Caprese Pull-Apart Bread

Any of you out there grown your own cherry tomatoes? (Raises hand.) Do you also feel overwhelmed by the amount that are ripening right now? I can’t eat them plain or in salads fast enough, or give enough away to neighbors. If I see just one sad tomato on the ground, I feel like a failure. I need to make sure I get ALL of them. And eat ALL of them. It’s becoming impossible. SO. I had to get creative. Enough with eating tomatoes, mozz, and basil. We need to take it to another level. Enter in – caprese pull apart bread. It’s doughy, chewy, and surprisingly refreshing. Perfect for a party, side dish at a BBQ, or just an excuse to use up those tiny tomatoes.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 cups olive oil
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella

To make the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water, stirring until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy. Mix in sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Using a dough hook (or by hand), slowly add in the flour until a dough forms and is no longer sticky. Roll 1 inch pieces of dough into little balls and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease a bread pan.

In another mixing bowl, combine the basil, olive oil and pepper (feel free to add a dash of salt). Next, take the little dough balls, roll them in the basil olive oil mixture and begin to line them on the bottom of the bread pan. After 1 layer, scatter the cherry tomatoes, and some of the shredded mozzarella. Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the pan, tucking in any remaining tomatoes. Bake for roughly 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.

Caprese pull apart bread_damndelish

Happy Eating, XO.

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Herbaceous Cod

I came across this recipe in search for a cheaper white fish for me to eat on weeknights. I love salmon, don’t get me wrong, but it’s literally the only fish I make. I don’t like tilapia, halibut, or catfish and Chilean sea bass is way too much for the wallet, so someone had suggested trying cod and swordfish. So that is when I took to finding a quick way to prep it and eat on a summer evening. This is real good because the fish stands up to the strength of the fresh herbs but isn’t too fishy/meaty either. I am going to work on some swordfish or mahi mahi next so stay tuned and start following the blog for updates!

  • 2 lbs. cod fillets
  • 1/3 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigianno Regianno cheese {no pre-grated cheese, please!}
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley and basil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, stir mayonnaise together with cheese, fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Spread evenly over the top of the fillets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until fish starts looking opaque and will flake. Switch oven to broiler and brown the tops of the fish until lightly golden.

cod

Happy Eating, XO.

Party Perfect

You guys know my two besties: Cheese and Wine?! Well they haven’t hung out in a while and what kind of food blog would we be if we didn’t impart multiple ways for them to be paired together. Don’t pull a rookie move and think that sliced cheese and crackers is what to serve at a party. This is done just as quickly and looks, tastes, and impresses much more than that tired old look. Plus it’s obviously DELISH!

  • Polenta log from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp of half and half or cream
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pine nuts, pistachios, or really any nut would work (optional)

Grab the Trader Joe’s polenta log (it’s cheap and cuts down the work a ton)! Slice into 1/8 inch rounds then cut into half moons. Brush with olive oil and grate parmesan cheese over them before sticking in broiler to make into a chip. Remember to keep an eye on them as they shouldn’t take more than 5-10 min at the MAX. While those are toasting up, whip goat cheese with the half and half or cream, add in the chopped basil with some salt & pepper to taste. I also think a nice crunch element would be to add toasted pine nuts (a handful) or pistachios to the cheese mixture.

Dollop the mixture on the cooled chip, (if its still hot the mixture will start melting) and serve!

Party Perfect

Happy Eating (And Partying), XO.

Lemon Basil Sorbet

Happy Memorial day!! Although the official first day of summer is still a couple of weeks away, we’re prepping you by giving you a “cool” homemade dessert. I went on vacation to Florida back in April (while, somehow, it was still freezing in the Northeast) and I saw lemon basil sorbet on a menu. I’ll take two, please. Of course, I had to come home and try to make it for myself. I’m a real sucker for herbs in anything – cocktails, desserts,  facewash. No joke.  Plus, how hard could it be to make a glorified icee?

*If you’re using an ice cream maker like I did, don’t forget to freeze it overnight before making this recipe. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t worry, you can still make this!

  •  3 cups of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup large basil leaves
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. When fully combined, turn off the heat, throw in all of the basil and let it steep for 10 minutes.  This will create a basil syrup. Once cooled, strain out the basil leaves and add in the lemon juice and lemon zest. (Not gonna lie, throw in some vodka and this could be an awesome cocktail!) Hook up your frozen ice maker and slowly pour in the lemon basil syrup creating an icee/sorbet consistency. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour it in to an airtight container and store in the freezer, scraping it with a fork every hour until you get that sorbet consistency.

You can store this in an airtight container for up to three months.

Lemon Basil Sorbet

 

Happy Eating, XO.

Bad Ass Mac & Cheese

Sometimes you just have to kick it up a notch, and this mac and cheese recipe does just that. It has a little bit of chedda, some truffle oil (YES! Bc we’re still obsessed with it), some bacon, and it has some…wait for it…whiskey. If this isn’t a bad ass, mans-man mac and cheese then I don’t know what is.

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp truffle oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Sauce

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half 
  • 1 tbsp whiskey (I used a little Jack)

Topping

  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Cook the macaroni to your liking and drain. (I prefer al dente.). Add the macaroni back in to the pot and mix in the truffle oil, basil, salt, and pepper. While the pasta is cooking you can start on the sauce. But before you do, turn on your broiler to high.

Using a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the bacon, garlic, and thyme. Add in the flour, half & half, and whiskey and bring it to a boil. After roughly 3 minutes of stirring, reduce to a simmer and add in 2 1/2 cups of the cheddar, mixing until sauce thickens. Then pour it over that delicious smelling truffle macaroni and mix until it’s fully coated. On to the topping. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, 1/2 a cup cheddar cheese and melted butter. Oil up your ramekins (I used eight 8oz ones) or a baking dish and distribute the macaroni. Sprinkle on the topping and a dash of fresh basil for some color.

Broil the dish for about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as you don’t want it to burn.

 Truffled Mac & Cheese

Happy Eating, XO.