Mini Italian Club Sandwiches
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (about) unsalted butter
10 slices bacon
2 (8-ounce) round loaves focaccia bread (7-inch diameter)
1 cup purchased pesto
8 ounces thinly sliced turkey
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
Whisk the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well blended. Heat a 6-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Brush the skillet with some butter. Pour 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into the pan, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cover and cook until the egg crepe is just set, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Invert the skillet over a plate, and allow the egg crepe to drop onto the plate. Repeat to make 4 crepes total, brushing the skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on the plate.
Cook the bacon in a heavy, large frying pan until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
Preheat a griddle or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cut the focaccia horizontally in half. Place the focaccia cut side down on the griddle and cook until the focaccia is heated through and golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Spread the pesto over the toasted sides of each halved focaccia. Cover the bottom halves of the focaccia with the egg crepes, turkey, provolone, and bacon, dividing equally. Cover with the top halves of the focaccia, pesto side down. Cut the sandwich into bite-size wedges. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve.
From August 2010 Bellissimo Newsletter
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
4 Red or Green Bell Peppers
1 pint or 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 cup Fresh Basil leaves
3 Garlic Cloves
2 tsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
Preheat oven 425 degrees. Lightly oil a large shallow baking pan. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Arrange peppers cut sides up in baking pan and lightly oil cut edges of stems. Halve cherry tomatoes and chop onion and basil. Finely chop garlic. In a bowl,toss tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, 2 tbsp. oil, salt and pepper to taste. Divide mixture among peppers and roast in upper third of oven until peppers are tender, about 20 minutes.
Wisconsin Gorgonzola and Soppressata Brioche
1 loaf brioche, sliced into 2x2x1/2-inch squares (30 pieces)
1 cut fig jam
1/3 to 1/3 lb. soppressata, thinly sliced
12 oz. Wisconsin creamy-style Gorgonzola cheese, cut in 30 slices
1 bunch watercress
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange bread squares on baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until toasted and crisp. Cool completely. Spread each slice with about 1/2 tsp. jam. Top with 2 slices soppressata, 1 slice cheese, and a couple pieces watercress. Serve immediately.
Miniature Wisconsin Blue Cheese Balls with winter fruit
30 dried apricots
4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
4 oz. Cream Cheese, cut in chunks and room temperature
3 oz. (3/4 cup) Wisconsin Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp. French brandy
1/2 tbsp. grated yellow onion
Place the apricots in a sauce pan. Add water barely to cover. Stir in vanilla. Bring the apricots to a boil, uncovered, and simmer until tender, approx. 1-4 minutes, depending on the dryness of the apricots. Test with a fork. The apricots should be tender but not limp. Drain and dry well, set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast the pecans for 4-5 minutes, until aromatic. Stir after 2 minutes and watch so the nuts do not scorch. Remove and pour pecans on waxed paper to cool. Whirl the pecans in the blender or food processor until very fine. Set aside.
Place the Cream Cheese, Wisconsin Blue Cheese, and brandy in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well blended. Add the onion and pulse briefly to incorporate. (You may also blend the mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer.) Remove mixture to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Remove cheese mixture from refrigerator. Form miniature balls and dip tops in pecans. Place on an apricot, nut side up. Repeat until all mixture is used. The mixture is soft - if too soft, spoon onto apricots, rounding the top and sprinkle with pecans.
If a nonalcoholic mixture is preferred, substitute sherry extract. Start with 1/4 tsp. and add to taste.
This misture is a terrific filling for stewed dried plums and Majool dates. Make a party plate with all winter fruit for variety.
Wisonsin Cheese Straws
1 lb. Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1-1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, ground
1 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 tbsp. water
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese and butter; process well. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until dough forms. Add water, if necessary. Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for one hour.
On a clean countertop or cutting board, using your fingers, gently roll 1 tbsp. dough into a rope. When it is 8-10 inches long, cut it in half and continue rolling each rope until it is 6-8 inches long. Twist both ropes together; place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake 15-17 minutes or until set and starting to brown. Cool on wire rack; serve with a dip.
Green Olive Pastries
2 cups (8 oz.) finely shredded Wisconsin Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp. paprika
Pimento stuffed olives
Combine cheese and butter, mixing until well blended. Add combined flour and paprika; mix well. Shape 1 tsp. cheese mixture around each olive, covering completely. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
To make ahead, prepare as directed, except for baking. Freeze uncooled pastries on cookie sheet 2 hours, place in a plastic bag. When ready to serve, bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.
Stuffed Mushroom Caps
20 large mushrooms
6 tbsp. butter, melted, divided
Salt & pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. minced green olives
1 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (2 oz.) Wisconsin Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp. minced Parsley
1/2 cup (2 oz.) Wisconsin Swiss cheese, shredded
Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Brush caps with 2 tbsp. melted butter and arrange, hollow side up, in 13x9 inch baking dish. Season with salt & pepper. Finely chop mushroom stems; saute with green onion in remaining butter 10-12 minutes until most of liquid is evaporated. Stir frequently. Lower heat and stir in flour, cooking for 1 minute. Add cream and simmer until thickened. Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Fill mushroom caps with mixture. Top each with 1 tsp. Swiss cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
Tip: These mushrooms can be made a day in advance. Prepare and stuff mushrooms, top with cheese. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake and serve.
Mozzarella Parmesan Chicken
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 - 10.75 oz. can low-fat cream of celery soup
1 - 10.75 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
6 oz. low fat mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 tblsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 baking dish, in a single layer. Cover with the celery soup and bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and bake for another 30 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven. Combine the mushroom soup, water, onion, garlic and oregano and mix all together. Pour mixture over chicken. Top with mozzarella cheese slices, pushing the cheese down into the sauce. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes more until bubbly and golden brown.
Clams Casino Pizza
1 ball Pizza Dough
2 dozen large hard-shell clams, such as cherrystone or chowder clams
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
CORA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 fresh oregano sprigs, leaves stripped from the stem
1-15 oz. CORA ricotta cheese
1/2 lb. bacon strips, sliced
1/2 cup CORA grated pecorino
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F.
Wash and scrub clams well to remove the exterior sand. Fill a steamer or pot with 1-inch of water, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and toss in the bay leaves. Heat until the water is simmering and then add the clams. Cover and steam for 5-10 minutes until the clams open - discard any that do not. Remove the clams from the shells, coarsely chope them up, and put into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, and season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Coat a saute pan with 2 tablespoons of EVOO and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, and oregano. Cook and stir until the vegetables have cooked down and are really soft, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
Spread the ricotta evenly on the crust with a back of a spoon. Scatter the chopped clams all around and top with sauteed red pepper mixture. Distribute the pieces of bacon on top. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp, and the cheese is bubbly.
Before cutting the pizza into slices, drizzle with EVOO, grate pecorino on top, and shower with chopped parsley.