Fig and Pig Flatbread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Fig and Pig Flatbread! Make life easy tonight with an amazing twist on this sweet and salty sensation. Everyone loves bacon. I get it. And the fig preserves provide a sweet after taste that mingles with the natural crunch of crispy crust and salty meat. The gooey cheese is like the icing on a cake. With only a few ingredients, preparation is a snap leaving more time for settling in front of the television with a glass of wine and your favorite program. You can thank me later.

FIG AND PIG FLATBREAD

Ingredients:

1 prepared flatbread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon corn meal

1/2 cup fig and muscat wine preserves

4 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Brush both sides of flatbread with olive oil. Sprinkle corn meal on the bottom side of the flatbread. Place onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick oil. Bake 5 minutes; remove from oven. Spread fig and muscat wine preserves evenly over flatbread, leaving a crust edge. Arrange crumbled bacon as next layer. Scatter mozzarella and feta cheese over top. Bake 10 minutes longer until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve with a side salad.

Cocktail Shrimp Minis

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Cocktail Shrimp Minis! Being a “grazer” can reap advantageous health benefits, in my opinion. Not only are the portions much smaller, but you get to eat every few hours which keeps hunger pangs under control. The rule of thumb is to choose foods high in nutrients and low in sugar, salt, and fat. The key to successful grazing is to prepare things ahead of time. That way when you open the refrigerator, you are drawn to easy choices. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?

COCKTAIL SHRIMP MINIS

Ingredients:

1 dozen fresh shrimp, precooked

1 cup fresh salad greens

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce

1 tablespoon horseradish

Instructions:

Place salad greens in the bottom of a single serving glass. Divide the block of Neufchâtel cheese into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Place one cheese ball in each glass. Combine seafood cocktail sauce with horseradish. Drizzle sauce evenly over each cheese ball. Skewer one shrimp and insert into each glass, piercing the cheese ball. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Beet Bacon Bleu Salad

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Beet Bacon Bleu Salad! Remember when you were a kid and your mother made you eat beets? And you hated them? Well, thank goodness as we age, our taste buds change. Perhaps it’s time to give them a second chance. I did and the results made me wonder why I waited so long.

BEET BACON BLEU SALAD

Ingredients:

15-ounce can sliced beets, drained

3 tablespoons lemon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

2 cups mixed salad greens

1 egg, hard-cooked and sliced

3 slices applewood bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons balsamic reduction

Garnish with croutons

Instructions:

In a shallow dish, combine lemon olive oil, seasoned salt, and Herbes de Provence. Add sliced beets. Marinate 10 minutes, turn and marinate 10 minutes longer. Arrange salad greens in a bowl. Add beets, reserving marinade. Arrange egg slices on greens. Top with bacon pieces. Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles. Drizzle all with reserve marinade plus balsamic reduction. Garnish with croutons.

Uvetta Apple Chutney Grilled Cheese

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Uvetta Apple Chutney Grilled Cheese! When I was a kid, the word “chutney” meant something yucky with raisins and spices. That was before my taste buds matured and I acquired an exotic palate. Nowadays I appreciate the characteristics of fancy foods filled with specialized ingredients. By adding a spoonful of apple chutney to a grilled cheese sandwich, it transforms an ordinary meal into an extraordinary one. You should try it.

UVETTA APPLE CHUTNEY GRILLED CHEESE

Ingredients:

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped

1 candied ginger disc, chopped

2 teaspoons pineapple juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon cognac (optional)

2 tablespoons raisins

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon natural honey

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

Instructions:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, sweet onions, and candied ginger. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Add pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, cognac, and raisins. Cook on low another 2 minutes. Stir in garlic powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, and honey. Mix well. Add chopped apples. Coat with sauce. Simmer 10-15 minutes until apples are soft and sauce is like syrup. Remove from heat. Serve as a condiment on your favorite grilled cheese sandwich.

Rich Ricotta Cannoli

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Rich Ricotta Cannoli! For those of you like me, who can’t run down to the Italian bakery, try this recipe on for size. It’s perfect for the holidays and won’t leave you wringing your hands for something gourmet. By splurging on store bought cannoli shells, you can focus on the delectable filling instead. The results are astounding! Applause, applause!

RICH RICOTTA CANNOLI

Ingredients:

15 ounces ricotta cheese, whole milk

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

12 miniature cannoli shells, ready-to-fill

Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer on low speed, whisk the ricotta cheese and almond extract until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and nutmeg. Mix well. Refrigerate for one hour. To fill the cannoli shells, pipe the ricotta mixture into both ends of the shell, allowing the cream to fill the center. Garnish with mini chocolate chips. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Prepared cannoli may be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container up to three days.

Quatre Fromage Garlic Breadsticks

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Quatre Fromage Garlic Breadsticks! For all the bread-lovers out there, be aware. What may begin as a simple after-school snack can quickly escalate into an early supper. The aroma of freshly baked bread spreads into a room like magic. Turn things to your advantage. Pair these ooey gooey cheesy breadsticks with a garden salad or plate of fresh veggies. The end result is a contagious good mood, a full stomach, and the rest of the evening to pamper yourself. How’s that for a recipe that is spot on?

QUATRE FROMAGE GARLIC BREADSTICKS

Ingredients:

1 tube prepared pizza dough

1-2 tablespoons corn meal

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/3 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

1/3 cup Harvarti cheese, shredded

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 teaspoon dill weed

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll pizza dough. Place over cornmeal on baking sheet. Brush top side with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Layer four cheeses evenly over dough. Take a pizza cutter and slice the dough lengthwise into 10-12 strips. Then cut those in half. Do not separate. Bake 10-13 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheeses are gooey. Remove from oven. Recut each strip all the way through. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with dill weed. Serve warm with marinara sauce, garlic butter, or ranch dressing.

Pear Camembert Flatbread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Pear Camembert Flatbread! It’s seldom I get the cart before the horse, but I had to share this phenomenal flatbread with you, simply because I couldn’t wait any longer. Let’s refer to today’s recipe as a Prequel, shall we? Perhaps it will whet your appetite in anticipation of what lies ahead. As promised, the Tomato Jam recipe will be featured in the upcoming post entitled, Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter T. Some things are simply worth the wait.

PEAR CAMEMBERT FLATBREAD

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon corn meal

1 prepared-dough naan round

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup tomato jam*

1 pear, peeled, stem and seeds removed, thinly sliced

2 ounces Camembert cheese, diced

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle corn meal onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick oil. Brush both sides of naan with olive oil. Place on top of corn meal. Bake 5 minutes; set aside. Spread tomato jam evenly over naan, leaving a crust edge. Arrange pear slices over crust. Scatter Camembert and mozzarella cheeses over top. Bake 10 minutes until pears are soft, cheese is bubbly, and crust is golden. Remove from oven. Cool slightly; then cut into wedges.

*Tomato Jam recipe is featured at the following link.

http://Snapshotsincursive.com/2016/11/21

Giordano’s in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Giordano’s in Las Vegas, Nevada! Some things you just can’t rush, like world famous deep dish pizza. Made from a family recipe that originated in Torino, Italy, the “stuffed” version of Giordano’s pizza pie begins with a light and buttery focaccia-type crust. Next comes a layer of fresh veggies and savory meats. A thick layer of cheese is essential for gooey chewy goodness. Finally, an herbed tomato sauce is spread completely over the top before it is baked in a hot oven for almost an hour. Can’t wait that long? Order some cheesy garlic bread to nibble on in the meantime. Giordano’s pizza is definitely worth the wait.

Jambon de Bayonne Baguette

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Jambon de Bayonne Baguette! If you don’t have time to run by the local artisan bakery, consider this option. By using ingredients you may already have on hand from the local supermarket deli, this homemade version of a Parisian favorite can be done in minutes. It’s basically a ham and cheese sandwich stepped up a notch.

JAMBON DE BAYONNE BAGUETTE

Ingredients:

1 baguette, cut in half (serves 2)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1-2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

3 ounces Jambon de Bayonne, or aged prosciutto

2 romaine lettuce leaves

2 slices espresso/lavender rubbed cheese

8 cornichon gherkins

Instructions:

Slice baguette lengthwise, without cutting all the way through to create a submarine sandwich. Spread a fine layer of Dijon mustard over each baguette half. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and herbs de Provence. Add slices tomatoes to coat, reserving olive oil mixture. Place one layer of tomatoes in each baguette. Next divide prosciutto, romaine lettuce, and gourmet cheese between baguette sandwiches. Top with cornichon gherkins. Drizzle with remaining herbed olive oil. Close and serve. Bon Appétit!