Monday, May 29, 2006

Appetizers

I tried two appetizer type recipes last week and both were winners around our house!
The first was a dip I have been wanting to try for a while. It comes from Giada de Laurentis cookbook, Everyday Italians, and received rave reviews from those who tried it.
Now I know why! This dip has the perfect balance of creaminess and flavor. The white beans have a delicate flavor and smooth texture, both characteristics that paired with the lemon juice and parsley turned into a delicious and tasty concoction. I loved this one and will definitely repeat!
My favorite dip is hummus, and this recipe now comes in a close second on my list!
I served the dip with baked pita chips that I made, a delicious contrast of crispy and crunchy chips with the creamy dip.
The dip is also good served with crunchy veggies on the side, I like carrots, cherry tomatoes and red bell peppers too!
The second recipe I tried was a Mini Quiche. I attended a baby shower in which we were all supposed to bring in a dish, and since I was assigned to a savory one, I opted for this one.
I actually came up with a recipe myself, after reading through several other ones. The crust was great, and actually my favorite part here! It was extremely easy to work with and came out very tasty and crispy. I enjoyed this crust a lot and will definitely use it again when making this kind of tartlets. I even think they would be good in sweet little tarts, I guess omitting the salt and adding some sugar to the dough would work well here (but make sure to use unsalted butter!).
For the filling I basically used what I had in the fridge, and it worked out quite well.
I made it into mini quiches, so that it would be easy to eat, but I guess it should work just as well if baked into a quiche pan. Just be sure to adjust the baking time.
Everybody liked the mini quiche at the baby shower, and I was very happy to hear they were a lot better than store bought ones!
Two new recipes to try, and if you like creamy foods as I do, be sure to try the dip, it is really good!
Ana

White Bean Dip
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.
For the pita chips I simply cut the pita bread into pieces, season them with salt, pepper and olive oil, and bake at 350 for about 5 minutes. Talk about easy and good!










Mini Quiches

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces (1 stick)
3 ounces chilled cream cheese, cut into small pieces

Mix everything together in a bowl. Using a pastry blender, or two knives (as I did!), cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. With your hands form the dough into a ball, shape into a log and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for about 1 hour. (You can use a food processor here; I guess it would be a lot easier if I had one!)
Cut the log into 24 pieces and press then into 24-cup mini muffin pan. While you make the filling put these on the freezer to firm up.

Filling:
3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese

¼ cup ham, chopped finely

2 eggs

1/3 cup heavy cream (or half-half)

Chopped herbs (I used fresh oregano)

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine grated cheese and ham in a small bowl. In another bowl mix eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper and herbs. Sprinkle the ham/cheese mixture into the muffin tins, then spoon in the egg mixture into the shells.Bake it at 350 F for about 30 minutes.

5 comments:

valentina said...

Ana, I love bean dips.I used to buy loads from a lovely health food shop just by my old house when I lived in London. I haven't eaten it since I moved to Guildford.I might use your recipe to revive old times. It sounds lovely.

Brisa said...

Ana,

AMO petit quiches e nunca vih receita pra eles..YummY!!!! Obrigada por dividir!! :))

Bjs

Bri

Karen said...

Ainda vou experimentar sua receita de dip!

Ana said...

Valentina: I hope the recipe brings back good memories!
Brisa: your welcome! Hope you like in case you try them!
Karen: do try the dip, it is delicious, I really really liked this recipe!

Brisa said...

Ana, voltando akih..eu ainda nao fiz os petit quiches, mas voce me lembrou de fazer hummus, e la fui eu..

Voce em alguma receita premiada??

Ja fiz varias, a ultima neste weekend (inspirada pelas bean dips) mas nenhuma ficou com a textura adequada, embora o sabor seja bom..

Bjs e obrigada,

Bri