Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grilled Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flat Bread

Grilling at your picnic wedding?  This is the perfect appetizer to make on your grill.  The recipe for Grilled Warm Fig and Gorgonzola Flat Bread is from Steamy Kitchen and I guarantee you'll fall in love with this treat.  It's the perfect appetizer to serve at a picnic wedding.  Just cut in bite size pieces after grilling and serve. (Be sure to have lots of napkins, it can get a little sticky!)

There are some shortcuts to this recipe, one of which is to buy pre-made dough, so much easier than making your own! Why go to the bother of messing up your kitchen with all the flour when most grocery stores sell great dough?

Another shortcut for those of you who aren't into huge chunks of figs--buy some fig jam and spead it on the flat bread. (Imagine the filling in Fig Newton's).  You can buy this in Whole Foods Markets but if you have a Home Goods or similar store they often have the jam at a great price and in larger jars.  You can also purchase you honey at Home Goods or try your favorite wholesale club. 

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 8-inch round flatbreads
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 apple, cored and sliced very thinly
8 ripe figs, cut into 6 wedges each
2 ounces parmesan cheese (Parmegiano-Reggiano), shaved with vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat your grill, half direct heat. Brush olive oil on top of each flatbread, especially the edges. Assemble flatbreads with gorgonzola, apples and figs.
Grill flatbreads over direct heat for 3 minutes, until the bottoms are toasted and browned. Then move to indirect heat and close cover for 3 minutes to finish melting the cheese and warming the fruit.
If broiling, set your rack to upper 1/3 position. Grill flatbreads without the toppings for 2 minutes to just get them nice and toasty. Then layer on the olive oil, gorgonzola, apples and figs and return to oven for 4 to 6 minutes until cheese has melted and fruit is warmed through.
Sprinkle shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano and drizzle honey on top.
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or dessert.

Let me know how you like this appetizer.  It's one of our favorites for any kind of entertaining.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finger Foods For A Crowd

Planning finger foods for a crowd is always tricky, especially if you want something different than your usual plain crudites.  These fancy finger foods for a crowd ideas are courtesy of the great site, Everybody Loves Sandwiches.  They have the full recipe for you and I love reading the comments of how other cooks have adapted each recipe. 

Up close and personal looks at these pretty finger foods are making me hungry even though it's the middle of the night as I write this and closer to breakfast foods than midday or later when you'd normally eat these beauties. 

These recipes are basically green beans or fresh baby asparagus wrapped in westfalian ham or prosciutto.  Shop Costco or other warehouse store for the best prices on the ham. Be sure to make the reduction sauce that goes over the top of these great veggie treats.

Last on the list of fun finger foods are these goat cheese stuffed dates! Oh WOW! Don't taste test these while you're making them... they're like those chips, 'bet you can't eat just one!' 

If you're looking for some great nuts to add to this recipe, Sante Specialty Foods makes some incredible candied walnuts that will send this recipe over the top.  As if the goat cheese and date combo wasn't enough to turn you into a finger food addict, the addition of Sante's nuts take any recipe from pedestrian to uber gourmet.  (Please note, several months ago Sante sent me samples of their nuts to try, they asked me to review their product.  Although the samples were free and given in exchange for my reviewing them, my opinions about products I review is my own and not swayed by their providing the free product.)

You can also add Sante nuts to your table of finger foods (try the Wasabi Almonds) for some crunchy snacks that will wow your guests. This is the link to their site. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Fruit to Nuts!

Yes, I know, it doesn't look like your typical wedding cake.  But a picnic wedding calls for creative cooking!

This Strawberry-Pistachio Tart (you have to log in to get to the recipe) by Martha Stewart is pretty and it will hold up to the rigors of being transported to an outdoor venue.  Follow the link to Martha's site for the complete recipe.  Serve it at your wedding or use for a wedding shower, either way you will wow your guests with this unique combination of luscious red strawberries, crunchy pistachios, and puff pastry.  I almost hate writing this post because it makes me want to abandon my computer and head to the kitchen!

If you're looking for an alternative to pretty watermelon desserts or just another option, try this out.  And hold onto the recipe for your recipe box for when you're a newlywed and need to bring something pretty to a party!  Warning: Some states don't allow the sale of green pistachios, which may result in a dessert that isn't quite as attractive as the one above.