Easy Entertaining: Italian Appetizers

If you like entertaining, you probably have turned to Italian cuisine more than once, especially Italian appetizers. They’re some of my favorites to serve my guests!

First and foremost, I love Italian ingredients in general. Italian appetizers usually include delicious cheeses like mozzarella, flavorful specialty meats like salami or prosciutto di Parma, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and usually generous drizzles of olive oil here and there.

The ingredients are fresh, flavorful, GOOD for you (especially the olive oil), and if you buy them at specialty stores like www.gourmetfoodstore.com, super high quality.

Italian Appetizers

Besides the flavor, what I love about Italian appetizers is that they’re also really easy to put together, easy to serve and easy to eat. Below are some ideas to make your own delicious Italian appetizers at home!

Prosciutto di Parma + Mozzarella Di Bufala + Olives + Salami + Peppers = Antipasto!
Basically just a selection of cold cuts, cheeses and other things that are served as an appetizer. Just arrange everything on a platter and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Toasted Bread + Diced Tomatoes + Basil + Chopped Garlic + Mozzarella di Bufala: Bruschetta!
This Italian appetizers is super easy to make; just mix the diced tomatoes, basil and garlic with a bit of olive oil. Cut a baguette into thin slices, toast, and top with a slice of mozzarella and the tomato mix.

Serve this with a classic bottle of Italian wine, like Barolo or Chianti, and get ready to wow your guests!

Todays FAB Product Showcase: Dufour Pastry

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Ok, if you’re a pastry purist, look away, you will NOT like this post! If you’re someone who likes baking and pastry but likes to save some time and effort with cool, innovative pastry supplies, then read on!

In my culinary shopping adventures sometimes I come across a “FAB” product: flavorful, affordable and brilliant! In this case, it’s a FAB brand! Let me introduce you to Dufour Pastry’s line of pastry supplies, and their fab product, Classic Puff Pastry Dough!

All bakers know that puff pastry is the ultimate challenge. It requires meticulous, time-consuming work to create all those layers of thin pastry and butter. The geniuses at Dufour Pastry in California have perfected the technique and done all the work for us, their puff pastry expands when baked, rising to about 8-times its original height; so a quarter-inch thickness of puff pastry dough will puff up to 2 inches high! Inside the “puff” are hundreds of flaky and thin layers, that push the dough upwards and outwards in all directions.The dough is frozen, so you can store in your freezer until you needed. Trust me, you’ll be hard-pressed to make this puff pastry in your kitchen and get it to taste as good as this!

Their line of pastry supplies also includes mini tart shells to create sweet and savory appetizer tarts, as well as delicious Chocolate Puff Pastry Dough.

To buy or get more information on Dufour’s pastry supplies, you can go online to www.GourmetFoodStore.com, where I usually get all my pastry supplies (they deliver straight to your door, and their prices are super reasonable).

Easy Entertaining Idea: A Specialty Meat Platter

Wagyu Steaks & Meats

I am constantly thinking about easy entertaining ideas. I love to have people over, but I hate to cook and clean up afterwards. But because many of my friends and myself are also foodies, I like to treat guests to great food, as well as great conversation.

The best and easiest appetizer idea that I’ve found so far is a cheese and specialty meats platter. I find that if you include a variety of things, you’ll satisfy most palates and keep most diners happy.

The trick is to have something for everybody. I like to have unique specialty meats like – for the discerning diner, but also something that everybody likes, like sausage.

A good specialty meats platter will also have some cheeses that will absorb some of the intense flavor of the meats. Try hearty and firm cheeses like cheddar or Gouda. They’re easy to slice and will stand up nicely to the specialty meats.

Some products I love are:

- Jamon Iberico de Bellota – a sublime Spanish ham made from acorn-fed pigs

- Chorizo Palacios sausage – a Spanish chorizo made using a secret 30-year-old recipe

- Fiscalini Farms 18 month Farmstead Cheddar

- Beemster Gouda – a classic and delicious Dutch Gouda cheese

These are just some ideas, of course. When creating your own specialty meats platter, use your imagination and personal taste, and make sure you have some good quality bread and a great wine to go with it!

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