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Strawberry, Mozzarella & Basil

February 20, 2011 10 comments
Mansikka-mozzarella-basilika

Strawberry, Mozzarella & Basil

I can’t wait for it to be summer again! This wonderful starter is so fresh and delicious and yet so easy to make. Also, even though it’s easy to make and has few ingredients, it really looks festive and like proper gourmet. Tastes like it too! So here’s a beautiful, healthy starter for the sunny days:

Ingredients (for 4):

  • 20 Fresh strawberries (ca. 5 per person)
  • 1 bundle of Fresh basil (let’s say ca. 10 leaves per person.. one bundle will do for 2-4 people)
  • 2 balls of Mozzarella (approximately half a mozzarella ball per person)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Chili

Preparation

  1. Begin by setting a couple of basil leaves on the plates. Add a slice of mozzarella on top of the leaves – it’s good to use the largest slices at the bottom.Then add a few slices of strawberry on top of the mozzarella slice. Now sprinkle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or chili oil, grind a little bit of black pepper and a touch of chili powder and salt. You’re done with the first layer.
  2. Now start repeating the layers. Add a few basil leaves, then a mozzarella slice, then a couple of slices of strawberry. Season as on the first layer. Continue adding more layers until you’ve used half a ball of mozzarella for each portion. For the top layer, use strawberries and a couple of pretty basil leaves. You can also garnish the portion with chopped basil leaves and sprinkle them on the sides of the plate.

You can serve this dish with some good quality balsamic vinegar – it goes well with the strawberries and basil and gives a bit of an edge to the taste combo.

Enjoy!

Photo © Kalle Laine

Easy and delicious sweet rye bread appetizers

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Saaristolaisherkkuja

Delicious appetizers

Here’s an easy starter and a party snack we like to do. These small appetizers look and taste great! You can make so many different variations.

Here’s an example (the ones you see in the picture):

  • chives
  • sweet rye bread
  • trout roe
  • red onion
  • Fresh cheese (leek or herb flavoring)

Use a round mold to cut round slices of the sweet rye bread. You’ll need two slices per appetizer. Smear the slices (all of them) with fresh cheese and then pile two slices on top of one another.  Decorate with a small amount of roe and finely chopped red onion. Finally you can add one or two straws of chives for a final touch.

It’s best to make these just before serving if you want to make sure the fresh cheese looks pretty when served. The taste doesn’t change if they’re stored in the fridge but the fresh cheese gets this dryish layer on top when stored. You can e.g. make the appetizers half-ready by smearing only half of the  bread slices, piling them and then smearing the top layer + decorating just before serving. This way you can win a bit of time.

You could also use gravlax, other types of roe, dill, etc for filling or decoration to create beautiful Scandinavian appetizers.

Smoked reindeer pies

January 29, 2011 3 comments
Savuporopiiras

Smoked reindeer pies

These pies are almost too good to be true! They’re perfect as a starter, a snack, for parties and for just about any reason or occasion you can come up with. The recipe’s from my mom.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Crust:

  • 125 g butter
  • 2 dl wheat flour
  • 1 dl strained rye flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 dl grated cheese
  • 1/2 dl water

Filling:

  • 100 g smoked reindeer
  • 1 small leek
  • 2 dl grated cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 jar sour cream
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 dl chopped parsley
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cherry tomatoes and/or olive slices for decoration

Preparation:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (of crust) with softened butter.
  2. Add water and mix just so that you get an even dough.
  3. Divide the dough in two. Roll it into a bar and divide into 12 pieces.
  4. Roll the pieces into small balls and press them into a muffin tin. You can dip your thumb in flour so the dough doesn’t stick so much. Press the dough up to 1-1,5 cm height, so not all the way up the muffin tin walls.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other half of the dough. You should end up with 24 pcs.
  6. Then for the filling. Cut the leek in half (longitudinally), wash the halves and cut them into three parts (again, longitudinally) and then slice the parts into thin slices. Soften in a microwave oven with full power for 1-2 mins.
  7. Mix the filling ingredients.
  8. Add the filling into the forms but only to the same height as the crust on the edges.
  9. Bake in 200°C on the lower level for approximately 20 minutes.

Enjoy.

FoodPress.com
This recipe was featured on FoodPress.com on February 9, 2011.
Categories: Party, Starters Tags: , , ,

Portobello mushroom starter

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Portobellosieni alkupala

Filled portobello mushroom

For many many years I didn’t like mushrooms at all. And I mean it. Then one day I ordered this dish in a restaurant that had a portobello mushroom in it. My world changed that night. – Or at least I got over my mushroom trauma. I absolutely loved the portobello mushroom! Needless to say, I really like this starter:

  • 4 big portobello mushrooms
  • 3 spring onion stems OR
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 pot of basil
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 0,5 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices of parma ham
  • 1 ball of mozzarella

Chop the spring onions and basil. Heat the olive oil on a frying pan and sauté the chopped onions. Season with chopped basil, salt, black pepper and balsam vinegar. Set the onion filling onto the mushrooms (remove the mushroom stems)  and rip some mozzarella cheese on top of the onion filling. Do use a ball of real mozzarella and not the ready ground mozzarella that’s sold in bags. They’re two different cheeses :) Bake in 250°C, until the cheese melts. Decorate with parma ham and basil leaves.

Original recipe from:
Viides Glorian ruokakirja (a Finnish food magazine)
Categories: Starters Tags: , , , ,