Showing posts with label salami. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salami. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year’s Feast to Remember


New Year’s Eve offers a great opportunity to relax and have fun.

You’ve finished with the rigors of the holidays. The presents have been opened and put away. And it’s time to wrap up one year and pin our aspirations on the next.

It’s also a fun time to get together with friends to celebrate. But, following Christmas, I’m usually not excited about hosting a complicated meal.

My friends, Bob and Stephanie, hosted a wonderful meal recently that involved some preparation but no real cooking. I thought it sounded like an ideal dinner to plan for New Year’s Eve. It was all cold cuts, cheeses, breads, olives…and, of course, wine! (Hard to imagine a New Year’s Eve celebration without wine.)New Year's Feast 2

A New Year's Feast

Bob and Stephanie set up the meal in three courses: cooked meats like mortadella and salami cotto; cured meats like soppressata, picante and Milano salami, chorizo, and coppa; and bacons like ham, knuckle bacon, and lamb bacon.

It would be even simpler if you wanted to have the food set up as a buffet.

As you can see in the pictures, they also served cheeses like aged Provolone, Gruyère, and Parmesan-Reggiano; different types of olives; and breads…Italian, French, and pork-buttered biscuits. They perfectly complemented the meats.

It’s the simplest of meals to prepare—and it allows you to enjoy the celebration along with your guests after a busy holiday season!blog20

Happy 2010 to all our Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen friends!

Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig
Delicious and Suspicious (May 2010)—Riley Adams

Don’t forget to keep entering ingredient ideas for our Iron Chef week and hunt for Julie’s Eggsecutive Orders to be entered
in her contest, too!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Winter Salad with Cheese!

Brrrrrrr! And yummmmmmmmmmmmm!

It's almost Christmas. The aromas of sweets and pines and candles. The laughter of children. The delight in their eyes. It's all worth it, isn't it?
But food is a major part of this holiday, and, after all the sweets I consume, I hunger for a good crisp salad filled with nutritious "fun" goodies.
According to Bernadette Bessette, the colorful grandmother of my protagonist in The Long Quiche Goodbye, texture, flavor and presentation matter.

So this week, keeping that adage in mind, I put together a winter salad using the tastiest items in my refrigerator. Adorn with strawberries and apples and you've got a truly beautiful plate.

(for two)
10 strings beans
2 strawberries, halved
6 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 green apple, sliced thin
6 mushrooms
1 Tbs. safflower oil (to grill mushrooms)
6 mixed olives
6 slices favorite salami, halved
2 slices Scharfe Maxx cheese, diced
1 cup mixed greens
2-4 Tbs. oil and vinegar salad dressing (recipe below)

Cook the string beans in boiling water laced with 1 tsp. salt for 3 minutes. Rinse and cool.
Grill the mushrooms in 1 Tbs. of oil, flipping once, until lightly browned.
Place greens on a salad plate. Top with salami, mushrooms, and cheese. Outline the greens with the green beans, strawberries, apple slices and olives.
Drizzle with salad dressing.
When you're eating the salad, mix it all together. That's how it tastes best to me!


2 Tbs. safflower (or olive) oil
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Shake and serve.

Note: I found Scharf Maxx Cheese at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York. It's a raw swiss cheese made by the Studer Dairy in Hatswil and is a very piquant cheese. Yum!

By the way, would you like to suggest a new secret ingredient for our February Iron Chef? If we choose yours, you'll win a great prize. Just send your suggestios to our mail box: One entry per person per day for our followers. The winner will be chosen among our followers only, so join us! Just scroll down our right column and hit the "follow" button! Watch our posts next week to find out what prize you might win for your suggestion!

Merry, merry Christmas to all. May your new year be filled with love, laughter and good health!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Antipasto Platter

WE HAVE ANOTHER WINNER and, yet again, I’m not the one who gets to announce. Boo-hoo. Keep taking a peek each day to hear who it is. Yep, it could be you!

Taking a lead from The Barefoot Contessa (SHOUT OUT TO INA),I thought I’d share one of my favorite ways to treat guests to appetizers. An antipasto platter. This even makes a fabulously easy dinner for my husband and myself.

What’s so wonderful is that you don’t have to prepare everything yourself. So many stores have these items all ready to go. Preparing an appetizingly scrumptious antipasto platter is all in the display. Serve with a zesty French bread or your favorite crackers and, voilá!

Hint: Make sure you go to the store with a list.


Basil leaves
Fresh buffalo mozzarella (small bite-sized balls)
Marinated red peppers
Pepper crusted salami
Olives (multi-colored and multi-sized for variety)
Artichoke hearts (from a can, in water)
Asparagus spears (cooked to a crisp tender and cooled)
Baby Tomatoes (I used yellow and red)
Olive Oil
Fresh figs [reserved for last]

Using a big platter, lay out the vegetables, cheese and meats in sections, the meats to the outside. Clump the veggies together, reds next to greens, etc. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika for color. Garnish with basil [which tastes terrific wrapped around the mozzarella and tomatoes.]

Lastly, layer the figs on the top. If figs aren’t in season, try pretty dried fruit like apricots. Either of these, wrapped in prosciutto, are a delicious bite!

For those with an adventurous spirit, you might add spicy pepperoncinis to the mix! They are also known as Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers and gold Greek pepper.

Note: Buffalo mozzarella is made from the milk of domestic water buffalo. Apart from Italy, its birthplace, it is manufactured in many places including Southern California, Vermont, Australia and more!
Enjoy! And remember to "Say Cheese!" You can change the world, one smile at a time. And check out The Cheese Shop Mysteries, coming in 2010!


Also, before you leave us to visit another site, enter to win our weekly Mystery Lovers' Kitchen contest. The prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Williams-Sonoma kitchenware and gourmet food store. Just sign in to this blog and leave a comment or send an "Enter me!" e-mail with your first name and state to We announce the winners right here every Sunday. Best to all!