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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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Burrata And Prosciutto Bruschetta

 

The dish I’m making today is Burrata And Prosciutto Bruschetta. Let me give you a little background on Burrata cheese first. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside is filled with both mozzarella and cream. This gives this cheese a unique and soft texture. The mozzarella is formed into a pouch and filled with soft, stringy curd and cream. Inside each container, there are 2 mozzarella balls. This dish I’m showing you today only uses half of the mozzarella ball.

Until recently, I haven’t been to a restaurant that’s offered a dish using Burrata. I definitely wanted to recreate this dish but the biggest hurdle is being able to find this cheese. I was totally surprised to find Burrata was available at my local grocery store. Tucked away right next to the fresh mozzarella. How I missed these gems I’ll never know.

This recipe is easy to make, using a few really good ingredients. Keeping it simple is what Italian recipes do best.

Yields: 2 servings, 5 crostini per plate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Equipment: one baking sheet with a rack.

Ingredients:
1 loaf of good baguette bread, 10 toasted baguette slices, 5 per plate
1/4 cup of good olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (for bread)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper ( for bread)
1/4 cup of baby arugula leaves
2 slices of Prosciutto cut into thirds
5 mini San Marzano or grape tomatoes halved
5 tablespoons of Burrata cheese
Kosher salt- to taste
Black pepper freshly cracked- to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the baguette bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of baguette lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Slice in half eight mini San Marzano tomatoes. In a sauté pan, on medium-low heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the halved grape San Marzano tomatoes. Add a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper too. Toss the tomatoes around in the pan for about 2-3 minutes, just giving them enough time to softened and start to burst, then remove from the heat. Take 2 slices of Prosciutto and cut into thirds, to fit onto the toasted baguette slices.

At this point, the bread should be coming out of the oven. It’s really all about the timing. Setting the bread into the preheated oven, then sautéing the tomatoes, and slicing the prosciutto.  This allows you to complete a few easy tasks at the same time.

Once the bread and tomatoes are ready, it’s just a matter of plating the bruschetta. Take a round plate and lay 5 of the crostini in the shape of a star. Place a few baby arugula leaves on each piece of toast along with one prosciutto piece on top. Next, for the Burrata. Cut open the cheese very carefully and place a tablespoon of Burrata on top of the prosciutto. Top the cheese with two tomato halves, and finish with another light sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper.

There you have it! A beautiful small bite loaded with flavor, and the plates look appealing too.

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Chicken Involtini With A Lemon Dijon Sauce

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Lately, life for me has been so busy, I haven’t been able to post any recipes. I’ve been working a lot more and that’s great because I’m able to save more towards great new recipes like this one.

Let me say, this dish is one that I believe you will love. It’s easy, eye-catching, and so delicious. This is my Chicken Involtini With A Lemon Dijon Sauce.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40
Yields: 8 Chicken Involtinis
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, whisk, Chef’s knife, meat-safe cutting board, small bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts yielding 8 chicken cutlets
8 slices of Prosciutto
8 sliced of Provolone cheese
1 pound of asparagus, blanched
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup of freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Ask your butcher slice each of the chicken breasts into 4 cutlets yielding 8 cutlets total.

The next step is *blanching 1 pound of asparagus in boiling salted water, around 3 to 4 minutes depending on their thickness. Immediately transfer the asparagus to an ice bath. This process will stop the cooking process and set the vibrant green color. Remove the asparagus spears from the ice bath and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pat dry.

The very first thing is to lay all 8 of the cutlets out onto a meat-safe cutting board. In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of dried thyme, stir to combine. Season all the chicken cutlets evenly on both sides.

Lay 1 slice of the Prosciutto and 1 slice of Provolone cheese (refer to the pictures above) on each of the cutlets. Place 3 to 4 asparagus spears, across, on top of the Provolone cheese, carefully roll them up, then transfer them to a plate with seam side down.

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and unsalted butter. Place four of chicken Involtinis seam-side down into the pan. Sear the first side for about 2 minutes allowing the Chicken Involtinis to form a golden outer crust. Turn the Chicken Involtinis over 1/4 of the way to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, again another 1/4 turn, 1 to 2 minutes, finally the last side for 1 to 2 minutes. You want the Chicken Involtinis to have really great color on all sides. Remove the chicken roll-ups, transfer to a plate, and repeat the entire process again with the remaining four. Start with another 2 tablespoons each of the butter and olive oil.

Once all the chicken have been seared off, in the same pan set the heat to medium-high. Arrange the Chicken Involtinis so all eight are in the pan. Add 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken broth and place a tight-fitting lid onto the sauté pan. Allow the chicken steam for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the lid, transfer the Chicken Involtinis to a plate.

The pan is now filled with flavor from all those bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan. Continue over medium-high heat to *de-glaze the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits of chicken that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. This process will fortify the chicken broth with even more flavor.

Reduce the chicken broth to where there is practically no liquid left in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium, switching to a whisk add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, swish the butter around allowing it to melt. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour whisking constantly until the raw flour cooks out and becomes paste-like forming a *roux. Continue whisking, slowly pour in 2 cups of unsalted chicken broth, until broth absorbs the *roux.

To that, add the Dijon mustard, the zest, and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and a teaspoon of dried thyme, whisk to combine until sauce thickens about 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn the heat off and add the chopped fresh Italian parsley for color.

Ladle that delicious Lemon Dijon Sauce over the top of the Chicken Involtinis, serve hot.

*Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water to stop the cooking process.

De-glaze is to dilute meat sediments in (a pan) in order to make a gravy or sauce, typically using white wine or broth.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

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