Showing posts with label Sandwiches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sandwiches. Show all posts

01 September 2009

2 Recipes: Tuscan Chicken Wrap Bites on Skewers, Very Simple Shrimp Salad

Cover of "Hors D'Oeuvres"Cover of Hors D'Oeuvres

From Denny: These appetizers (no photos of these appetizers, guess they didn't last long enough to photograph!)were a big hit here in Louisiana at a recent chefs' preview party where volunteers who are home cooks made appetizers for the local top chefs, caterers and restaurateurs. They were honored for their service in the Capital Chefs’ Showcase which benefits Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge.

This year is most special as it is the 50th golden anniversary of the Cancer Services. This organization helps over 5,000 people annually with free services, assistance and support.

Offered here are two appetizer recipes that are easy for the home cook to make and were a big hit with everyone!

From: Ann Guercio from a recipe in “Hors D’Oeuvres” by Eric Treuille and Victoria Blashford-Snell

Makes: about 36 appetizers


3 chicken breast halves

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons chopped garlic (in jar or fresh)

1 (4-ounce) log creamy goat cheese

4 ounces cream cheese

6 (8-inch) flour tortilla wraps

1 (16-ounces) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1/2 of (10-ounces) bag fresh spinach

Garlic salt, to taste

Dried Italian seasoning, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

1 (100-count) package (6- or 8-inch) wooden skewers


1. Marinate chicken breasts 30 minutes in olive oil and chopped garlic.

2. Pan sear chicken breasts in nonstick skillet until cooked. Slice into thin strips; save drippings.

3. Soften goat and cream cheeses in microwave if necessary. Add drippings to the cheeses and mix well.

4. To assemble: Warm each tortilla in microwave or pan for 15 seconds to make pliable.

5. Spread each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture, 1 tablespoon chopped peppers, 3 strips of sliced chicken breast and a handful of spinach. Season lightly with garlic salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper.

6. Roll up jellyroll fashion and wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat process for each tortilla.

7. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours. (Can be held overnight.) Slice each tortilla into 6 pieces, discarding plastic wrap.

8. Skewer each piece on a 6- to 8-inch skewer.


Harlequin Shrimp
Originally uploaded by TANAKA Juuyoh

From Denny: I found the most colorful shrimp photo from the Philippines! Wondering what these look like on the table, one colorful appetizer.

Shrimp Salad

From: Fran Ognibene

Serves: 12 as a salad or about 16-20 as an appetizer.


4 pounds (16-20 count per pound) headless boiled shrimp

2 cups Hellman’s brand mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar

6 Tablespoons fresh minced dill

3 cups (6 stalks) minced celery

1 cup minced red onion


1. Peel and devein shrimp.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, champagne vinegar and dill. Combine with the peeled shrimp.

3. Add the celery and red onion and check seasonings.

4. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours. Can be served skewered on toothpicks or over a bed of lettuces for a wonderful salad, your choice!

For one more appetizer recipe from the party that was a huge hit, Oriental Tuna Steaks, go to my newest food blog, Unusual 2 Tasty.

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30 June 2009

Recipes: Fresh Summer Tomatoes!

Selection of heirlooms, plus one hybrid, the E...Heirloom Tomatoes, click on the image to take you directly to the photo to better read the names of the varieties Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: We love tomatoes at our house! They are so versatile, and, right about now for the rest of the summer, they are also affordable. Tomatoes are a healthy food, full of vitamins A and C as well as the antioxidant lycopene.

Some people who find red tomatoes too strong a taste would enjoy the more mellow yellow version. Another alternative is to buy the red tomatoes before they ripen - as green tomatoes! Here in the South we have a long tradition of fried green tomatoes. All you do is slice the green unripened tomatoes into thick slices. Then dredge them in an egg wash and yellow cornmeal, seasoned with your favorite spices - we like lots of garlic powder and Cajun seasonings at our house - and saute in a bit of oil in a cast iron skillet and out comes an awesome dish! Easy!

Today I'm featuring a couple of tomato recipes: Tomato Basil Pie and Heirloom Tomato Salsa, enjoy!

Tomato Basil Pie

From:Cooking & Gardening with Dianne” by Dianne Cage (featured in the Comfort Food From Louisiana Amazon store, just click on the title)

Makes: one (9-inch) pie


1 prepared pie crust

3 or 4 medium tomatoes, sliced fairly thick


2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (suggestion: use only 1/2 cup Cheddar plus 1/2 cup Parmesan)

1/2 - 1 cup mayonnaise (suggestion: if you are not a huge fan of mayonnaise or the calories try using only 1/2 cup as that is just enough to bind everything without excess)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper


1. Brush bottom of pie crust lightly with butter and bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Place tomato slices in bottom of crust and sprinkle chopped basil over tomatoes.

3. In separate bowl, blend cheeses, mayonnaise, red pepper and a sprinkle of black pepper. Pat on top of tomato-basil and with the back of a spoon, lightly spread over top.

4. Put back into preheated 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes and top is lightly browned. Tomatoes will just be heated through. Serve warm.


Heirloom Tomato Salsa

From:Fresh Every Day — More Great Recipes From Foster’s Market” by Sara Foster with Carolynn Carreno (featured in the Comfort Food From Louisiana Amazon book store - just click on the title)

Makes: 3 to 4 cups.

From the author: “I make this salsa in big batches because it’s good on so many things: scrambled eggs, chicken sandwiches, in wraps with leftover meat and, of course, with chips. I make it with many kinds of heirloom tomatoes because I love all the shapes and colors together. If you can’t find heirlooms, don’t worry. The point is just to have good, garden-ripe tomatoes.”


2 pounds mixed tomatoes (4 to 5 medium), cored and diced

1 small red onion, minced

2 jalapeño peppers, cored, seeded and minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Grated zest and juice of 1 lime

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño peppers, garlic, red pepper, lime zest and juice in a large bowl as you prepare them. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with the sugar, cilantro, salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marry the flavors before serving the salsa. It will keep for up to 1 week; the tomatoes will release some juices, but the flavor is just delicious.

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29 May 2009

Recipe: Italian Stuffed Steaks (Braciolini)

From Denny: Italian comfort food reigns supreme in Louisiana too! This is an old dish still popular today. It takes a while to make, can be done in stages, and is usually reserved for special gatherings or holidays. Long on presentation!


"Like most heritage recipes, each family adds its own special touches, which came from previous generations.

Most of the bracioline dishes in our area are stuffed with a combination of ham, prosciutto (ham of Parma), bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, salami or sausages. Some wrap the meat around whole hard-cooked eggs. Grace Guarisco slices the eggs, and her in-laws never use eggs. They wrap the meat around diced potatoes.

The recipe I’m preparing in the photo is from the late Mona Drago. She taught me to make her version of Braciolini and Tomato Gravy years ago for a Food Focus show. Her steak is stuffed with prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, cheese, bread crumbs and whole hard-cooked eggs.

The meat is thin-cut beef, top or bottom round, steaks. Ask the butcher to cut the steaks between ø and ‰ inch thick. You will find that some recipes call for veal, but most suggest round steak.

This is not a complicated recipe; it just takes time to cook the gravy and the meat. As long as you can wrap the meat around the stuffing and secure it with cotton string, you have it made. The Tomato Gravy is cooked slowly for 3 to 4 hours before it is poured over the meat. Then it cooks with the Bracioline for 2 to 2-1/2 more hours. Yes, it takes time, but it’s worth the effort."

By food writer Corinne Cook

Mona’s Braciolini (Stuffed Steaks With Three Meats and Cheese)

From: Mona Drago

Serves 12-14. Recipe can be halved.



3 round steaks sliced thin (get the butcher to cut them less than &permil-inch thick)

1/2 lb. prosciutto (Italian ham), thinly sliced (substitute regular ham if you cannot find the prosciutto)

1/2 lb. salami, thinly sliced

1/2 lb. pepperoni, thinly sliced

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Italian bread crumbs

5 or 6 hard-cooked eggs

4 strips bacon

Tomato Gravy (recipe follows)


1. Overlap the round steaks a little on each other, then pound the meat well with the flat side of a meat mallet.

2. Layer the ham, then the salami, pepperoni, cheese and bread crumbs.

3. Line the boiled eggs on one end and holding the meat and filling together as you start, roll up jellyroll style.

4. Tie securely with cotton string.

5. Place bacon over the top of the meat. Pour Tomato Gravy over the meat and cook at 350 degrees for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the steak.

Tomato Gravy


1 large onion

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

3 or 4 ribs celery, chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1 (12-oz.) can tomato paste

3 tbls. sugar

1 (28-oz.) can tomato purée or 2 (16-oz.) cans whole tomatoes, cut up

Salt, black pepper and red pepper, to taste

Oregano, to taste

Sweet basil, to taste

2 or 3 bay leaves

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Cooked pasta


1. Cook onions, garlic and celery in olive oil until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste and sugar. Fry this until it begins to hold together and is a nice rich color, about 15-25 minutes.

2. Fill the tomato paste can with water and add 2 cans of water to the tomato mixture. Cook for about 15 minutes then add tomato purée and seasoning. Add 2-30 quarts of water and cook slowly, covered, for at least three hours or until slightly thickened. If mixture gets too thick, thin with a little more water.

3. Pour over prepared meat and bake in 350-degree oven for 2 to 3 hours, depending on size of steaks.

4. To serve, remove string, cut meat into slices and serve over cooked pasta with added gravy over the top.


Another version of Italian Stuffed Steak:

Siracusa Bracioline

From: Grace Siracusa Guarisco

Serves 4.

Note: This is enough steak and filling for 1 bracioline. Double or triple these ingredients if serving more and wrap each separately.


1 to 1-1/4 lbs. thin-cut top or bottom round steak (slightly less than &permil-inch thick)

Salt, black pepper and red pepper

2 to 4 slices thin-sliced ham

4 pieces sliced bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

2 sliced hard-cooked eggs

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs

2 tbls. chopped fresh basil or parsley

Olive oil for browning

Italian Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)


1. Season meat, which has been pounded into rectangle about 1/4-inch thick, to taste with salt, black pepper and red pepper. On top of steak, layer ham, then crumbled bacon, sliced hard-cooked eggs. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and seasoned bread crumbs. Those amounts need not be exact. Sprinkle with either chopped fresh parsley or fresh basil.

2. Roll up tightly, jellyroll style, and tie securely with cotton string to secure stuffing. Brown meat, on all sides, in large heavy pot in about 1/3 cup olive oil.

3. Pour cooked Italian Tomato Sauce over stuffed steak and cook for about 2 hours. Do not overcook or steak will fall apart instead of slicing nicely.

Italian Tomato Sauce

This is enough sauce for three (1- to 1-1/4-lb.) braciolini.


1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

1 (12-oz.) can and 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste

6-3/4 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. oregano

Pinch of ground cinnamon

2 to 3 tbls. sugar

4 to 5 leaves of fresh basil, coarsely chopped

1-1/2 to 2 lbs. pasta


1. In heavy pot, sauté onion in olive oil until almost tender. Add the garlic after the onions have cooked awhile. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.

2. Cook tomato mixture, while stirring constantly, until it’s a deep red, about 15 minutes.

3. Add water, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried basil, oregano, cinnamon and sugar. Cook slowly, covered, for 3 to 5 hours.

4. Right before serving add the fresh basil.

5. Pour over prepared Bracioline and cook an additional 2 hours.

6. To serve, remove string, slice and serve over cooked pasta with extra sauce over the top.

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