Thursday, December 29, 2011

Italian antipasti platter and more1

It really needs to be seen to be believed...

And the rest of the wonderful antipasti:

Funghi Marinati con Olio e LimoneMushrooms Marinated with Oil and Lemon
1 pound fresh button mushrooms
½ lemon, freshly juiced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, cut in thick slices
2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

1. Wash mushrooms quickly as they can get waterlogged otherwise. You also can brush them clean if they are not too sandy.
2. Steam mushrooms in a large double boiler for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain on paper towels and pat dry.
3. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Put mushrooms in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour liquid over all, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir occasionally. About ½ hour before serving, remove from refrigerator, discard garlic, stir again, and transfer mushrooms to a serving dish. Serve at room temperature.

The mushrooms are in the bowl on the right side.

Feta triangles – Triangoli al ripieno di feta

If you want to surprise your guest with something different this is the right appetizer: puff pastry wrappers filled with feta cheese. It’s quick, easy and really tasty.  Be careful you can become addicted to them! This is also a good recipe to make with your kids or for kids.

1 8oz. sheet frozen Puff pastry, thawed

6 oz. Feta cheese
1 large egg
It makes about 9 triangles.

1. On a lightly floured surface roll the puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square and cut it into 9 squares.
2. Crumble the Feta cheese add the egg and mix until well combined.
3. Put equal amount of the filling (about 1 Tbsp.) onto the center of each square.
4. Fold the dough over to form a triangle. Press the edges of the dough together and then use the tines of a fork to seal the edges.
5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the Feta Triangles.
6. Bake them in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes at 400° or until golden brown.
7. Let them cool on a rack for few a minutes and serve warm.

Celery Boats filled with Gorgonzola Cheese

A classic Italian appetizer more common in the North of our peninsula where Gongonzola cheese is produced.
I’m a Gongonzola cheese lover, but if you’ve never tasted it I suggest you to try it before preparing this recipe. Gorgonzola has a characteristic taste and a distinctive flavour and for some of you it could be too strong. The best way to taste it is to leave it out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Don’t substitute Gorgonzola with blue cheese, Rockford or Stilton because they seem similar but they’re not. The cheese used in this recipe is  the sweet variety which is creamy and slightly spicy, not the spicy and hard type which  resembles the above mentioned cheeses.

4 crisp celery stalks

1/2 cup soft Italian Gorgonzola cheese

1 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

1.Trim the stalks and cut them into 4-inch pieces.
2. In a bowl combine the gorgonzola cheese with the walnuts. Stir the ingredients together until smooth and well combined.
3. Fill the celery sticks with the cheese mixture and chill before serving.

Recommended resources:
 Consortium for the Protection of Gorgonzola Cheese

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