Tag Archives: snack

Prosciutto Cups with Ricotta & Balsamic Figs

From here on out you will only want to eat things out of little meat cups.

Fall is awesome. It’s not too cold, not too hot, you have an excuse to start making heartier meals, and watching football all day totally counts as an activity. It’s the total package, just like these little babies. Prosciutto cups always seemed difficult to us until we actually tried them (hint: it’s easy). The salty richness of the pig is balanced nicely by the freshness of the ricotta, and the whole thing is lifted by the sweet and slightly acidic balsamic glazed figs. Better stocked grocery stores will have fresh figs into early November so get on it and up your appetizer/snack game forever.

Equipment Needed: Muffin Tin, Small Cup or Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Frying Pan, Spatula, Spoon

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices prosciutto ($14.99/lb)
  • 6 fresh black mission figs ($4.99/pt)
  • 1/3 C balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TBSP maple sugar (you can substitute brown sugar if you can’t find maple sugar; we got ours at Kalustyan’s)($3.99/3 oz)
  • Roughly 2 C fresh ricotta ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary ($1.49/sprig)
  • 1/4 C honey ($4.39/12 oz)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Pull the rosemary leaves off the sprigs and mince them up. Sprinkle some salt over the minced leaves and scrape them against the cutting board as you would if you were making a garlic paste.

Crush up the rosemary a bit to make it infuse better with the honey.

  • Dump the rosemary into a small cup or container and pour the honey over it. Let that sit on the back of the stove to draw ambient heat and meld flavors while you cook everything else.
  • To make the cups, take each slice of prosciutto and line each muffin compartment in the tin making sure that the bottom is completely covered. The end result should look like a cupcake wrapper. The prosciutto will inevitably split several times when you first attempt this. Resist the urge to put your fist through a wall and just be gentle and patient when handling each piece. Pop these in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until they’re crisp.

The first few will frustrate the hell out of you and fall apart. The last few you will be able to do blindfolded.

  • While the cups are cooking place your frying pan over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and maple sugar and stir everything together. Let the vinegar reduce for about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  • Keeping an eye on your vinegar while it reduces, remove the stems from the figs and slice them in half lengthwise. Once the sauce has thickened a bit place the figs in the pan, sliced side down. Let them sit and cook for 5 minutes; resist the urge to move them so they caramelize a bit.

The reduced balsamic will nicely balance the sweetness of the figs.

  • Pull your prosciutto out of the oven when it’s crispy and set them aside to cool.
  • Flip your fruit and cook for another 5 minutes to soften them through. Turn the heat off, pluck the figs out of the vinegar and set them aside to cool slightly.
  • Carefully pull your prosciutto cups out of the tin and fill each one with a spoonful of ricotta. Place a fig on top of the cheese, sliced side up. Drizzle a little balsamic from the pan over top if you wish and then drizzle some of your rosemary honey over the whole lot for a sweet and earthy accent.

And rosemary honey because we said so.

Devil Ducks (aka, Deviled Duck Eggs)

So much delicious duck in such a tiny package.

We’ve had a soft spot in our hearts for deviled eggs ever since we can remember having our Nana’s at family Christmas gatherings. The traditional recipe is hard to beat but we recently had the good fortune of coming into the possession of duck eggs, which oddly coincided with our discovery of possibly one of the greatest things in the world, D’Artagnan’s duck bacon. You can make the below recipe with good ‘ol fashioned chicken eggs and pig bacon, but we couldn’t leave well enough alone. Just be careful about making more than one egg per person; duck eggs are larger and fattier so they can be overwhelming once you go back for seconds.

Equipment Needed: 5 Qt Pot with Lid, Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Large Fork, Mixing Bowl, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Crisp and acidic whites to combat the fattiness (e.g., Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris) or lighter reds

Suggested Beer Pairing: Something crisp like an American Lager or Pilsner

Ingredients:

  • 6 duck eggs (these are about $1 each, substitute with chicken eggs at will)
  • 6 strips D’Artagnan duck bacon ($12.99/8 oz)(you can also use regular bacon, you serf)
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise ($3.99/15 oz jar)
  • 2 TBSP dijon mustard ($3.85/8 oz jar)
  • 1-2 TBSP horseradish ($1.79/6 oz jar)

Preparation:

  • Fill your pot about 2/3 full with water, gently place your duck eggs in (you don’t want them to accidentally crack) and put it over high heat, covered.
  • While your water is coming to a boil place the frying pan over medium heat and add the duck bacon. This can be a little on the rarer side, so be careful not to char it up (2-3 minutes per side should be fine). Put the cooked pieces on paper towels to drain.
  • Once your water is boiling let it go for another 5 minutes then turn it off and let the eggs sit for another 5 minutes in the hot water. Once your 10 minutes is up carefully pour out the water and replace it with cold water to shock the eggs and stop the cooking. We even pop them in the fridge sometimes to speed up the process (this is probably some violation of classic technique but whatever).

Be sure to use a pot that gives the eggs room to move a bit.

  • In the mixing bowl stir together the mustard, mayo and horseradish. We recommend doing about half of each at first to make sure you like the taste and then add more of each to your liking.
  • Once your eggs are cool shell them and cut them in half. Take 4 of the yolks and toss them in the mixing bowl with your mayohorsetard sauce. Crush them up and stir it together with your fork until everything’s integrated. Add more yolk if you prefer but you can also save them for a salad later (remember that you’ve now got a lot of filling for 12 egg halves).
  • Take your bacon and chop it in to tiny crumbles for your topping.

It's safe to say that our lives are now better knowing that duck bacon is a thing.

  • Using your fork, scoop some of the yolk/sauce mixture into each egg half and set them on a plate. Sprinkle a healthy dose of bacon on top of each and go duck yourself.

Fill 'er up.

Truffled Parmigiano Popcorn

If you've got five minutes you too can be happy.

Oh how we pity those that have lost touch with popcorn’s pure roots and resort to the chemical-ridden quasi-corn that has its own special button on most microwaves. Lost is the simple pleasure of shaking a pot, watching the kernels explode in light fluffy goodness right before your eyes and adjusting flavors to something other than “salty and yellow.” If you need any more inspiration than truffle and Parmigiano cheese to class things up then we can’t help you. Treat yourself and carve out a whole five minutes of your day to do it the right way; we promise you’ll never go back to the bag.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot with Lid, Microplane or Cheese Grater, Small Microwaveable Dish, Large Serving Bowl

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 2-3 normal people (though we can each eat a batch)

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C un-popped popcorn ($2.29/28 oz)
  • 1/4-1/2 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ($12.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP canola oil ($4.89/48 oz)
  • 1/2 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 2-3 TBSP truffle oil (about $23/8 oz but totally worth it)
  • 2 TSP dried parsley flakes ($1/0.5 oz jar)
  • Sea Salt (about $3/26 oz)
  • Black Pepper

Preparation:

  • Place your pot uncovered over medium-high heat for a minute to warm things up. Add your canola oil to evenly coat the bottom and give it another minute or so to start shimmering.

Use just enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pot.

  • Pour in the popcorn kernels and put the lid on the pot. Every 30 seconds or so swirl the pot in a circular motion to keep the kernels from sticking to the bottom and charring.
  • As soon as the first kernel pops you’ll need to be in action mode, swirling the pot constantly while keeping it over the heat to make sure you get maximum poppage and minimum burnage.

Shake what your momma gave ya!

  • Once the popcorn starts to press against the lid and the popping of the kernels comes more than 3 seconds apart remove the pot from the stove and give it a couple more solid swirls to get any stragglers to explode.
  • Pour the popcorn into your serving bowl. Pop your butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt it down and pour it evenly over the popcorn. Grind on some fresh black pepper, a pinch of salt (the cheese will make up the difference) and a few dashes of parsley flakes.
  • Drizzle truffle oil over the whole lot and grate on Parmagiano Reggiano to your little heart’s content. We suggest stirring things up a bit to ensure even distribution of flavors and adding more of whichever seasoning/accouterments you desire to taste.

We love that truffle funk. Use liberally.

Make it rain parmigiano.

Greek Nachos

Like a crunchy deconstructed gyro.

Don’t get us wrong, we like nachos as much, nay, more than the next person but variety is the spice of life. What better way to give the chip/meat/cheese/sauce combo than take it on a trip through the Mediterranean? No better way, that’s what. Go ahead and use beef if you can’t find ground lamb or don’t like the flavor. You can also save some time by using pre-made olive tapenade, but we suggest trying to make it at least once; it’s easy and the results taste much fresher.

Equipment Needed: 2 Baking Sheets, Frying Pan, Mixing Bowl, Wooden Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Basting Brush (or) Pastry Brush, Microplane

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 10

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Lager, Pale Ale

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground lamb ($6.99/lb)
  • 1 medium red onion ($1.29/lb)
  • 8 oz feta cheese ($4.39/8 oz)
  • 2-3 C tzatziki sauce (About $5/16 oz tub or make your own)
  • 10 whole wheat pita pockets (about $1.29/6 pack)
  • 1/2 lb pitted olives ($5.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary (about  $1.99/sprig)
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil, divided ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TBSP ground oregano ($2/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Olive Tapenade Preparation:

  • Finely dice the olives and toss them in your bowl or container.

Dice them small but don't mince them into mush.

  • Zest in the skin of the lemon, then squeeze in the juice. Be careful not to get any seeds in.

Stop when you hit the pith (the white part) to avoid bitterness.

  • Mince the rosemary and toss it in the mix. Peel your garlic and turn it into a paste by sprinkling about a teaspoon of salt on top and repeatedly pressing it with the edge of your chef’s knife. Throw it in with the rest.

We grow our own.

  • Crack about a tablespoon of fresh black pepper in, pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and give it a good stir to make sure everything is well-distributed. Adjust your flavors as you see fit and let the mix sit in the fridge for about an hour to let the flavors meld before you use it.

Nacho Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Take your pitas and cut them into eighths. Pull the halves apart so each piece becomes two chips. Place the triangles in a single layer on your baking sheets, brush them with olive oil and give them a good sprinkle of salt. Put them in the oven for 5 minutes or until crisp. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Don’t saturate them, a light basting will do.

  • While the chips are baking dice your onion and mince the 3 cloves of garlic. Remove the chips when they’re done.
  • Put the frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook them down for about 5 minutes.
  • Toss in the lamb and season it with the cumin, oregano and a good dose of salt and pepper. Break up all the meat and cook it through, stirring occasionally (about 8 minutes).

Lamb gives the whole shebang a richer flavor.

  • Drain as much of the fat off as you can and spread the meat evenly across the pita chips.  Crumble the feta on top of that and pop the baking sheets back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Pull the nachos out, spread tzatziki and tapenade across the top and devour.

Wasabi Soy Almonds

Salty, spicy, nutty roasted goodness for any occasion.

Our mild addiction to the food section in Target led us to this recipe. Salty, spicy and nutty this snack is equally suited as a starter for an Asian-inspired meal or snack for the big game. Avoid missing the third quarter by remembering to use aluminum foil to protect your baking sheet.

Equipment Needed: Baking Sheet, Aluminum Foil, Mixing Bowl, Microwave-safe Container (to melt the butter), Fork

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6 ish

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz almonds ($3.99/10 oz)
  • 1/4 C soy sauce ($2.50/10 oz)
  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP wasabi powder ($3/1 oz jar)

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Put the butter in a microwave-safe device (we used a coffee mug) and melt it completely.
  • Mix in the soy sauce and wasabi powder. Put your almonds in the mixing bowl and line the baking pan with aluminum foil.

Pour the soy and wasabi in and mix thoroughly so there are no clumps.

  • Pour the mix over the almonds and toss them to coat evenly. Pop those puppies in the oven for 5 minutes, stir them and bake for another 5. Wait for them to cool before serving. If the spirit moves you, toss them with a little sea salt and some extra wasabi powder to taste.

Toss the nuts with the sauce to coat evenly.

Crispy Prosciutto Pockets

These little bundles of sweet and savory happiness hit the spot for any occasion.

These little bundles of sweet and savory happiness hit the spot for any occasion.

There are some things that seem too fancy pants to make unless you’ve got a special occasion or are entertaining. Then there are foods that make you want to put on your fancy pants and entertain yourself. These bundles of salty-sweet goodness are quick and easy to whip up, providing crispy satisfaction for whatever the excuse.

Equipment Needed: Toothpicks, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Baking Sheet, Oven

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Something red

Suggested Beer Pairing: Heartier Ales, Stouts, and Porters

Ingredients:

  • 1 4oz package of prosciutto ($5.99)
  • 15 dried black mission figs ($4.99/lb)
  • 6 oz goat cheese ($2.99 )
  • About 2-3 TBSP honey ($3.99/16 oz)

Preparation

  • Preheat your oven to 375° F before you start your other prep work.
  • Take the figs and cut the stems off. Cut the prosciutto slices in half, lengthwise.
Slice the stems off, unless you like stems (weirdo).

Slice the stems off, unless you like stems (weirdo).

  • Take one of the half slices of prosciutto and put a small crumble of goat cheese on one end (about half the size of one of the figs). Place the fig on top of the cheese and roll the prosciutto around them. You want to make sure that you totally encompass the ingredients inside, so don’t go in just one direction when rolling, wrap the whole thing up.
Wrap that porky goodness around all the fillings.

Wrap that porky goodness around all the fillings.

  • Skewer with a toothpick when you’re done to hold things together.
Put a toothpick through the center, making sure to secure the loose end.

Put a toothpick through the center, making sure to secure the loose end.

  • Place the pockets on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 5 minutes. Take them out and flip them over at that point and throw them back in for another 2-3 minutes. You’ll be able to smell them when they’re done.
Let the crispiness commence.

Let the crispiness commence.

  • Remove those puppies from the oven and drizzle honey over the top (trust us, you’ll want to do this to cut the saltiness of the prosciutto). Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

Firey Maple Walnuts

People just can't get enough of our nuts.

People just can’t get enough of our nuts.

Got a craving for a sweet and savory treat with a little hey-how’s-your-uncle kick to get your tastebuds moving? Try our nuts. This lumberjack-approved snack comes from Jake’s undying love for pure maple syrup and his daily quest to find new things to pour it on. Perfect for cocktail parties, impromptu gatherings or having on hand for a quick nosh.

Equipment Needed: Mixing Bowl, Large Fork, Baking Sheet, Oven

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: Depends on how hungry you are and what else there is to eat

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of walnut halves and pieces ($8.99/bag)
  • 1/4 stick of butter ($4.99/lb package)
  • 1/4 C Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup ($8.99/16 oz bottle)
  • 2-3 TBSP cayenne pepper ($3/bottle)
  • Salt

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F. Melt the butter for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave or two minutes over medium/low heat on the stove. Pour it over the nuts, then pour in the syrup and mix until evenly coated.
Pour in syrup like it's going out of style and mix well.

Pour in syrup like it’s going out of style and mix well.

  • Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet and sprinkle the cayenne pepper over the top. Be sure to be consistent or risk serving someone a painfully firey nut (bad news all around, trust us).
Spread the walnuts evenly for uniform roasting.

Spread the walnuts evenly for uniform roasting.

  • Throw those bad boys in the oven for about 6-8 minutes (you’ll know if you overdo them, things will start smoking). Take them out and salt to taste. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.