Baked brie in puff pastry : a sweet-and-sour appetizer to die for!

brie cheese and apricot preserves in puff pastry

DISCLAIMER: this is NOT an Italian recipe, but when I tried it was so good I couldn’t help but sharing about it! brie in puff pastry

Until few months ago, when I tried this appetizer at a friend’s house, I had no idea of what I was missing! I have to say that after that night, I found tons of recipes on Pinterest involving Brie, Puff pastry and different kinds of preserves, like apricot or cranberry, and considering my love for puff pastry (remember my savory bacon and cheese pie? or my blue cheese and white onion savory pie? or – for the sweet teeth – my apples and cinnamon roses?) I had to try this recipe myself, and obviously, in my way.

If you repel the idea of cheese and preserves, you should know that so I did, but after trying this I had to change my mind! The particular taste of Brie absolutely overcome the preserves’ sweetness, but at the same time, the aftertaste of the preserves makes this appetizer very sophisticated and appealing to guests of any age. Baked in buttery, flaky puff pastry, ooey gooye cheese covered in sweet apricot preserves, it’s melt in your mouth delicious!

Just so you know, in 20 minutes your “baked brie in puff pastry will be ready” but keep in mind that you will have to thaw the puff pastry at  in the refrigerator at least three hours ahead of time and you’ll get a best result if you put the brie in the freezer 20 minutes before arranging it inside the pastry. This is such an insanely easy recipe. Even non-bakers can do it!

BRIE IN PUFF PASTRY

10 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS

16 oz. BRIE cheese

apricot or cranberry preserve

1 puff pasty sheet (thaw)

1 egg and 1 tbs. water for egg wash

optional: honey to drizzle

optional: sliced almonds to decorate

your favorite kind of crackers

DIRECTIONS

Roll out your thaw puff pastry on a parchment paper sheet. Don’t worry if It doesn’t  look perfect, it will look gorgeous once baked. Roll it out as thin as possible and give it a “square shape”. If necessary, cut away the pastry in excess. Wisk the egg and water in a separate cup.

Place the brie (white rind included) in the center of the pastry, cover with preserves (I prefer the apricot one), and fold up the corners of the pastry one at a time, brushing all the dough with the egg wash as you go, using it like glue to hold the pastry together.

If you feel confident, try to fold the top of the pastry as to form a small rose, it will look very cute! Transfer to a baking sheet and chill for 20 minutes uncovered in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 400 F  (220 C.).  Bake at 400 F. for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffed.

Remove from the oven and place in a nice cutting board decorated with fresh fruit and crackers. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve.brie in puff pastry

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!brie cheese and apricot preserves in puff pastry

TIPS: – Brie in puff pastry leftovers are not so good. The day after the puff pastry will be soggy and chewy and the cheese solidified. Make this appetizer when you have enough people to finish it up!

– I didn’t try, but I saw recipes on Pinterest where they suggested to drizzle the puff pastry (once baked and out of the oven) with honey, and top with sliced almonds.

– You can opt for placing the preserves inside the cheese previously sectioned in two layers, but I preferred placing the preserves on top of the cheese in case some picky eater would have liked the idea of setting the preserves aside.

– If you didn’t use all the pastry, fill up the pieces you have left with nutella, fold it at the best you can, and bake it while the brie is in the oven too. You’ll have a small tasty dessert !

– Besides my passion for Italian food, which – I would dare to say – is part of my “identity”, I appreciate good food from all  over the word, and sometimes I revisits the foreign recipes with an Italian touch. This post is one example, but if you look for more, check out also:  jalapenos popper deepfennel and pears salad, my Italian style cheese cake, my special version of the classic banana cream pie, corn flakes and raisins cookies, Irish coffee, macarons for beginners .

I really hope you will like my recipe this week, even though it’s not authentic Italian!

Have ever baked brie with puff pastry? Do you use a different recipe?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

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IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

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Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more! 

How to make an edible “cheese basket” in five minutes.


Many years ago I went to a fancy restaurant in my home town and they served us an edible parmesan basked filled with a scrumptious risotto. I can recall precisely the risotto I ate that day, a delicious white wine risotto, but mostly I remember how fancy looked to me that handmade edible “container”, so elegant and simple at the same time. Not to mention that that crispy parmesan basket melted slowly with the heat of the food contained in it, giving to the risotto an extraordinary taste. So, of course I had to try to make that delicatessen at home and surprisingly I found out that it is not tricky nor difficult to be done! All you need is parmesan cheese: just bake one cup of finely grated parmesan cheese for few minutes, and the magic is done! You can make this container to serve any kind of food, like a pasta, risotto, chilly or whatever you like, and the result will be astonishing and delicious! Indeed, as I already told you, once you pour a hot food in the cheese basket, it melts the bottom, so the food will get all the flavor of the cheese…  Considering we are less than a month away from Valentine’s day,  why don’t planning to surprise your significant half with a romantic dinner with such an easy – but impressive- first course?  

INGREDIENTS FOR 1 EDIBLE BASKET

1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

1 serving white wine risotto

DIRECTIONS

In case you wish to fill your edible basket with white wine risotto, consider that the risotto needs to be prepared at the exact time you want to eat it. Follow the recipe here and to make sure to cook it at perfection, read these precious tips: “the ten golden rules for a perfect risotto“.

About the basket (you can easily bake at least two baskets at the time), you can  even decide to prepare it ahead of time: it will keep  its shape better if totally cooled off. Don’t worry: your basket will quickly get warm once you pour in it a hot entrée.

Cut a 9″ by 9” piece of parchment paper and arrange it in an oven sheet. Spread evenly 1 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 360 F. (180 C.) for about 5 minutes or until  it starts bubbling.

Take it out of the oven and wait a few minutes until it starts solidify.  At this point place it on top of a small cup, to help it get its shape.  I used four glasses for each corner, to give the cup a nice shape.

Once the basket is completely cooled off, flip it and place it in a plate… 

Fill It with an entrée of your choice and… Enjoy! And don’t forget to eat the basket as well ;-)!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS:  – If by  chance your first attempt would fail, do not despair:  keep the pieces of baked parmesan aside to decorate the top of your entrée once served.

– Hypothetically you could use any kind of grated cheese for the basket, like Pecorino or Romano cheese.

– Once flipped, the basket tends to open up: do not worry, it will look nice once filled with food.

– About the filling, just remember to pick an entrée that would taste fine with the aftertaste of cheese. For instance, I would avoid any sea food entrée.

– I tried to panfry the parmesan instead of baking it, but unfortunately the melted cheese wouldn’t keep the shape.

 

Pizzette (small pizzas): my way to use fresh bread leftovers.

I guess not every family buys fresh bread daily, but as authentic Italian, my family does. If not every day, we buy fresh bread every other day, and even if we are huge bread eaters, sometimes I have bread leftovers. Who follows me knows I hate wasting food (and I would add  “I hate wasting in general”) so when the leftover bread gets very hard I make homemade breadcrumbs out of it, but if the bread is still “halfway”, I mean, not soft anymore to be enjoyed just like that, nor hard enough to be crumbled, I use it to make a mouthwatering, fun, fast, easy “pizza like” meal that my kiddos love, that is super cheap, and that can fix an unplanned meal. If you’ll try this recipe you will be amazed by how close the taste of this “dressed bread” will be “pizza like”!    Do not be mad at me if I don’t give you precise quantities of ingredients, because you will need mozzarella cheese (and every other cheese you may like to add to your “pizzetta”) and tomatoes sauce enough to dress all your bread slices, virgin olive oil enough to enrich the sauce, and herbs to taste. In my directions I will skip the herbs because my daughters won’t eat the “pizzette” if they see tiny herbs pieces, but in my opinion  a little bit of basil and oregano gives just the perfect touch!

INGREDIENTS

baked bread, a couple of days old, cut in half inch thick slices

tomatoes sauce

mozzarella cheese cut in cubes

grated parmesan

dried or fresh oregano to taste

dried or fresh basil to taste

sea salt to taste

olive oil to taste

DIRECTIONS

Reheat the oven at 365 F.   In a bowl, mix a can of tomatoes sauce with sea salt, virgin olive oil, basil and oregano. Set Aside. Place the bread slices in an oven sheet (lined with parchment paper) and toast each sides of the slices for few minutes.

Cut the mozzarella in small cubes. The smaller are the cubes, the fastest they will melt. I like to add to the mozzarella also asiago cheese cubes. Take the toasted bread out of the oven and spread the slices with the tomatoes sauce mix.

Then, arrange neatly the cheese cubes on the bread slices, and dust with parmesan.

Bake in the middle rack at 365 F. for about  20 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.

If you prefer, cut the slices in smaller pieces before serving. 

Serve still hot. 

Easy right????

LAERNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – My family love this recipe so much that sometimes I buy extra fresh bread on purpose, to have some left for making pizzette.

– Like regular pizza, you can dress the “pizzette” as you like by adding different toppings.

– I would discourage to bake the “pizzette” ahead of time: they are amazing if eaten still warm.

– As I told you, this pizzette taste a lot like real pizza: but think about how much you can save by making these instead of buying a pizza!!!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,
share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

 

White onion, bacon and blue cheese savory pie: the utimate recipe for a magnificent appetizer.


Hi everyone! Ready for Thanksgiving? You probably all are and I apologize if I am so late in posting something BUT.. if you are still hoping in a last minute idea for a fabulous (but easy) appetizer  to keep the stomachs quiet in the waiting of the craved Turkey, you are reading the perfect post!

You probably remember that I like using puff pastry very much (especially for appetizer), because it is so versatile and it is very easy to use… do you remember my savory cheese and bacon pie? This new recipe with puff pastry will for sure not leave you disappointed!

This savory pie is as simple as it is, but has a flavor so special that everyone (even who doesn’t like blue cheese) will love it! I’ve made it twice since I found the recipe on Pinterest few weeks ago and I couldn’t manage to get a picture of the pie once cut, because it just disappeared from the table in few minutes! It is so delicious!

I have to tell you that I was skeptic about using the balsamic vinegar and all that onion, but at the end, those two ingredients are just the perfect touch to this super tasty appetizer which is a cheesy heaven with a delicate vinegar and onion aftertaste. Although it is not a finger food, this pie it’s an appetizer I would absolutely suggest you to try  because it is so delicious, scenic and appealing that your guests will be amazed!

INGREDIENTS for 1 puff pastry sheet

1 frozen puff pastry sheet

3 regular sized white onions peeled and finely cut

7 oz. blue cheese (200 gr. formaggio verde) cut in small cubes

3.5 oz little stripes of bacon (100 gr.)

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 eggs

olive oil

1 handful grated parmesan cheese

few tbs. crumbled bread

sea salt to taste

1 egg yolk to brush the pastry

DIRECTION

A few hour before arranging the pie, take out of the freezer the puff pastry sheet and let it thaw in the refrigerator until it is easy to roll out.

For the filling: pan fry (or saute’) the onions and bacon in a large pan with some olive oil for about 10-15 minutes stirring every now and then to avoid burning. Once cooked, adjust with sea salt and add the balsamic vinegar. Let cool off.

In a separate bowl  combine the cheese,  eggs and parmesan and mix very well. Add to the mix the cooled onion and bacon.

Preheat the oven at 420 F. In a clean surface, roll out the pastry, giving it a round or rectangular shape, according to the shape of your baking dish. Lay the pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, fill the pastry with the mix evenly, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Be careful to close inward the sides of the pastry so the filling doesn’t run out while baking.  Brush the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg yolk. (as you can see I’ve tried both options using the regular rectangular puff pastry sheet and both time it turned out great!).

Bake at 420 F for about 20 minutes or until the pie rises and starts getting colored.

Serve still warm… it is sooooooo scrumptious!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – the Blue cheese I buy comes in packs of 150 gr. so I add to the filling 50 gr. of brie cheese and the result was wonderful;

– I’ve tried to add stripes of salami together with the bacon, and again, the result was absolutely amazing.

– Considering the two previous facts, I would definitely consider this recipe as a way to use up a few ingredients that sometimes are in our refrigerator for days and usually ends up going bad (I am talking of small pieces of cheese or few slices of bacon…).

It would really make me feel proud knowing you intend to try this savory pie as one of your Thanksgiving appetizers, but even if you’ll not, or if you decide to try it on a different day it doesn’t matter! What matters it that you’ll like it! And if you do, please 

share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

 

 

Eggplant Parmigiana: like a tasteful lasagna, made just with veggies

Maybe it’s because I am getting older ( 😉 ), but recently I found myself thinking about long time ago memories, and that inspired this post was the one about my childhood when, during our traditional summer vacation, my family and I used to go to the middle Italy in a place where to get to the beach you had to walk 25 minutes through the wild nature, and you could admire the ruins of some Roman baths.  Since it took so much to get there, we usually brought some clothes to build a tent (the sun was so hot!) and food and drinks for the entire day. Our favorite snack my mom made for us were sandwiches filled with “vegetables frittata” or those filled with “eggplant parmigiana“.  That wonderful beach still exist,   is called Torre Astura, and is situated about one hour and a half by car from Rome. Sorry for the digression, but if it ever happen to you to be around there, you should definitely visit that idyllic place!  Now let’s go back to my recipe!  The “eggplant parmigiana”  or simply “parmigiana“, is a typical Italian dish (according to somebody, typical from Sicily region, to other, typical from Campania region) made off fried eggplants baked in the oven with tomato sauce, basil, garlic and pecorino cheese.  You would probably point out: FRIED?!?!  Yes, traditional Italian Parmigiana requires fried eggplants, but for me and my family I prefer to grill the eggplants instead, and honestly this way not the taste of the dish gets lost, but just the calories and fats!! Plus, if you want your Parmigiana to be even more light, you can decide to use just mozzarella or low fat cheese (any kind of cheese would work if it melts fine), but honestly when I cook for my family or I have guests,  I don’t pay too much attention to the amount of cheese I use, and believe me… it’s delicious!  This scrumptious dish could be served as a main dish or as a side one. In this recipe I’ll give you the ingredients for an 8’x12′ glass pan, which could be a perfect meal for two people, or a side for about six.  I assure you… when you’ll taste Parmigiana,  you will feel like on a paradisiac beach under the Italian sun.. just kidding 🙂

INGREDIENTS for a 8’x12′ glass pan

about 2 medium sized  eggplant

about 1 can tomato sauce (cooked the Italian way)

mozzarella cheese to taste, cut in cubes

provolone cheese to taste, in slices

singles to taste, in slice

grated parmesan cheese to taste

DIRECTIONS

Once you already have the tomatoes sauce done, this dish is pretty easy and quite fast to make.

The part that requires time is to wash the eggplants, cut them into thin slices, dust the slices  with sea salt and let them rest for about half an hour. This way they will loose their water. Before to grill the eggplants slices in a pan (no oil or butter needed to grease the pan), just dry the slices with a paper towel, and start grilling the eggplants on both sides.

Arranging the parmigiana is quite alike making lasagna:  layers of eggplants, tomatoes sauce and cheese alternated until you finish your ingredients. With the ingredients listed up here, you should obtain about three layers made so:    1) a few tbs. of tomatoes sauce on the bottom of the pan; 

2) one layer of eggplants (don’t worry you don’t need to arrange them in a fancy or geometric way, just try to fill up all the empty spots). 

3) Another few tablespoons of tomatoes sauce;

4) all the kind of cheeses you have spread out about evenly, and a generous dust of grated parmesan.  And then again:  1) Eggplants, 2) tomatoes sauce, 3)  cheeses, 4) parmesan until  all the ingredients are gone.

Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 30  minutes, or until all the cheese is melted… and enjoy!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips: – to have a great “Parmigiana” you need super fresh eggplants: when you buy them make sure they are hard and not ripe and use them right away without letting them in your refrigerator for too many days.. Eggplants ripen very fast, and when they started having too many seeds and change color inside, they may be still edible, but they turn extremely bitter. And so will turn your Parmigiana if you are not careful.

– As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I usually ate Parmigiana as a cold dish, like it is, or to stuff a panini… YUM! A perfect lunch for a working day or snack for a pick-nick!  

–  I could be wrong but to me it seems eggplants are not a very popular vegetable that people  buy in the Midwest: well, after you will try this recipe you will eat more eggplants, and this will be very good for you because they have tons of good properties!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

Mascarpone cheese semifreddo

I don’t know how it could have happened, but January 2018 has already come to an end! And while, in Italy, they are busy celebrating Carnevale (you should see Venice in these days, full of people in beautiful costumes parading thorough the fascinating alleys called “Calle”), in the USA, we are busy getting ready for a most anticipated holiday- the day of love (and friendship between children)- Valentine’s Day! In the past, I’ve shared with you many different dessert ideas to surprise partner (take a look to “semifreddo al torrone” or to the delicious and easy to be made “Nutella semifreddo“), and even ideas to prepare “themed” snacks for the kids (such as the festive “chocolate rice crispy hearts“). This year I have for you another great dessert recipe- ideal for someone who has little time to cook, but wants to impress their “better half”: this “Semifreddo al Mascarpone“. For those who are not familiar with the term “Semifreddo,” Italians use this word to refer to any kind of dessert that falls halfway between mousse and ice cream, with the consistency of a frozen mousse, and the flavor of ice cream. It’s much lighter than ice cream and melts on your tongue very quickly, giving the impression you just ate the lightest dessert imaginable.  So the object of my post today is a creamy and fancy dessert, where mascarpone cheese is softened and mixed with powdered sugar, and served with a thin layer of Nutella, in a “cookie box” made out of Pavesini Italian Biscotti drenched in milk and espresso coffee.  The recipe does’t belong to any particular Italian tradition, and has been found (tried and translated for you) on Pinterest, at this website. The only difficulties of this dessert is providing the ingredients, but Mascarpone cheese is sold practically in every American grocery store and you can easily order Pavesini Biscotti online here (just to be precise, I am not earning a penny for your possible purchase!).

You will need five of those small Pavesini packs  (so you’ll need just one big pack).

When all the ingredients will be collected, your fancy romantic scrumptious dessert will be ready in less than 20 minutes, and will need to rest in the freezer just one hour before serving…

INGREDIENTS FOR A REGULAR LOAF PAN 

2 packs Mascarpone cheese

7 oz. heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided

5 packs Pavesini Italia Biscotti

Nutella to taste

1/2 cup milk mixed with 1/2 cup espresso coffee (at room temperature)

DIRECTIONS

Coat the loaf pan with plastic paper so it will be much easier and less messy to extract the dessert from the pan once ready.  Whip the heavy whipping cream with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar until stiff, and then set aside. In a different bowl, hand-whip the mascarpone cheese with the remaining powdered sugar.

Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mix. Stir gently so you do not cause the mixture to separate.

Place the mascarpone cream mixture in the refrigerator. Next, combine the espresso and milk in a shallow dish, and dredge the Pavesini Biscotti through it lightly. Then you can begin lining the loaf pan with the drenched biscotti. Arrange first the cookies flat on the bottom of the pan, and then on the four sides.

Pour half of the Mascarpone cream into the loaf pan, and then spread a layer of Nutella. (You can really use the amount of Nutella you prefer, but I would aim for about 5 or 6 Tbs.). Be careful to keep the Nutella well-separated from the cream, so the dessert will have a nice presentation, once cut.

Now cover with the remaining Mascarpone cream and finish with a last layer of drenched Pavesini.  Close up the loaf in the plastic paper and put in the freezer for not more than two hours.

I would suggest taking the dessert out of the freezer, and flipping it onto a pretty serving dish or tray, and decorating it as you prefer- with a drizzle of dark cocoa or powdered sugar, surrounded with some piped whipped cream dollops. Then move it into the refrigerator as soon as you begin your romantic dinner, so by the time you’ll be ready for dessert, this will have the perfect “semifreddo” consistency. Or, just take it from the freezer at least one hour before serving it.

SO YUMMY!  If I was you, I would try this recipe out as soon as possible!!!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – Pavesini cookies are ideal as a base for Tiramisu in place of the Lady Finger.. for the prefect Tiramisu recipe, just click here, and use Pavesini or Lady Finger, as you please!

– This “semifreddo” can absolutely been considered a “cheese cake”,  since is basically made just with cheese, and the quantity of sugar is so paltry that a cheese lover would absolutely lose its mind over this dessert!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

Baked Cauliflower au gratin: A Light Delight!

Lately I realized how rarely I publish side dish recipes. Maybe in my mind side dishes seem less than exciting, or something I assume everyone either already knows how to prepare, or just doesn’t give much thought to. Well, the recipe I am writing about today is not only my favorite way to cook cauliflower, but also a “skinny” and “low carb” one! I don’t much care for raw or unseasoned cauliflower, but this cooking technique makes it so delicious! I learnt it a few years ago when I was following a sort of diet (the Zone Diet), in an effort to eat better and get in shape. Well, even when I stopped being quite so careful with my diet, I kept cooking this dish for me and my family because is really so tasty and healthy, and super easy to prepare. Cauliflower is so very good for our health that finding a way to make eating it a pleasure is a total “win-win!”

Gratin” is a widespread culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter, or béchamel sauce (white sauce). So generally it means a dish pretty heavy on calories and fat. However in this specific case, the crunchy brown crust is created by covering the boiled cauliflower with mozzarella cheese cubes and grated parmesan (in a precise ratio, of course, if you want it to be a ZONE DIET meal) and then baking at 400 F for about one hour. The method to prepare this plate is quite simple, it only takes a little patience to boil the cauliflower first, and bake it after.

INGREDIENTS for a 10′ x 8′ pan

1 medium sized cauliflower

2-3 handful mozzarella cheese cubes (I buy the one in slices and make the cubes out of it)

grated parmesan cheese (for dusting)

sea salt to taste

red wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Start by cleaning the cauliflower. Separate the heads from the steams, and wash.

Arrange the cauliflower in a stainless steel pot, with just an inch or so of water. Drizzle the vegetable with red wine vinegar. (It will not leave any taste, it is just a tip to avoid your kitchen smelling of cauliflower the entire week!). In my pot, I put the lid on, let the water reach the boiling point, then move the pot to low heat and let the cauliflower steam for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to overcook it; the cauliflower should become tender but keep its shape- not become mush.

Once the cauliflower is steamed, arrange it neatly in a 10′ x 8′ pan (my favorite, in this case, is a glass one). Cover it with the mozzarella cubes, and then sea salt to taste and a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.

Bake at 400 F for an hour… and you’ll obtain this appealing crust on top…

Looks yummy, huh? Oh, I assure you, it IS!!!

Serve it still warm and enjoy! Even the pickiest kid will love it!

LEARNT IT! MADE IT! LOVED IT!

TIPS :

– If you want to give even more flavor to your cauliflower, you can use different kind of cheese like Provolone or Asigo for the topping.

– If you have leftovers, the cauliflower will be delicious even the day after (up to five days if properly stored and refrigerated), but of course it will loose the crunchiness.

– I called this a “side dish” but honestly, considering that it contains proteins, carbs, and fats, you can just eat it as a “complete meal” if accompanied by a portion of fresh fruit.

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

 

 

PIADINA ROMAGNOLA: like a tortilla bread filled with delicious cheese and deli

Piadina is an Italian flatbread which comes from the Romagna region of Italy. It is sort of like an Italian version of fast food, as they are often sold at kiosks or roadside stands, even if some Italians – of course – prefer to make it from scratch. I am not from Emilia Romagna Region (but from Veneto), so it was not in my family tradition to make “piadina” from scratch. But my mom used the pre-made ones to make us happy when we wanted something appealing for dinner that did not require more than two minutes to make- and since “piadina” somewhat resembles a tortilla filled with a variety of cheese and deli meat, it is a simple go-to. Today I’ll share with you the version I make here in US for my family, but, if you prefer to stay close to the “made from scratch” version, here is the link to a very good piadina bread recipe. There is one very important point to make: Piadina was born as a frugal food and its deliciousness depends first and foremost on the variety of delicious cheese (especially fresh varieties like stracchino and squaccherone) and deli meat (prosciutto cotto, prosciutto crudo, speck, mortadella, pancetta etc.) that Italy can offer. By using tortilla bread and local cheese and deli, you can obtain a pretty great taste, but promise me: if you ever get the chance to go to Italy, don’t miss the opportunity to sample this simple but scrumptious meal! And better if you get to sample them while visiting the Emilia Romagna Region, which has a lot of Historical places (among them, Bologna and Parma), and is particularly famous for the great beaches, entertainment, night life, and “movida”.

I will give quickly the directions to make a piadina filled with mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. But some other nice combo would be for sure: – provolone and capocollo;  – ham, cream cheese and mayo (or ham and stracchino if you can buy it online); – pepperoni and asiago cheese; – grilled veggies and cream cheese (or squaquerone if you are lucky to find it around!), or any other ingredients that you could imagine (my daughters also like using Nutella… but let’s keep this option for the most glutton eaters :-).

INGREDIENTS

tortilla breads

shredded mozzarella cheese

prosciutto slices

(Be aware: to fill the belly, I recommend at least two “piadine” per person)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat a skillet on medium to low heat, and place one tortilla. Be very careful just to warm the tortilla, watching it closely to avoid burning it.  Flip the tortilla (to warm up the other side) and arrange neatly the mozzarella cheese on a half of it.

 

When the mozzarella cheese looks melted, switch off the heat, and arrange the prosciutto slices on top of the mozzarella cheese.

 

Fold the tortilla, and serve it still warm!!!

YUMMMMM, so so easy, so so good!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: depending on how you most like the tortilla cooked, I would keep it longer on the heat if you want to obtain a crispy piadina. On the opposite, if you like the bread to be soft, just warm it up long enough to melt the cheese, and take it away from the heat as soon as possible. This is an example of a “crisp” Piadina.

I am seriously curious to  know if this Italian “fast food” would be liked by my American followers… do you mind letting me know what do you think about this recipe? And if you try it, why don’t you leave a comment and possibly a picture of your Piadina? That would be awesome!

Thank you so much,

Silvia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jalapenos Popper Dip: add a spicy kick to your kick-off!

I know this blog is supposed to be all about Italian food and culture, but let me say this: I love food, I live in the USA, and I, of course, appreciate traditions and food from other country!    I have no idea where this amazingly good appetizer finds its origin, but when I tasted it at a friend’s party, I couldn’t help but ask for the recipe so I could share it with you!

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What mostly impressed me about this super easy and fast cheese dip (besides the facts that it makes a great  impression on the table, with very little effort),  is that its spicy taste goes wonderfully along with tortilla chips, but turns out VERY good even with celery! So you can feel less guilty when you snack with a high fat & calories appetizer, if combined with a bunch of veggies 😉 (or at least, that logic works for me, LOL).    So, be sure to make this snack for your Super Bowl fun day, and your friends (and YOU) won’t be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS for a 9” ROUND PAN

For the mix:

2 blocks (2 x 8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 cup (200 gr.) mayonnaise

1 cup  (100 gr.) shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup (100 gr.) Parmesan, Asiago, Reggiano shredded cheese blend

1 small can (4 0z.) diced jalapeños (drained)

1 small can (4 oz.) diced green chilies (drained)

For the topping:

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan, Asiago, Reggiano cheese blend.

TORTILLA CHIPS and

if you like the a idea of a little “healthy touch”

remember to wash your celery sticks and arrange them in a nice dish

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DIRECTION

Mix cream cheese, mayo, shredded cheddar, Parmesan/Asiago/Reggiano blend, drained diced green chilies, and jalapeños in a bowl using first a spoon and then an electric mixer.

Grease the round pan and pour in the mixture.

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Mix Panko bread crumbs with Parmesan/Asiago/Reggiano blend and sprinkle over the dip.

Bake at 375 F. for about 20-25 minutes, or until it’s bubbling on the sides and looks golden brown.

Serve it warm with tortilla chips and/or celery sticks and enjoy the game!

Learnt it, made it, loved it!

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TIP: – You can moderate the spiciness of the dip, by choosing between hot or medium jalapeños. I am usually not a person that likes too spicy food, but I don’t mind this dip even in it hottest version..

          – As you have probably noticed, this recipe contains Parmesan and Asiago cheese.. Indeed,  I would say that it can be considered a “little bit Italian” !

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!