Bella’s Table — February/March 2017

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Estella and her Brie Stuffed Mushrooms.


Thank you to the girls who participated in the Marvelous! Appetizer Mini in December. I love appetizers—for any occasion. I think your family and friends will enjoy some of these at your Super Bowl Party and all year long!

Brie Stuffed Mushrooms

Doubling this recipe is a must—it is always a crowd favorite. If you are a garlic lover like me, add a clove of minced garlic to the bread crumb mixture.
Serves 6

12 baby bella mushrooms
1 small wedge brie cheese
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Place mushrooms buttom up in a baking dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Put about 1 tablespoon of brie into each mushroom cap.

In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Fill mushrooms with a small scoop of bread crumb mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and cheese is melted.


Sweet and Spicy Breadsticks

Sweet and Spicy Bacon-Wrapped Breadsticks

These are fabulous—the sweet and spicy flavor is great, and who can resist bacon! The hardest part for me was making sure I didn’t break the breadsticks. I used Alessi Thin Breadsticks. I tried the thick ones and it just wasn’t the same.
Makes about 25 breadsticks

1 16-ounce package thin sliced bacon, room temp
1 3-ounce box thin breadsticks
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack over foil.

Cut each slice of bacon in half crosswise. Gently wrap a piece of bacon around each breadstick. In a shallow dish, combine brown sugar, rosemary, salt and red pepper. Gently roll each breadstick in brown sugar mixture. Place in a single layer on wire rack. Bake for 30 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Cool completely before serving.


Bella’s Spicy Cranberry Spread

Bella’s Spicy Cranberry Spread

When I see that first bag of cranberries in the grocery store, this recipe is at the top of my list. Last year a friend told me her family labeled this “Cranberry Crack” because they devoured this dish. I think you will like it, too.
Serves 10-12

1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeño
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash salt
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp

Coarsely chop cranberries in food processor. Chop green onions and cilantro into small pieces, and dice jalapeño (devein and seed, if you wish). Put all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. To serve, spread cream cheese on a plate. Pour cranberry mix over the cheese. Serve immediately with Ritz crackers or Wheat Thins.


Pan-Fried Onion Dip

Pan-Fried Onion Dip

Once you make this, you’ll think twice before buying the store-bought version again. The caramelized onions are so yummy. Try this with a thick-cut potato chip—oh my goodness!!!!
Makes 1 1/2 – 2 cups

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise

Cut onions in half and slice into 1/8-inch-thick half rounds. You will have about 3 cups of onions. Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt and pepper, and sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow onions to cool.

Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temp.



Loaded Hummus

Loaded Hummus

This is a very flavorful version of hummus. I like to smear it out on a platter, drizzle a bit of olive oil across the top and then sprinkle with the toppings. Everyone loves to stand around the kitchen island and dig in!
Serves 6-8

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup tahini
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, more as needed
2-3 small cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Water as needed
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, dried and roasted until just toasty
Thinly sliced red onion
Fresh parsley
Freshly crumbed feta cheese
Pomegranate seeds

In a food processor, blend the garbanzo beans by themselves for 1 minute until powdery clumps form. Scrape the sides of the bowl and blend again until even consistency. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend until smooth. With the machine running, drizzle in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you get a very smooth, light and creamy mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, garlic or lemon if needed.

To serve, sprinkle with toppings, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with freshly baked pita chips. M! February/March 2017




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