Once upon a time my husband and I went on a juice cleanse. Being the types of people who enjoy taking things past the point of reason, we decided that a 30-day cleanse would be a great way to start off our relationship with vegetable juice. If you're going to do something a little crazy, why not go all the way, right?
The first week was awful. My head hurt. My stomach ached. I saw stars, used curse words a lot, and spent most of my time sleeping. Then, after six or seven days without solid food a fire lit beneath me. Suddenly I felt full of life. I was light on my feet and totally energized - a total juice convert. That energy kept up for a while, and as I became more and more inventive with my juice recipes I started to wonder if I'd ever go back to eating solid food again!
But then, a little less than a week from my thirty-day goal my juice cleanse was foiled. One might expect that I would have fallen victim to the usual troublemakers - like ice cream, cheeseburgers, or PIZZA! The truth was far less sexy. Of the many temptations I had encountered during my fast, the siren that finally slayed me was a simple one - a plain old steamed head of broccoli.
I was prepping the broccoli from our CSA delivery to be frozen when hunger struck. Glistening with steam and fresh from the pot, that luscious green vegetable just looked so good to me. I figured that just one bite couldn't hurt. Then I though, well, maybe even two would be OK. It wouldn't kill me to add a little salt and lemon, would it? Maybe a squirt of olive oil?
Ten minutes later the entire head of broccoli had disappeared and I didn't even want to think the word juice ever again. Since that day I've had a much more sincere appreciation for the delicious simplicity of cruciferous vegetables. While they are unforgettable steamed with salt and lemon, roasting these hearty veggies on a sheet pan is my very favorite way to enjoy them. In fact, they are so good this way that I could probably devour an entire sheet pan even without being on the hungry end of a juice cleanse.
Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower
Makes around six 1-cup servings
This simple method for preparing broccoli and cauliflower can easily be dressed up or customized by adjusting the seasoning. For example, you might try adding garlic, ginger and red pepper to give the veggies and Asian flavor. A sprinkle of thyme, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper is a great way to give it an Italian flair.
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 lemon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Toss the broccoli and cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the veggies over a sheet pan, then roast until tender (about 10 - 15 minutes)
- Remove from oven and squirt with lemon.
Oh avocado. You are a marvelous thing, aren't you? Mashed and swirled with lime you become a tasty chippable dip. Blended into soups or smoothies you lend a smooth richness on par with butter or cream. Spread on toast you are better than butter - adept at matching nearly any flavor you choose to accompany.
I think I love you, avocado. And so today I spread you, like the aforementioned dairy-based treat, over a hunk of grainy toast before covering you in black eyed peas. They are good luck, you know - particularly at New Years.
Texas Caviar Toast
Makes five 1-slice servings
- 5 large slices of whole grain bread
- 1 medium or large sized avocado, ripe (medium-soft)
- 1 1/2 cups Texas Caviar (recipe here)
- Salt, lime juice, or hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- Toast bread slices until golden-brown.
- Cut open avocado, remove pit, then score into thin slices using a butter knife. Scoop out flesh using a spoon, then spread over the toast slices with the butter knife.
- Divide the Texas Caviar evenly over the six slices of bread. Squirt with lime or hot sauce and sprinkle with salt if you so choose.
- Devour promptly.
On the list of horrible, frustrating, irritating things that can possibly happen, losing my camera's battery charger is pretty high up on the list. While I slowly search the house from top to bottom (It's gotta be here. It's just GOTTA.) I've been resorting to taking camera phone photos for my blog.
Not that taking picture with your phone is the worst thing that could happen. Most of the time they are downright OK. It's just that I like taking pretty pictures, and I know that no matter how skillfully I tap my tiny little screen it's just not going to look as good as if I was shooting with my big camera. It's not the end of the world - but it does suck a little joy out of my life, which is never a good thing.
It is especially frustrating when Farmhouse Delivery hooks you up with a massive box of gorgeous produce. I pulled an Instagram Takeover on their feed last weekend and spent an entire afternoon cooking and prepping tons of really pretty food. These mushrooms, for example, were sooooo pretty. Even the process of making them was pretty. It was a golden opportunity to flex my photography muscles, and it was missed.
On the bright side I still ended up with something good to eat - which is kinda the point of cooking, right? You can't EAT pretty, after all.
So, mushrooms - possibly the most misunderstood of vegetables, at least in my house. Scott loathes them - claiming they taste like dirt. I know he isn't alone in that opinion, but I just don't see it myself. To me, mushrooms taste meaty and savory. They might be a touch earthy, but they certainly don't taste like dirt. Beets? Now there's a plant with some serious dirt qualities. You can practically smell the iron.
Marinated mushrooms were really my gateway mushroom. I first encountered them as a teenager when a friend waxed poetic over her grandmother's mushroom stash. Marinated mushrooms! Marinated mushrooms! She just couldn't get enough. Not being a mushroom fan at the time, I was highly skeptical. But then I tasted them. They were slightly sweet, a little salty, and swimming with savory goodness. They were a little on the slippery side, but not at all gross - more like juicy. I've been a huge fan ever since.
This recipe is a spin on the classic Italian marinated mushroom. It is still sweet, still salty, still savory - but with a punch of garlic, ginger, and hot red pepper in place of oregano. They are delightful right out of the jar, but try adding them to noodles, rice bowls, and spring rolls for something really fun.
Spicy Ginger Soy Marinated Mushrooms
Makes about 1 pint
- 8 ounces mushrooms (I used white button)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 scallions, sliced thinly (both green and white parts)
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Gently wipe the mushrooms clean using a damp cloth or paper towel. Remove stems (I usually save them for making stock) and cute them into bite-sized pieces.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well.
- Toss the mushrooms with the marinade, then transfer to a jar or small container where they will be tightly packed together. Ideally the marinade will cover all of the mushrooms.
- Let the mushrooms marinate for at least 30 minutes before gobbling them up.
Sharing today's guest post is Amy Kritzer, of What Jew Wanna Eat. Amy is a super prolific blogger who shares amazing recipes inspired by Jewish cuisine. A fellow former Northeasterner, Amy is one of the few Austinites I know that can truly understand my love for really good bread. Rye, hard rolls, bagels?! They just aren't the same down here. Amy knows. I'm excited to have her sharing one of her delicious treats with you here on Mary Makes Dinner. Thanks, Amy!
Hey there Mary Makes Dinner readers! I’m Amy and I blog over at What Jew Wanna Eat, where I share modernized Jewish recipes and entertaining anecdotes. You don’t have to be Jewish to stop by, just love good food!
Four High Protein, Low Sugar Yogurt Recipes for Snacks and Breakfasts
It's 3:00 PM. Do you know where your snack is? I certainly do. It's currently being shoveled into my mouth, and with zeal.
These days, getting tons of protein into my diet is more important than ever. According to my midwives, I need to eat between sixty and eighty grams of protein every single day. That is a LOT of beans, people. I know. I measured them out one day to see what it looked like.
Two things to love about the South:
As you might imagine, I think fried pickles are just about the most brilliant invention of all time. When I was thinking about how to amp up basic tempura, I remembered these delightful dill-flavored crunchers. I could have just dipped regular old dill pickles in tempura and called it a day, but I thought that seemed a little too dull. Instead, I raided my fridge and pantry for some homemade, briney treats.
For some reason fried green tomatoes make me get all nostalgic. They are kind of hoaky, right? I feel like fried green tomatoes are the kind of thing you'll find in real down-home country kind of place, right next to a big pile of buttermilk biscuits and a bowl of cheesy grits. This theory is reinforced by the fact that I never even tasted a fried green tomato before coming to Texas.
Now that I'm here, I find that Fried Green Tomatoes vary quite a bit from cook to cook, ranging from light and cripsy to thick and chewy. They can be lightly touched by cayenne pepper, or blazing hot with cajun spice. I'm yet to meet one I didn't care for, but since they aren't the healthiest snack, what with the deep frying and all, I don't eat nearly as many as I'd like.
When I decided to make my own recipe, I took a cue from buttermilk baked chicken, a recipe that fakes the eater out by baking on a thick crust of cripsy cornflakes. The result is a suprisingly hearty snack with plenty of crunch, but far less fat. The seasoning in this recipe is in the neighborhood of medium, so if you like things spicy, don't be afraid to add a little extra Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper.
I haven't tried this method to make "fried" pickles yet, but I can't see why it wouldn't work. If you don't have green tomatoes handy, try whipping up a batch using kosher dill spears. In that case, a nice homemade ranch dressing might make a better dip.
Cornflake Crusted Green Tomatoes
- 4 large green tomatoes
- 3 cups cornflakes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Cut the tomatoes into 1/4" thick pieces.
- Crush the cornflakes, then pour them out onto a dish.
- Mix the flour with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun Seasoning, and pour into another dish.
- Mix the eggs, yogurt, and remaining Cajun seasoning together in a small bowl.
- Dredge each slice of tomato in flour, then in the egg mixture, then in the cornflakes. This will be pretty messy, so I recommend using a different fork for each stage.
- Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat sheets.
- Bake for twenty minutes, or until the crust becomes crunchy and slightly browned.
Makes 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped pickle or pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Add salt, pepper, or extra hot sauce to taste.
Shisito Peppers seem to be all the rage here in Austin lately. I first tasted them at Uchiko, a posh Japanese restaurant where they charge a premium for fancy food served in itty bitty dishes. It's a fun place, but not somewhere my budget allows me to visit very often. The last time I went it was on Google Local Austin's tab. I won a seat at the dinner after posting a zillion reviews on Google Plus Local. This was a rare instance where lording my opinion over the rest of the world actually paid off. My sister and I joined a handful of other winners along with Google's local community managers, Bryn and Whitney. Score one for bossypants!
The dinner itself was a memorable one. Not so much because the food was amazing, though it was wildly delicious. What fixes the evening in my memory so solidly is the hunger we endured for the first two thirds of the dinner. Knowing that we'd be stuffing ourselves with gourmet food that night, Heather and I ate light throughout the day to make sure we'd have a great appetite before dinner. Everyone arrived on time, we were seated right away, and immediately given drinks. Whitney ordered multiple plates of several dishes, and then... we waited.
The Shisito Peppers came out early on, and for what seemed like an eternity, they were the only thing that we had to eat. Being at a table almost entirely populated by strangers, etiquette prevailed, and though we were all completely ravenous, we did our best to remain courteous as each teeny tiny dish arrived. We each had literally one or two bites every time a plate showed up. With the plates arriving every ten or twenty minutes, the entire meal took more than three hours. We had an abundance of Shisito Peppers though, so while we drooled over the other tables, who were actually getting to EAT, these hilariously petite peppers were our main course.
At one point, maybe an hour or so into the meal, the table next to us were served a hot-rock style beef tataki. The animal part of my brain wanted to stab them with my chopsticks and make off with their dinner. Never mind that I'm a decidedly non-violent person, or that I am predominantly vegetarian. I was that hungry. You know that scene in romantic movies where the couple goes to a fancy dinner then almost cries when the waiter takes the big, silly dome off of their tray to reveal a beautiful meal in miniature? I get that now.
Maybe Uchiko just isn't set up to deal with large parties, or maybe the stars were aligned against us that night. In any event, I developed a healthy appreciation for the shisito pepper. I'm pretty sure I could pick one out of a pepper lineup, blindfolded. After being quick-roasted, these tiny, thin-walled peppers settle into a nice combination of soft and crunchy. They have just a touch of sweetness and heat, making them safe for a crowd. You can kick up the heat by making your dipping sauce extra spicy, or tone it down by pairing it with something more mild, like a sour cream or yogurt dip.
Blistered Shisito Peppers
Makes a pint of peppers (enough for about four or five people to nibble)
- 1 pint shisito peppers
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
There are multiple ways to roast shisitos. Check out each of these options, then pick the one you are most comfortable with.
- Shisitos can be roasted directly over a gas flame, but this takes a little bravery and a lot of finesse. Hold the peppers with a long pair of tongs, and hold them over the flame until they blister and blacked. Rotate the peppers to roast them on all sides, then remove to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the peppers.
- A safer, but less controlled method is to blacken the peppers under a broiler. Turn your broiler on high, then line the peppers up on a baking sheet. Place the peppers under the broiler, keeping a close eye on them to watch their progress. Checking them every minute or so is pretty much mandatory. When the peppers blister and blacken on top, remove the pan from the broiler, turn the peppers over, and repeat on the other side. Keep in mind that the second side may blister more quickly than the first.
- Heat your grill up until it is nice and hot, at least 4oo degrees. If your peppers are big enough to sit on the grill without falling through, place them directly on it. If they are too small, put a grill pan over the grill before putting the peppers down. The peppers should blacken and blister pretty quickly this way. Keep an eye on them, and turn them over as soon as they blacken on one side. Remove them when they are nicely colored all over.
- If you don't have a broiler or a grill, you can roast them at a high heat in your regular oven. Preheat the oven to 450, then line the peppers up on a baking sheet. Pop them in the oven, and check them every five minutes or so to see if they have blackened and blistered. As soon as they do, remove the whole pan from the oven. (The disadvantage to this method is that the peppers may soften too much before they blacken. It's not a huge deal, but they definitely taste better prepared the other ways.)
After your peppers are done cooking, Sprinkle the salt over them and serve right away.
Spicy Mayo Dipping Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup mayonaise or Vegan Mayo
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until totally mixed. Chill until serving.
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I tell ya, it's good to have food-crazy friends. Kristina, of Girl Gone Grits, lives just a hop, skip, and a jump from me. That would be a nice thing no matter what, since she's a lot of fun to hang out with, but it just so happens that Kristina's house is also home to a very prolific meyer lemon tree. Straight from her lips I heard a figure of 500+ lemons coming from that crazy tree this year. Can you imagine that? What's a gal to do with so many dang lemons? There's only so much Limoncello one can make, so Kristina decided to share her bounty.
One of my all-time favorite Chinese take-out junk foods, Crab Rangoon is basically just a tasty little pocket of molten sin. Cream cheese, salty crab, and scallion wrapped up and deep fried, then soaked in soy sauce or duck sauce. Whoever invented the stuff must have done so shortly after inventing the bong. It's total stoner food.
But, stoner food or not, anyone who has tasted a Crab Rangoon would probably agree that those craft Chinese food wizards are on to something. That crispy wonton shell... The creamy molten core... The tiny specks of scallion, pepper and crab... Oh mama.
So I decided to try and make my own version. My rangoon is totally vegan, making it at least a pinch healthier than its cheesy predecessor. Cashew and tahini give these little puffs the right inner texture, while a blend of soy, sriracha, scallion, and sweet pepper create a flavorful filling that is surprisingly "crabby".
Isn't it glorious, people? It's simply STUPENDOUS. Kettle corn has got to be one of the best treats ever imagined. It's light and crispy, salty and sweet. Seriously, kettle corn has it all, and it takes just a few minutes to make. For me, it's the perfect thing to feed hungry party-goers, and it just so happens that tonight I'm having a party!
Around seven o' clock, our friends and family will be descending upon our home (Leonard Landing as I like to call it) to share a meal, carve pumpkins, and celebrate all that is Halloweeny. Have I ever mentioned that Halloween is my favorite holiday? Well, it is. I love the sense of mystery, the uninhibited imagination, and the wanton sugar consumption that surrounds the end of October. It's the best.
With wanton sugar-consumption in mind, I'm sharing a slightly devilish recipe with you this afternoon. Kettle corn is already bathed with blasphemous sugar and salt. To make this treat even more wicked, I've saturated the sugar with food dye. Now almost everyone knows that food dye is no damn good for you, but 'tis the season for scary things. To Hell with sense. Let's make some candy!
Makes 3-4 cups
Again, this works very well in a Whirley-Pop, I can't vouch for how well this will go over on the stove-top. If you try it, let me know how it goes! I made two batches of kettle corn for the bowl in the photo. The first batch was orange (made with yellow and red dye) and the second was purple (made with red and blue dye). You can make almost any color you can dream up with those magic little dyes, so use your imagination. For a slightly healthier snack, omit the dye, and just use plain sugar.
Before you get started, make sure you have all your ingredients measured out, and a baking sheet or casserole dish handy. This goes really quickly, so you won't have time to grab anything while the corn cooks.
If you like this recipe, make sure and check out my other kettle corn recipe: Spicy Coconut Kettle Corn.
Today I made a batch of kettle corn for tomorrow's Vegan Bakesale here in Austin. Steph, also known as The Lazy Smurf has organized a killer bake sale tomorrow outside Counter Culture from 2:00 - 5:00 pm. Proceeds from the sale will benefit SARA Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary is currently home to over eight hundred and fifty animals including dogs, cats, and farm rescues.
Delicious treats will abound. There are tons of home bakers donating their goods as well as a number of pro-bakeries from all over town.
From The Lazy Smurf Blog:
We are going to have so many items from Austin’s vegan friendly bakeries including Capital City, Happy Vegan Baker, Sugar Circus, Mr. Natural, Sugar Mama’s, andCeleste’s Best. There are going to be Pumpkin Spice Cookies, Goji Bites, Peanut Butter Cups, Pumpkin Loaves, Mini Mud Pies, and tons of Gluten Free items too! There is going to be live music from Ken Atkins and the Honky Tonk Kind and dogs to pet from the animal sanctuary! So please come, invite your friends and buy everything.
How cool is that? I love how folks in Austin are always coming together to do good.
Anyway, my homemade donation will some bags of Spicy Coconut Kettle Corn. I found some pretty festive packaging to make my popcorn extra appealing.
It helps a lot if you have a Whirley-Pop type gizmo, but with a little determination and a lot of arm power, you can make this in a regular pot with a lid. The trick is keep the popcorn moving no matter what. When I tried it in a big pot it burnt, but just a little. So, for perfect results, get yourself a whirly-pop. I've had one for about five years now, and it's seriously one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment. When Scott and I moved to China and sold 90% of our possessions before the trip, the whirly-pop was one of the things that made it to the storage unit, so that should tell you how attached to it I am.
Another thing that would strongly improve your kettle corn is using a specialty corn blend. I just used regular-old kernels, but I've heard great things about Mushroom Popcorn Kernels and kettle corn specific blends.
Spicy Coconut Kettle Corn
Makes about 12 cups
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If you've never tried your hand at making homemade pickles than you are missing out on a rare pleasure. Each batch of homemade pickles has a unique personality. There are so many factors that go into the way a pickle will end up tasting, that no two batches ever seem to come out completely alike. While you might expect that to be frustrating, I think it's kind of exciting. (In a geeky sort of way.)
Comfort food takes on different forms in other places. While Americans scarf down pizza, queso dip, and slippery, cheese coated macaroni, people all over the world are being comforted by entirely different sorts of foods.
Rice balls are one of those different sorts. They are slightly sweet, a little sticky, and usually smothered with salty or spicy toppings. When we were living in Beijing, one of my favorite treats was the pre-packaged onigiri at 7-11. I'll never forget peeling of the cellophane wrapper and biting through the shiny seaweed, and into a kimchi stuffed ball of happiness.
I thought my onigiri days were behind me until I re-discovered the treat here in Austin. First, at the Love Balls Bus, then later at East Side Kings. Everyone has their own preference for prepping and topping onigiri. My personal favorite is Yaki Onigiri, which involves searing the rice balls on two sides, and serving it hot. I wrap my piping hot rice ball in a sheet of nori, pile it up with scallions and bonito flakes, then drizzle Japanese mayo and Sriracha sauce all over it.
There may or may not be soy sauce to dip them in.
You'll need a mold for your rice balls, unless you are super-fancy and can manage to make pretty shapes by hand. (In which case I applaud you.) Molds are wicked cheap. I use this one that I found on Amazon: Sushi Mold (Triangle, White)
So there you have it, my favorite Japanese comfort food. Have you tried onigiri? What's your favorite way to eat it?
Hang on folks, this ride is about to get silly. Really silly.
Every year, my friends and I compete to see who can come up with the best superbowl themed snack. Over the years there have been some amazing entries into our little contest, but no matter how many bowls go by, it's always the same old thing. Football shaped this and that, yadda yadda yadda. Last year we actually had FOUR snack stadiums. FOUR! Each was more dazzling than the next, but where was the creativity? Why wasn't anyone thinking outside the box? Well, this year would be different. This year, Scott and I would crush the opposition with something truly stupendous, and completely unexpected.
Scott came up with the idea of building a volcano out of queso dip. A brilliant notion, indeed, but how can we tie that into football? It's so... prehistoric. We brainstormed for a while, and after deciding that the volcano simply MUST be accompanied by dinosaurs, an idea finally struck me. Tiny helmets.
This might be our crowning glory of snack related weirdness. I'm thinking we should just retire after this one. You know, go out on a high note. As for you, your glorious career in dip related geology is just getting started.
Here's how you do it. Start by cutting out a sturdy cone from posterboard, then cover it in wax paper or tin foil. (Foil actually works better, and is what I would use if I ever did this all over again. The Wax paper doesn't grip the refried beans very well, so they slip off after a little while.) Next, drop a tupperware container into the cone's hole. Set the cone on a baking sheet, then cover the pan and the cone with refried beans. I added some black beans too, to enhance the volcano's texture. Cover the bottom of the pan with shredded lettuce, and set up a few bowls inside to hold sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Arrange some dinosaurs around on the landscape, dressed according to your occasion. When it's time to serve, fill the tupperware with hot queso.
Here are few extra shots of my queso volcano.
This volcano was inspired by a long standing tradition of Superbowl snack one-uppery. Here are a few gems from this superbowl, and superbowls of the past.
How much does pork love apple? Pork loves apple so much that they could be caught in a tree making kisses together. That's how much. You know what loves both pork and apple? Spicy!! All three come together in a sizzling love triangle in the following recipe.
I tried to make this healthier by baking the egg rolls instead of frying them, but it didn't turn out well. We'll just have to accept this dish as an indulgence. Serve it along side some fried rice, dumplings, cucumber salad, noodles, or stir fry to create an awesome meal.
Pork & Apple Egg Rolls
Start by slicing the pork into thin, bite sized strips. Mix together the marinade ingredients and soak the pork in it for at least 1 hour. Heat oil in a large skillet, and saute the garlic and pork. When cooked through, set aside. Mix the squash, carrots and scallions in another bowl and toss with soy and siracha. Lay out an egg roll wrapper in front of you, and fill it with about 4 tablespoons of the squash mixture, a few slices of meat, and a few slices of apple. Wet the edges of the wrapper with a little bit of water, and fold, as if it were a tiny burrito. Set aside, and repeat until all wrappers are filled.
Heat oil in a deep skillet, or a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Carefully place each egg roll into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, turning if necessary. When finished, remove egg rolls from oil, and drain on paper towel or a cooling rack.
Serve with soy sauce, hot mustard, or malt vinegar.
Wondering what that weird and wonderful looking pile of green stuff is? They now sell Sesame Seaweed Salad in my local Costco! Hooray! Seaweed Salad, also called Ocean Salad sometimes, is one of my favorite Japanese restaurant treats. It's a staple menu item in most sushi joints, but very pricey. Now that I can get a pound of it for about 7 dollars, my life is pretty much complete. By the way, if you think having a pound of it is too much, well I could just tell you you're crazy, but I'll also tell you that it freezes quite well. In fact, it came frozen in bulk to the restaurants I've worked at.
I saw someone using kiwi in a tomato and mozzarella caprese somewhere recently. When I did, a lightbulb went off in my head somewhere and the following appetizer was born. This was a huge hit, and incredibly yummy. I think it would make a great dessert as well as an hors d'oeuvre. The crisp apple chip, firm kiwi, and creamy marscapone pair so nicely. Add a little basil chiffonade, and you are done. I have a theory that a balsamic reduction would go great drizzled over the top, but unfortunately, I didn't have one on hand at Thanksgiving. Next time...
Winter Fruit Caprese
Start by sorting through your Apple Chips to find the best pieces. You are looking for the fullest, least broken, least bendy and weird, and best looking. Each piece will need to be big enough to hold at least a half a slice of kiwi. Set the winning pieces on a platter. Scoop the Marscapone Cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe a small dollop of cheese onto each Apple Chip. Next, place the sliced Kiwi on the chips. If a chip is very small, cut the slice in half first. Finally, top each chip with a little bit of Basil. Now try not to eat them all before your guests see them.
What unexpected combinations have you enjoyed recently?