Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Tomato – Parmesan Appetizer

A few years back, when we were on our cruise in Hawaii, the cafeteria of the ship offered a roasted tomato and Parmesan dish for breakfast that I loved.  I recently have been addicted to Pinterest and found a version of these nuggets there.  Here is my twist. It would be great for finger food at a brunch, breakfast, or other gathering.

Tomato-Parmesan Appetizers

  • 3 tomatoes, sliced (on thick side- about 3 slices per average tomato- 5 in the larger ones)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese
  • drizzle of olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Line the sheet with the tomato slices.

Season the slices of tomatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a dash of oregano.  Top the tomato slices each with 1-2 teaspoons of shredded Parmesan cheese (or more if you like).  Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for about 15 minutes at 450 F.  Cool slightly and enjoy.

 

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Herbed Oatmeal Pan Bread

I used a recipe in the Pillsbury The Complete Book of Baking Cookbook that was published in 1993.  It is a wonderful edition filled with wonderful recipes.  You may be able to find a used copy at popular book sellers.  It reminds me of an oatmeal bread that my Aunt made when I was living with her.  This one has a nice herb topping. It takes some time to make, but is well worth the effort I think.

Herbed Oatmeal Pan Bread

Serves 16

adapted from Pillsbury The Complete Book of Baking p 458

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats (Old Fashioned)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 packets active dry yeast (but I used only one and they turned out fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4-2 1/2 cups additional flour, as needed

Herb Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

Instructions:

Combine the boiling water with the rolled oats in a large bowl and stir.  Allow to cool to 110-120.

In your stand mixer combine the 1 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast.  Use your paddle attachment to stir the ingredients to combine on low for just a few seconds.  Add the cooled rolled oat mixture and the egg.  On low speed, mix the ingredients until combined and then increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 more minutes.

Add the remaining flour a little at a time and stir together with a spatula until it forms a stiff dough.

Flour a surface and knead the dough for another 5 minutes adding in another 1/2 cup of flour or until the dough is no longer sticky.  Let the dough rest on your kneading surface and tent it with a bowl.

Spray your 9″x13″x2″ baking dish with a cooking spray.  Spread the rested dough into the pan spreading it out evenly. Cut the dough with a sharp knife making diagonal cuts about 1 1/2 inches apart to form the bread.  Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the dish.  Then cover with a towel.  Allow to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place (I love to use the top of my fridge).

Heat your oven to 375F.  Uncover the dish, Cut along your score lines again.  Combine the dry ingredients for the herb topping.Brush the tops of the bread with melted butter and bake at 375F for 15 minutes.  Remove the bread.  Brush the tops again and sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan Cheese and Herb mixture.  Bake another 10-15 minutes.

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Crab Wontons

The past month has been crazy! In one week I had a close friend die of cancer; another friend die suddenly of a heart attack, have sung in concerts, my son started little league in addition to all the other stuff that my family is already involved in.  Yes, I now have something going on every single day of the week until mid May.  The cloud of dust is settling again though and life is beginning to look normal, despite the busy schedule.

After all that, I needed comfort food.  Fried Comfort Food!

My husband and I went to a popular Chinese Restaurant and ordered Crab Wontons from their appetizer menu.  Theirs came to a beautiful 4 point star shape.  I wanted to make these myself so I could have them any time.  Mine were not the star shaped wontons, I opted for the easy fold over and make a triangle – the taste was the same.  I used a store bought Sweet and Sour Dipping sauce, but will try a homemade sauce next time.  The dipping sauce  was not as impressive.  Although it is called Spicy Crab Wontons, I did not find it overly spicy.  I didn’t make the whole batch, as it was just hubby and I, but for a party, do make the complete batch.  I reserved the filling to make it again in the following days, but did not get around to it.  I added more crab meat, less cream cheese (only because I did not have a pound of it), and added 2 green onions, chopped for color (only the green part)

I found this recipe in the book: The Chesapeake Bay Crabbiest Cookbook by Whitey Schmidt.  It is a cookbook that I picked up on a trip to Baltimore, MD. You can find the original recipe on page 96. Here is my adaptation:

Spicy Crab Wontons

adapted from The Chesapeake Bay Crabbiest Cookbook (pg 96)

Serves 4-6 (or more if appetizer portion)

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz crab meat (I used a quality canned crab meat found in the refrigerated section)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (green part only)
  • 1 (8 oz) package wonton wrappers (in refrigerated section)
  • peanut oil for frying

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine.

Place a wonton wrapper on a clean surface, place 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp crab filling into the center.  Moisten the edges of the wonton with water and fold the wonton in half diagonally, lining up the opposite corners.  Gently press along the edge to seal.  Cover the ready wontons with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out until you have finished making your wontons.

Heat peanut oil in a stainless skillet over medium high heat.  Fry the wontons in batches, being sure not to crowd them turning them over from time to time until they are golden (about 1 minute total).  Remove to a wire rack and finish frying the wontons in batches.  Serve with your favorite Asian dipping sauce.

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