Saturday, May 24, 2008

Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Pistachios

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Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Pistachios

My twist on the familiar "Brushetta", this Strawberry Brushetta is perfect on a nice spring or summer day, the combination of the tangy goat cheese and the balsamic dressed strawberries with the crunch of the Pistachios is delicious! My original recipe and some interesting facts are below...enjoy!!

Bruschetta (pron. bru'ket'ta in English, /bɾu'sketta/ in Italian[1]) is a food whose origin dates to at least the 15th century from central Italy. It consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Variations may include toppings of spicy red pepper, tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, and/or cheese; the most popular American recipe involves basil, fresh mozzarella, and tomato. Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizer. In Italy, Bruschetta is often prepared using a brustolina grill. In Tuscany, bruschetta is called fettunta, meaning "oiled slice".

Strawberry Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
*Appetizer; serves 8 to 10, makes approx 25 pieces

2 pints of Strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 TBSP Balsamic Glaze (can be found at most gourmet stores)
11 oz log of Goat Cheese
6 to 8 basil leaves, chopped
1 TBSP Olive Oil plus more for brushing onto bread
½ cup of roughly crushed toasted Pistachios
Pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 narrow loaf of French baguette, sliced on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices

Preheat oven to 375* brush bread slices with olive oil and bake for approx 10 min. or golden brown, set aside to cool. Toss strawberry slices in bowl with the balsamic glaze, salt, pepper, basil and olive oil. Spread each toast with cheese and top with sliced strawberries, sprinkle with Pistachios and enjoy!

Suggested wine pairing: Chilled Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
All rights reserved 2008. Recipe developed by Joseph Sciascia

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hor D'Ouevres Party Galore!

Orange Tarragon Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce in Spoons
Miniature Grilled Tomato & Cheddar Pannini with Dijon
Miniature Cheddar Burgers with Rosemary Onion Jam
It was another smash hit birthday party that I catered last night in Los Gatos. This was a 60th birthday party for a new client.
She had ordered 10 different Hor D'Ouevres passed by servers and buffet style. The biggest hit of the night were the Orange Tarragon Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce served in Asian Soup Spoons, people could not get enough of those and of course the Mini Burges, who wouldn't want that, comfort food city! (menu below).

Over the years I have catered numerous parties and the interesting thing is, most of them are Hor d'ouevres parties. The reason why I think that this type of party is so popular is that people can taste many different cuisines. I get more excited over the prospect of catering a party of all finger foods. I enjoy the challenge of inventing new ones so I don't get bored and It really puts a smile on my face when I get to present foods in a "small" way that party guests don't see or get to see everyday!
Food should be fun and interesting not boring, it not only nourishes are bodies but it should nourish are imaginations and tastes. Appetizers, Small Bites, Hor d'ouevres, Finger Foods, Tid-Bits-Whatever you may call it, is always in style!

Mini Cheddar Burgers with Rosemary Onion Jam
Tuna Tartare on won ton with Edammame Wasabi Puree
Miniature individual Macaroni & Cheese
Orange Tarragon Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce in Spoons
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce
Baby Lamb Chops with Honey Mint Peppercorn Sauce
Fine Cheese & Crackers
Mini Tomato & Cheddar Pannini
Asian Peanut Noodle Salad in “To Go” containers with Chopsticks
Butternut Squash Soup “Sips” in Shot Glasses with Pumpkin Seeds