Tag Archives: appetizer

it’s true… EVERYTHING is better with bacon!!

So as promised, what better way to celebrate ‘International Bacon Day’ than a great tasty appetizer to have before dinner tonight… I whipped up my uber-famous bacon wrapped dates! Stuffed with blue cheese and tightly wrapped with a slice of thick cut applewood smoked bacon and we were in business. Into the pre-heated oven for about twenty-five minutes and out came perfectly cooked dates! To finish these gorgeous little packages… a drizzle of good maple syrup to drive the whole story home. Oozy blue cheese, crisp salty bacon and sweet dates were perfectly paired with a crisp bottle of Albariño…
Unfortunately I couldn’t leave well enough alone… it is a special day today and I needed to pay further homage to this luxurious sliver of porky goodness! As I looked around my kitchen, out popped beautiful white-fleshed nectarines. So I thought what the hell, and tightly wrapped these bad boys with some bacon and tossed them into the oven. Cooked until the bacon was crisp and the fruit slightly softened [but still retaining its shape] and it was time to chomp down. Sweet and salty… crisp, warm and just soft enough to practically melt in our mouths!
Hmmmm why isn’t there a bacon holiday once a month???

And don’t forget to send me an e-mail at kitchenguru77@gmail.com with your bacon photos and/or a brief description of why YOU love bacon!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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far east… far out taste!!

What a better way to spend our Saturday evening, but with great friends and Asian fusion cuisine!
The restaurant was upbeat and stylish, the waitstaff friendly and very knowledgable about all the dishes on the menu.
To start things off, we all shared a number of different appetizer dishes. Cold sesame noodle salad, tempura crab cakes, fire cracker shrimp, beef satay, steamed dumplings and lastly a chicken lettuce wrap. WOW talk about options and amazing flavors.
For dinner I treated myself to my all time favorite dish, sesame chicken, but with my usual extra spicy kick! It arrived hot and crispy with just enough sweetness to offset the heat. Served with the best brown rice dish I have tasted in a long time. Not your ordinary brown rice… It’s nuttier and more rustic, a perfect paring against my dinner. Glad I took home some leftovers… now I can dream the night away knowing that my leftovers are waiting patiently till tomorrow at noon. Yum!

at a low simmer…
-R

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pretty in pink…

As a precursor to a delicious meal, I decided to make a nice, delicate little appetizer to enjoy…
I gently sliced pink pearl apples, which are sweet and slightly tart. They have a gorgeous vibrant pink flesh and are available sparingly in one of my favorite gourmet markets for a very brief timeframe so I had to get my hands on some!!
These slices of beauty were layered on a grilled slice of sourdough bread, followed by some applewood smoked bacon, arugula and topped with extra sharp cheddar. Under the broiler for just a moment until melted and bubbly and it was time to slice into and devour!
Salty, crunchy, tart and sweet… a perfect combination in a perfect bite!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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al fresco dining under the NY[City] stars…

Tonight started off with a much needed happy hour in the infamous Meatpacking District. After a few drinks with a dear friend, it was time to move on to dinner reservations at Crispo. Upon arrival, we were whisked away to a tucked away outdoor area to enjoy an amazing dining experience! Choices were not easy to make thanks to a scrumptious menu, but the waitress would not have that!
To start the dinner off, I ordered us three different appetizers. First were mozzarella risotto balls, fried to a golden hue and served with classic marinara sauce. The first bite was a crunchy surprise that revealed a silky, creamy interior. Our second was a childhood favorite, eggplant caponata. A wonderful mixture of eggplant, green olives, capers, pine nuts and other lovely flavors married in to a medley of deliciousness. Our third appetizer was an amazing crispy pork belly served with figs and bitter greens… Need I say more! For my main course I ordered bucatini alla amatriciana.
This dish was classic Italian… a fresh spicy tomato sauce mixed with guanciale (cured pig jowl), chilies covered with a flurry of pecorino cheese! Smokey, slightly sweet and just an all around hearty dish with rich flavors!
After eating this masterpiece, there was no room left for dessert… perhaps something sweet will make its way into my belly tomorrow night!

at a low simmer…
-R

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that’s my kinda [fun]gi…

So I’ll be making one of my favorite appetizers for a graduation party this coming Sunday… stuffed portobello mushrooms!
Super simple, but full of delicious things. I start by browning sausage that I whip out of the casing, sauté some onions and garlic, add some herbs, breadcrumbs, eggs and freshly grated pecorino romano. I also add some heat to mine for that extra little pop.
These little disks are baked off till cooked through, cut into bite-sized pieces and served.
Wow all this talking, err writing is making me want one now!! Stay tuned for pictures.

at a low simmer…
-R

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