Guest Post: Susan from California Musing

Susan is a native Californian who is happiest in the kitchen cooking for family and friends. Her husband of over 40 years often joins her. Although their methods and culinary styles are widely different, they always manage to cook up something interesting and there's usually a story to tell about the process. She can be reached by email at californiamusing@yahoo.com. Orecchiette with toasted bread crumbs and antipasto
Orecchiette (often called "little ears") is one of those pasta shapes that most people have never seen or used. This recipe, inspired by a dish by one of our favorite Food Network chefs, Giada De Laurentis,is great served on these cooler autumn nights. Susan started by making the recipe shown here as indicated, something she had done numerous times in the past. When using panko bread crumbs like we do, be sure to add some Italian seasoning to the bread crumbs. We like the brand from Pampered Chef. Rolly of course decided he could improve on it and make it even better (hard to believe, since the recipe is really really good as is).   He thought about the typical things you'd find on an antipasto platter and selected and prepared the additional ingredients
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • green onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • salami, cut into matchstick sized pieces
  • kalamta olives (pitted) and slightly smashed with the side of a French knife
  • artichoke hearts, halved
  • mozzarella cheese, cubed
Toss with the completed pasta recipe and your meal is ready for the dinner table. This dish will hold for up to two hours at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers, as they are good reheated in the microwave or served cold (like a pasta salad). Before serving, finish as we almost always do any recipe, with salt and pepper. Our pepper grinder is full of multi colored peppercorns, and our favorite finishing salts are currently the Palm Island brand varieties, bamboo jade and red gold. Served with cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms and a nice glass of chianti, this is a meal you'll long remember.

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Note:

Customize this recipe as desired, using the ingredients you like.   Just use your imagination. Use a variety of olives (just be sure they're pitted).   Sliced raw mushrooms or marinated mushrooms (halved) would be nice in this, as well as roasted red pepper strips. Instead of just using salami, try a variety of Italian meats like mortadella, soppressata, or cappicolla. Pepperoni would be good, too. Like pepperoncino peppers? Add them! Just think about color, size and shape when choosing your ingredients. Remember, as another of our favorite Food Network chefs Guy Fieri says, you eat first with your eyes. And this dish is truly a visual feast!

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One Response to Guest Post: Susan from California Musing

  1. Christina says:

    Mmm looks delicious and homey to me!
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..DC Recap Tuesday through Thursday =-.

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