Decisions, decisions! Who to cheer for… or in other words, who do I want to make mad? My friends in the Bay Area or my buds from Baltimore? Maybe I should just do a coin toss? One decision I don’t have to make is what I’m serving as an appetizer for friends and family for our Super Sunday supper. I’ve come up with an easy, tasty idea that both 49er and Raven fans will enjoy…promise!
As you probably know, this year New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl. What you might not know is that the Big Easy has a very special place in my heart. Not only is it a great town for wonderful food and jazz, it’s also where we spent our honeymoon. We haven’t been back in awhile, but look forward to our return…hopefully, very soon.
I got the idea for this recipe from looking at a lovely, warm grilled cheese sandwich made with fresh buffalo mozzarella. It was a bit more complicated than the grilled cheese that I make…soak the bread, dip into flour and egg…but wow, did it look good! I wanted to make something like that, but way easier. I wondered what would happen if I added basil. One of our family’s favorite recipes is a salad of fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato. Maybe I could add a dipping sauce for that spark of tomato. Yep, that would be great!
In the past I’ve “cheated” and made ravioli out of “store bought” wonton wrappers…why not use them to cuddle a smidge of mozzarella and a sprinkle of basil? Then plop them into some sizzling olive oil, dust with a tang of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or perhap Romano, if you’re so inclined. Before the first play of the game, these will be served and gone before the first touchdown.
So enjoy today, whoever wins or losses, your guests will be winners.
Maybe next year Bengals…maybe next year Bears…you gotta keep on believing, right?
Super Simple Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Bites Recipe
Simple, fresh and fast, make it the first play of the game.
- 1 package of Ovoline fresh mozzarella (about 15, cut in half to make 30)
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
- 15 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 30 sheets fresh wonton wrappers
- 1 cup fresh extra virgin olive oil or canola oil (if your olive oil has sat in the pantry for months, use canola oil instead.)
- 1 cup of your favorite warm tomato sauce (yep, canned is acceptable here) or make your own fav.
Drain the mozzarella on a a paper towel making sure that they are not moist or dripping with any liquid.
- Whisk the egg and water together with a fork.
- Wash and dry the basil leaves and then stack 5 together...roll them together into a little parcel, cut them length wise into little strips as shown...this is called chiffonade...very fancy term that means "cut into little strips".
- On top of one a wontons, place an Ovoline, cut in half.
- Sprinkle a bit of the basil on top.
- Brush the outside of the wonton with the egg wash.
- Press ends together and tuck the ends underneath. Let rest for about a minute. This is to seal the little parcels.
- Heat the olive oil in a LARGE pan till it reaches 350 degrees. PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT OVERHEAT THE OIL and do not use more than the recommended amount of oil, you are NOT deep frying.
- Place the little parcels in the pan and cook (do not crowd, about 8 or 10 in the pan are just right. Cook till golden brown on each side, about a minute.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Serve immediately with your favorite warm tomato sauce.
Return to Sunday Supper
I remember when our daughter Dana turned 2. Birthdays are always a celebration at our house and this was no exception. Party hats were purchased, special treats prepared and we all gathered round to celebrate.
Two meant that she was now our “big” little girl…no longer a baby, not yet a girl. By now, she was toddling toward knowledge and independence…trying to figure out the world and her place in it, growing day by day.
I feel the same way about Return to Sunday Supper turning two today. It’s no longer in infancy; it’s grown and changed along the way and will continue to move forward.
Thank you all for being patient with me during my hiatus. As you all know, family comes first, and I needed to put my undivided attention toward a family project.
I believe that if I can’t put 100% of my time and energy into a post and make it as good as it can be, I shouldn’t be posting it. It actually takes me days each week to write, photograph (yep, I’m doing all the pics myself now, no more help from hubs), edit…and if there’s a recipe, making sure that it works.
Return to Sunday Supper is no longer a new blog, but I don’t feel that it has reached its full potential. I hope in the future to return to the beginnings of the blog and tell more of YOUR Sunday supper stories. I now realize that in our hectic world, it’s hard for readers to sit down and type out a family recipe and share a brief paragraph about what Sunday supper means to them, but I’m going to keep trying.
This year there will be some changes. I may not be posting every week…and when I do, there might not always be a recipe. I plan to talk about families and communication and healthy eating as well. I’ll still be taking you with me as I travel…2013 looks to be a great year for that, starting with Australia!
I hope that you will again join me and together we will celebrate 2.
Just like the butterfly, I’m in the process of metamorphosis. Change, oh where it is taking me? I do know that right now I can’t put my heart and soul into Return to Sunday Supper…it needs to be elsewhere, and I think that you know just how much love and energy goes into every post. As soon as I land where I’m supposed to be, I’ll be back with stories and recipes that I’ve been working on…but right now, I have to ask for your patience.
It was the biggest adventure of my young life. I left the Midwest to study art history in Europe…yes, how exciting was it to be a student in another country looking at art that I had only seen previously in textbooks. I could write many blog posts about that trip, but this one is about something that happened to me while I was staying at a tiny pensione outside of Rome on a steamy July day in 1969.
Believe me, this place was spare, sparse and run by nuns. But, there was a tiny…and I mean tiny, television in the lounge and on July 20th, all of the American students gathered around it. We watched as Apollo 11 landed on the moon…but the announcement was in Italian, we didn’t understand a word…we got the fact that the US had landed, but that was all. When I returned home I finally heard the words that Neil Armstrong had said on that historic occasion…”One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Such a simple, poetic statement.
He lived up the road from where I was born in Ohio. A man of values and courage from Wapakoneta. He stayed that way all of his life…unlike so many, he choose to remain humble and unaffected by fame. He taught at the University of Cincinnati where I went to college, and he lived in my community…all the time, remaining true to who he was. A real hometown hero.
On the news, the family said that if anyone wanted to know what to do to honor Neil’s memory, they should push boundaries and commit to causes greater than themselves. I thought that was worthy of sharing with you and your family and friends today. That’s a goal for us all, isn’t it?
Also, his family said the best way to honor his memory is “the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink,”.
OK Neil, I’ll be winking…I’m sure you’ll be smiling.
I grew up in the city, but I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks with my aunt and uncle in the country every summer. There I got to run barefoot in grass still moist and fragrant from just being cut. If it was obnoxiously hot (like this year) the sprinkler would be hauled out and it would start to make lazy circles in the grass. That was my clue to toss on a bathing suit and hop around in the low streams of water like I had fleas. God, what fun that was!
To get to their small cottage we would drive till the highway ended…then onto small, dusty country roads and finally a single lane gravel road where you had to pull into a driveway to pass another car. Along the roads were fields…fields of soy beans, fields of grazing cows, and lots and lots of corn. I was always concerned that it would be “knee high by the 4th of July”…and it always was. Later, that corn made its way to farm stands set up along the side of the road.
Now in Chicago we have wonderful farmer’s markets to choose from that takes the place of those roadside attractions. The one I haul my shopping cart to the most is on Division Street. There I find that the country has made its way to me and that makes my weekend.
This week at one of my favorite stands set up by the folks at Nichols Farm was something that I want to share with you for a couple of reasons. The first is that I don’t think that children always realize just what “food from the source” looks like when you buy it in a pouch and the second is that this is just plain fun…especially for the kids.
I walked over to the display of dried corn to find this sign.
And these little, yellow, dried cobs. OK, I’m game. I’ve never done this before, but I’m thinking that it will be fun and tasty, right?
So, how easy is this? Put a corn cob into the brown paper bag…I folded the ends a few times. Put it into the microwave for a few and out pops a treat for your Sunday supper for a fun appetizer.
I had to glam it up for us with some melted butter and truffle salt, but if you prefer, it’s great plain as well.
Corn on the Cob Popcorn Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 2 - 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Fun to make, especially for the kids!
1 ear of popping corn
Salt to taste
Butter to taste
Place the ear of corn into a medium sized brown paper bag.
Place in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes. If not completely popped, you can cook at 30 second increments till cooked. I cooked mine for about 2.
Have an adult take the bag out of the microwave and shake popped corn into a container. Sprinkle with butter and salt, or eat plain, if you prefer.