WREG “Live at 9” – Making Fresh Mozzarella & Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Fresh Mozzarella

1 pound fresh mozzarella curd*
6 cups water
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Slice the curd into thin slivers and place in a large mixing bowl.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add the salt and bring back to the boil.

Gently pour enough boiling water over the curd to cover, let it sit for a few minutes to temper the curd. Use 2 wooden spoons to gently gather the curd together in the center of the bowl. Use the spoons to scoop the mass out of the water and hold it above the bowl, allowing the weight of the cheese to cause it to stretch back down to the water. Repeat lifting the cheese and letting it stretch until it looks smooth and shiny.

To shape the cheese, lift the cheese out of the water and roll it into a tight ball. Pinch the bottom of the ball to seal the seam. The surface of the ball should be smooth and shiny.

Place the form balls into an ice-water bath to cool. If more flavor is desired, salt can be added to the water bath.

Wrap finished mozzarella balls highly in plastic wrap. Serve within 24 hours for optimum flavor and texture.

*Mozzarella curd is available at specialty cheese shops, or on the web at www.goldenagecheese.com.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Grill time: 4 minutes

8 slices Italian Bread
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.

Brush pesto mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Layer tomatoes on 4 slices and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with mozzarella slices and remaining bread slices; firmly press sandwiches together.

On a preheated grill over medium high heat, place sandwiches on an angle and cover (close grill cover if grilling outside or use either a pan lid or a metal bowl, inverted, if grilling inside). Cook 2 minutes, rotate 90° and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes, covered. Flip sandwiches over and repeat process as above. Serve on a bed of leafy greens, if desired.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Buon Appetito!

 


What a great way to begin 2015, bananas and chocolate, perhaps a little Mimosa or a Bloody Mary to go along with this New Year’s Breakfast?  This quick and easy dish is certainly to be a favorite amongst any household members.

Banana French Toast

Banana Chocolate French Toast

Yield: 4-6 Servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
12 slices of your favorite bread
1¼ cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
1 banana, sliced thinly
1-2 teaspoons Canola Oil
Powdered sugar, maple syrup & butter, for garnish, if desired
Combine milk and eggs in a shallow dish.

Top 6 slices of bread with one tablespoon chocolate spread; arrange banana slices on top of chocolate. Top sandwiches with remaining 6 bread slices.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Working with one sandwich at a time, place sandwich into milk mixture, turning gently to coat both sides. Place coated sandwiches into pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Buon Appetito and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! What’s for breakfast? How about Banana Chocolate French Toast!


Thank you all for supporting my blog…2014 in review. 2015 will be even bigger and better!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Quick & Easy Taco Chili

This is for my new friends in St. Louis that attended the “Cooking with the Experts” at Schnucks Headquarters last week.  What a GREAT group you were and a joy to instruct and present to.  I look forward to doing it again next year!  Enjoy!

Taco Chili

Taco Chili

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 lb. ground chuck or ground turkey
2 tablespoons corn oil
½ medium size onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
⅓ cup Spice Islands® Taco Seasoning Mix
2 (14.5 ounce) can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 to 1 ½ cups beef stock
1 (15.5 ounce) can red kidney beans

Garnish:
Chopped Scallions
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
In a medium sized stock pot, over high heat, brown ground beef or turkey in small batches, removing cooked meat with a slotted spoon (do not overcrowd the pan).

Add corn oil to pan and let heat through. Add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Serve in a warm bread bowl (if desired) and garnish with chopped scallions, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Buon Appetito!


2015 Galena’s Cucina Calendars

Just in time for the holidays, the perfect gift for that “foodie” in your life.  Monthly recipes along with beautiful photos.  Now available for ordering, first 25 orders will receive a free recipe collection. Special price of $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

Deliveries will be available after November 20, 2014.  Click on the “Order Form” to place your order.

Order Form

Galena's Cucina 2015 Calendars

Galena’s Cucina 2015 Calendars


Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Okay, so I didn’t come up with this idea, but that’s the POWER of the internet…I did, however, made it my own….so easy with a few little tricks.

In a large mixing bowl add 1 box bread mix, yeast package, ½ cup canned pumpkin, 2 tablespoons melted butter and ½ cup warm water.  Mix until well combined.  Knead dough 4-5 minutes.  Place bread back into the mixing bowl and cover with a cloth towel.   Place in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes (or longer if you have time).

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet.

12 rolls

12 equal pieces rolled into a ball

Using a pair of scissors, make 6-8 cuts along sides, leaving the center intact.  Poke your finger into the center of the roll.

6-8 Cuts

6-8 Cuts

Whisk 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water, brush over rolls.

Egg wash rolls

Egg wash rolls

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven, 20 minutes.  Remove rolls from oven and place on a wire rack.  Mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1 tablespoon of honey and brush over hot rolls.  Place ½ pecan piece in center of roll.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

1 Package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup water, 115-120°F
1 egg

Honey Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine bread mix, yeast (included with the mix), pumpkin, and butter. Add water, mix until well combined. Knead dough 4-5 minutes. Place bread back into the mixing bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.  Place bowl in a warm spot for 45 minutes, or longer if time permits  (dough will not double in size).

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Using a scissors, give 6 cuts on the edge to mimic flower petals but leave the center uncut. Poke the center with your finger to give a deep indentation, and repeat the same procedure to the 11 remaining pieces.

Place prepared mini pumpkins on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or spray with pan spray. Let the rolls rise another 10 minutes.

Mix egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush over rolls. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.

Remove rolls from pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Brush rolls with honey butter and insert a pecan piece on top to mimic a pumpkin stem.

Buon Appetito!!!