Sunday, May 27, 2012

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus....

16 asparagus spears, trimmed

  • 125g ball mozzarella , sliced into 4
  • 8-12 slices prosciutto
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • a small bunch basil, finely shredded
  • salad leaves to serve

  • Prosciutto things to know....

    Prosciutto is sweet, delicate ham intended to be eaten raw. The word 'prosciutto' is the Italian for ham, but is widely used to describe seasoned, cured, air-dried ham. True prosciutto comes from Italy, but versions are now produced elsewhere.

    'Prosciutto cotto' is cooked and 'prosciutto crudo' is raw (although safe and ready to eat thanks to the curing process). Italian prosciuttos are labeled according to their city or province of origin. The most famous is 'prosciutto di Parma' or Parma ham, which is salted and air-dried for 8 to 24 months.

    Choose the best

    In supermarkets prosciutto comes pre-prepared in thin, almost transparent, slices. However, delis will cut fresh slices from the leg at the desired thickness.

    Prepare it

    Prosciutto is usually eaten raw, but can be added to pasta or risotto. Add it at the last minute as lengthy cooking will toughen it and destroy the delicate flavour.

    Store it

    Keep in the fridge and consume by the use by date. Once opened eat within two days.

    Cook it

    For a classic no-fuss Italian starter, drape slices of proscuitto over quarter of a juicy melon - and that's it.

    Panini Recipes

    Try making your own Panini bread see the following link...
    My Gardner Guy...Grow, Create, Cook and Eat...: Panini Bread and the Cuisinart Griddle and Panini Press!!!

    Panini Recipes.....
    Sandwich Panini with Onions, Peppers and Provolone
    (makes 4 sandwiches)
    1 pound sirloin steak... Grilled sliced thin seasoned with garlic and salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 yellow bell pepper (saute or grill peppers and onions)
    1 red bell pepper
    1 sweet onion
    ½ pound provolone cheese, sliced
     Paninni Bread or 8 slices garlic sourdough bread
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    *Could be made with leftover steak, sliced into thin ribbons.
    *Try using my Gardner Guys bottled sweet peppers and carmelized onions for this recipe!!!
    My Gardner Guy...Grow, Create, Cook and Eat...: Caramelized Red Onion Relish
    My Gardner Guy...Grow, Create, Cook and Eat...: Sweet Peppers...will taste pretty darn good on My Gardner's Guy sandwiches

    Ham and Cheese

    Panini Bread
    Proscuitto  di Parma Ham...
    (Italian for "ham." A broadly used term to describe a ham that has been seasoned, salt-cured (not smoked), and air-dried. The meat is pressed producing a firm, dense texture. Prosciutto is a classic first course when served with melons and figs. Prosciutto can also be added at the last minute to cooked foods such as pastas or vegetables. Prolonged cooking will toughen prosciutto) I love this ham but at the price of $21.00 per pound ...sometimes I use Boars Pesto Parmesan Ham...both make an excellent panini.
    Provolone Cheese
    Fig, Jalapeno, or Tomato  Jam Spread, I have used all three, My Gardner Guy's favorite is the Jalapeno!!!
    Here is a great tasting Tomato Jam!!!
    My Gardner Guy...Grow, Create, Cook and Eat...: Tomato Jam.....great for appetizers and fantastic on a BLT!!!
    More on Proscuitto di Parma below...
    My Gardner Guy...Grow, Create, Cook and Eat...: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus....

    Tuscan Panini

    Panini Bread
    Chicken (roasted)
    Banana Peppers
    Tuscan Cream Cheese Spread (see recipe below)

    Tuscan Cream Cheese Spread (half this for smaller groups)

    20 servings 30 min 30 min prep
    2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    2 teaspoons chopped garlic
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (save the juice)
    1/3 cup chopped black olives
    8 green onions, chopped
    3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, softened and chopped
    1/4 cup parsley, chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

    In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic and salt; stir and blend in artichokes and olives.
    Add green onions, tomatoes, parsley and chives; gently mix together.
    Refrigerate for several hours or overnight (if possible) to blend flavors.
    If mixture is too thick, stir in some of the artichoke juice.
    Bring to room temperature and serve with water crackers or other crispy bread.
    Or, you can add more of the artichoke juice to make it more of a dip consistency, and serve with cut up veggies.

    Cuban Panini

    Cooked Turkey
    Pulled Pork
    Cajun Cheddar
    Sliced Pickles
    Smear Sauce (Recipe below)

    Smear Sauce using Rooster Sauce (Sriracha)
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
    • 1/3 cup (packed) finely chopped fresh mint
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons minced shallot or garlic
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Caramelized Red Onion Relish

    Caramelized Red Onion Relish

    2 large red onions, peeled (I doubled this recipe and used a mixture of white, yellow and red onions from our garden...My Gardner Guy grew them!!!)
    1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 cup dry red wine
    3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1/8 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper

    Slice onions into very thin slices. Combine onions and sugar in a heavy non-stick skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until onions turn golden and start to caramelize, stirring frequently.

    Stir in wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Remove jars from canner and ladle relish into jars leaving a 1/2 headspace. Process in water bath canner for 20 minutes for half-pint jars.

    Another thought from a wonderful canner said... Take a piece of focaccia bread and slice in half to make a sandwich. I got my focaccia at Trader Joes. Take sliced brie and basil and layer on the bread. Add a big spoonful of the caramelized onions. Using either a griddle, broiler, or panini press, grill the sandwich till the brie cheese is oozing out the sides. The flavor of the cheese with the sharp bite of basil and sweetness of the onions is incredible.

    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Panini Bread and the Cuisinart Griddle and Panini Press!!!

    Cuisinart Griddle and Panini Press
    "In Italy, panino (Italian pronunciation: [paˈniːno]) is the word for a sandwich made with a bread roll. Sandwiches there are customarily made from a roll or loaf of bread, typically a ciabatta or a rosetta. The loaf is cut horizontally and filled with salami, ham, cheese, mortadella, or other food, and sometimes served warm after having been pressed by a warming grill. A toasted sandwich made from sliced bread is not called "panino" but "toast" by Italians, and is usually filled with prosciutto and a few slices of cheese, grilled in a sandwich press. A popular version of panino in Central Italy is filled with porchetta, slices of pork roasted with garlic, salt, rosemary, and sage.
    In the USA, UK and Canada, the term "panini" refers to any pressed and toasted sandwich ("toastie"); there is widespread availability and use of sandwich presses, often known as "panini presses" or "toasted sandwich makers".
    I got turned onto these sandwiches a few years back when Zupa's (a restaurant that has opened up here in our area that sell gourmet panini sandwiches).  I love their square pieces of bread that they use for their sandwiches. Then a Harmons opened near us, they have a area near their gourmet meats and cheese's that sell gourmet panini's. They make there own bread which looks alot like flour tortilla's.
    I love this method, it's easy, fast and fits perfect in the Cuisinart griddle and panini press my children gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I love it!!!

    So how do I make Panini sandwiches for My Gardner Guy....lets start with the bread.
    To start with I use a simple white bread recipe and add a few spices...

    3 1/2 cups flour
    1 TBSP yeast
    1 TBSP sugar
    1 TBSP  olive oil
    1 TBSP rosmary
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cup warm water

    Add all ingredients using bread paddle mix until all kneaded well together. Dust with corn meal and place in a oiled bowl cover and allow to raise. About 2 hours....

    Divide into 8-9 parts
    If you have a tortilla press this next step goes fast especially if you have a electic tortilla press as you press and cook the bread at the same time.

    If not simply roll out into rounds and lighty cook on griddle

    Next step lets makes some Panini's !!!

    Come back as I will be posting some great panini recipes....

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Our Garden one month later....

    Almost one month ago we had Jaxson helped us plant the corn in the garden. Today I located a old camera as my new one has given me fits since I purchased it and being tired of it I sent it into the manufacturer in hopes for a new camera that may work. you needed to know that! Today's pictures of the garden and a picture of my Gardner Guy, he cleans up well.
    Our corn one month after we planted it

    Peas, garlic, onions, peppers, basil, tomatoes, and squash

    Spinach and lots of lettuce
    Three rows of pumpkins, green beans, canalope, cucumbers, tomatillos and brocolli


    French Macaron's....they look to good to eat...

    A love affair with a French Macaron...    Just the sight of these brightly colored, beautiful light treats is enough to make your mo...