Question...so have you ever thought to yourself, let me just try this and see how it comes out? Well, that's EXACTLY what I did. Tonight I had a meeting with two really good friends of mine. We're working on some ideas for the food blog - you know, trying to step it up a couple of notches. So, I figured what better way to talk about food than to eat food - great idea, right? But we couldn't just eat any ol' food - it wouldn't work out that way. Really.
So, I needed inspiration...and I needed it quick. What did I come up with.? Well, I want to say that for me this is the pinnacle of creativity. I don't think I've ever been stretched this much and have ever been this successful in menu planning. All I knew was I wanted Italian, modern, chic, and little bites...but I didn't know what that translated into. After some though, you'll like the outcome.
Chicken Parmesan Bites
We all know and love chicken parm, right? Chicken breast that's been seasoned and fried and smothered in tomato sauce, toppeed with cheese, and baked until golden brown! I've done my variation. It has ground chicken that's been seasoned and a small cube of Mozzarella cheese has been put on the inside. I rolled it in a seasoned flour and cornstarch mixture and deep fried the bite until it was crispy on the outside and piping hot on the inside. I made a quick tomato sauce with tons of fresh basil and topped the entire thing with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Carmelized Beef, Onion, and Pepper Triangles
I'm not entirely sure if this is Italian or not. But it's rib eye steak that's been cubed. I added peppers and onions and cooked the whole thing in olive oil and garlic until it was tender and carmelized. I put the cooled mixture in puff pastry and folded them into triangles. I did a reduction of balsamic that was infused with POMEGRANATE and gave that a drizzle over the puff pastry triangles. HEAVEN!
Garlic Crustinis and Sweet Petite Diced Bruschetta
Personally, I hate most bruschettas. I don't like the over powerful tomato taste and bland seasonings. So, I gave this some life! It took less than 3 minutes to make. I took canned tomatoes, minced onion, minced garlic, and basil - tossed that together with olive oil, salt, pepper, a touch of red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of that balsamic vinegar that had been infused with pomegranate juice. For a nice suprise, a bit of sugar takes this over the top. This is grown up bruschetta!
Toastes Wedges with a Roasted Garlic & Lemon Aoili
Nothing to hard here - just good old russet potatoes that got cut into wedges and tossed with kosher salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil. I toasted them in a hot oven and when they came out topped them with a dusting of Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. I also roasted a head of garlic and mixed it with the juice of one lemon, lemon zest, and really good mayo. I seasoned it with a touch of salt and pepper. Why reinvent the wheel?
All in all - this was GREAT. I totally think I hit a home run and my friends were great sports. You can see from the pics below that this was a fantastic time...the food was really, really, really good. You'll see these dishes again really soon!
Be sure to click on any of the pictures too - it's food porn again - I promise.
The carmelized beef, onion, and peppers in puff pastry - see the balsamic drizzle?
My friend Calvin. He couldn't decide which one to eat - so he ate them both...at the same time!
I caught him stuffing his face - a classic picture!
This food went fast - look at it go.
Calvin stopped for a picture - but Levell, he's still eating!
I know you wanted to see the inside of the beef triangles...I wasn't going to let you down. Be sure to enlarge the pic by clicking on it.