My sister is a gourmet cook. Sometimes, though, I think she goes overboard. Like when I was there in April 2012 to visit and help celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday at a themed party with 11 other people (not counting me, my sister and bro-in-law). My sister had already made dessert (crème brulee), the main course (a loooonnnnggggg sandwich with three different fillings), crispy baked buttered wontons with garlic, spicy cheese coins with pepper jellies, roasted garlic and cambozola on crispy baked pita chips, and lentil soup. She looked at all she’d cooked and then looked at me and said “Maybe I should make some fried ravioli too”. I told her she’d gone above and beyond already, but my sister NEVER listens to me.
She made the fried ravioli.
And I photographed the process, using my Canon 5D Mark III and 50mm f1.2 lens.
As promised in my previous post, here is the next recipe post with photos. My sister made this during my April 2012 visit. While I have tried for myself the recipes about which I previously blogged, I have not yet tried this one. However, since my own tries at her other recipes have been successes, I’m pretty sure this one will turn out well too when I finally decide to make this one on my own.
Above is the recipe, below are the photos. For the jelly, my sister bought a bunch of different pepper jellies produced by Micks. I had no idea they made so many!
I unfortunately did not get any shots of the cheese dough preparation. They were already mixed and rolled into logs and in the fridge before my arrival at my sister’s home.
My sister always goes above and beyond with the cooking. She’s a gourmet cook and awesome! I know I will always eat well when I visit.
Here is a very tasty, addictive little appetizer my sister made for my brother-in-law’s birthday party (of which I was a guest during my April 2012 vacation to Washington State).
I must tell you I don’t have photos for every single step of this appetizer construction – I either forgot (like with photos of the tops cut off the garlic heads), or my fingers were too messy to pick up the camera, or I was too busy eating the appetizer to think of taking a photo of it, messy fingers or no.
So, for this recipe, you need:
- A small cupcake baking pan (one of those pans that allow for 6 cupcakes)
- Several heads of garlic
Now, you need to roast said heads of garlic. My sister wanted to try a new method for doing this, rather than using the ceramic garlic roaster they have. I can tell you I have tried the crockpot method of roasting garlic, and I am personally underwhelmed, so I was interested to see how her method turned out. After tasting the results, she and I agreed: to get a true roast garlic flavor with some wonderful caramelization, you must roast it in the oven.
- Slice off the tops of each garlic head so that you can see the insides of the garlic cloves.
- Rub olive oil over each garlic head and also inside the cupcake pans.
- Wrap aluminum foil over the pan and set inside the oven set at 375 degrees. Bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. You will want to periodically check to make sure the garlic is not only spreadably soft, but also nicely caramelized.
- Some of the cloves may stick to the aluminum foil – my sister tried spraying the foil with a non-stick spray, but that didn’t seem to work. So, we just ate those few roasted cloves that stuck to the foil 😉
Roasted garlic. Done.
Now, for the pita chips.
- Purchase a bag of pita bread
- Either tear the pita bread into smaller pieces, or cut it into smaller pieces for a more orderly look to the edges of the chips.
- Slather melted butter (the real stuff) over each piece and then stick in the oven to bake at 375 degrees F for oh – maybe 10 minutes or so? It’s not an exact science so you will want to keep checking the chips to make sure they don’t burn. They should be nice and crispy.
Baked pita chips. Done.
- Purchase some cambozola cheese. I live in rural SE Texas (bleah) and when I made this appetizer for myself, I could not find that particular cheese even in the Super HEB some 22 miles away from my town. So, I purchased brie cheese and gorgonzola cheese and sliced a little of each.
Now, serve your guests (or yourself) the pita chips and slather (I mean, spread) a little of the cheese, then the roasted garlic atop your chip.
My sister has made these tasty little appetizers before, and we all just love them. They are super-easy and very versatile. They go well as a stand-alone appetizer, or with soups and salads.
One package wonton wrappers
One stick butter – melted
Grated parmesan cheese or Romano cheese or finely-minced garlic or garlic salt
- Separate and lay out the wonton wrappers on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (my sister did this) or foil (I did this)
- Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter over each wrapper
- Sprinkle the one of the above-mentioned toppings
- Bake at 375 until the wrappers look golden and crispy (about 7 minutes; they cook quickly you’ve really got to keep an eye on these to make sure they are nicely browned but not burnt)
My sister has made these before using parmesan, but during my April 2012 visit, she used garlic salt. Now, I love salty foods, but some of these were a little bit too salty – so if you use garlic salt, be judicious in how much you sprinkle.
Upon my return to Texas, I made these for my mother, aunt, and myself to accompany lunch. Instead of garlic salt, I used 1/2 pkg of grated Romano cheese (left over from my pancetta-wrapped turkey meatloaf recipe). I almost burned the first batch because I wasn’t keeping an eye on them and didn’t realize just how quickly they brown up. It would help if my oven had a little window like my sister’s ovens do (yes, she has two ovens as she does a lot of cooking).
WARNING: These little things are super-addictive