Find the recipe for “Oven Fries with Caramelized Onion & Bacon Dip” and many more great party recipes

at our other WordPress site:

http://shindig411.com/

Advertisements

Mile High Quesadilla Pie

November 16, 2009

DSC04571

Here’s another cool party recipe,

compliments of Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets

MILE HIGH QUESADILLA PIE

Now don’t everyone panic when I say, “springform pan.” This recipe is really easy and, thanks to a tip I found in Everyday Food magazine about trimming the tortillas to fit the pan, it’s even easier! This is an impressive for casual entertaining because it looks a lot harder than it is. Once I served it on a cakestand and really wowed my guests! Accompany the pie with soft polenta, a crisp green salad, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound lean ground beef

1 (1-ounce) packet of taco seasoning mix

5 (10-inch) flour tortillas

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish

1 (4-ounce) can chopped roasted mild green chilies, drained

2 ½ cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (or a mixture)

fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Combine the beef and taco seasoning mix to make taco filling according to directions on the seasoning mix packet. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan, using the removable bottom of the pan as a guide. Assemble pan with bottom upside down (this makes the pie easier to remove after baking) and lightly oil bottom and sides.

Place one tortilla in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the corn and ½ cup of the cheese. Top with a second tortilla. Using a slotted spoon, top the second tortilla with the meat filling, spreading evenly. (You may have some left over.) Sprinkle with ½ cup of the cheese. Top with a third tortilla. Spoon the beans, scallions, and ½ cup cheese on top of the third tortilla. Top with a 4th tortilla. Spread the chopped green chilies and ½ cup of cheese on top of the 4th tortilla. Top with the last tortilla and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.

Bake until hot and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Run knife around edge of pan; remove sides. Sprinkle with scallions and garnish with cilantro, if using. To serve, slice into wedges.

FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST AT

ELIZABETH W. GIFT BASKETS!

DSC04368

Another delicious party recipe, compliments of Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets.

EGGPLANT FRITTERS STUFFED WITH MOLTEN MOZZARELLA

Don’t know where this recipe originated. I think I first saw it in a Marcella Hazan cookbook. More recently I saw a version in Bon Appetit magazine, which is the source I adapted my version from. Whoever came up with the original certainly had two of my favorite flavors in mind… cheese and fried. How could you go wrong!

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggplants

1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided

Olive oil (for brushing)

Canola or vegetable oil (for frying)

2 large eggs

¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 ¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs, divided

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour

3 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 15 cubes) or 3 ounces smallest bocconcini

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut eggplants crosswise into ½ inch slices. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and arrange in a colander. Place colander in sink and let stand about 30 minutes, until eggplant slices begin to sweat and give up liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 2 large baking sheets with olive oil. Pat eggplant dry with paper towels and arrange in a single layer on prepared sheets. Brush lightly with olive oil. Bake until eggplant is tender and dry, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly; coarsely chop.
  3. Whisk 1 egg, grated Parmesan, ¼ cup breadcrumbs, thyme, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped eggplant (mixture will be soft.) Spread 1 cup breadcrumbs on plate. Whisk 1 egg and the flour in a small bowl. Press and shape eggplant mixture into 1 ¼ inch balls. Press 1 piece of mozzarella into the center of each ball, making sure to reshape the eggplant mixture so it covers the cheese completely. Dip balls, one at a time, into egg batter. Roll in breadcrumbs to coat.
  4. Pour enough canola oil into a large skillet to reach a depth of ½ inch; heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add balls to skillet; sauté until browned, turning often, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.

FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST AT

ELIZABETH W. GIFT BASKETS!

Ham & Asparagus Quiche

September 11, 2009

DSC04182

Whoop-de-do! The world’s longest short work week is finally over! Celebrate with another party recipe, compliments of Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets.

Happy entertaining!

HAM & ASPARAGUS QUICHE

Everyone (except maybe your cardiologist) has a favorite quiche recipe. This is mine. This old fashioned classic is great make-ahead party fare. It’s sinfully rich, but it won’t kill you if you only eat it on special occasions. Substitute ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese for the cup of cheddar, if desired.

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 6)

1 disk prepared piecrust dough

3 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

8 small stalks fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

Pinch cayenne pepper

3 large eggs

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

¼ teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

¾ cup smoked ham, cubed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a 9-inch glass pie plate with the pastry and prick it all over with a fork. Chill at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions, asparagus and cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes over medium high heat until the mixture is fragrant and the vegetables have begun to soften. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Cut out a 10-inch circle of parchment paper or aluminum foil and place it in the pie shell. Pour 2 cups of dried beans or pie weights into the shell. Bake the piecrust until it has begun to turn a pale gold color, about 15 minutes. Remove the pie plate from the oven, lift the parchment and beans from the shell, and return it to the oven. Cook the shell until it is golden, another 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Keep the oven on and increase the temperature to 375 degrees.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Scatter the asparagus mixture across the bottom of the pie shell. Sprinkle with the ham cubes. Pour the egg mixture into the shell. Bake the quiche until the filling is just set and slightly puffed, about 30 minutes. If crust starts getting too brown, cover it with a piecrust baking shield or crimped foil. Let cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack and serve it warm, or let it cool completely and serve at room temperature.

FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST AT

ELIZABETH W. GIFT BASKETS!

DSC04001

Happy entertaining from Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets!

Don’t know what this says about the state of the nation, but I haven’t been selling a lot of heart-healthy baskets lately. Consequently I have a surplus of these delicious Almondina Gingerspice guilt-free cookies.

I love these things. They’re called cookies, but they’re not really like cookies. They’re more like slightly sweet melba toast with sliced almonds and ginger. And no, I don’t have any affiliation with the company. Peaches and nectarines are in season now, so it’s the perfect time to whip up a batch of these sweet-salty delights for your next get-together.

GOAT CHEESE & NECTARINE CANAPES

Cut fresh nectarines or peaches into thin slices. Toss the slices with a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Spread Almondina Gingerspice cookies with softened creamy goat cheese. Top with peach slices, and sprinkle with fresh thyme. Serve immediately. (Substitute chopped basil or mint for the thyme, if you prefer.)

FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST AT ELIZABETH W. GIFT BASKETS!

DSC03505

Happy entertaining from Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets

The asparagus patch is in full flourish and I have asparagus coming out of my ears! Here’s one of my favorite ways to use it. Thin wedges of this rich pie make excellent nibbles for cocktail hour.

WHITE PIZZA WITH ASPARAGUS & BLACK OLIVES

(8 appetizer servings)

If you have white truffle oil on hand, add a quick drizzle to put this already decadent pie over the top. I sprinkle my parchment with a little cornmeal before I lay on the dough. It’s not necessary, I just like the subtle crunch it gives the crust.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen

2 cloves roasted garlic 

1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella

½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons heavy cream

6 to 8 small asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces

¼ black olives, coarsely chopped

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Olive oil or white truffle oil, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Roll or stretch out dough on a lightly floured surface, pulling on corners to form a roughly 16-by-13-inch freeform rectangle. Transfer to a large, heavy parchment lined baking sheet (17 by 14 inches).

Squeeze roasted garlic from skins and gently spread on the dough using your fingers. Sprinkle on 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.

Combine the ricotta cheese, heavy cream and a dash of salt and mix well. Dollop generous tablespoons full of the ricotta mixture over the crust, leaving some spots uncovered. Arrange the asparagus and black olives on top and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella.

Bake pizza until edge of crust is golden and cheese is bubbling and golden in patches, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the Parmesan and drizzle lightly with the oil. Return to the oven for another minute or two. Serve immediately. 

FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST AT ELIZABETH W. GIFT BASKETS 

DSC03475PARTY ON!

dsc029051

Happy Entertaining from Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets!

Roasted garlic is one of my go-to staples for when I need to whip up something on the fly for impromptu get-togethers. It’s versatile, inexpensive, and I nearly always have a bulb or two of garlic in my pantry. It’s delicious simply roasted and spread on warm crusty bread, but try one of these quickie recipes and give this old standby a new twist.   

CREAMY ROASTED GARLIC SPREAD

Cut the top off a whole head of garlic. Place the head in a ramekin, drizzle it with olive oil and cover with foil. (Or, just place it on a square of foil, drizzle it and wrap.) Roast in a 375 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until very soft. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins into a small bowl. Use a fork to mash the cloves with 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, 3 tablespoons heavy cream, 2 tablespoons chopped chives, or fresh herb of your choice (optional) and a pinch of salt. Serve at room temperature with crackers or sliced baguette. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

ROASTED GARLIC-PARMESAN SPREAD

Roast garlic as described above. Mash cloves with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and olive oil to suit your taste. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature with crackers or sliced baguette. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST AT ELIZABETH W. GIFT BASKETS!