Each month, I teach an Italian cooking class at a popular local Italian specialty market. My students and I meet in the morning, prepare a four course meal together and enjoy the fruits of our labor and each other’s company over a nice lunch. We have a lot of fun and we all learn a lot, myself included. A few months ago, my menu included a delicious appetizer inspired by one of my favorite food bloggers, Elaine from The Italian Dish. After being blogging buddies for a few years, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Elaine last Fall at BlogHer Food in San Francisco. She is sharp, funny and absolutely lovely, as I knew she would be.
Elaine’s dish was a crostini topped with chèvre, or goat cheese, fig jam, basil and prosciutto. For my class, I tweaked the recipe a little, adding mascarpone to mellow the goat cheese, and swapping out the basil for some minced sage and thyme. It was a big hit with the whole class, and I liked it so much that I even included it on my Christmas menu.
The other day I was searching for something in the fridge (other than my duck prosciutto), and came across a package of puff pastry that I had put in there to thaw and then forgot about. Not remembering how long it had been in there, I decided to use it before it went bad. Since I already had all of the crostini ingredients, I thought I’d try the dish baked in the puff pastry. Yes, I know. I’m a regular Indiana Jones in the kitchen! read more >>