Monday, July 16, 2012

SUMMER'S GIFTS

Reading some of the previous posts, I have to wonder why in the world I waited so long to come back to this playground and share all my toys?  I have always had so much fun writing this blog.  It would always tickle me to death when I would get a comment or see where someone had been online and came to my website to read what I had written.  Not necessarily to feed my ego, it was more of the sharing and knowing that someone was playing with me and getting to go there, too.  So with some encouragement from my biggest fan, Geraldo (XO!)  and with an "out of the blue" special request for a recipe this morning for a dear friend, I've decided to step back onto the page and let the fun begin.
There's not gonna be a long explanation with boring sidebars.  First things first, I'm trying to figure out how to set this blog up again and what button does what; what moves this where and how did that picture get there  and where did that text I just typed go?  Oh,man.   Geez, I've already lost a fried turkey, some enchiladas, a plateful of beautiful barbecue shrimp and a corn puddin'.  And,  I haven't even tried to post a picture yet.  So, jumping in head first, trusting any readers to give a gal a break....  I'm very hopeful that one or two of you will have a good laugh along the way, sharing some recipes about some good ole comfort food, with a little rockstar thrown in from time to time.
Let's start with something I love and know a lot about.  DELICIOUS CHEESE goodies!  Here's a great, easy-peasy recipe for some delicious, (really they are delicious) marinated mozzarella cheese bites that is perfect for the surplus of herbs I have in my garden and a great go to when the temperature has been a record breaking, "Hose me down, Daddy!" summer.
It's more of a method than a recipe, but all you need to know and have available is right there.  You can tweak it with more garlic, more herbs, (I do put a few sprigs of thyme in mine 'cause I love thyme) and I make sure the lemon rind pretty side shows to the side of the jar, giving it an ala, Ina Garten/ Barefoot Contessa, food "shoppe" look.
Keep it refrigerated, setting out to warm to room temp before serving with toasted bread, or drizzle over pasta, or you can make a simple salad with some olives, grape tomatoes and basil.  Hang onto the olive oil that's left, if there is any.  This is great to use for a vinagrette or cooking next time you need a great Italian punch to a dish.  Makes a great hostess gift.  Wrap a colorful ribbon or some raffia around the top and maybe a pretty Gerbera Daisy or sprig of basil from your garden tucked into the bow. 
It's nice to be back....See ya when I see ya!


Marinated Mozzarella

Ingredients

Bocconcini mozzarella (the little balls of fresh mozzarella, you can use the big ones, just cut them into bite size pieces) I buy the double pkg of mozz @ Sam's Club and just cut them into cubes.  Much cheaper and its still delicious mozzarella.

lemon peel

salt

peppercorns

garlic cloves

basil leaves

red pepper flakes

A VERY good quality extra virgin Olive Oil ( I use Colavita)

I am not giving exact measurements because the quantity is going to depend on various factors. How much cheese do you have? What size jar? You can play with the flavors. Want a more garlicky cheese? Add more garlic. You love lemon, add more lemon.  (I do.) I use a half pint or pint size jar, depending on how much I want to make and how much olive oil I have on hand.  In your jar, add about one third of the cheese. Layer in the basil leaves, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and garlic cloves, and thyme or parsley if you have it. I've put in kalamata olives, ripe olives and big green, unstuffed olives, too. You can really play with this and make different versions for different tastes. I used about 5-6 cloves of garlic each time and I just cut them in half. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Keep layering the ingredients until your jar is full.

Pour a good quality olive oil over the top until the jar is full. Put the lid on the jar and shake it up. Put the jar in the fridge for at least two hours before you are going to serve it. You can keep this in there for about a week I would say. Give it a shake every now and again. Take the jar out about 30 minutes before you are going to serve this. The olive oil will solidify a bit and will return to normal again when it gets back to room temperature.

Pour the cheese and oil into a pretty bowl and serve with some toasted bread.  If you have a food friend or someone with alot of herbs they need to harvest, give them a copy of this recipe.  Maybe they'll invite  you over when they make it!  Goes great with wine, red or white, a cool cocktail or an ice cold beer.
 
Comfortcook is  lisagschmidt@hotmail.com
I welcome your comments or if you wanna just say "Hi!"

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