Posts Tagged easy appetizer recipe

Goat Cheese/Scallion Dip

Serve with Pinot Grigio

12 green onions, grilled (barbecue, Foreman Grill or under broiler) and chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (1 large lemon)
2 teaspoons finely chopped Meyer lemon zest (1 large lemon)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 pound soft goat cheese

Grill green onions on your barbecue, Foreman Grill, under your broiler, or on your stove top grill pan. You want the onions soft, and just starting to carmelize (char) a bit. Chop the green onions and place the onions, oil, lemon juice, and zest in a food processor. Process til smooth. Add the goat cheese and garlic and process until combined and smooth.

But now, what do you do with it??? Use it as a dip with cubes of French bread. Toss it with hot pasta, then top with sliced green onions Or, Mrs. Vino’s absolute FAVORITE: use 1/3 cup of it instead of parmesan cheese to finish a risotto. OMG, you can’t believe how good that is. Amp it up a notch by topping the Risotto with shrimp and diced heirloom tomato.

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Tipsy Mushrooms

Make and serve with a dry, earthy red like Morovino Cabernet Sauvignon. This is one of those seems-complicated-but-is-really-a-dump-it-all-in-your-slow-cooker kind of thing.  You can do this on top of the stove (that’s what the original recipe from the 1970’s cookbook said to do, but plan to be simmering for 2 – 3 hours!

3 beef bullion cubes
3 vegetable bullion cubes
3 chicken bullion cubes (yep, this recipe is old school)
2 C. water
4-5 lbs fresh mushrooms (I use Baby Bellas)
4 T. (yes, that means Tablespoons) of butter
1 ½ bottles Morovino Cabernet (No Morovino? Shame on you! Use a dry, earth style of wine)
1 ½ t. Worchestershire sauce
1 t. dried dill (OR, try with 1 t. dried herbes d’Provence if you don’t like dill)
1 t. ground pepper
3 large cloves of garlic, minced

First, a word about the mushrooms. 5 lbs is 2 large Costco mushroom containers. You can use white button mushrooms or baby Bellas. My original recipe says to trim the stems, but life is short and stems are delicious. I leave them on. Clean the mushrooms by rinsing them vigorously under running water, then shaking them dry. They are going to be immersed in liquid so don’t worry if a little water is still on them. ALSO, mushroom growing medium is sterile. So I never freak out if there’s a little mushroom dirt still on them – it adds minerals!

OK, break out your slow cooker – at least 4 quart. Put all the bullion cubes in a 4 cup measuring cup filled with 2 cups of water and microwave on high til the bullion cubes dissolve. Don’t have veggie, beef and chicken bullion cubes? Mix and match whatever you have, as long as it totals 6 cubes. Dump ALL the ingredients in the slow cooker and set it for high for 4 – 6 hours. When you get home, turn the slow cooker down to warm, then use a ladle to get out as much of the cooking liquid as you can. Put it in a saucepan and boil it until it reduces and thickens a bit, then add it back to the slow cooker until you are ready to serve. NOTE: If the mushrooms have turned black, you are doing this right. They look weird, but taste GREAT. A great appetizer (serve with cocktail picks), or fabulous as a side for a steak or roasted chicken. On the remote chance you have any left, slice/dice them and use them in a mushroom omelet!

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Red Wine Poached Chorizo

Make and serve with a bold dry red like Morovino Red Sun.

2 4-ounce pieces of Chorizo (dry Spanish Chorizo works best)
1 bottle dry red wine (like Morovino Red Sun)
7 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
¼ t. red pepper flakes

Combine all the ingredients in a deep skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer Chorizo to a cutting board and slice diagonally to ½” thick. Place slices in a shallow serving bowl and cover with 1 cup of hot poaching liquid. NOTE, this holds really well on a buffet if you put it in a small crock pot to keep warm.

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Truffled Popcorn

This is the easiest, most delicious recipe Mrs. Vino has for an appetizer!

Serve with a dry Morovino Pinot Grigio or other crisp wine.

1 bag butter flavored microwave popcorn
3T truffle oil (white or black)
½ t. truffle salt
Additional melted butter – if desired

Pop popcorn. While it is warm, drizzle with additional melted butter, truffle oil and truffle salt. Great with crisp white wines or sparkling wines.

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Poached Pear and Stilton Bruscetta

Make & serve with 09 Pinot Grigio

1 loaf nutty whole wheat bread, sliced, then each slice cut in quarters
1/3 c. roasted pumpkin seed oil * see note
2 Bosc pears
1 ½ cups Morovino 09 Pinot Grigio
½ t. anise or fennel seeds
6 ounces Stilton cheese
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place slices of bread on a cookie sheet. Brush with roasted pumpkin seed oil (if using). Bake until golden brown – about 7 minutes. Put wine and fennel/anise seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Peel and core pears. Place pears, core side up in wine. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove the pears from heat and let them cool in poaching liquid. When cool, slice very thinly (¼”). Slice Stilton. Assemble Bruscetta: slice of bread, slice of Stilton, slice of pear. Drizzle platter of Bruscetta with remaining pumpkin seed oil if using and pumpkin seeds. Serve at room temperature.

*NOTE: roasted pumpkin seed oil is rich and nutty. Find it at Middle Eastern groceries or online.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  Poached pears are great in salads

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