Toasts with a Taste of Provence, Italy

Ingredients

4 small red or Yellow Finn potatoes, unpeeled, cut into scant 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1 ahi tuna steak, 10-12 oz
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 anchovy fillets
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, plus small sprigs for garnish
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Nicoise or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and quartered
8 large, thick slices coarse country bread

Method

  1. Put the potatoes in a steamer basket over simmering water, cover, and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Preheat a broiler (grill).
  3. Brush both sides of the tuna steak with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a broiler pan and place under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil (grill), turning once, until just opaque throughout, about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  4. Soak the anchovy fillets in warm water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and mince.
  5. In a large saute pan over medium-low heat, warm the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, stir to coat with oil, and cover the pan. Cook gently, stirring infrequently, until very soft, about 20 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, anchovies, tomatoes, bay leaves, and chopped oregano. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, capers, vinegar, olives, and potatoes and cook, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more.
  8. Preheat the broiler again if needed.
  9. Cut the tuna into generous 1/4-inch chunks and stir into the tomato mixture. Remove from the heat and let stand while you toast the bread.
  10. Cut the bread slices into quarters and lightly brush both sides of each piece with olive oil. Arrange on a broiler pan and place about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat source. Toast, turning once, until golden, 4-5 minutes on each side.
    Arrange the toast quarters on a large platter. Remove the bay leaves from the tuna mixture and top each toast quarter with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Garnish with the oregano sprigs and serve at once.

Makes 32 canapes.

Source: Hors Doeuvre

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Marinated Skewers of Fresh Tortellini, artichoke hearts, and Cherry Tomatoes in a Savoury Italian Mixture

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
24 cooked small fresh spinach tortellini with cheese (cooked without salt)
24 cooked small fresh cheese tortellini (cooked without salt)
12 small cherry tomatoes, halved

Marinade

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried whole basil
1 teaspoon dried whole oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Method

  1. Combine first 8 ingredients of the marinade in a saucepan. Gradually stir in water and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook 30 seconds, stirring with a wire whisk. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  2. Cut 6 artichoke hearts into quarters. Reserve remaining artichokes for another use.
  3. Alternate tortellini, cherry tomatoes, and artichokes on 24 (6-inch) skewers. Place in a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Pour cider vinegar mixture over kabobs, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours, turning occasionally. Drain and place on a serving platter.

Makes 24 skewers.

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Appetizer with Avocado, Mango and Jicama

Ingredients

12 large very thin slices jícama
1 large slightly firm but ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and coarsely grated
1/3 cup diced slightly firm but ripe mango
1 tablespoon minced green onions
1 tablespoon shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon chili verde (green salsa) (lowest sodium available)
grated lime zest (from 1 or 2 medium limes)

Method

  1. Using a round cookie cutter, cut a 2-inch round from each slice of jicama.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the avocado, mango, green onions, pumpkin seeds, and chili verde until well combined. Top the jicama slices with the avocado mixture. Sprinkle with the lime zest.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: American Heart Association

Appetizer with Turkey and Tomato

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey meat
4 green onions, finely minced
1/4 cup each of minced mint leaves, cilantro and Italian parsley
finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, very finely minced
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground white pepper
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry

Tomato Confit

1 can (28 oz) plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and very finely minced
juice from 1 lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. To make the confit, drain tomatoes and squeeze out seeds. Finely dice and place in bowl along with garlic, jalapeno and lemon juice. Fold together. In small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and parsley together. Drizzle over tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to marinate while preparing turkey meatballs.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine meatball ingredients except olive oil and arugula in medium-sized bowl. Work mixture together using hands until evenly mixed. Dampening hands with water, shape turkey mixture into 1-inch round balls and place in single layer on baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and inner temperature reads 170ºF (77ºC) when tested with meat thermometer.
  4. To serve, place a few arugula leaves on each of 6 serving dishes. Top with a few turkey meatballs and spoon some Tomato Confit over top.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Sage magazine

Shumai with Ground Pork Belly and Shrimp

Ingredients

6 dried shiitake mushrooms
12 cleaned and deveined shrimp (about 5 oz)
5 oz ground pork belly
12 square wonton wrappers
2 tbsp tobiko (flying fish roe)

Seasoning

2 tbsp cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Dipping Sauce

1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, cover shiitake with boiling water and soak until soft. Strain, discarding liquid, and chop mushrooms.
  2. In a small food processor, pulse 8 of the shrimp until it forms a paste and transfer to a bowl along with the mushrooms, pork, and the seasoning ingredients. Cut the remaining shrimp into 1⁄4-inch pieces and add them to the bowl. Mix well to form the filling. Set aside.
  3. Lay 1 wrapper across the flattened palm of one hand. Put 2 tbsp filling in the center of wrapper. Close fingers around wrapper, gathering up edges, to form a “basket” with loosely pleated sides. Gently squeeze sides, pressing in the pleats to seal them. Gently drop dumpling on a flat surface to flatten the bottom. Work fingers gently around the edges to even out its shape. Use a knife to pat down any filling that protrudes above top of wrapper. Top with 1⁄2 teaspoon of tobiko and put in a bamboo steamer. Repeat to make 12 dumplings.
  4. Cover the steamer with lid and put into a wok. Pour water into wok until just high enough to show around edges of the bottom steamer but not high enough to touch the dumplings inside. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Steam dumplings, replenishing water if necessary, until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the dipping sauce ingredients. Serve the Shumai (dumplings) with the dipping sauce.

Makes 12 Shumai.

Source: Morimoto Asia