Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quiche Lorraine


Have you ever eaten miniature quiche?  If you have, chances are you fell in love with them because they are absolutely phenomenal!  Anytime I perused around Costco or Sam's Club, I searched the demo stands for the miniature quiche and by-golly I succeeded about 75% of the time.

Considering that I have the world of cuisine at my fingertips and a heart for attempting new tricks, I have decided to attempt to make my very own recipe of Quiche Lorraine...Or as Brian likes to call it to push my button (Kee-che Loren). This is one French dish that gets my stamp of approval for being fun, easy and positively delicious!

So grab your aprons and oven mitts, because I'm heading back into my kitchen and today we're headed toward France. Bon Voyage! Al vida zein!  Sianara! Ok sorry, I got carried away...

So here's what you'll need!
-4 eggs
-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
-3 green onions
-1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
-8 slices cooked bacon
-1 pre-made pie crust (let's keep this easy people)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp  nutmeg

Steps
1. Follow the instructions on the pre-made pie crust.  If for they're not available and the crust is froze, your best bet is to let it thaw for 10 minutes then poke it evenly with a fork and bake it in the oven for 8 minutes on 350 degrees (Poking the pie crust evenly allows the crust to bake evenly without air bubbles)
2. While the pie crust is in the oven, shred the Swiss cheese with a cheese shredder.  I will be very surprised if you found pre-shredded Swiss cheese...and if you did, please tell me where you found it!

 3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
4. Cook 8 strips of bacon on medium heat and once finished, place them on a plate covered with paper towel (The paper towel absorbs the excess grease from the bacon)
5. Chop the bacon coarsely 
6. Place the bacon and cheese atop the pie crust

7. Finely chop the green onion
8. Whisk all the remaining ingredients together and place it over the cheese and bacon
9. Bake the quiche for 15 minutes on 375 then lower the temperature to 350 for another twenty minutes or until golden brown


Serve warm and enjoy!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kinneret Cafe

Let me ask you, why is it that all the best restaurants are the smallest ones? Don't use that last statement as factual data, but I have a running record that the best places (i.e. best service, best food, best deals) are in all the small places.

Our once-a-week date night has continued to be a great success! I'm happy to say that Brian and I have officially found a fool-proof date idea that leaves us feeling full and warm inside (who doesn't like that feeling?).  The second week we visited the Kinneret Cafe located on Plainfield Rd. It is an interestingly diverse restaurant.  Combining a few categories such as vegetarian, Israeli, and Middle-Eastern cuisine, Kinneret Cafe gets an "A+" for attracting a pallet that is open-minded and curious.

It is a small restaurant with a big heart.  The service was impeccable! Never did we have an empty glass of water (in my eyes, that is one of a few staples of good service), and never did we have to look around to see where the waitress/waiter was.  We were well-served yet not annoyed with a constant-appearing third party.

Don't let the vegetarian description shoo you away, you meat loving savages.  Everything was absolutely delicious!  The food is so hearty that I'm sure even Brian forgot there wasn't any meat at the table.  They have an interesting array of panini's and a wonderful assortment entrees.  For starters, we had the mazzo ball soup.  This is a must try. The only complaint I have about the soup is that the cup wasn't big enough! Don't get me wrong, it was plenty, but I wanted more. We continued with a delicious Mediterranean Plate and finally a Tuna and Avocado Panini.  Yes, I said tuna and avocado.  Don't knock it till ya try it.  The bread was perfectly toasted and there was just enough avocado on the sandwich. We ended the evening with a perfectly sized dessert called rugelach.  It was basically a croissant baked with chocolate, yum.  Let me specify that Brian and I entered the doors absolutely starving, split everything we ate and still left feeling satisfied.

If you're curious about where to find this lovely eatery, read the information below and follow the website!

Happy dining and  bon appetit!

The Kinneret Cafe

8316 Plainfield Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236
Phone: 513-791-1777


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Jean Paul's Paradiso

Brian and I have started a new tradition and a fabulous one at that.  We have date night once a week and go to different restaurants to surprise our pallet.  I'm not talking your usual chain restaurants that are located within a mile radius of each other. I'm talking authentic, heart-warming, delicious foods and experiences.  I've just now decided that I am going to include a post about each experience from here on out, so brace yourself--Christina's Kitchen is going out for dinner (only once a week of course).

The quaint restaurant is called Jean Paul's Paradiso (hence the title of the post).  This place is so small that we almost passed it twice while on the hunt.  It is located in the heart of Anderson Township, probably quite a drive for some of you and even plane ride for a majority of you.  I apologize, my restaurant choices will be biased towards the Cincinnati area for the time being,  Anyway, I looked up the menu online, and it looked magnificent! This menu was beautifully worded with ingredients such as portobello mushrooms, fresh Parmesan cheese and "the best pizza in the universe!".  It caught my attention and considering it was my turn to pick the place, it was a done deal. The menu has a wide array of salads, soups, pastas and most importantly...pizzas. I highly recommend the 

The restaurant is attached to a gas station and has only a few spots reserved for their customers, but those lucky few will be in for a treat.  Everything is made fresh and you can smell the aromas as you enter the class doors.  Jean Paul is a charming man who puts all into his food.  His side kick, (whom I shamefully forgot her name but I believe it's Jeanie), is very welcoming and goes out of her way to ensure you are comfortable and satisfied.

I could go on all day about this little Italian eatery. Take it from me, you MUST try this place to understand why I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something fun, NEW and positively delicious!

Not a risk taker when it comes to food? Check it out before visiting...
http://jeanpaulsparadiso.com/

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Patriotism to Our Graeter Nation (nope, that's no typo)

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling the patriotism today.  I must say I am more than proud to be an American when I turn on the television or radio to hear commemoration and memorials for the victims on September 11, 2001. I felt it necessary, as an American, to pay tribute to this memorable yet sorrowful event. If you haven't watched a single commercial or news report today, I suggest you do. The experience was breathtaking and might I add tear-jerking. In fact, I'm posting a few links below to make it easier for you.

With that said, it is impossible to write a post that doesn't pertain to food. So here we go... I'm a HUGE fan of Graeter's Ice Cream.  Yes, I just ate a bowl of black raspberry chip. All you Cincinnatians know what I'm talking about. It is the most delicious, creamy and  flavorful ice cream I've ever eaten.  Yes, yes... I understand I haven't tried authentic Italian gelato, but until I find myself taking a picture next to the Tower of Pisa, this is a pretty safe bet. This ice cream is so hot (ironically enough) that Oprah Winfrey gave it away to her studio audience as one of her many gifts! If you don't live in Cincinnati, OH, as I assume many of you do not, you can have it shipped to you! I understand the idea of having ice cream shipped is an odd idea but if you tried this, you wouldn't regret it. No, I'm not a spokeswoman for Graeter's Ice Cream, I'm just an obsessed foodie spreading the wealth and joys of ice cream.

God Bless America! Happy eating to you on this red, white and blue (sky) day!


The Tragedy
Empire State of Mind




Saturday, September 10, 2011

Epiphany for Lubiyeh (Loob-yeh)

I woke up this morning at the familiar hour of 7am with an epiphany. It was a bit belated considering the epiphany is in regards to a conversation I had with Brian (my fiance for those newbies) five days ago.  The conversation was in regards to him starting a brand new job (which I am very proud of). It wasn't the talk about the job that got me thinking, rather the "staying true to ones roots" mentality...

Two thoughts crossed through my mind. First, I had an unfortunate realization this morning that I was shamefully absent from this beloved channelization for food for over two months. For that, I am greatly apologetic. Second, I have these recipes that I've been recording without actually posting them. How selfish is that? My point about Brian and my conversation comes back to this. Since starting my job, I felt an entitlement to be lazy with my passions.  I reduced my presence in the kitchen, haven't stroked a paintbrush and very rarely play the piano.  If it wasn't for Brian, I would probably not be writing this at this moment. He inspired me to stay true to my roots and not let my job (as fortunate as I am for it) define me- And for that, I'm grateful.

So here we are! The people who know me the best will tell you that if I had to choose a vegetable (which sounds dreadful) I would probably choose the green bean--Arabic translation is Lubiyeh. This delicious, nutritious and versatile little string bean provides for many different recipes.  Nothing is better than having guiltless pleasure in something...yes, I'm still referring to green beans.  Below is a recipe that has been with my family for...Oh gosh I don't know how many years, but it's a sure dish that is fun, easy and positively delicious!

Servings: 1 hungry Lebanese family (7-10)
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
-5 lbs fresh or frozen green beans. DO NOT USE CANNED GREEN BEANS! You will regret it.
-14.5 oz diced tomatoes (canned)
-4 sliced cloves of garlic
-1 med-large onion
-5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
-salt to taste

Steps:
1. Slice onion in fine slices
2. Drizzle half the olive oil in a pot
3. Toss the onions and garlic in the pot. Cook on medium heat

4. Stir frequently allowing the garlic and onions to slightly caramelize
5.  Add the tomatoes and green beans and stir carefully to cook evenly
6. Once green beans are cooked, drizzle the rest of the olive oil and stir the green beans

7. Season with salt
Serve chilled -- if it's too hot, the flavors won't have a presence.

Bon Appetit!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Potato Salad



I made this recently at a weekend outing and I must say, I was pleased with the "please and thank you's" revolving around this potato salad!  It is such a refreshing/fresh salad that doesn't leave you feeling guilty when you ask for more.  With nothing but fresh ingredients tossed in, you'll be asking for more...and if you don't, you must have eaten quite the serving!

So, sit back, read up, and get ready to celebrate your Independence day with a potato salad that is independent from mayo and other artificial flavorings!  This potato salad is by far fun, easy and positively delicious! (Were you expecting anything different?)

Make sure to make this when you have a larger group of people around your hospitable dining table, it feeds plenty!

P.S. I apologize for the lack of pictures with the post, a wonderful woman requested I post it ASAP so once I make it again, I'll snap the pics and post away!

Ingredients:
1 - 5lb bag red potatoes
1 bunch finely chopped parsley
1 medium finely sliced onion
4 tomatoes on the vine (they're the freshest)
1 1/2 lemons
8 cloves smashed garlic
salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper
4tbs extra virgin olive oil

Steps
1. After washing potatoes, allow them to boil in a pot until they are soft enough to poke a fork through
2. Drain the hot water and rinse the potatoes under cold water in a strainer
3. Cut the potatoes into medium fraction pieces and place them in a large salad bowl
4. Place the onions, tomatoes and parsley into the bowl
5. Mix the garlic, salt, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon into a small bowl to create the dressing
6. Pour the dressing over the salad mix and mix it WITH YOUR HANDS (after they're washed of course). Your hands are the best mixing tools.

Serve chilled and enjoy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Christina's Chocolate Covered Fruit with Hazelnut Ganache Drizzle

Attention foodies!  There IS a way to spruce up an average dessert.  In my opinion however, chocolate covered anything is NEVER average.  This fiasco began with the impulse purchase of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  After a few taps of the bag and a toss of the hand, my sweet tooth was satisfied.  So now what? What to do with a practically full bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips? Raid the fridge for some fruit and start dipping!

If you're trying to get your loved ones to eat more fruit, this is a fool-proof method.  I promise that my recipe is a fun, easy and positively delicious sweet fix for your sweet tooth!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes   Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ingredients:
-1- 11.5oz bag (or if you're like me, minus half a palm-full) semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/4 cup Coffee House Hazelnut Breve Cream coffee creamer
-1/2 tbs butter
-1/2 cup water
-1 box strawberries
-1 sliced apple
-wax paper
--You can use any type of fruit for the recipe

Steps:
1. Place the chocolate chips into a glass bowl and place the glass bowl in a small pot filled with water
--Ensure the pot is smaller than the bowl so the bowl can rest on the rim of the pot
Tip: Heat the water at low heat so it doesn't overflow 
2. Continue stirring the chocolate chips so they melt evenly
3. Keeping the bowl over the pot, begin dipping the fruit into the chocolate and place it on the wax paper
Tip: Once you dip the fruit, twist it in a circular motion in the air to keep it from dripping with chocolate
4.Turn the stove off under the chocolate
5. Heat the coffee creamer in a small glass bowl in the microwave for about thirty seconds
6. Turn the stove back on to low heat and quickly stir in the creamer and butter with a fork
7. Once the chocolate is liquefied into a ganache, drizzle it over the dipped fruit
7. Place the fruit into a refrigerator for at least a half hour 
You can leave it in the refrigerator as long as necessary
8. Serve cold and enjoy!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Christina's Go-Banana(s) bread with Splenda!

I know there's not one person out there who hasn't experienced the tragedy of a banana that is half past dead (aka too ripe).  Your first thought is "Shoot! I just wasted 50 cents/pound (or so) on this fruit!"  

Well no need to fear my lovely foodies, there is a solution in sight-- Make Banana Bread!!! (Yum)

I usually focus my energy on recipes that fall under the culinary rather than pastry arts (it's the waiting around part that bores me). However, when bananas bite the dust right in front of you, you either submit them to the evil wasteland called a trashcan, or make something worth eating.  That is why you should try my banana bread recipe that is fun, easy and positively delicious! So if someone complains about the bananas being too ripe, shout the words of a famous French aristocrat who knew what she wanted out of life-"Let them make banana bread!" Or something of that nature ;)

Prep Time: 7 minutes  Bake time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
-2 cups all purpose flour
-4 smashed bananas 
-2 tbs vanilla extract
-8 tbs melted unsalted butter
-3/4 tbs baking soda
-1 cup Splenda (equal measurement if you'd rather have sugar)
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 medium eggs
-1.5 tbs cinnamon
-To add an extra kick, feel free to stir in 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter!

Steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
^The culprit- couldn't handle the heat.  In all seriousness though, this is the stage the bananas should be in. If they're not overly ripe, the texture won't be moist and the bread won't be sweet.
2. Peel the bananas and mash them in a bowl to the point of a puree
3. In large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix the batter until it is smooth and thick
Tip: If you have an electric mixer, use it.  It saves a lot of time and ensures the right consistency 
4. Use a piece of butter to grease a bread loaf pan (10" x 5" x 3").  It doesn't have to be that exact size though.
5. Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth out the surface
6. Bake the bread for an hour
Tip: Use a toothpick or a small knife to stick in the center of the bread once an hour is over.  If the toothpick is as clean as it was when you poked it in the bread, you're good to go! If there's batter on the toothpick, wait another 15 minutes or so.
7. Slice the bread in 1.5 inch slices but serve only for whoever is eating at the time and wrap the rest in saran wrap to keep the freshness




Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kusa!

Hello everyone!  I hope the summer has been as good to you as it has me!  I apologize for the lack of posts. Rest assure, you will see a rush of recipes in the near future and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

This recipe is straight from home.  It's a recipe that I grew up with and each bite I take reminds me of the times I used to watch my mom cook up a storm in the kitchen.  Kusa, like most other Lebanese dishes, is very healthy and wholesome.  The protein, produce and few carbs in this dish are sure to fill you up with satisfaction!

I might state that although it is a time consuming dish to cook, it still falls in my book of recipes that are Fun, Easy and Positively delicious! =)

Servings: 5    Prep-time: 1 hour   Cook time: 50-60 minutes
Ingredients:
-10 small zucchini squash (you can use the longer zucchini but it's a bit more difficult to pit out)
-1 lb ground sirloin beef
-1-28oz can tomato sauce
-3 tbs melted butter or margarine
-1 cup uncooked rice
-6 cloves chopped garlic with salt
-4 tbs all spice
-1 tbs salt
-1 tbs black pepper
-1 1/2 cups water

Steps: 
1. Vigorously wash the zucchini with a vegetable brush under cold water.  This ensures the sand particles are removed before cooking...Trust me, they're there and this is 100% necessary.  Nobody wants to bite onto a grain of sand!
2. Slice off the rough ends and use a zucchini pitter (shown below) to pit out the meat of the zucchini.  Make sure to leave enough around the rim so that the zucchini doesn't break apart.  
Tip: Start by twisting out a small hole in the middle of the zucchini and twist through toward the other end.  This is a fragile process because it's really easy to poke a hole in zucchini skin if you're not careful.  Look Carefully:
^ this is the amount that should be left all throughout the zuccini
3. Rinse the zucchini and set aside
4. in a medium size bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the tomato sauce, salt and pepper and garlic
Tip: Your hands are a great tool while cooking.  If you're gutsy (as you should be after reading this blog for so long) you should take off your jewelry and use your hands to mix the ground beef and ingredients so that it is all equally distributed. 
5. Stuff the zucchini with the ground beef mixture little by little so that you pack enough in
Tip: Don't over stuff the zucchini.  Tapping it on a hard surface to ensure the perfect amount of meat is stuffed is a good technique.  Remember: Tap it! Don't pound it!  These green veggies are fragile little things!
6. Placed the stuffed zucchini in a deep pot in a structured manner. Make sure not to overcrowd the zucchini on each level.  Space in this case is not a bad thing!
7. In a medium bowl, stir the tomato sauce, garlic and salt and pepper together.  Place it in the pot over the zucchini

8. Add 1 1/2 cups water and cook on medium heat for 45 minutes before checking if it's cooked all the way through

Tip: Don't close the lid all the way, leave some space for the steam to travel so the sauce doesn't over-flow
Finally, serve hot and enjoy!



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Great Garlic Northerner's!

Alright all you garlic lovers, this recipe was made with you in mind! This is a Lebanese side dish common to my household and I've finally mustered the strength to give it away to all you loyal readers! It's very nutritious...and yes, you guessed it... Fun, easy and positively delicious!

Here's what you'll need!

4 cans great northern beans
5 medium cloves of garlic
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs lemon
1 tbs salt
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley

Here's what you do!

-Cook the beans on medium heat for about fifteen minutes
-Using a spice grinder, smash the garlic and salt together until it is of a paste consistency
(if you don't have one of these miracle workers, get one! Until then, just use a garlic press and add the salt later)




















-finely chop the parsley and add it to the beans once they're fully cooked
-combine the rest of the ingredients to the beans and stir well

Best if served cold, enjoy!




Monday, April 18, 2011

Tacu Tacu (Peruvian Steak, with Rice and Beans)

This dish is by far one of the most interesting dishes I've ever made.  I cooked this is my culinary club along with the previous side dish posted.
 In order for this dish to be considered 100% fun, easy and positively delicious, you must follow each step carefully! It's a bit of a challenge, but I know you can do it!

Ingredients:
-5 slices bacon
-1 medium onion (finely chopped)
-1tsp Chile powder
-1 1/2 cups canned red beans
-1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
-1 cup bread crumbs
-12 oz flank steak, sliced thin
-4 tbs unsalted butter
-6 tbs olive oil
-4 eggs
-salt to taste
-pepper to taste
-1 tsp parsley, finely chopped

Steps:
1. In a medium sautée pan, cook bacon until crispy.   Remove bacon and leave drippings in the pan. add the chopped onion and chili powder and cook until soft and golden.
2. Add the beans and stir until pretty well broken up.  Add the rice and stir. Cook the rice, stirring constantly until heated through.  Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

3. Lay steak on cutting board and pound with a mallet or small sautée pan to tenderize. Season with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Set aside.
4. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out the slightly cooled rice and bean mixture and pat it out of the measuring cup.  Using your hands, form them into patties. Drop the patty into the breadcrumbs and press each side.
5. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry the rice and bean patties cooking them for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.  Remove from heat and cover with foil to keep warm. 
6. Using the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until hot. Add the steak and cook it to medium rare, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Turn the heat down to medium and fry the eggs over-medium.  Season with salt and pepper while cooking.
(Over medium is when you crack an egg onto the skillet and cook it so that it is cooked on both sides but the yolk is of medium consistency)
7. Thinly slice the steak and set it aside.
8. Lay 2 rice and bean cakes side by side in the middle of a plate.  Lay the sliced steak over the top and place the egg on top of the steak.  Chop up the left over bacon and sprinkle over the top. 

Garnish with parsley and enjoy!




Special thanks to Katherine K. for allowing me to use your camera!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ensalada de Choclo


The next couple recipes are a real treat because they are a peak into the organization that I lead, Miami University Culinary Association.  This class was Hispanic Cuisine themed and we made some delicious authentic cuisine.  One thing I love about Hispanic cuisine is the freshness of the ingredients. You'll notice a theme of frequent use of fresh vegetables and meats.  This recipe is a great side dish for any summer meal.  With lime and cilantro as the flavor boosters, you'll experience a mixture of zest and fresh tang! This recipe is most definitely fun, easy and positively delicious! There are only three simple steps!

Ingredients:
-3 cups sweet white corn (precooked)
-1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow) (diced)
-1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
-8oz queso fresco 
-3tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1tbs lime juice
-2 tbs cilantro, minced 
-salt to taste
-pepper to taste 

Steps:

1. Dice the onions, peppers and place them in a deep bowl
2. Crumble the queso fresco on top of the vegetables in the bowl
3. Whisk lime juice slowly into the olive oil and season with salt and pepper
4. Add all remaining ingredients and toss together well. Adjust seasoning and chill before serving.


Enjoy! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Christina's Stuffed Puff Pastry

Yesterday was the first real taste of spring. It was warm and sunny so naturally, my first thought was "what should I cook today?!" I tried to figure out what I could cook that would be different and unlike something I've cooked before.  Considering I've touched a few cultures in my cuisine, I realized French was not one of them! Although I'm not 100% certain that this recipe deserves an " Imported From France" stamp pressed on it, I still think that if anything includes Brie and puff pastry as main ingredients, it gets my stamp of approval! 

So here it is ladies and gents, I've created a stuffed puffed pastry with a twist to it.  I've also included roasted asparagus because lets consider the delicious combination of Brie, puff pastry, prosciutto, browned-mushrooms, and asparagus. Can I just say, YUM!?  Wait till you try this fun, easy and positively delicious dish... It'll have you saying: Puis-je avoir un peu plus? (Can I please have more?)

Ingredients: 


-Stuffed Puff Pastry-
3oz Parma Prosciutto 
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
2oz Baby Brie (double-cream)
1/2 tsp pepper
5oz puff pastry (frozen section)
2 tbs butter
1 egg

-Asparagus-
1 package asparagus 
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Steps:

Asparagus:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. wash the asparagus and cut off about an inch from the bottom to remove the bark texture
3. use aluminum foil to line a baking sheet and place the asparagus in a horizontal line across the pan
4. drizzle extra virgin olive oil atop the asparagus and mix them around with your hands so it's evenly distributed
5. line up the asparagus again and add a dash of pepper and salt evenly
6. bake in the oven for fifteen minutes
Stuffed Puffed Pastry:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
2. lightly flour a clean, flat surface to place the thawed puff pastry
3. With a flour-dusted rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry to a thin layer of about 1/8 an inch
4. Place butter in a large sautee pan on medium-high heat and let it melt.
5. Place mushrooms in the pan and stir them until they're glazed. 
6. Be sure not to crowd the mushrooms so that they can brown evenly
7. As the mushrooms cool, cut the puff pastry dough into six even-square sections and separate them
8. Using a paring knife, cut a thin slice of baby Brie and place it in the centers of the sections
9. Take a slice of Parma Prosciutto and fold it evenly over the Brie
10. Use a fork or tongs to place three or four mushrooms atop the Brie and Prosciutto
11. Lightly fold together all the corners of the puff pastry so that there are no open holes
12. Whisk an egg into a small bowl and use a BBQ brush to brush the egg atop the puffs
13. Use a fork to pinch the folds of the puffs to ensure they're stuck together almost as if they're glued with the egg (the egg also makes the puff pastry golden and crispy)
14. Bake the puffs for fifteen minutes in the oven
15. Once finished, place a stuff puffed pastry atop neatly placed asparagus on a plate.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Christina's Fajita Bruschetta

Hello Everyone!  Welcome back to the one-stop source for food lovers everywhere.  First off, let me apologize for my lack of posts this past month.  I am going to point fingers at midterms and spring break for this one.  I promise, it will never happen again.

Nevertheless, I have a great new recipe for you to try!  It is my very own so consider this my patent.  I basically wanted to try something new so I tossed together something that resembles Italian bruschetta! Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. So far I have an A+ from Brian so I'm going to go ahead and give it a stamp of approval of being fun, easy and positively delicious!

Ingredients: 
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 yellow onion 
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 

Steps:
1. Slice half an onion into larger pieces and slice garlic cloves into thin slices
2. Toss the onions and garlic into a hot pan with extra virgin olive oil on medium-low heat

3.  While the onions are sauteing, cut the peppers in half and remove the core/seeds.  
4. Proceed by chopping the onions in about one inch cubes
5. Place the peppers in the sautee pan and dice the tomatoes in half inch pieces.  Place them in the pan
6. Allow for the vegetables to cook so that the aromas marry together with the tomato juices
7. Meanwhile, place a half-baked French baguette into the oven on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes (if you can't find a half-baked baguette, just buy one freshly baked from a bakery so that it's crunchy)
8. Slice the baguette into one-inch diagonal slices
9. Using a small spoon (tablespoon) scoop the bruschetta mix and place it atop the French bread slices.  10. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese on the bruschetta's

Serve immediately and warm so that it does not make the bread soggy 

Enjoy!