Savoury Parmesan Shortbread Cookies
Makes 20 - 24 servings
1 stick salted butter (1/4 lb) 1 cup regular flour (can be gluten free as well)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 TSP kosher salt
1 TSP coarse cracked black pepper 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, finely chopped
**1 TBSP olive oil**
- Cream the salt and butter together until smooth, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer. Add the grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and rosemary and combine for another 2 minutes on slow speed. The dough should form the size of small peas, but you might need the olive oil if dry.
- Dump into a heavy duty zip top bag and knead together a bit, then press it down hard into the bottom edge of the bag so it looks like a long cigar shaped dough log at the bottom of the bag. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, then slit the side of the bag so it comes off and expose the dough log. It should be about 1.5" around and about 10” long.
- Cut into about ¼" thick pieces, shaping as needed and place on a non- stick tray or use parchment, and bake at 375F until they are just browning on top, about 15 minutes or so.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and serve. If they have been frozen or refrigerated, allow the cookies to come to room temperature before serving.
*this recipe can be doubled to save time and the results split evenly between 2 zip top bags
Caprese Salad Skewers
4” knotted bamboo skewers mini bocconcini cheese balls (7/8” or so)
cherry tomatoes *seasoned basil oil
**balsamic vinegar reduction, to taste
- Assemble the skewers with a cheese ball in the middle of the skewer and the tomato to cover the pointy end, top with some basil oil and crunchy sea salt
*to make basil oil, place 2 bunches of fresh basil (leaves and smaller stems), 2 cups canola oil and 1 TBSP kosher salt in a blender and puree at high speed for 5 minutes. Strain lightly and place in a squirt bottle (you want some basil bits for colour).
**great with balsamic reduction as well
Strawberry Melon Soup with Mint
Makes 40 small servings
5 cups cubed, peeled cantaloupe 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
3 Tbsp granulated sugar 1 ¼ cup orange, juice
1 cup lemon soda 3 TBSP lemon, juice
Tbsp finely chopped fresh spearmint few drops liquid smoke (to taste)
- In food processor or blender, purée cantaloupe, strawberries and sugar until smooth; pour into bowl.
- Stir in orange juice, wine and lemon juice. Taste for a balance of tart and sweet, (you may need more lemon or orange juice), then cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- Taste after chilling, adding a bit a lemon or orange juice as needed
- Top with chopped mint just before serving.
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese on Cucumber Rounds
Makes 20 servings
4 ounces full fat sour cream, drained ¼ cup cream cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 English cucumbers 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (lox)
Fresh sprigs of dill for garnish
- In a food processor, mix together the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the chopped dill, the grated lemon zest, and the smoked salmon, pulse 10X to mix.
- Slice the cucumbers into ¼” inch thick rounds and place in a paper towel lined bowl in the fridge.
- Place a teaspoonful of the herbed cream cheese on each slice of cucumber. Top with a small slice or two of smoked salmon and a small sprig of dill. Place the rounds on a platter and serve.
Meatballs with Chinese Slaw and Hakka Sauce (Ginger & Orange)
Makes 60 - 80 small servings
1 bag Costco large frozen meat balls 3 jars Hakka Sauce
3 bags broccoli slaw 3 bags beet slaw
3 jars Lemon & Ginger Asian dressing fresh coriander to garnish
- Heat the meatballs from frozen (2-3 balls per serve) with the Hakka sauce so that they are just covered, (a turkey pan covered in the oven at 300F works great).
- Add even numbers of the 2 slaws together in a large bowl and add the dressing 1/3 of a bottle at a time, mixing well in between, you want lightly coated only, not soaking in dressing.
- Serve a bit of the slaw on the bottom, 2-3 meatballs on top with a bit of the Hakka sauce.
Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Chickpeas
Serves 8 to 10 adults
2-3 TBSP Canola or Olive oil 4 pounds chicken leg and thighs meat
1 cooking onion, diced 1 carrot, peeled and diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced 1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
2 TBSP “Chef Mike” seasoning 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chicken stock 1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon honey 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and place as many as will fit into the pan without crowding. Sear for 8-10 minutes, flipping until all sides are golden brown.
- Remove to a clean plate and continue searing the rest of the chicken pieces.
- Pour off all but a teaspoon of oil and return the pan to medium heat. Sauté the onions and carrots with a half teaspoon of salt until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the ginger and spices over top and cook until fragrant, another minute.
- Stir the chicken stock and apricots into the pan, scraping up any seared bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan, return the chicken pieces to the dish.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pan and cook for 50-60 minutes. The tagine is ready when the chicken registers 165° on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and when its juices run clear.
- Add the honey and chickpeas to the pan and increase the heat to medium.
- Bring the stew to a gentle simmer and cook until it has thickened slightly. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary.