Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Progressive Dinner Appetizers

Artichoke Pesto Torta


Mini Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Zesty Appetizer Wheels

Tonight we participated in our first progressive dinner. We planned the dinner with several friends in the neighborhood as part of our celebration of National Night Out. We were the first house on the tour so we did appetizers. We didn't have a main course in the dinner, the next house did appetizers as well and the third had dessert. All in all the food was delicious and everyone had a great time. We were so stuffed it seemed like a very long walk home! For my part of the dinner, I made some of my favorite recipes. This is my second time to make the Sangria recipe and I'm hooked. I substitute cognac for the brandy and use whatever fruit is in season. Today I used apples, plums and blackberries. The appetizer pinwheel recipe is one of my favorite appetizers to make. I found the recipe years ago and I use it all the time. I actually just entered it in a recipe contest. The artichoke pesto torta is one of my new recipe finds. This is the third time I have made it and its always a hit. Its perfect for summer because it has a light and refreshing taste. I added a little cracked pepper on top to finish it off. The bruschetta is my own recipe I configured from several I have seen. I only use Muir Glenn canned tomatoes and they taste just as good as fresh in most recipes. I don't have a recipe for the meatballs. I just eyeball all of my ingredients. We really enjoyed our first progressive dinner and can't wait to do it again!

Red Wine Sangria
Source: Bobby Flay
2 bottles red Spanish table wine
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup simple syrup, or more to taste (equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, cooled)
Orange slices
Apple slices
Pomegranate seeds
Mix all ingredients together and let stand in a tightly sealed container or pitcher for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Artichoke Pesto Torta
Source: Giada De Laurentis

1 (13 to 14-ounce) can whole artichoke hearts, rinsed well, drained, and patted dry
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
Nonstick cooking spray
Italian parsley sprigs, for garnish
Assorted breads and crackers, to serve
Assorted cut-up fresh vegetables, to serve (such as bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, endive leaves, and carrots)
Blend the artichokes, parsley, nuts, lemon peel, lemon juice, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a food processor, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the artichokes are very finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually pour in 1/4 cup oil. Continue blending until the pesto is creamy. Season the pesto, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Spray a 2 to 3 cup bowl with nonstick spray. Line the bowl with plastic wrap, extending the plastic over the sides. Spread enough cream cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared bowl to form a 1/2-inch layer. Top with enough pesto to form a 1/2-inch layer. Repeat layering the remaining cream cheese mixture and pesto. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Invert the torta onto a platter and remove the plastic. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve with bread, crackers, and vegetables.

Zesty Appetizer Wheels

12 slices hard salami

1 (8 oz can) reduced fat crescent rolls

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 tsp Italian Herb Seasoning (or combo of garlic powder, basil, oregano, freshly ground pepper)

Roll out dough into two rectangles.

Sprinkle each rectangle with 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese. 2 tsp Italian Herb Seasoning.

Lay 6 slices of hard salami on top of each rectangle. Roll up each rectangle tightly creating two logs, pinching together seam. Place on cutting board and cut eight slices in each log. Bake at 350 degrees by about 13 minutes.


Slice French Baguette into thin slices. Drizzle with Olive Oil. Bake in Oven at 350 until golden brown. Immediately after removing from oven rub with garlic clove. Top with Muir Glenn diced tomatoes with basil and parmesan cheese. Return to oven for 5 more minutes.

1 comment:

Laura said...

My DH would love those wheels. He's a sucker for anything with salami. Thanks for sharing!