Tapas on Tuesday


August 3, 2010

Amy and I had expected house guests Monday evening but unfortunate events transpired and so said guests never arrived. So we made the best of it Monday night and enjoyed Vietnamese Style Lettuce Wraps with Yogurt Marinated Broiled Chicken for two rather than for four. Tuesday morning I had planned a brunch of Crostini Benedict and Mimosas. However since we were guestless, brunch morphed into a mini tapas dinner. Amy ended up having technical difficulties with work so I found myself playing in the kitchen Tuesday by myself to help pass the evening alone. Whenever I attempt to try something sort of “out there” Amy always has this hesitant look on her face, this worried gleam in her eyes, but she is supportive and goes along for the ride. She had said look and gleam when I mentioned making Benedict Crostini for dinner since brunch hadn’t panned out as planned. I began to feel a bit guilty about possibily ruining her dinner so I stood in the kitchen for a minute, as I do, pondering off into the wilds of my imagination while staring at the ingredients I have on hand.

Well, we had just stopped at the Farmer’s Market in East Forest Park so I had fresh tomatoes and purple basil on hand. Amy had mentioned pizza for the basil earlier but I just didn’t have time to fool with fresh dough, especially since our bread machine died. So pizza + purple basil + left over fresh mozzarella + left over sliced Ciabatta + wanting to prepare crostini = Margarita-Style Crostini. Fabulous! I simply made bruschetta with the fresh tomatoes and basil and added that to the top of toasted Ciabatta with slightly melted fresh mozzarella cheese. And then I finished it all up with a drizzle of EVOO for a delicious Margarita Crostini.

Also, I had an orange bell pepper on hand that was begging to be prepared. So I blackened the pepper over an open flame, sweated it, removed the blackened skin, sliced it, and then placed it in a foil packet with EVOO to roast in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes. I had also bought several bulbs of fresh, local garlic. OMG if you’ve never roasted fresh, local garlic you need to! The fresh garlic caramalizes in the oven in a way the other garlic couldn’t even dream of doing. It is so beautiful and smells absolutely divine! Therefore the Fire Roasted Crostini was born. To toasted Ciabatta I added a thin layer of smashed roasted garlic, roasted orange bell pepper strips, crumbled feta, toasted pine nuts, and a drizzle of EVOO. It was to die for! I was so impressed and will definitely make it again. I have this secret challenge with myself that for me to state, “this dinner is a success” I have to admit to myself whether or not I’d pay money to eat the dish. Last night, that Fire Roasted Crostini, I would have paid big money for.

Lastly, my experimental Crostini Benedict turned out better than I imagined and Amy even had two. I prepared this with toasted Ciabatta, scrambled egg that Amy cooked as I can not scramble pretty eggs to save my own life, prosciutto I had on hand, and not-made-from-scratch Hollandaise Sauce (I use a powdered Hollandaise Sauce so that I can prepare it with soy milk subsequently significantly reducing the fat), and fresh snipped chives. So, although we never got around to brunch dinner was fun and a definite success.

I wonder, is it anti-social to secretly prefer to stay at home and hang out with your partner and pets? It is an unusal feeling for me. I find myself often day-dreaming about a dramatic social life, but at the end of the day I am most content having a quiet dinner with Amy, sipping wine on the back porch listening to music, or curling up on the sofa watching a movie. I love hanging out with friends and family but it’s gotten to the point where I’m of the attitude, “Honey, you’ve got to offer me a better time than I could have at home and good luck trying to do that.” And if I don’t think I’m gonna’ have a better time out than at home I am most put upon to participate in the outing at all. I just love loving to be at home. However on the other hand, our door is always open as is our hearts and you are always welcome to stop by and  hang out with the crazy cat ladies 😉

♥ Amy’s Action Shots of Me ♥

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