Oh my gosh – I am so late in getting a recipe done this month! It seems once it gets past summer we are in the entertainment mode: trips, vacations, expected and unexpected guests. Everybody need a quick easy meal or noshing that can be put together in a few minutes that makes guests think you have been planning all day. Usually that’s a pasta because the bulk of the ingredients are right on hand and pretty quick to throw together.
Other ideas are bruschetta, or variations, utilizing slices of bread and lots of different toppings either hot or cold. How about a quick idea that you can pick up the ingredients on your next shopping trip, and they last quite a while so you can handle any surprise.
Most folks have heard of ants on a log, so let’s take that simple dish and add a delicious gourmet twist.
Smoked Salmon Bites
- 1 package of cream cheese 1 package of smoked salmon 1 bunch of celery
- 1 red onion
- Capers (optional)
Clean the celery and cut off any leaves, mince the leaves (or optional capers) and mix with the cream cheese. Fill the cavity of the celery with the cream cheese and add small pieces of the smoked salmon. Finely mince the red onion and sprinkle across the top.
Cut the prepared celery/cream cheese/salmon/onion into inch long bites and arrange on a nice plate.
It’s quick and delicious- let us know your secret trick and we’ll run the best readers suggestions and ideas for quick entertaining. You can email those (along with a photo if possible) to: info@gastonalive. com There will be a $50 Gift Certificate to a nice local restaurant for the best recipe.
Ciao, Glenn and Glenn
We got this note from our friend Hal Neely about great uses for seasonal fruit and produce-enjoy! –The Glenns
Guys, we were given a couple pounds of ripe figs yesterday and I wondered what to do with them. I had heard about oven-roasting, so I thought I would try that. I cut them in half and placed them on a large baking pan and slow-roasted them at 275 degrees for 3 hours. They turned out great. The natural savory sweetness was intensified. They can be eaten directly as a snack, served as a side with dinner, or used in making other dishes. They are in season now, so your readers may be interested in the oven-roasting idea.
While considering roasting vegetables that are currently in season, I would also recommend roasting Roma tomatoes (aka plum tomatoes) similarly. These will need some seasoning to enhance their flavor. I mashed a couple fresh garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the tomatoes, cracked some black pepper over them and added some sea salt, then I dashed them with dried thyme. They roasted in a little over three hours. They turned out with a pleasant sun-dried aroma and taste. I used them on pasta- they could also be used on pizza.
Finally, I’ve had good results roasting whole okra pods that are lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil. You can do it outside on the grill, or inside on a George Foreman grill. It takes only a few minutes to cook the whole pods. The slippery juices are diminished and the light char marks from the grill really bring out the flavor of the okra. This has turned out to be my favorite way to eat okra. Yes, they are better roasted like this than the ‘batter and fry’ method that is a Southern tradition.