Tag Archives: Appetizers

Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Mushrooms

Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Mushroom, one of our favorite fresh foods to enjoy during the summer. On a typical day, I would have picked most of the ingredients from my own garden, but I am just planting this week. The basil plants were so aromatic, that is what inspired me to prepare this recipe. I only picked a few leaves from each plant, lol!  My husband and I love any fresh bruschetta simply served over toasted crostini bread slices. Now and then I will fold in some cooked pasta with  grilled shrimp or chicken for a delicious hearty meal. Here’s to a great summer filled with fresh produce and lazy summer nights! Oh, and cool drinks, can’t forget those!

Grilled Mushrooms Combined with my Favorite Tomato Basil Bruschetta and Dressed with Lemon Vinaigrette
Grilled Mushrooms Combined with my Favorite Tomato Basil Bruschetta and Dressed with Lemon Vinaigrette


8 ounces steak mushrooms, grilled and sliced
1 pint tri color grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced thin
10 to 12 kalamamta olives, sliced
5 queen green olives, sliced
Zest and juice of 1small lemon
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Salt to taste

 

Melted Mozzarella on Crostini with Tomato Basil Bruschetta, Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Mushrooms
Melted Mozzarella on Crostini with Tomato Basil Bruschetta, Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Mushrooms


Combine all of the vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest, juice, vinegar, olive oil and all of the dried spices together. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables, stir well to combine. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with toasted crostini bread slices. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

 

Grilled Steak Mushrooms, Seasoned with Salt, Pepper and Chile Flakes
Grilled Steak Mushrooms, Seasoned with Salt, Pepper and Chile Flakes


Tips~ Toss mushrooms with olive oil and grill on stove top grill pan at medium heat, turning as needed. Season lightly with salt,fresh cracked pepper and red pepper flakes during the last few minutes of cooking time.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Mushrooms
Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Mushrooms

 

We plant all of our herbs and peppers in pots. Front porch gardening.
We plant all of our herbs and peppers in pots. Front porch gardening.

Cilantro Chile Crab Cakes

Once or twice a year, I splurge a little and prepare crab cakes made with real lump crab meat. With a  few added ingredients, this recipe for Cilantro Chile Crab Cakes makes for a delicious starter or light meal. Since there is only my husband and myself to cook for on most days, this is a nice recipe to prepare when you want a special dinner for two.

My friend Jennifer lives in Maryland and she is always commenting on how delicious Maryland crab are. I hope to one day soon be able to taste them for myself. For now, I will attempt to prepare my best version of a New York crab cake, lol! With hints of Mexico, of course!

Cilantro Chile Crab Cakes
Cilantro Chile Crab Cakes

Ingredients

1 cup lump crab meat
5 saltine crackers, crushed fine
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot sauce, your choice
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 fresno chile pepper or jalapeño, minced
1 egg, ligtly beaten
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Olive oil

Fresh Ingredients, Delicious Crab Cakes
Fresh Ingredients, Delicious Crab Cakes

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients listed, minus the olive oil, in a bowl. Make four equal cakes and transfer to a plate lined with wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to an oven safe skillet and preheat to medium for 3 minutes. Brown the crab cakes for 2 minutes per side, transfer whole pan to the oven and finish cooking for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon/lime wedges, garnish with cilantro and hot sauce. Yields 4 cakes.

Cilantro Chile Crab Cakes
Cilantro Chile Crab Cakes

Tips~ When forming the crab cakes, gently press and form with the palms of your hands. Don’t skip chilling the uncooked cakes. This helps the cake firm up and stay together during cooking.

I like it Spicy~Habanero Hummus

For me, hummus is one of those addicting foods that I crave. But for me, it has to be spicy with that right note of acid and salt to keep me coming back for more. Besides being a great appetizer for any occasion, it makes a great vegetarian meal. it’s quite filling and very satisfying.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups chickpeas
2 habaneros, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup flat leaf parsely, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste
4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

For Indian Spiced Sauce
1/2 cup flat leaf parsely, chopped finely
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
1/4 cup green onions, sliced finely
1 roma tomato, seeded, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Habanero Hummus

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients for the hummus in the food processor. Process on high until smooth. Using a rubber spatula push hummus down and process again until smooth. Taste for salt, transfer to serving dish. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. In another bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the Indian spiced sauce. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. This sauce is always better if it has a chance to sit for an hour or more. I do suggest hand chopping instead of throwing it into the processor. The hummus is served over a simple naan bread and garnished with avocado slices and more habanero.