Sunday, March 23, 2008

All those Easter Eggs - Now What?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Easter holiday. Now, it's time to find interesting ways to use all those lovely hard boiled eggs that you had such a great time decorating with the wee ones. Here are two easy and delicious ways to get the family to eat them up!

Quick and Easy Deviled Eggs

6 peeled hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup bottled Thousand Island Dressing
sliced black olives
julienned pimento strips

Cut each egg in half vertically, and remove yolk, using a teaspoon. Place yolks in medium bowl and mash, arrange whites on platter. Add Thousand Island Dressing to yolks, and mix well. Spoon egg yolk mixture into center of whites, mounding well. Place one pimento strip and one sliced olive on top. Makes 12.
**You may increase or decrease the amount of Thousand Island dressing, for a drier, or moister filling.

Egg and Olive Salad

6 peeled hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup roasted red peepers (drain all juices if using canned or bottled peppers)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp coasely ground fresh black pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp celery seed

Combine all ingredients in bowl, and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to meld. Spread on bread of your choice as a sandwich, or serve with herbed crackers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cooking By The Seat Of My Pants

As many of you already know, there are many great recipe blogs on the web. Unfortunately, it can be very time consuming to find 'the best of the best'. Let me help you out - check out Jerry's blog,Cooking By The Seat Of My Pants. There's always something interesting there!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Green Olive Cheese Bites

I've doing a lot of work with appetizers lately, and I'd like to share some of our most popular ones with you.

Green Olive Cheese Bites

2 cups sharp, or extra sharp Cheddar cheese
4 Tbl butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
dash of cayenne pepper (optional, but really adds to the flavor!)
1 (8.5 oz) jar of pimento-stuffed green olives
1 egg
1 Tbl cream
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine cheese and butter in food processor, blend well. Add flour, paprika, and cayenne, and process until smooth.
Drain olives well. Wrap about 1 tsp of the dough around each olive, pinching edges to seal. Form into balls, and place on foil lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat egg and cream well, and brush over the top of the bites. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
**If you'd like to make these appetizers ahead of time, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap, place in freezer until bites are frozen, then place them in a freezer bag in freezer for up to several hours. Thaw in refrigerator before baking.
To bake and serve immediately, place baking sheet in prepared oven, and bake for about 15 minutues, to until just golden brown. May be served hot, warm, or at room temp.
Makes about 48 bites

I'll be posting more appetizer recipes soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

As promised, changes are coming to the blog!

Although Italian cuisine will always be my passion, we do frequently enjoy other (non-Italian) foods! (I can hear gasps of disbelief, lol)

I've decided to begin including 'other' recipes here at Flavors Of Italy, to prove that I actually have quite broad foodie tastes, and to share more of the recipes we love with my readers.

Last weekend, the weather here in Memphis resembled late spring much more than late winter, with highs of nearly 80F on Saturday and Sunday. (of course, we had snow flurries on Monday, and are now back to the 60s today.) Such is the constant weather roller coaster we learn to live with here. But, I digress...

With the lovely weather, I refused to spend Saturday in the kitchen, so we had a quick and easy, but very tasty dinner of Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches.
Allow me to share the recipe with you-

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

1/4 to 1/3 cup of hot pepper sauce (use your favorite 'red' pepper sauce, and adjust the amount to your liking!)

6 TBL butter

1 envelope of dry Italian dressing mix

4 Kaiser or other good bakery buns

4 Romaine lettuce leaves

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves

all-purpose flour, for dusting

2 TBL olive oil

Bleu cheese dressing, for topping

Stir hot sauce, butter, and dressing mix into a heavy saucepan, and place over low heat, stirring constantly until well blended.

Slice rolls crosswise, and spread 2 TBL sauce on bottom of each roll.

Season breasts with salt and pepper if desired, and dust lightly with flour. coat chicken thoroughly with remaining sauce, and dust lightly with flour again.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add chicken, and saute until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side.

Place on breast half on each prepared bun bottom, top with 1 romaine lettuce leaf, and a nice dollop of Bleu cheese dressing, replace bun top.

Serve with crispy fresh veggies (we like carrot and celery sticks), and plenty of napkins!! ;-)