Unlike baking, in my opinion, cooking is a blank slate, free from scrutiny, judgment or limitation. Each week, Chip and I make a pizza from limitless possibilities. We have used duck, eggs, peaches, pears, and probably over 2 dozen different types of cheese.
Chip is having hand surgery on Monday, so this is our swan song pizza night for a while anyway. This jump started my mind into thoughts of other dinner possibilities for the weekends. I have quite an arsenal of recipes and people ask me all the time what I keep around to make these tapas type dishes so quickly.
So here is a shopping list of items to have on hand to create some great, quick and easy, small dish-appetizer like plates.
- WINE! Prosecco, Albarino, hearty reds and maybe an ice wine or port for dessert.
- Pasta- varieties preferred
- Please get a decent extra virgin olive oil.
- Broth- chicken, and clam
- Diced tomatoes- I prefer Pomi in the carton- no tin-like taste
- Olives- any kind
- Beans- black beans or white beans
- Spices- White pepper, paprika, saffron, the list it is limitless
- Can of escargot if you can find it
- Clams (can be canned clams in a pinch)
- Smoked salmon
- Corn for grilling
- Fruit- grapes, oranges, apples
- Cheese! I’ll say no more
- Veggies: onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, shallots, scallions
- Puff pastry
- Bread- any type
Shopping list for desserts: I do not bake, but here are the things I do have on hand just in case:
- Basics- sugar (superfine as well), Brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt.
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate- chips, baking bars and discs
- A good vanilla
- Nuts- personal choice
OK now. Look at the list and see what you can do.
- Orange Salad-Mix sliced oranges, red onion, olives, and spices. Use as a pizza topping, a variation of bruschetta, or as a side salad with grilled chicken or shrimp.
- Clam and Shrimp Soupish– sauté veggies, mushrooms etc. in a deep-dish pan or wok-type pan. Add seafood such as clams, shrimp, and a meaty white fish. Cook until the clams open and the seafood is done. Pour into a bread bowl and yum.
- Spicy Flatbread– use a basic flatbread recipe or use pita bread or Indian flatbread, Naan. Spread with hummus, or just EVOO and top as you see fit. Roasted red peppers, Manchego cheese, onions, spicy chorizo, or sausage. Bake or broil.
- Stuffed Mushroom Caps– crab, diced shrimp you name it. Spice and veggie to taste.
Are you seeing the pattern and feeling the groove? Now you do it and share your recipes with all of us. It’s Friday night. Time to relax and create.