplant, bell peppers and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly.

Place the roasted vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste and pulse a few times to blend. Adjust salt to taste.

*Editor’s note: I had this spread at a party and begged Margaret to submit the recipe. Thankfully, she obliged. I’m a big fan of eggplant, and hence there are TWO recipes using it in this issue!… Read More

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SPROUTED GARBANZO HUMMUS

Notes: Sprouted garbanzo beans are available from Ojai’s Farmer Market. Anna’s recipe for the humus is also on her website, vegetarianepicure.com. Her various recipes for risotto appear throughout her three cookbooks. This one is from her latest, The New Vegetarian Epicure. Jeri Oshima operates Four Worlds catering service: 805-646-9660. The green beans are as simple to make as they sound. Bariani Olive Oil, is available in Ojai at Westridge Market & Rainbow Bridge.

Hummus is a favorite appetizer at my house. A generous bowl of hummus served with pita triangles, a plate of crudités, a bowl of olives and some nice wine can take care of everyone for a long while as you cook dinner. And remember – all of this stuff makes great picnic food, too.

  • 1/2 lb. sprouted garbanzo beans
  • salt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 4-6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • pinch of piment d’esplette, or hot paprika
  • optional garnish: 2 Tbs. virgin olive oil

Put the garbanzos in a stainless steel pot with about 3 cups water and half a teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, skim the foam off the top, then turn down the heat and simmer for … Read More

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CEVICHE DE CABRRILLA

By Claud Mann (Issue #23, Winter 2008)

We like to make this ceviche when lemons and avocados ripen in the Ojai Valley. Feel free to substitute any firm, white-fleshed fish if sea bass or halibut isn’t available.

¾ pound very fresh boneless, skinless sea bass or halibut,

cut into ¼- to ½-inch dice

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

2 tablespoons juice from a jar of sliced pickled jalapeños (sometimes labeled “Nacho Jalapeños”),

plus ¼ cup pickled jalapeños,

minced ½ medium sweet white onion, finely chopped

¾ cup grape tomatoes or 1 medium firm-ripe tomato, cut into ¼-inch cubes

½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch cubes

4 ounces pitted green olives (preferably not brined in vinegar; if they are, rinse with water before using), finely chopped ½ cup very finely crumbled cotija (firm Mexican cheese) or feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

1 serrano chile, minced

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 firm-ripe avocado

Coarse kosher salt to taste

Thick tortilla chips

Mexican hot chile sauce, such as Cholula

In a medium bowl, combine fish and 2 tablespoons each of lime and lemon … Read More

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Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Ginger Peanut Sauce

Fries:

4 organic sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut

into ¾-inch wedges

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons organic Nutiva coconut oil Salt and pepper to taste Cut the potatoes into crosswise slices, each ¾ inch thick, and then cut each slice lengthwise into the shape of fries. Discard the pointy ends.

Pre-heat oven to 450°. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a teaspoon of salt. Add the sweet potato slices and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and pat well with a kitchen towel until completely dry. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the coconut oil. Salt and pepper generously. Arrange the fries on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, gently flipping them over halfway through cooking. They should be nicely browned and tender. Cook longer if necessary.

Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce:

½ cup organic crunchy peanut butter 2 tablespoons organic vinegar 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar 1 teaspoon organic ginger powder 1 clove organic garlic, minced ½ teaspoon sea salt Dash of organic cayenne (optional) Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Thin to desired consistency. Serve with the oven fries.… Read More

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SPRING ROLLS

From Claud Mann
Peanut oil, as needed
1 two-ounce package Chinese rice sticks, soaked
1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 chile serrano or jalapeño, finely diced
1 cup crushed peanuts
½ cup each finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced yellow onion
½ cup finely diced carrot
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
1 cup cilantro
1 package won ton or spring roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
For the seasonings:
½ teaspoon chile paste
½ cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon agave or sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon corn starch

Heat a wok or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heatand add 3 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add the ginger, garlic, serrano and slowly stir-fry for about a minute. Add the peanuts, celery, onion and carrot and continue stir-frying until they soften, about two minutes.

Add the cabbage and scallions. Continue cooking 3 to 4 minutes before raising the heat to high, whisking together the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and adding all at once. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Form 2 tablespoons of filling into … Read More

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QUICK KALE BRUSCHETTA FOR TWO

I came home late from teaching and wanted something yummy, green and quick to go with a glass Bill Moses’ Casa Barranca 2006 Pinot Noir.

Olive oil
1 bunch Russian kale
Small handful raisins (Flame or other favorite variety)
One lemon
Parmesan
1 clove garlic
Pain rustica, ciabatta or other favorite bread
Good salt and fresh ground pepper
Thinly slice up kale.

Heat too much olive oil in your favorite pan.

When hot, add kale and stir. Once the kale looks kinda fried and bright green, add the raisins and continue to cook until raisins plump up. Remove from heat. Grate a little lemon zest and squeeze half of the lemon’s juice into the greens. Transfer greens to a bowl. Grate Parmesan into warm greens and stir.

Slice four thick pieces of your bread, about three quarters of an inch thick. Add some more olive oil to the pan and “pan toast” four slices of bread till desired toastiness is achieved.

Peel and slice garlic in half. Rub toast with cut pieces of garlic. Divide toast between two plates and pile greens on top. Sprinkle with salt and add a couple of grinds of pepper.

Eat with a knife and … Read More

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CEVICHE DE CABRILLA

We like to make this ceviche when lemons and avocados ripen in the Ojai Valley. Feel free to substitute any firm, white-fleshed fish if sea bass or halibut aren’t available.

¾ pound very fresh boneless, skinless sea bass or halibut, cut into ¼- to ½-inch dice
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 Tbsp. juice from a jar of sliced pickled Jalapeños (sometimes labeled “Nacho Jalapeños”),
plus ¼ cup pickled Jalapeños, minced
½ medium sweet white onion, finely chopped
¾ cup grape tomatoes or 1 medium firm-ripe tomato, cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch cubes
4 ounces pitted green olives (preferably not brined in vinegar; if they are, rinse with water before using), finely chopped
½ cup very finely crumbled cotija (firm Mexican cheese) or feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 Serrano chile, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 firm-ripe avocado
Coarse kosher salt to taste
Thick tortilla chips
Mexican hot chile sauce, such as Cholula

In a medium bowl, combine fish and 2 tbsp. each of lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 … Read More

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SUMMER SAVORY HERB SPREAD

Yield: about 2 cups

This is an American twist on a traditional Croatian recipe. Kajmak—a
type of clotted cream made by simmering unpasteurized milk—is
traditionally served plain on dense, dark breads such as rye or
pumpernickel. But equally smooth, rich and creamy and much easier
to make is this recipe for imitation kajmak. Best of all, it’s perfect for
“doctoring-up” with your favorite flavors.

8 ounces cream cheese, cut into quarters
8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into quarters
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mixed, chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, tarragon, lavender, marjoram, etc.)
1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring the cream cheese and the butter to room temperature and
place in a medium bowl along with the salt. Using a hand mixer or
a fork, whip until well blended. The spread should be light, smooth
and fluffy.

Add the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and stir together until well
blended. Serve with thin baguette slices or crackers.

Cook’s notes: The basic cream cheese and butter mixture can be
transformed into a variety of flavors. Add some chopped olives, sundried
tomatoes and capers. Or stir in … Read More

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