Dip Bread Appetizers

Dip Bread Appetizers

Archive for March, 2008

Spice up your bread dipping

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

You can make your bread dipping really interesting by adding a whole array of different ingredients. You might like it to be a little more spicy and exciting and choose some pesto, balsamic vinegar, spices of black pepper to add extra flavor. With bread dipping you can use your imagination and whatever are your preferences can be added and its fun to try interesting combinations. Add your ingredients to the oil and let them infuse by leaving your blend sit for around a quarter of an hour and the overall flavor will be more intense.

An easier faster way to enhance the flavor of your oil is to prepare your bread dipping sauce the usual way and add your choice of herbs, spices etc. To speed up the process place in the microwave for a few seconds. This will allow the flavors of you ingredients to permeate the oil and has the same effect as if you had let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. This method is perfect for those occasions when you are making your dip from scratch. However, never compromise on the type of oil that you use for your bread dipping dish as an inferior quality or different kind of olive oil will not be suitable, and you will find that the end result is quite inferior.

When you have decided which ingredients to incorporate into your dipping sauce recipes you can prepare batches of them in advance. These can then be stored in a cupboard or pantry or they can be displayed decoratively in your kitchen if decanted into cruet sets. The benefit of having pre-made dipping sauces is that they are always available for you to use for a multitude of recipes and dishes. You can dress salads and vegetables, drizzle over pasta marinade meat, or simply use for bread dipping.

The convenience of bread dipping sauces is that you can prepare a snack or appetizer at very short notice. There are always occasions when visitors suddenly turn up, or your family is looking for something quick to eat to satisfy them. You could always have some fresh vegetables prepared in the refrigerator ready to be served with your dipping oil or simply slice or cube some bread and serve with your dipping oil as a fast snack for your children or if having guests, an appetizer that can be prepared in minutes.

[tag] bread dip, dip bread, dipping oil[/tag]


Italian Bread Made Homestyle

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Italian Bread Homestyle

You will need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbs water (These two amounts of water will need to be divided)
  • 3½ cups all purpose flour  (This amount will need to be divided)
  • ¼ oz active dry yeast (or 1 equivalent pack)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp cornmeal
  • 1 egg

In a small saucepan, over a low heat, heat 1 cup of water until temperature reaches a maximum of 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour, sugar and yeast. Combine with heated water to create soft dough. Remember to only use a rubber spatula. Slowly add and extra cup of flour whilst stirring until your dough becomes a little drier.

Prepare a surface on which to knead the dough by lightly dusting with flour. Place the ball of dough onto the surface and knead for up to a maximum of eight minutes. The dough needs to be smooth and elastic so gradually add the extra flour to achieve this result.

Thoroughly grease a bowl and add your dough ball ensuring that all sides are greased. After covering with a plastic wrap loosely; leave in a warm temperature so that the dough will rise. You will know when it is ready to use when it has doubled in size. This process should take approximately one hour.

Your dough is now ready to be shaped. To achieve a 10” circle, flatten the dough by punching down and gently flattening. The dough should now be rolled up tightly. Ensure the ends and seams are sealed. The final result should be a 12” long loaf. Making sure the seam of your loaf is on the underside, place on a baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. It should now be left to prove again using the same method as before.

Your loaf will be ready to bake after leaving it to rise for a further 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat your oven to reach a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make diagonal indentations with a sharp knife in the top of your loaf every three or four inches, each indentation being about 3” in length. You are now ready to glaze the entire loaf. Beat together one egg and the remaining water in a bowl. Using a brush entirely coat the bread evenly. The bread is now ready to be baked in the oven for up to 35 minutes. A good tip is tapping the loaf and if it sounds hollow it is thoroughly baked. Transfer your loaf onto a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 servings


Bruschetta with Roasted Peppers

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Bruschetta with Roasted Peppers

4 yellow peppers
4 red peppers
sea salt
ground black pepper
2 peeled cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch basil, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 loaf day-old Italian cornmeal bread cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 lb. mild goat cheese

Roast the peppers on a grill or under the broiler stirring occasionally until charred on all sides: While the peppers are hot, peel the skins and remove the seeds. Cut the peppers into strips and combine with salt, basil, garlic, and olive oil. Top the cornmeal bread with the roasted peppers and drizzle with half of the remaining dressing. Top with the crumbled cheese and then drizzle the rest of the dressing.

Makes about 8 servings

[tag] roasted peppers bruschetta[/tag]


Pa Amb Tomaquet

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Pa Amb Tomaquet: Babie’s First Meal

Catalonian bread is the first “table food” given to babies after mother’s milk in Spain. A thick slice of the bread is rubbed with cloves of garlic. Then tomato is cupped in the hand and worn down to the skin by rubbing it across the bread. Then dipped in olive oil and fed to baby. This is a simple yet delicious recipe that remains a part of the diet for the life of Spaniards.

Pa Amb Tomaquet, literally translated as “bread with tomato”, is served in Catalonian restaurants with various meats, fish or vegetables. Tomato, garlic, olive oil and salt are usually pre-made to allow the flavors to blend together. Pa Amb Tomaquet can be topped with olives or anchovies depending on the recipe.

[tag] Pa Amb Tomaquet[/tag]


Apulian Bruschetta

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Italian Apulian Bruschetta

1 Round loaf Italian bread sliced in half
30 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
sea salt
12 leaves basil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

After preheating the oven to 350 degrees, bake the bread for 20 minutes until golden brown being careful not to burn it. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool. Toss the tomatoes with salt, basil, and olive oil. Place the tomatoes over the bread and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serve immediately.

[tag] Apulian Bruschetta[/tag]


Parmesan Asiago Bread Topping

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Parmesan Asiago Spread
Makes 12 servings

3/4 cup garlic-infused balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
12 slices Italian bread about 3/4 inch thick

Combine garlic-infused balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil on a plate with a lip. Add parmesan cheese and asaigo cheese. Mix with a fork. Spread mixture onto slices of Italian bread and place in broiler for 2 minutes.

Can also be used as dip for bread or crackers.

[tag] Parmesan Asiago Spread[/tag]


Focaccia: An Italian Flat Bread

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Focaccia is a flat Italian bread that is typically topped with herbs, olive oil, and various cheeses. Modern pizza is a relative of focaccia. With time, focaccia has evolved to meet the tastes of those preparing it. Depending on the region, you may find focaccia that bears no resemblance to the original flatbread it once was.

Focaccia goes by many different names. In Argentina it is called “Fugazza”, “Foisse” in Burgundy, and “Fougasse” in France. Focaccia is basically a mixture of water, salt, sugar, yeast, and flour. Some prefer to add things to the dough before baking such as oregano, sage, rosemary, or other herbs. Others prefer to wait until after the dough is baked and top it with toppings such as herbed olive oil, meats, or cheeses. All is a matter of taste and location.

After the dough has been prepared it can be brushed with olive oil before rising to retain moisture. After rising, the dough is usually pressed out by hand or rolled out. The thick layer of dough is then punched with holes by a fork or knife to prevent bubbles in the dough. Bubbles that form during baking can also be pierced with a fork to reduce them. Once baked the dough can be brushed with olive oil.

Every region across the Mediterranean has their own evolved versions of Focaccia. Some experimentation has even led to the production of sweet versions of focaccia. Stiacciata coi Siccioli, from Artusi, matches the Ciccioli with sugar, eggs, and peel from a citrus fruit such as orange or lemon. In Provence the dough was enriched in the 14th and 15th centuries. The result was more a resemblance of a cake which managed to escape taxes that were placed on bread.

[tag] Italian Focaccia[/tag]


Vinaigrette salad dressing basics

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Vinaigrette dressing is an example of an emulsion. An emulsion is a solution formed when liquids that do not naturally mix easily are mixed. Because of this, emulsions return to their original state after some time. A vinaigrette dressing will form two layers on being left to stand for a while, with a layer of oil on top and vinegar below it.

A simple vinaigrette dressing for salads is easy to create. Simply blend the ingredients in a blender or mix them in a bowl and they become a vinaigrette dressing. It should be left in a container for a few hours after mixing so that the individual flavors of each of the ingredients have time to disperse throughout the dressing and mix together to give it a fuller taste. After being made, the dressing may be kept refrigerated for up to a week. To use it, simply shake the dressing vigorously to mix it again.

A simple guide to the amounts of vinegar and olive oil to add to your dressing is that for every measure of vinegar added, four such measures of oil should also be added. Of course, these amounts will vary according to individual taste. You may also vary the taste of your vinaigrette dressing by adding citrus juice or Dijon mustard to your list of ingredients. Citrus juice will give your vinaigrette dressing extra zest while Djion mustard allows the emulsion to stay mixed longer than usual.

Different types of herbs or other ingredients may also be added to your dressing to supplement its taste. Diced onions, pressed or grated garlic and ginger, and minced shallots help create a range of subtly different tastes. Fresh herbs should be added to the dressing prior to mixing the emulsion while other additional ingredients should  be added before the olive oil.

[tag] vinaigrette dressing, vinaigrette basics[/tag]


Olive Oil Flavor and Taste

Saturday, March 01st, 2008

Flavor and taste determine the quality of olive oil. The resurgence of the use of food products used extensively in Mediterranean Diet countries has become more and more apparent in the US in the last couple of decades, in particular, olive oil. This is possibly due to the increased awareness of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and this is one product that can be beneficial to our daily diet.

Extra virgin olive oil is a much healthier dietary choice than dairy products such as butter as it has essential vitamins and minerals and significant levels of antioxidants. So, not only can the use of olive oil protect against the risk of coronary disease but can also be anti carcinogenic.

Like fine wine, olive oil comes in several varieties, each being determined and categorised by how the oil is extracted and the amount of fatty acid content. For example, extra virgin and virgin olive oil are processed only be mechanical means. However, a mixture of both refined olive oil and virgin olive oil give us the variety known simply as olive oil or pure olive oil. The categorizing of olive oil is strictly controlled, therefore allowing the purchaser to have confidence in the quality of the bottled product. Information regarding the process of olive oil labelling can be found at the website of the regulatory body (www.internationaloliveoil.org).

The flavour of olive oil can vary greatly from region to region, and the time of year the olives are picked. The flavour is dependant upon the color of the fruit and constituent levels of vitamin and minerals, the higher the content the richer the flavour and cost. Extra virgin olive oil is naturally high in these properties which and is distinguished by its intense flavour as opposed to virgin olive oil. In the Mediterranean Diet, extra virgin olive oil is not generally used for cooking but is ideally used to enhance salads and vegetables and makes a delicious sauce in which to dip freshly baked breads.

It is essential to store olive oil correctly to prolong its life. Firstly, it is important to remember the flavour and composition of the oil will spoil if kept in a warm temperature. Ideally, your oil should be stored in an area that is both cool and away from the light. Oil stored in a refrigerator may solidify to some extent but this problem can be reversed if the oil is left to stand for a while at room temperature. If olive oil is purchased in large containers it will be store if the contents are transferred into several smaller bottles or jars



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