Recently, Don and I ate dinner at a restaurant and we shared an appetizer of mascarpone cheese with smoked salmon. It was delicious and it inspired me to re-create it in my kitchen. I served this as one of the appetizers for his birthday party last month and there was not a crumb left on the plate.
Also, my niece, Abby and her husband Ian, are visiting from Alaska and they joined us for dinner last night and I again served this bruschetta as the appetizer along with our wine. They loved it! We probably could have just ate the appetizer as our main entree and skipped the pot roast.
Bruschetta is traditionally grilled or even fried and the bread is more chewy, but I like mine crisp and crunchy so I chose to pop the bread slices into the oven until golden brown and then rub the toasted bread slices with fresh garlic before adding the smoked salmon and mascarpone mixture.
A crunchy appetizer with creamy mascarpone cheese and smoked salmon.
One baguette, sliced ¼ inch thick
¼ cup olive oil
3-4 fresh garlic cloves
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
½ cup sour cream
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup capers, rinsed and chopped finely
2 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
12 ounces thin sliced smoked salmon
dill sprigs or parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F
Makes 24 bruschetta appetizers
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay the baguette slices in one layer. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the slices with the olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake until they are golden toasted and crisp. Remove from oven and carefully rub the garlic clove lightly across each bread slice. Transfer bread slices to a wire rack and cool. You will need 24 slices for the bruschetta, reserve any remaining slices in an air tight container for another use.
In a small bowl, add the mascarpone cheese and sour cream and blend until smooth, add the lemon juice, salt and the cream, whip just until soft peaks form.
Remove bowl from the mixer and fold in the lemon zest, capers and scallions.
To assemble the bruschetta:
Using a small spatula or butter knife, smear a small amount of the cheese mixture on each of the bread slices to anchor the salmon. Place a slice of salmon, large enough to cover the bread, on the cheese smear and top the salmon with a small rounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Spread the mixture slightly over part of the salmon and garnish with the dill or parsley. Enjoy!
The cheese mixture can be prepared the day before and refrigerated. Bring it to room temperature before assembling the appetizers.
Tsoureki is an enriched, sweet yeast bread. It is flavored with an essence of citrus and a spice called Mahlab. Mahlab is made from the seeds of a cherry that is native to the Mediterranean. It gives the bread a unique subtle fruity flavor. You can find it in Mediterranean markets or online.
Our granddaughter, Cora, came for a visit yesterday and stayed overnight. She is almost 14 years old and such a sweet, good natured, fun young lady. We had an exciting and fun time together and I had some surprises waiting for her. Our schedules at the Winter school break did not allow us to get together for an overnighter so this is her Spring break and we were both looking forward to our visit.
Last week while shopping in my favorite produce market I saw they had garlic on sale at three heads for one dollar! I bought several dollars worth as they were good solid, large heads. Not like those little heads that had been for sale at seventy-nine cents apiece.
My cousin, Tiffany lives in Alaska but planned to come down to Washington for her wedding since this is where most of her family lives as well as all her school friends. Her wedding colors were blue and light pink. She had planned to decorate with blue toile fabric and sent me a swatch of the fabric so I could use it as inspiration for her wedding cake.
This is a moist, tender coffee cake in a grab-and-go muffin. I will make a batch of these and freeze them for a quick and easy breakfast with yogurt. Using cake flour creates a delicate, tender crumb but if you don’t have cake flour on hand you can substitute all-purpose flour. If you choose to use all-purpose flour just subtract about 2 tablespoons of flour from the recipe, however, the results really will be much better with cake flour.
There is a lovely little restaurant in Poulsbo, Washington, called Sogno Di Vino, which means, Dream of Wine, that Don and I visit frequently. It is an Italian restaurant and over the past few years we have enjoyed many wonderful dinners there. We always make reservations for a table in the area with the fireplace. It is our favorite seating and is secluded, quiet and intimate. We have never, ever had anything less than excellent food and service.
I always seem to find the best grapefruits this time of the year. I love the sweetness mixed with a tangy tartness and the complexity it can add to dishes. I have been adding it to my mixed green salads these days but I mostly have just been eating them like an orange. Roasting or baking a grapefruit brings out it’s sweetness and tones down the tart puckering flavor.
I have not made meatballs and spaghetti in ages and I was thinking that they would be a nice change from my usual meat sauce with spaghetti. I guess the reason I don’t make them too often is that they are a little more time intensive; but today I have the time, feeling ambitious and they are so worth it! As I gathered my ingredients and began mixing and chopping my mind was going through the refrigerator hoping I had everything I need to make a caesar salad.
Sage has a fairly pronounced flavor and can easily overpower a dish, however, when it is fried it mellows into a very delicate flavor. I typically use it with squash, soups, pasta and cheese dishes. Read more