Tag Archives: Appetizer

BLT Tomato Bites (Gluten Free)

BLT Tomato Bites

These are the tastiest little bites I’ve had in a while. Tomatoes are in their prime at the moment and I suggest you make these as soon as you can! Every single bite was a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of delicious.

I have been attempting to make these nearly all summer, but seemed to encounter a Goldilocks dilemma every single time. Definitely make sure you get actual cherry tomatoes. I made the mistake of buying a Costco sized box of grape tomatoes, twice, and they are just too small. Then I tried Campari tomatoes and they are just too big, but finally I actually found cherry tomatoes! And they are just right. I used the small end of a melon baller to ‘pit’ the tomatoes and it was the easiest thing ever.

You can use just about any hot sauce you want. I personally used chipotle Tabasco for just about everything and it was absolutely perfect for these. I am sure your personal favorite will work just fine. I think sriracha or a Mexican hot sauce, like Cholula or Tapitio, would be great as well.

BLT Tomato Bites (Gluten Free)

Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes (about 32)
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into big pieces
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt (I used half and half of each)
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (I recommend Chipotle Tabasco)
  • 1 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce leaves from the heart

Instructions

  1. Cut off the stem ends of the tomatoes and discard. Using a paring knife or the small end of a melon baller, remove the seeds and discard; place the tomatoes cut side down on paper towels to drain.
  2. Stir together the mayonnaise/yogurt and chipotle and spoon into a resealable bag. Cut off the tip of one corner.
  3. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a platter and press some romaine inside each tomato; sprinkle with salt. Pipe some chipotle mayo over the romaine and top with bacon.
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Gluten Free BLT Spring Rolls

Gluten Free BLT Spring Rolls

I love coming up with new ways to eat my favorite sandwiches in gluten free ways. A good BLT (I guess these are technically BLATs) are pretty amazing sandwiches and these spring rolls do not disappoint despite the lack of bread. The lime-sriracha dipping sauce is also pretty delicious. It’s creamy, spicy and tangy and really worked well the rest of the BLT ingredients.

These rolls are also super, super filling. I had originally planned on using these as an appetizer, but they were so tasty and filling, they ended up being the perfect (almost) no cook meal. I would recommend serving these as soon as possible after making them, but if you have to they will keep pretty well for up to three hours after assembly.

Gluten Free BLT Spring Rolls

Gluten Free BLT Spring Rolls

16 rolls

Ingredients

    For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons mayo
  • 2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1-5 teaspoons Sriracha or garlic chili sauce (depending on you spice preference)
  • For the Spring Rolls:
  • 8 8-inch rice paper (spring roll) wrappers
  • 2 cups baby lettuce/spring mix
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • 8 slices crispy, cooked center-cut bacon
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cubed

Instructions

    For the Dipping Sauce:
  1. Combine the mayo, yogurt, lime, and sriracha in a small bowl. Whisk it together and set aside.
  2. For the Spring Rolls:
  3. Make an assembly line with the bacon, tomato avocado and lettuce. (These spring rolls are best when served immediately, but can be served up to 3 hours later)
  4. Fill a large pan with hot water and add one rice paper round. Allow it to sit in the water until it softens, about 15-30 seconds. (If your rice paper has a pattern on it, it will be ready to remove when the pattern disappears.)
  5. Stack shredded or baby lettuce leaves on the lower third of the rice paper. Add tomatoes then a strip of bacon.
  6. Fold the bottom of the rice paper up over the lettuce, tomato and bacon. Fold in the sides, then roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. If one of the wrappers rips, carefully overlap the two edges then continue to assemble the roll.
  7. Cut each roll in half. Serve with dipping sauce.
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Tomato Basil Spread

Basil Tomato Spread

A few weeks ago I was up visiting my best friends and her husband and pugs in San Francisco. They have the cutest farmers’ market right around the corner from them on the weekends and we took a visit before I had to head home. One of the stalls (Hummus Heaven) was selling absolutely delicious hummus and pita chips. They also had some incredible dips and spreads. I fell in love with the tomato basil spread. It was light, tangy, garlicky and fresh. It was delicious with pita chips, but I also used it for dipping veggies, crackers and as a sandwich spread. All wining combinations.

Since I (tragically) have no clue when my next visit to San Francisco will be, I decided I needed to attempt to recreate it. I will say that the original was a little more creamy (almost mayo/aioli like), but I wasn’t really in the mood to keep adding oil or mayo to get mine to the same consistency. I thought that some greek yogurt might take it more in that direction, but it didn’t. It did help it make it more like a dip or sandwich spread, which was perfect for me. I did save a little of the original to do a side by side taste test and that my version is  just as good as the original, if not a little bit better.

Tomato Basil Spread

Ingredients

  • 4+ cloves garlic
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 10-15 basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, plain

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine until desired consistency is reached (I did mine so it was very smooth).
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Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese & Gluten Free Focaccia

Oven Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese & Gluten Free FocacciaSummer seems to be flying by and I feel like the end of it, is unfortunately in sight. This week I want to share recipes that feature some of my favorite summer produce so everyone can get as much tasty enjoyment out of the month or so we have left.

Oven roasted tomatoes became one of my favorite things this summer and if I can keep some around long enough (most are consumed via fork straight from pan), this is one of my favorite ways to eat them. I know turning on the oven in the middle of summer is something only crazy person would do, but just trust me, it’s worth it. Plus, you are turning on the oven so low, you won’t be able to notice any big temperature change. I promise!

I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly delicious these tomatoes are. I used cherry tomatoes in this particular instance, but I’ve used just about every tomato imaginable and they are all just as amazing. I served these with softened goat cheese and gluten-free focaccia, but the possibilities are endless. I’ve used them on salads, in a caprese salad, the top of soups, crackers and, as I already mentioned, my favorite method with a fork straight from the pan.

One minor note, if you are using larger tomatoes: cut the tomatoes in half first, remove the stem (if desired) and place them cut side down on the pan when you go to roast them.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese & Gluten Free Focaccia

Ingredients

  • around 1-1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4-8 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • For Serving:
  • softened goat cheese (or Boursin)
  • gluten free focaccia (I made my own from a Chebe mix)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 225F.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a shallow baking dish or pan and add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the tomatoes with the oil and seasonings in the dish.
  4. Bake for two hours, or until the tomatoes are completely softened and wilted, and start to wrinkle. Depending on the tomatoes, they may take longer to cook.
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Gluten Free Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

Gluten Free Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Now that all those cinco de mayo shenanigans are out of everyone’s systems, let’s talk about more important things, like our mothers. I love my mom (hi mom!). She’s one of the few people that religiously reads my blog and she always makes sure to point out when I misspell something. It’s Mother’s Day in the US this upcoming weekend and I have a wonderful weekend of wine tasting and brunch planned for my mama. This week I thought I would share some easy and delicious recipes that would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or any other brunch events you have on the horizon.

This is the simplest appetizer in the world and it’s pretty tasty to boot! You really don’t need all that many ingredients either. Some biggish mushrooms, goat cheese, garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and a food processor (or a strong mixing arm) and you are good to go. I used fresh parsley, because my parsley plants are out of control at the moment, but you can definitely substitute in any fresh herbs that strike your fancy (basil would probably be really delicious). If you aren’t using a food processor, I would recommend letting the goat cheese soften a fair bit before trying to mix it. I would also make sure to finely chop all your garlic and herbs too.

I recently discovered some new to me gluten free breadcrumbs from The Fresh Market. The Fresh Market just opened a new store in my town and it is wonderful! My aunt on the east coast has raved about TFM for years and I definitely see why! Their own TFM brand gluten free breadcrumbs are great. They are almost like panko. I have had great success with them in meatballs and burgers. I recently tried them as coating/breading with baked chicken and with these mushrooms and have been really happy with the results! If you have a TFM near you, I recommend picking up some breadcrumbs!

Gluten Free Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs(I used TFM gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 2 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 5 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 12 large mushrooms, wiped clean, stems and gills removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, pulse bread and garlic until fine crumbs form; set 3 tablespoons aside.
  3. Add the goat cheese, parsley, red-pepper flakes and lemon juice to food processor. Season with salt and pepper, and pulse filling until combined.
  4. Spoon filling into each mushroom, and roll filled side in reserved breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet; bake until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
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Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

 

 

 

It took me nearly a quarter century to realize that avocados weren’t absolutely vile, disgusting and gross. Up until the time I was about 24, I would act like a three year old anytime an avocado came near my food. If avocado or guacamole touched anything, I refused to eat it. Luckily I have since learned the error of my ways and have grown to love guacamole (I’m still working on plain avocado (it’s totally a texture thing)). This is an ever so slight twist on my favorite guacamole recipe and I have to say it’s pretty amazing.

This guacamole recipe is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t love garlic, you should just skip this one, but if you’re like me and insist on adding inappropriate amounts of garlic to everything, this will be the perfect guacamole for you! Roasting garlic might seem like a bit of a hassle to do, but really it couldn’t be easier! And trust me, it’s definitely worth it. The extra flavor it brings to the guac is out of this world.

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 2 whole garlic bulbs
  • 3 large avocados
  • 2-4 limes
  • 1/2 large red or white onion, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced (include seeds if you want heat!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (be generous)

Instructions

    To Roast Garlic:
  1. Heat oven to 400. With a sharp knife, chop off top 1/4 to 1/3 of garlic head, so that the bulbs are exposed. Place in small oven safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  2. For the Guacamole:
  3. Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh into large bowl. Squeeze in lime juice. Remove all the garlic cloves from bulbs and add to bowl. Mash together (you can use a wooden spoon, fork, potato masher, etc.).
  4. Add cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeño, and salt and pepper. Mix together until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Feel free to add more lime juice or salt and pepper to taste.
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Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

This recipe is a combination of things I was craving and things I needed to use up. If you have some leftover chicken and tortillas (both are pretty standard leftovers around my kitchen), this is the perfect recipe to use them all up. I really like to make a batch of shredded barbecue chicken to use throughout the week (this is my favorite recipe, but you could easily combine any leftover chicken with bbq sauce). It’s perfect to add to salads or as your meal’s main protein, but I wanted to try something a little different and these taquitos seemed like an easy way to do just that. I was able to get 24 taquitos out of the barbecue chicken recipe I mentioned above (I could have made a couple more but I had already put away the tortillas and cheese), which is a whole lot of taquitos. After a couple dinners and lunches, I froze the leftovers, which defrosted easily in the microwave and I crisped them up again with a few minutes in the oven.

I always bake my taquitos because I just don’t have the patience to fry things. Plus, baking them healthier, you don’t have to stand over a hot pot of oil and it’s less of a mess to clean up, which are all big pluses in my book. I put about two tablespoons of chicken and a sample sprinkling of cheese in each tortilla. I was able to roll them tight enough that they stayed shut when I placed them seam side down on the baking sheet. If you want more filling or are having trouble getting them to stay closed, wooden toothpicks will easily solve that problem.I like my taquitos (and just about everything else) on the crispier side, so while the ends might look a bit burnt, it was really just a combination of caramelized barbecue sauce and cheese.

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

Ingredients

    For the Taquitos
  • Leftover chicken (I recommend {this barbecue chicken recipe|http://www.thekitchn.com/dinner-recipe-barbecue-pulled-chicken-in-the-oven-or-slow-cooker-recipes-from-the-kitchn-168003])
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • For the Avocado Ranch Dip
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and cubed
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons ranch dressing powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

    For the Taquitos
  1. Heat oven to 400. Line two large baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Combine chicken and barbecue sauce.
  3. Wrap 12 tortillas in a damp paper towel. Place in microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Flip over and microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove from microwave.
  4. Add around two tablespoons of chicken to one side (almost to the very edge) of a corn tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Tightly roll the side with the chicken toward the other side of the tortilla and place seam side down on the baking sheet (use wooden toothpicks if they won't stay together). Repeat until all tortillas are filled and then begin again with the next 12 tortillas until all are filled and rolled.
  5. Place baking sheets in oven and cook 20-25 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy.
  6. Serve immediately. For your leftovers, I recommend that you let them cool completely and place into large freezer bags and freeze for future dinners and snacks.
  7. For the Avocado Ranch Dip
  8. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more juice if needed to thin out dip. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.
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Gluten Free Green Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso

Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso

Last weekend I popped up to San Francisco for a quick visit with friends and my blog and computer decided they wanted a vacation too. Technical problems seem to be resolved for the most part, so let’s get back to it. Cinco de mayo is rapidly approaching and since I like any excuse to eat Mexican food, I plan on taking full advantage of the fact this week. Most of these recipes aren’t super traditional or exactly authentic, but they are delicious enough for any fiesta.

This queso is super tasty. I added some of my favorite spring ingredients (mushrooms, leeks and spinach) and they really added a lot of flavor to the queso. They mushrooms added a great earthy flavor, which worked really well with the tangy goat cheese. The chiles add just a little bit of spiciness. I served my queso with tortilla chips, but it would also go well with veggies, crackers or bread.

My oven, like all the other machines in my life, has also been a bit temperamental lately (had to get the igniter replaced… again…), which has changed my oven’s personality somewhat. It seems to be cooking a bit lower or slower (I’m still trying to figure it out).  After 25 minutes the queso was definitely bubbly and ready to serve, but there was absolutely no color to the top of it, which made it look like a blob of boring, white cheese. It’s not a requirement, but I like a little bit of a brown crust on my baked dips. It took me at least 35 minutes to get any type of color to the dip and as you can see in the picture it still came out a bit splotchy. Despite my odd requirements for baked dip coloration, the end product was delicious.

Gluten Free Green Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso

Adapted from Whole Foods.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 (10 ounce) can green chiles, diced (chop finely if using whole chiles)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and onion cook until softened and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Spread leeks, mushrooms, spinach over the bottom of a small ovenproof casserole or gratin dish. In a large bowl, combine goat cheese, Jack cheese, and chiles and mix until combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly over mushrooms and bake until bubbling, about 25-35 minutes. Serve hot.
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