Best. Appetizer. Ever.

0-1I’m not ashamed of my title. These are the best appetizers ever. So I’ll keep my post like these Prosciutto bites, quick to go!

There are plenty of prosciutto, melon and mozzarella recipes and apps out there. However, the prosciutto in most of these recipes is uncooked. Personally, I prefer prosciutto cooked and crispy.

I made these yummy little bites for a party and they were a hit! They were gone in a flash and everyone agreed they were addicting.

The saltines of the cooked prosciutto pairs perfectly with the smooth creaminess of the mozzarella and the slight sweetness of the melon. They would be good with honeydew, too.

A Delectable Endeavors original

12 strips of prosciutto

12 small cubes of cantaloupe

small container of bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)

Spray a mini-muffin pan with canola oil. Place prosciutto into the cups so they make little cups. Place them into the oven for only about 10-15 minutes, or until prosciutto is crisp.  Drain cups on a paper towel until cool. Place one small ball of mozzerella and one small piece of cantaloupe in the cup. Enjoy!

Advertisements

Rosemary Nuts

0-2

I cannot express how delicious these nuts are. I started making them as a snack to bring to parties. But soon, I found myself making them all the time.

That being said, these are the perfect snack. These are a great combination of sweet, spicy, and savory. The rosemary adds a lovely herbal note. Additionally, they are super easy to make! I used a combination of almonds and pecans because they are my favorite kind of nuts, but you can use whatever combination you prefer.

It seems like this recipe is everywhere on the internet, so I chose the one I used, although you will find more similar posts all over. All those food bloggers can’t be wrong!

Adapted from The New York Times

1/2 pound pecans
1/2 pound almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon dried rosemary (You will need a quality brand. I use The Spice House. If using fresh, use 3 tablespoons.)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake nuts until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. While nuts roast, mix butter, rosemary, sugar, cayenne and salt in a bowl. Add nuts and toss. Serve warm or cool.

Start a Revolution

I am gonna start my own little revolution.  I’ve never done anything like this before, but a recent trip to a new brewpub has persuaded me to share my thoughts on a restaurant.  So I’m giving Revolution Brewing Company in Logan Square my first full review.

I went to Revolution on a total whim.  I was out with some friends who suggested we grab a bite to eat.  Someone chirped that they had heard Revolution had some good food.  Plus, he added, it came from the same people who own Handlebar.  If you are not from Chicago, Handlebar is a great vegan-friendly restaurant.  I was intrigued, so I agreed to go.

Wow am I glad I did.  Revolution is a pretty darn good brewery and an impressive restaurant.  First of all, the this is a hidden gem.  The outside is quiet and undiscerning, but the inside is stunning.  The large open space is essentially a prodigious loft.  Oddly airy, yet inviting.  The staff is warm and knowledgeable.  The beer, from what I gathered, was tasty and refreshing.  I had a Hard Working Woman and it was indeed the beer for me.  Then, there is the food . . .  Oh the food.  This is NOT your normal bar food.  This takes bar food to a whole different level.  I mean solidly, unreal.  I was really floored, maybe because I hadn’t expected or anticipated anything terribly spectacular.  I mean, after all, you go to a brewpub for the beer, not the food.

This is one brewpub I would revisit just for the food.  Their menu is creative and trendy.  There is the obligatory duck confit pizza and goat cheese salad.  However, they also have the more exciting testaments you would expect from someone who owns Handlebar, like italian seitan pizza and beluga lentils, quinoa, and winter vegetables.  And the taste and professionalism will blow you away.

That’s exactly what you think it is.  Bacon.  Parmesan.  Sage.  Popcorn.  Not only that, but the popcorn is cooked in bacon fat.  No joke.  This is a serious appetizer.  Not surprisingly, it also seems to be their most popular appetizer.  I’m not even sure how to explain it.  The word most people at the table seemed to agree on was, addicting.  Its salty, crunchy, and I dare you to stop eating it.  No really.  I dare you.

This is what they called “Sweet potato cakes”.  They take an Indian twist on latkes.  They are deliciously savory little sweet potato cakes seasoned with some lovely spice.  The dipping sauce is a roasted red pepper yogurt sauce.  Its cool and sweet.  I actually preferred this appetizer to the popcorn, but that might have something to do with my affinity for Indian food.

Yes, this is as delicious as it looks.  I love pulled pork.  I have tried to make it at home several times, but I just have not perfected the art yet.  So, I often order it when I go out to eat.  This was not your average pulled pork.  The pork was moist, tender, and slightly smokey.   But the slaw on this was amazing!  They call it a honey-jalapeno slaw and it has exactly what you would want and expect.  It’s creamy; it’s crunchy; it’s spicy; it’s sweet.  And it complements the meat perfectly.  And those fries!  They are incredible!  I don’t know how they make them, but the sprinkle them with coarse salt and they are more addicting than the bacon popcorn.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this place.  And the cherry on top of this calorie-laden sundae is that all of this food is . . . affordable.  Not just for Chicago, but generally affordable.  The bacon popcorn is only $4!  (Just to give you an idea.)  Its such a rarity to get not only good, but great, food at such a reasonable price, you better get moving.  The revolution isn’t going to wait for you.

Garlic Fries

During the icy grips of a Midwestern winter, a person needs comfort food. The end of January usually conjurs up dreams of warm soup, creamy macaroni and cheese, and piping hot cocoa.  These are the foods that warm the soul and the belly.

For me, one of the staple comfort foods are fries.  And I’m not talking about those wimpy, shoestring, fast food fries.  I’m talking steak fries.  Fries the size of half a potato.  I want a fry I can crunch into and get a mouthful of warm, soft spud.

Luckily, the internet covered in fantastic recipes for such types of tasty fries.  My personal favorite this recipe, which also douses the tubers in a healthy dose of garlic.  Ahhhh, I’m already smiling just thinking about them . . .

6 garlic cloves, minced

6 tablespoons canola oil

3 potatoes (about 8oz each), each cut into 12 wedges (I use red potatoes)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 475° F. Combine garlic and oil in a large bowl and microwave until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour 5 tablespoons of the oil (leaving the garlic in the bowl) to a rimmed baking sheet, tilting the sheet to coat.

Add the potatoes to the bowl with the remaining oil mixture and toss to coat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and microwave on high power until the potatoes are translucent around the edges, 3 to 6 minutes, shaking the bowl to redistribute the potatoes halfway through cooking.

Combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the hot potatoes and toss well to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This concoction is sometimes referred to as “crack dip”.  I made it for my boyfriend and he agreed, it has some deliciously addicting qualities.  It is a mixture of all the things we love about wings – chicken, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese.  This recipe has a sort of cult status in the food world.  There are many different versions of this dish, all are very similar with the same basic ingredients.

Please excuse my bad nail job in the picture.  This dish is creamy and full of flavor.  I never thought combining chicken, sauce, cream cheese, and dressing would make something so delicious, but it does.  Honestly, at first, I thought, “gross, I’m just gonna throw this all together?!”  Somehow, it all works out.  It is definitely a guilty pleasure.

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup ranch dressing

1/4 cup blue cheese dressing

1/2 cup buffalo sauce

1/2 cup blue cheese (you can also use 1/4 cup blue and 1/4 cup mozzarella)

1 cup chicken (the recipe calls for canned, but I’m a snob and used leftover chicken breast)

Heat the oven to 350.  Mix cream cheese, salad dressings, buffalo sauce, and cheeses together.  Stir in chicken. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.  DO NOT over bake.  Serve warm with your favorite veggies or bruschetta.