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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Antipasto Platters Made Easy

 

Antipasto Platters

Antipasto Platters (2)

Antipasto Platters (3)

Whenever I’m doing an Antipasto Platter, start with great quality ingredients. I like to assemble a few and dress of few.

For example, the artichokes can be tossed with strips of roasted red peppers, and the cantaloupe and breadsticks, wrap delicious cured meats.

Keeping the same items together gives a more uniform look to the platter. I also always try to utilize herbs in my garden. Here I’m using fresh basil as a garnish for the platters.

Simple dress the grape tomatoes with E.V.O.O. and a sprinkle of Kosher salt.

What’s great about this, all the ingredients are store bought. This makes these platters quick and easy to put together. For the seasoned Bocconcini, my recipe is really simple. I doubled the recipe below for my platters in the pictures you see above.

Ingredients: Marinate For Bocconcini
1-8 ounce package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O.

Directions:
Separate all the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Using a spoon, gently mix together.

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Heirloom Tomato Salad

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The Heirloom Tomato goes back generations. When in season, you’ll see them in many colors as well as multi-colored. Unique because they are beautifully misshapen. If that wasn’t enough, they now come in cherry size! I love to have present them, in different ways. I’ll cut a few into wedges, and the cherry size I like to leave whole, giving a beautiful contrast to the dish.

Bocconcini are small mozzarella cheeses shaped into small balls. They come in a container and the cheese in set in whey or water. They add a creaminess to the Heirloom Tomato Salad. To finish, add fresh basil leaves and finely chopped tarragon.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
2 pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes
6-8 whole basil leaves
3 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1 tub of Bocconcini, drained and dried and seasoned
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
E.V.O.O. to taste

Ingredients For Bocconcini Seasoning:
1 tub (18-20 ct.)  Bocconcini that have been drained and dried well
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the seasoning of the Bocconcini. Place the drained, and really well dried, Bocconcini into the seasoning mixture and toss really well. In a large bowl add the tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned Bocconcini. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped tarragon leaves. Toss everything together gently. Lastly, place the whole basil leaves throughout.

When plating, drizzle each serving with *E.V.O.O. ( A splash of red wine vinegar is optional).

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

 

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Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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If you love spinach as much as I do, this is a quick, easy and delicious way to have fresh spinach anytime.

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Prep Time: 5 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sautépan

Ingredients:
2 packages of fresh spinach leaves
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
First, slice the 3 garlic cloves. Next, add the oil to the cold sauté pan. Add the sliced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the pan. On medium heat, bring the oil up to temperature and sauté the garlic just for a minute until fragrant. Add the spinach leaves to the pan in batches. As soon as all the leaves have wilted down in the pan, season with the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Toss through one more time until all the leaves are coated then turn the heat off. This sautéed spinach is so flavorful, you just may change your mind about spinach.

 

Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans

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Sea Scallop Gratin

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This is one of the most elegant dishes you can serve. It’s my Sea Scallop Gratin. This seafood dish is so delicious. Everyone you know will want your recipe and, they won’t believe how easy it is to make. Let’s start with the ingredients for the topping, my favorite part of this dish.

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There are two ingredients that I need to chop for this dish, garlic, and a leek. Whenever using leeks make sure you clean the sand from between the layers. The best way to do this is to cut the root end first. Then at the other end cut where the dark green meets the light green. Discard the dark green leaves. Next, slice down lengthwise and rinse really well to get any sand or grit the may be trapped in there. Lay the leek cut side down, slice into very thin half moons as seen in the picture.

While I have my knife out, I just go ahead a mince up the garlic and set aside. In a large sautèpan, set on medium heat, I’ve melted 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Once the leek is sliced, add it to the pan with the melted butter. Stir until all the leeks are coated. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and Kosher salt. Sautè for 3-5minutes. Once the leeks have softened, (do not brown), add the minced garlic. Allow the garlic sautè for another minute until fragrant and soft. Turn the heat off, and set aside for a minute.

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In a mixing large bowl, add finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley. To that, add a stick of softened room temperature unsalted butter, Pernod, lemon juice, Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, olive oil, the cooled leek mixture, and Panko breadcrumbs. Mix all the ingredients together until combined. That’s the topping. Easy right?

Now for the star of the show, the scallops.

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When you’re ready to work with sea scallops,  there is a side-muscle on each scallop that needs to be removed. You don’t want to eat it. The pictures above help to illustrate what I mean. You also want to always pat the scallops dry using a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before continuing on with your recipes.

Next, I cut the scallops into quarters. Sea scallops are quite large, for this dish, you want them to be bite-size. Slice the scallops in half then into quarters. Divide the quartered scallops into the four gratin dishes. Add one tablespoon of good white wine to each dish. Spoon on the garlic butter crumb topping over each dish evenly.

At this point, if you needed to, you could place the scallop gratins into the frig until you are ready to put them into the oven. Place the dishes onto baking sheets, for 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees F.

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You want to keep a close eye on these beauties because you want the crumb topping to be a light golden brown. I serve with a garnish of fresh parsley, along with a few wedges of lemon on the plate to squeeze on right before serving.

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Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 4 gratin dishes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 4 gratin dishes

Ingredients:
1-pound sea scallops, sliced in half
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cloves of minced garlic
1 leek cleaned and sliced
5 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped,  reserve some for garnish.
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoon of Pernod
2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
6 tablespoons of olive oil
3/4 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons of dry white wine
1 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
First, prepare the leeks and garlic for sautèing. Have the scallops on ice waiting for you in the frig until you are ready for them. Once the leeks and garlic have been sautèed, set them aside and prepare the topping.

Add all the ingredients for the topping in a large bowl plus the cooled down sautèed leeks and garlic mixture. Mix to combine and set aside while preparing the scallops for the gratin dishes, Have the 4 gratin dishes set up a baking sheet, two sheet pans if necessary.

Remove the side-muscle from each sea scallop. Using a paper towel dry the scallops completely. Quarter them and divide them evenly into the 4 gratin dishes. Add a tablespoon of wine to each dish. Spoon on the topping divided equally between the four gratin dishes.

Add one tablespoon of good white wine to each dish. Spoon the garlic butter crumb topping evenly over each dish.

At this point, you could refrigerate the Sea Scallop Gratin up to an hour before. Bake the gratins for 10-12 minutes.

To Serve: Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley and a few wedges of lemon. Squeeze the lemon over the dish right before serving. I like to serve my Sea Scallop Gratin with a simple arugula salad dressed lightly with a lemon vinaigrette.

 

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

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