Quickest Best Antipasto EVER! and Easy

Antipasto, Antipasti (plural), translated as “before the meal”.  In Italian cooking it means an appetizer typically consisting of olives, anchovies, cheeses, sliced sausage, peppers, artichoke hearts and various meats.  Many Americans also believed it was the course served before pasta.The most hearty and daring of guests may enjoy Peprocini, anchovies and roasted garlic cloves in their antipasto. For Allergies or dietary preference*****omit meats for vegetarian. *****check all ingredients for wheat/gluten free. A low calorie option, omit meats and add ingredients that are oil free, and fat free. Most items can be purchased water packed.antipasto2

Holidays tend to be complex.  Delicious Appetizers are a treat to give and to serve. Quick appetizers that relieve the load might even taste better. I have received more compliments on this easy recipe than any other.

Quick, Easy, One dish Antipasto, Great for traveling, 5-10 minutes prep time.

Ingredients to mix together in nonmetallic dish. You can assemble in minutes for a quick pull together take along or marinate a day ahead for melding of all the flavors. Preserve cheese if making ahead do not add until just before serving.

  • 1 large jar, 28 ounces of roasted peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 can or container of olives; Black, Kalamata, green or mixed, pitted  may be prefered
  • 1 Jar marinated mushrooms
  • 1 can of Artichoke hearts cut to bite-size or two jars of marinated
  • Have the supermarket deli cut  a half pound each of provolone and Genoa salami,  into 1/2 inch slices , cube at home into 1/2″
  • 1 dozen cherry tomatoes halved, or 6 shredded and minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp  dried oregano or basil, or both.
  • dress with premium olive oil. Omit to cut calories

There is no wrong ingredient, add these optional favorites to your audience’s taste, or serve as sides.

  • pepperocini
  • pepperoni
  • mortadella cubes
  • Italian Capicola, shredded or cubed.Various cheeses, Blue, Feta, shredded or flaked Parmesan
  • 1 Cup of your favorite pasta cooked and chilled before adding, penne, rottini, farfalle bows or Orecchietti, **** gluten free options are available
  • anchovies
  • red raw onion
  • roasted garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • shredded prosciutto di parma, sliced and shredded thin
  • hot pepper flakes
  • roasted Asparagus, Zucchini or Eggplant
  • Capers for a salty bite

Serve with Crusty breads, or varried  lettuces to make quick salads

  • a crusty loaf of bread

 

 

Pesto Extravaganza

I love Pesto, that basil,sweet, savory, clingy topping to pasta.  The Hungry Girl, just perked up my appetite with her new Guilt free option, Gluten-free as well. It’s easy to grow your own Basil in the garden or a kitchen herb planter box. Freeze pesto for quick meals. Pesto is a NO-COOK sauce, really convenient, the addition of warm pasta or spaghetti squash releases the yummy savory aroma.

Hungry Girl‘s savory concoction omits most of the oil with Fat free Ricotta Cheese Pesto recipe,  maybe i”ll  try it tonight.

Steffie’s Basic Pesto for Pasta, or Spaghetti squash

  • 2 cups fresh Green Sweet Basil, thoroughly washed, stems removed. towel dried or spun
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil, preferred
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, or Romano
  • nuts are optional 1/4 cup Pignola(pine), Walnuts or almonds, pulsed or chopped fine
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice, or juice from fresh squeezed. To preserve color
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt optional
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, optional for a twist use a shallot

In a food processor, process basil, garlic, salt and 2 teaspoons of juice into a paste. Add oil and thoroughly blend, it should be thick and smooth. Add nuts and blend, add cheese last, the cheese can heat and melt if it is over processed. For thinner sauce add extra oil.

To serve,  cook your favorite pasta, drain return to pot or serving dish,  stir in desired amount of pesto.  The heat of the pasta will release all the flavors and aroma in the pesto, serve immediately. Serve with Extra grated cheese on the side. For a decadent flair add  1/4 cup of cream to a lb. of hot pasta, before adding the pesto. Reduce cream amount for smaller portions.

Pesto freezes well, to freeze, drizzle lemon juice or oil on top to avoid darkening and freezer burn from exposure to the air. An Ice cube tray works great for single servings. Another great use, the cubes can be added to a pasta sauce, still frozen to give it great Basil flavor.

Options

  • Purple Basil pesto, sub. 1/2 cup of Purple Basil
  • Spicy kick, add spicy Thai basil and a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sun-dried tomato pesto,  add 1/4 cup well chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the basil leaves when processing.
  • Mediterranean version, 2 cups  Fresh parsley instead of Basil, 2 tablespoons fresh  Mint and 1 teaspoon dried  oregano,  add 3 tablespoons of lime juice instead of lemon, Feta cheese instead of Grated Italian cheese. Add a few seedless black olives for a variation.

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Gluten Free book Giveaway

Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s Contest for her VIP GiveAway, this article is pasted from Cheap.com

Facebook entry for getting a chance for her VIP Giveaway
If you don’t win it you can buy it, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide. The Cheap household is nearly 100% gluten free, this will be a great addition to avoid the Monotony of  limited commercial options. Free recipes with Gluten free options are available @ Cookmethis.com

This is the last week to enter to win an autographed copy of Elisabeth’s new gluten-free cookbook “Deliciously G-Free”. Visit the “Deliciously G-Free Giveaway” tab on our Facebook page to enter . Be sure to share this with your friends on Facebook and be entered to win a free box of NoGii No Gluten High Protein Bars!

Free is cheap!

Stock The Kitchen, Day Two

If you’re not prepared, a 15 minute meal can take you hours to prepare. Most meals should take 10 minutes or less to prepare, and then you add cooking time. Also, timing is everything,. If the protein takes 25 minutes, pasta shouldn’t be started at the same time. Timing is essential, as well as multi-tasking. For example, you can whip up a salad, while the other ingredients heat in the oven.

Stock the cupboards with staples, your must haves, Use Steffie’s Pantry for a start.

Always have on hand, your favorite Pasta & Sauce, Frozen(steamable) bag vegetables, Rice, Potatoes, and Salad fixins. If you have all that, you can cook anything, and quick.

Cook Me This Day One!

Welcome to my obsession. Cooking, shopping for the cooking, feeding people, and eating! I learned to cook by osmosis.  My grandmother’s Special Sunday pot roast (rolled Rib Roast, do you believe it!), when I was younger than 10, spurred the passion. Those roasted brown potatoes being lifted from the Stove-top Dutch Oven, then later melting in my mouth. I was hooked, I had to know how it happened. I actually have a picture from that day.

Grilled cheese, hot dogs and anything that can be heated from the can, were my first solo ventures. I graduated to frying in short order, french fries! I still love french fries, but I make them healthier now.

By the time I turned 16, I was making Hungarian Goulash from scratch on a weekly basis, in a Big Orange Creuset Dutch Oven. I was on my way.  During the high school years, I probably cooked most family dinners for my mom, and 3 sisters. No one ever complained, ever. In 1969 I bought that pot for $40, wish I knew where it was now.

I BBQ & make the gravy where ever I go. I think I’m invited just for that reason! “Steffie will do it” is something I hear all the time.

Please feel free to contribute any recipe you would like. With the  help of my genius son, I am  working on an ingredient cookmethis search APP. It will search out a tasty recipe based on the input of ingredients. Such as Balsamic+Chicken+Pasta. It would probably result in ‘Grilled Balsamic Chicken’.

Welcome to my private Kitchen, Steffie