crostini – The Culinary Chase http://theculinarychase.com support local Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:52:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 hummus (with a surprising ingredient) http://theculinarychase.com/2017/03/hummus-with-a-surprising-ingredient/ Thu, 30 Mar 2017 20:15:22 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=13521 Most of us have, at some point, enjoyed hummus either as a dip with pita bread and veggies or as a condiment slathered over a falafel.  The recipe is simple;  grab a can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), garlic, tahini, lemon or lime juice, coriander and process in a blender.  Hummus is a healthy substitute […]

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hummus - with a suprising ingredientMost of us have, at some point, enjoyed hummus either as a dip with pita bread and veggies or as a condiment slathered over a falafel.  The recipe is simple;  grab a can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), garlic, tahini, lemon or lime juice, coriander and process in a blender.  Hummus is a healthy substitute for mayonnaise or butter.  That said, I went off it for a period of time as I found it boring until I decided to add anchovies…blame it on the anchovy butter I made a couple of weeks ago.  Sure, you can jazz it up by adding sumac or cumin but nothing quite took hold of my taste buds the way anchovies did.

I have been using anchovy fillets since December 2001 when I took an Italian cooking class (7 sauces for your pasta).  We were living in Singapore and I met Francesca.  Her charm, culinary experience (an instructor at The Culinary Institute of America) and natural love for her country was infectious.  I wanted to learn more.  She showed how to make a proper puttanesca sauce using anchovy fillets.  Before then I would have turned my nose up as I wasn’t a big fan of fish.  The anchovies dissolve when added to the tomato sauce with no hint of any ‘fishy’ scent, just an amazing savoury flavour.  Next time you make a beef stew, add these little guys.

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped (stems included)
2 teaspoons tahini (add more if needed)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
8 to 10 anchovy fillets (packed in oil), roughly chopped
extra-virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and pulse. If too dry, add more olive oil. Serve on toasted bread slices or use as a dip.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Save some of the anchovy oil and add to the dip. Enjoy!

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roasted peppers and gorgonzola crostini http://theculinarychase.com/2016/05/roasted-peppers-gorgonzola-crostini/ Wed, 25 May 2016 18:10:46 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12622 Crostini (little crusts in Italian) are the easiest appetizers one can make.  There are oodles and oodles of variations and limited only by one’s imagination.  Creative ones such as smashed avocado topped with thinly sliced cucumber seasoned with chili flakes and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil or mashed fresh peas with sea salt, extra-virgin […]

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crostini with roasted peppers & gorgonzolaCrostini (little crusts in Italian) are the easiest appetizers one can make.  There are oodles and oodles of variations and limited only by one’s imagination.  Creative ones such as smashed avocado topped with thinly sliced cucumber seasoned with chili flakes and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil or mashed fresh peas with sea salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Consider white bean hummus slathered on a toasted slice that’s been perfumed with garlic – doesn’t that sound delish?  Even the simplest of ingredients can make toasted bread slices shine; rub toasted slices of bread with a cut clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and top with grated Parmesan cheese.  The heat from the bread will be just enough to slightly melt the cheese or pop under the broiler until golden brown.

When making crostini, choose fresh ingredients as you’ll need less but will pack a punch in the flavor department.  I purchased the bread from our local baker, Jessica Best, who grinds her own flour.  Jessica’s seeded sourdough worked perfectly for this crostini but you can choose your own favorite bread.  Gorgonzola is the Italian blue cheese (soft and delicate) but other blue cheese substitutes such as Roquefort (French version) or Stilton (English version) work just as well.  Grill or roast bell peppers to highlight the cheese or if that isn’t an option, purchase from a reputable deli but I highly recommend the former.

grilled bread slices (use oven, griddle pan, bbq or toaster)
2 red bell peppers
2 yellow or orange bell peppers
Gorgonzola cheese, room temperature
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
balsamic vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil
Italian parsley, chopped

There are two methods to prepare the bell peppers. You can either grill on a barbecue or under the broiler in your oven. Either way, cook the peppers until the skin has blistered and charred all over. Place peppers in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to steam and cool for 10 minutes or cool enough to handle. Peel peppers, remove the cores and seeds and cut into thin strips.

seeded sourdough breadArrange hot grilled bread slices on a board and give it a quick rub with a peeled garlic clove. The amount you rub onto the bread is up to you. Spread cheese over the bread and top with roasted peppers.  Carefully add a splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.  Simple and fresh.  Buon appetito!

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  The heat from the bread helps to release the flavor from the garlic.  When using the garlic, remember to do the edges as well.  Enjoy!

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Roasted Cipollini Onion Crostini http://theculinarychase.com/2015/05/roasted-cipollini-onion-crostini/ http://theculinarychase.com/2015/05/roasted-cipollini-onion-crostini/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 19:14:07 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=10513 What do you get when grilled baguette slices (crostini) and roasted cipollini onions come together?  Answer:  a heavenly snack that’s so easy-to-make and ridiculously delicious!  Cipolini (chip-oh-LEE-nee) onions are small and flat.  The word in Italian means little onion and are sweeter than the average yellow or white onion.  I have seen them in food […]

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slow roasted cipollini onionsWhat do you get when grilled baguette slices (crostini) and roasted cipollini onions come together?  Answer:  a heavenly snack that’s so easy-to-make and ridiculously delicious!  Cipolini (chip-oh-LEE-nee) onions are small and flat.  The word in Italian means little onion and are sweeter than the average yellow or white onion.  I have seen them in food shops and always passed by them – in my mind they were just too small to make anything with until the other day. I’m a big fan of grilled onion slices.  You know the kind that caramelize and become so tender and juicy.  I wanted a smaller onion that would fit nicely onto a crostini.  With this in mind, I was at the grocery store on Saturday and spotted a bag of cipollini onions.  This time I wasn’t judging a book by its cover.

Roasting cipollini onions made me one happy cook – it doesn’t take much!  A splash of olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper…simple ingredients produced the most amazing aromas in the kitchen.  Roasting brings out the natural sugars and paving the way for one hell of a caramelized onion.  What you end up with is an onion that melts in your mouth revealing its sweet and mild taste.  Eureka!

Serves 2 to 4
1 lb. cipollini onions, ends cut and skins peeled
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
aged balsamic vinegar (break out the good stuff!)
baguette, sliced

cipollini onionsPreheat oven to 350f. On a baking tray add onions and add a splash of olive oil. Toss to coat and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast 30 minutes then turn over and roast for a further minutes.  Cooking times may vary so keep an eye on the last 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over onions.

roasted cipollini onionsGet the crostini ready by lightly brushing or spraying olive oil over the slices and grill until lightly browned.  Remove from heat.  If you don’t have a bbq, use a toaster.  To assemble, place 1 or 2 cipollini onions on a crostini and smear to cover.  Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and dig in straight from the baking tray!

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Slice a peeled garlic clove and rub the surface of the crostini while still warm before adding cipollini onions.  I made this twice over the weekend it was that good.  Enjoy!

Roasted Cipollini Onion Crostini
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
What do you get when grilled baguette slices (crostini) and roasted cipollini onions come together? Answer: a heavenly snack that’s so easy-to-make and ridiculously delicious!
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. cipollini onions, ends cut and skins peeled
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • aged balsamic vinegar (break out the good stuff!)
  • baguette, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350f. On a baking tray add onions and add a splash of olive oil. Toss to coat and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast 30 minutes then turn over and roast for a further minutes. Cooking times may vary so keep an eye on the last 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over onions.
  2. Get the crostini ready by lightly brushing or spraying olive oil over the slices and grill until lightly browned. Remove from heat. If you don’t have a bbq, use a toaster. To assemble, place 1 or 2 cipollini onions on a crostini and smear to cover. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and dig in straight from the baking tray!
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Slice a peeled garlic clove and rub the surface of the crostini while still warm before adding cipollini onions. I made this twice over the weekend it was that good. Enjoy!

 

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