Remember those tasty, squared little focaccia samwiches from my focaccia bread post?
If you are entertaining at home this weekend, these mini samwiches (I love calling it a “samwich”) are something that you will want to serve. They are crunchy, creamy and delicious.
Serve them at your next party, or you can just stick them in your lunch box; they are great any way that you want to enjoy them.
You will need:
- 1 homemade focaccia bread, cut up into squares
- Red Peppers, 1 per sandwich (my bread recipe should yield 8 to 10 sandwiches)
- baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- Herbed goat cheese spread
For the goat cheese you will need:
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package (3 oz.) of goat cheese
For the Peppers:
- To roast the peppers, preheat the broiler and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, or grease it lightly.
- Cut peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds and stems.
- Place peppers cut side down on the sheet pan.
- Broil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Peel when cooled.
For the Herbed Goat Cheese Spread:
- In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the goat cheese, mix well.
- Coat the goat cheese with the mixture, press the mixture into the cheese with a fork and combine well.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you have the time, prepare this a day ahead; the longer it sits, the better it tastes.
Assembling the Sandwiches:
- Spread the herbed goat cheese on two squared slices of focaccia.
- Layer the portobello mushrooms on one slice, then follow up with the roasted pepper.
- Cover with a slice of focaccia, and serve.
The snow has stopped falling. The electricity is back on. The heat is working. Hallelujah! Those of you that live in warmer places, thank your parents or yourselves for living there. I am really considering the option of moving down to Florida or maybe even Arizona.
As I write this, the thermometer outside of my kitchen window appears to be stuck at -9 degrees Fahrenheit. According to my husband, it’s not stuck; it really is -9! I can’t even say, “I’m freezing!”, because that is below the freezing point!
Needless to say, we have been cooped up inside this house for a week. I had a chance to get out on Saturday to pick up a few things, but I could not wait to get back home – the roads are nasty and the cold is unbearable.
For the reason that we are all in with nowhere else to go, I got to cook up, bake up, clean up, and all the “ups” there are to do when you have nothing else going on.
These cream puffs came about as we were preparing to entertain some guests that could not make it because of the snow drifts. I was so disappointed, but I can’t blame them – it’s like the apocalypse out there.
Savory Cream Puffs
You will need:
- 1 stick of margarine
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 4 eggs, room temperature
For the filling:
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1/2 cup ham, chopped
- 1/4 cup pickles, finely chopped
For the topping:
- 1 cup of sour cream
- Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a large saucepan put in the margarine, water, and salt and bring to a boil.
- Add in the flour and mix vigorously until the mixture begins to pull away from the pan and you get a smooth ball of dough. This will take about a minute or less.
- Put the dough into a mixing bowl and beat in eggs one at a time on low speed. Beat until well combined.
- Drop about a tablespoon of dough mixture onto a baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches of room in-between each drop.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- During the cooling process, work on the filling by chopping up the ham and pickles; mix them in a bowl together with the sour cream and combine.
- Once the puffs have cooled, cut each of them in half, crosswise.
- Put a tablespoon of the filling on the bottom half of the puff and top it with the other half. Do that with the rest of the puffs.
- When finished, pipe some sour cream on top and garnish with grated Monterey Jack cheese.
- Allow them to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
With NYE only two days away, most of you that are entertaining a party, or going to a party, are probably working on a plate, or two, of bite-sized gems to serve, or to bring with you for the lovely host/hostess. This year I intended to host a party, but things never go as planned, right? Instead, we are going out for a nice dinner with very dear friends of ours and then we are going to ring in the New Year back at their place. Because I could never go empty handed, even if it was just for a coffee visit, I made a bunch of hors d’oeuvres (or as we call it, “meze”) that I will be bringing with me.
These cute, delicious little treats are fajita pinwheels filled with bacon, turkey ham, roasted pepper, and green onion mixed in neufchatel cheese. These will be coming with me because they always please a crowd, especially when served with a glass of Chardonnay! And since my husband knows his wines, he will be bringing the Chardonnay.
You will need:
- 1 package (16 oz.) whole wheat tortillas (16 in a package)
- 1 (8 oz.) package of neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1 green bell pepper, julienned, roasted and finely chopped
- 3 slices of thick cut quality smoked bacon, cooked and diced
- 2 green onions, chopped (include the green stalks)
- 1/8 teaspoon onion salt
- 16 thin, deli-cut slices of turkey ham
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven at 425.
- Arrange the julienned peppers on a baking sheet covered with foil; add a pinch of salt over the peppers, drizzle with EVOO, and in the oven for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the bacon; dice it and cook it over medium-low heat.
- Remove the bacon and in the same pan where the bacon was cooked, add in the thin slices of turkey ham and cook on each side for about a minute.
- In a deep mixing bowl add in the neufchatel cheese, the bacon, green onions, peppers, and onion salt. Beat with a mixer on the lowest speed setting for about 30 seconds – this will result in a creamier mixture.
- Spread a tablespoon of the mixture onto the tortilla and top with a slice of the turkey ham. Repeat this process until you’ve run out of tortillas.
- Roll up the tortillas and place them in a plastic container with a cover.
- Put the rolled up tortillas in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Remove them from the fridge and cut each roll-up crosswise into 5 slices.
- Place the pinwheels in a plastic container, and back to the fridge until you are ready to serve them.