For our annual Beach Babe and their Boys Valentine dinner I prepared some of my favorite “stand by” appetizers. Ones I know everyone will love.
Above picture – The Beach Babes enjoying my appetizers. One of our beach babes Patrice was visiting her sick daddy so wasn’t with us – we missed you Patrice!
One of my favorite appetizers, the one I make more than any other appetizer is Roasted Garlic and Artichoke Dip – yum! You can serve it with sliced baguette or crackers or just eat it by the spoonful. There are lots of artichoke dip recipes out there – the secret ingredient that makes this one so good is roasted garlic.
If you have never roasted garlic before I recommend that you pay a visit to Pioneer Woman Cooks blog (one of my favorite food blogs) and her beautiful pictorial and instructions for roasting garlic. I used roasted garlic in several of the appetizers I made so I roasted about 6-7 heads of garlic.
Roasted Garlic and Artichoke Dip
1 (6.5 oz.) jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
1 cup reduced fat or regular mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 head roasted garlic, mashed
salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the above together. Place in a 1 quart glass dish. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. paprika on top. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbling in a 375 degree oven.
Serve with pita bread, baguette, crackers or vegetables.
Sun-Dried Tomato Tart with Fontina & Prosciutto
1 large egg yolk
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Fontina (or any mild Swiss like white cheese)
4 thin slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
2-3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk the egg with 1/2 tsp. water.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and gently unfold the pastry sheet. Roll out the pastry eliminating the creases to a 10 x 14 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise to make two 5 x 14 inch rectangles and if the edges are uneven or ragged, trim them.
Transfer both pastries to the baking sheet. With the tines of a fork, press a 1/4 inch border around the edge of the pastry. Brush the egg mixture along the border. Poke the rest of the pastry all over with the fork to keep it from puffing too much. Bake both pastry rectangles until firm and golden, about 12 minutes. Remove the pastry from the oven and increase the temperature of oven to 475 degrees.
Let the pastry rectangles cool slightly and press them gently to flatten any large air pockets. Scatter a thin layer of the sun-dried tomatoes on both rectangles. Scatter the Fontina over the top. Place the prosciutto strips on top of the cheese, either draping them in a random pattern or arranging them evenly. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into strips or small squares to serve.
Cambozola Cheese Tray
This is super easy and super yummy!
I bought a yummy wedge of cambozola cheese from Costco (this is a combination of a French soft-ripened triple cream cheese and Italian Gorgonzola)
I filled a ramekin with some sliced roasted red peppers I bought at Trade Joes and filled another ramekin with some of that roasted garlic.
I thinly sliced a baguette, brushed the bread with some olive oil and toasted it. Easy and yummy - a Cambozola Cheese Platter!