Balmy Saturday Pleasures....
I'm still feeling the joy (and the indulgence) of my long, relaxed luncheon yesterday! I invited a couple of friends to my home for what has become a 'feature' of our existences....every few weeks they come to my home or I go to their home. Yesterday, the three of us shared a wonderful five and a half hour luncheon (yes...you read correctly! Sometimes they can even be longer!) wherein in from the moment they arrived until the moment they departed, we sat around my table, (which was burdened with delectably delicious food) as we grazed, drank wine and then coffee with liqueur, sharing conversation and laughter. We always have a great time, us three! Our discussions cover every possible subject! I'll give you a couple of recipes of some of what we enjoyed.
Pancetta Cups: Lightly oil a muffin pan. Line with slices of pancetta (use the round pancetta) Mix together some fresh ricotta, goat's cheese, freshly grated parmesan cheese and a little bit of freshly chopped oregano. Put this mixture into the pancetta 'cups' and top with halved cherry tomatoes. Place in pre-heated 200C oven for about 10 minutes.
Bruschetta A-La-Lee: I used sourdough bread for my bruschettas yesterday. Cut into appropriate slices. Brush with extra virgin olive oil and crushed garlic. Place on oven tray and put into the oven until slightly golden on underside. Meanwhile, grill off some pieces of haloumi cheese until slightly golden on either side. When cool enough to handle, top the haloumi with semi-sundried tomatoes, and marinated asparagus spears (cut the spears in half). Wrap these with strips of prosciutto and place on top of bruschetta...place in oven or under grill until prosciutto crisps up a little. Serve! Easy as that!
Thai Mussels: In a large saucepan, splash in some extra virgin olive oil, a dash or two of fish or oyster sauce, some chopped or crushed garlic, diagonally sliced shallots, finely chopped Spanish onion, a long red chilli, cut into strips, ground black pepper and freshly chopped coriander (cilantro). Heat and then throw in some bearded, cleaned mussels. Stir around a bit and then add some dry white wine. Cook the mussels until they begin to open...tossing away any that don't open. Serve in bowl with crusty bread!