Black Olive, Roasted Garlic, and Rosemary Flatbread

Black Olive, Roasted Garlic, and Rosemary Flatbread

A welcome start for any spring event, appetizer, or a light dinner, our flatbread is chewy on the inside, crispy and crunchy on the outside. Covered in roasted garlic, black olives, parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary, it’s perfect for dipping in a fresh tomato sauce. You can substitute green-pitted olives for the black or if you’re not an olive fan, the flatbread tastes great without the olives too. This recipe showcases the pizza dough, so use a high-quality brand of either thawed, frozen store purchased or fresh homemade.

INGREDIENTS
1 large garlic bulb
Olive oil
Kosher salt
½ pound fresh homemade or thawed, frozen store-bought pizza dough
12 pitted black olives, cut in half
15 small sprigs fresh rosemary, about 3-5 leaves per sprig
½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
½ cup canned or boxed fresh tomatoes, chopped
fresh ground pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat an oven to 375˚F. Cut the top off the garlic bulb exposing the cloves. Place on top of a piece of foil in a small baking pan. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 20 minutes until the cloves are browned and softened. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Cool slightly so you can remove the roasted cloves from the garlic skins.

Lightly brush olive oil on a 9”x13” quarter sheet pan; sprinkle the pan lightly with salt. Roll out the dough on a floured board to 12 x 14” then press the pizza dough evenly to fit inside the pan. Set aside.

Preheat the oven temperature up to 450˚F.

Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the black olives, roasted garlic cloves, and rosemary evenly on the dough and pressing them slightly into the dough. Top with ½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges and bottom are browned. Remove and cool slightly. Cut in half lengthwise then into 16 long pieces.

In a blender add the fresh tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoons black pepper and the garlic powder; process until smooth. Pour in a serving bowl and top with the remaining cheese and basil leaves. Serve on a platter with the cut flatbread. Make 4-6 servings.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Summer rolls, also known as fresh spring rolls, are a refreshing light dish to make with rice paper wrappers rolled around fresh crunchy vegetables, chilled shrimp, fresh herbs, and rice noodles. Dip your summer rolls in an easy blender-made spicy peanut sauce to compliment the crunchy vegetables. Not dense like a fried Asian roll, these refreshingly delicious bites will have you thinking of the coming summer days.

Vietnamese summer roll is not at all difficult to make. If you’re careful not to overstuff, the rice paper rounds are very forgiving. The process might look intimidating but is quite simple. In fact, the more you make, the easier it gets. Be sure to use soft lettuce leaves, like Bibb or Boston, rather than crispy like an iceberg, so they wrap nicely around your vegetables.

INGREDIENTS
Summer Rolls
4 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
8 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied open
8 rice paper rounds, 8-9” in diameter
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves only
½ cup enoki mushrooms, available at Whole Foods and Asian Grocery Stores
24 matchstick cut pieces cucumber, cut as long as the shrimp
24 matchstick cut pieces carrot, cut, as long as the shrimp
8 green soft lettuce leaves

Peanut sauce
1″ piece ginger, peeled, chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped, salted peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS
Summer Rolls
Preheat the oven to 325˚ degrees. Skewer the shrimp to hold them flat and open. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 5-6 minutes until done. Cool and remove the skewers.

Bring a pot of water to 180˚F. Put noodles in a large bowl. Pour enough water over to cover; let stand until softened about 5 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool; drain and set aside.

Fill a flat shallow dish, like a pie pan, with warm water. Working with 1 rice paper round at a time, soak rice paper in water, occasionally turning, until just pliable but not limp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a work surface – preferably marble or a similar slick non-porous surface. Arrange a shrimp in the center of the rice paper round. Top with some cilantro, 3 matchstick-cut cucumbers, and 3 matchstick-cut carrots. Arrange a small handful of noodles and enoki mushrooms over the vegetables; place 1 lettuce leaf over the top of all the vegetables. Fold the bottom up and over filling, then fold in ends and roll like a burrito into a tight cylinder. Transfer roll, seam side down, to a platter. Repeat to make 7 more rolls. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and refrigerate.

Peanut Sauce
In a blender combine the ginger, garlic clove, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and blend, adding tablespoons of water, if needed, to thin until smooth. Pour into a serving bowl and top with chopped peanuts.

To serve
Cut rolls in half on diagonal and serve with the peanut sauce. Makes 4 servings, 2 rolls each.

Maple Peanut Chicken Wings

Maple Peanut Chicken Wings

Rule the gridiron party with a platter of delicious bites. These tasty wings are showered with salty chopped peanuts and crisp green onions over the top of a glossy maple and mustard coating – making them perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. All it takes for these wings to cook is just seven minutes is a presser cooker, then pop them in the oven under the broiler to create a beautiful crunchy exterior.

If you don’t own a pressure cooker and want to make this recipe in the oven only, contact Chef Kathy by email for instructions. kathy@freshchefexperience.com

INGREDIENTS
¾ cup maple syrup, divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 pounds of chicken wings, cut into wingettes and/or drumettes
⅓ cup finely chopped roasted and salted peanuts
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

INSTRUCTIONS
In a pressure cooker, whisk ½ cup maple syrup, Dijon, soy sauce and lemon juice until thoroughly incorporated. Add the wings and toss to coat well.

Following the pressure cooker manufacturer instructions, cook the wings on high for 7 minutes then use the quick-release method to drop the pressure to normal.

Unlock the pot and remove the wings, cover, and keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid into a 2-cup fat separator. Allow the liquid to sit for 5 minutes for the fat to rise then save the lower 1 cup of defatted liquid. Add the defatted liquid to a clean saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the remaining ¼ cup of maple syrup. Cook until the mixture is reduced to about ¾ cup and is a thick liquid.

Meanwhile, turn the oven broiler on low and preheat. Set a cooling rack on a foil-lined baking tray. Add the wings on the rack and baste with the maple liquid. Place under the broiler and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, turning frequently and basting the wings with the liquid every time you turn them. As they brown, remove them, and keep warm until all the wings are finished. (The wingettes may complete before the drummettes.) Baste the hot wings one more time with the maple liquid and place on a platter. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and the green onions before serving. Serves 4-6 people.

Apple & Bacon Flatbread With Onion Jam And Rosemary

Apple & Bacon Flatbread With Onion Jam And Rosemary

Savory applewood smoked bacon combined with sweet onion jam, apples, and maple syrup makes this appetizer flatbread the hit of any holiday party or get-together. Using only seven ingredients purchased in most grocery or specialty stores, you can pull together a quick appetizer that makes you look like a culinary genius.

Using a high-quality onion jam in this recipe is what makes this dish delicious. If you don’t have time to prepare your own, Stonewall Kitchen makes a delightful Roasted Garlic Onion Jam perfect substitution. Frozen pizza dough is available at specialty grocery stores; merely thaw overnight in your refrigerator before preparation.

3 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon. (We prefer Neiman Ranch)
½ pound pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
½ cup onion jam, homemade or high quality jarred like Stonewall Kitchen
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, finely grated
½ large apple sliced very thinly
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lay the bacon on a cooling rack set over a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. The bacon will not be cooked thoroughly. Cut each bacon slice into four pieces when cooled enough to handle,

Roll the dough out into a thin oblong shape, 9 x 13, and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Spread the onion jam evenly on the dough leaving a 1” border. Sprinkle ⅔ of the cheese over the dough, and cover it with the bacon and apples. Lightly brush one tablespoon of the maple syrup over the apple slices only. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the flatbread. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and drizzle the remaining maple syrup over the flatbread, then sprinkle evenly with fresh rosemary. Cut into sixteen squares and serve. Makes 16 appetizers size servings.

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Mini Tarts

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Mini Tarts

Our tiny tarts are flavorful and an easy dessert to add to your holiday table or bring to your next party. Perfect if you are short on time, mini size tarts require only a few ingredients that come together fast, taste delicious, and make a pretty presentation.

30 frozen Filo cups
½ cup chocolate chips
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 extra large egg
½ teaspoon of vanilla
¼ cup seedless raspberry jam
Grated chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the filo cups on a parchment lined sheet tray. Add two-three chocolate chips in each cup. Place in the oven for 5 minutes to just melt the chocolate. When removed from the oven, spread the chocolate evenly in the bottom of the Filo cups. Set aside to cool.

Using a stand or hand mixer, in a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Over the melted chocolate, spoon ½ teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into the cups. They should be three-quarters full. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove when the centers are firm and set aside to cool.

When cooled, add ¼ teaspoon of raspberry jam on the top of each cup. Sprinkle with finely grated chocolate. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 30 servings.

Mini Cheese Truffles

Mini Cheese Truffles

It’s a cheese truffle tasting ready for your next holiday party. With the appearance of tiny cheese balls, each one of these delights contains a tasty center ranging from a dried cherry, to an olive, date, or sundried tomato. A base cheese recipe is created then divided into four bowls for adding flavors to make four different seasoned versions to go with each tasty center. With lots of flexibility, you can choose if you want to make one flavor or all four. The flavor recipes below use one-fourth of the base cheese recipe each. So be sure to add extra seasonings accordingly if you decide to make only one, two or three different versions.

INGREDIENTS
Base Cheese Recipe – makes 24 cheese truffles
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Mix together well and divide evenly into four bowls. Add the following flavors to create four unique truffles.

Tomato & Jalapeno – makes 8
Combine ½ teaspoon lemon zest, 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno, and 2 tablespoons finely grated cheddar cheese. Roll mixture into ¾ inch size balls. Using your thumb, make a hole in each ball, press into the center of your truffle ½ sundried tomato. (Use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil for best results.) Roll in ⅓ cup finely chopped almonds and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Olive, Basil & Pinenuts – makes 8
Combine 1 clove of finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese and ⅓ cup finely chopped toasted pine nuts into one bowl of the cheese mixture. Roll mixture into ¾ inch size balls. Using your thumb, make a hole in each ball, press into the center of your truffle an olive. Roll in 2 tablespoons of very thinly sliced basil leaves, then ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese and refrigerate until ready to serve

Dates, Orange & Cinnamon – makes 8
Combine ½ teaspoon orange zest, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon ginger. Roll mixture into ¾ inch size balls. Using your thumb, make a hole in each ball, press into the center of your truffle ½ dried date. Roll in ⅓ cup finely chopped pecans and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cherry & Pistachio – makes 8
Combine ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon honey, and ½ teaspoon lemon zest into one bowl of the cheese mixture. Roll mixture into ¾ inch size balls. Using your thumb, make a hole in each ball, press into the center of your truffle a dried cherry. Roll in ⅓ cup finely chopped pistachios and refrigerate until ready to serve.