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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Asparagus Tart

I wanted to pay homage to this amazing caramelized onion tartlet I had at a French restaurant (shout out to Benoit on the West side of Manhattan) with my boyfriend’s parents. Having said that I wanted something a tad quicker than having to sauté onions in wads of butter before hand. This is the perfect balance of that French decadence with the American need for quickness. I paired it with a seared sirloin and it just amped up the fancyness of the meal. Lovely side if you are ever looking for inspiration, hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
  • 2 cups of shredded Gruyere (I did a blend of caramelized onion cheddar from Trader Joe’s and Gruyere)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I used truffle salt, again to amp up the bougie but also because Jess got me some for Christmas and what a better way to use it!)
  • 1.5 lbs. of thick or medium asparagus (the skinny stuff will just wilt)

The oven is at 400 degrees, bake the pastry on its own for 15 min. Remove from oven and then add shredded cheese. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears so they fit cross wise inside the tart shell. Arrange in a single layer over the Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with the olive oil & sprinkle the s&p. Bake for about 20-25 min until the spears are tender.

Happy Eating, XO.

Baked Coconut Chicken Strips

Hey Guys, being back at work is brutal. I figured a tasty, yet quick post manic Monday dinner would be a clutch move. This is ready in under 30 minutes and will help our guilt of eating like shit over the holidays. A lean protein like chicken is the best way to attempt starting our new years resolutions of eating better or at least detoxing the bad eating & drinking we ended 2015 with. Also, this is baked so its much less fat than frying chicken tenders and still has a boat load of flavor from the coconut. Now that I have convinced you to make this for dinner, get cracking in the kitchen!

  • 1.5-2 lbs. of chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • salt & pepper to taste (I sprinkled a little garlic powder as well)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees, then make sure your baking sheet is greased with a tablespoon of olive oil or I use Trader Joe’s coconut oil cooking spray. Then to create your dredging stations do one bowl with the flour and seasonings, the second bowl with the beaten eggs & milk, and last bowl with the panko and coconut. Dip chicken into flour, shake off excess then dip into egg wash, and lastly into coating mixture. Repeat for all pieces and line on baking sheet. You are baking the strips for about 15-18 minutes, if you think your coating is getting too dark while baking, cover with some foil so that the chicken is cooked through but the coconut isn’t charring. You can serve with jarred thai sweet chili chutney, salsa, or even make your own honey & sriracha sauce.

Happy Eating, XO.

 

Fancy Flatbread

Since Jess is such a rockstar and makes her own pizza dough, I wont even tell you that I cheated and bought some pre-made garlic & herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. I know, shame on me. Don’t do it guys, the fresh stuff is EASY and so good. Steal her recipe and freeze it if you have leftovers.

Anyway, I love anything that pairs well with wine, I don’t know if you guys had picked up on that subtle piece of information through out our numerous appetizer posts. I was inspired by a farmers market in the Hamptons last month that had these plump, jammy fresh FIGS! I needed to buy a whole box of them and went to town with making this flatbread. I went on the same premise as we have on most of our salad recipes and wanted to hit all sorts of taste bud pleasers: salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy, etc. I shit you not, I knocked it out of the park. So grab your glass of Pinot Noir or chilled Rose and EAT up!

  • 3-4 oz. of goat cheese or shredded Manchego (My 1st attempt I did mozz and while delish, doesn’t pack the bite and sharpness this flatbread needs.)
  • 1 tbsp. of fig preserves OR balsamic glaze (emphasis on the OR. Again on the 1st attempt I did both and it was coyingly sweet especially if males plan on eating this.)
  • 6 oz. of thinly sliced Prosciutto (I am almost certain Pancetta would do the trick also but that’s a whole extra step of crisping that up, so just start tearing and placing on dough.)

Now, I could do thinly sliced red onion of 2 fistfuls of arugula on this just for that peppery crunch but my company wasn’t a fan of either so I left it off. But hey, it was still good, so what do I know? Anyway roll out the dough, smear the preserves or glaze, then nestle the globs of cheese with the crumpled up slices of prosciutto around the surface. Yes, crumpled is a technical culinary term, jerks!

Anyway, last but not least is the FRESH sliced figs, go nuts, as many or as little as you have. If you must have some guidance, try using 6-7 whole figs, sliced. I drizzled with a little bit of olive oil before placing in oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Happy Eating, XO.

Romesco Sauce

Lately, I have altered my eating habits a ton and am doing smaller portions, more frequently in order to keep my metabolism working. Now, this isn’t a dietician or preachy post but I have been feeling a lot healthier and been dropping weight – so look into it as it might be something that suits your lifestyle.
Anyway I digress, because there is a point to my babble. TAPAS! Yes! That’s right, we have posted a few tapa recipes but this one is more about the delish Spanish sauce that is typically served with tapas. I know there is a place in Philly (shout out to Amada) that serves this with their ham croquettes. I’ve also had it with just a baguette, or on top of a tortilla (Spanish omelet). It’s so yummy and versatile and not heavy. It’s typically made in the Catalonia region of Spain (which for all of you that are geographically challenged, think Northern/Eastern Spain). So tasty, I had to recreate it for you all, see below and enjoy!
  • 1/4 cup marcona almonds, toasted
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (PS I didn’t have any so I subbed with red wine vinegar, same same).
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes, drained, about 1 1/3 cups
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 slice white bread (about 1-inch thick), crusts removed, toasted and torn into pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated (I did 2 because I’m a Vampire at heart)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Puree in food processor, and EAT!! on anything and everything. Great with grilled veggies or meats. Now get outside and enjoy before its too cold!
Romesco Sauce - Damn Delish
Happy Eating, XO.