Saturday, June 12, 2010

fruit & marmalade bruschetta? easiest ever appetizers for summer

it has been an absolutely crazy couple of weeks. i was a vendor at the three day napa home & garden show a few weeks ago and then was invited (via foodzie) by sunset magazine to be an exhibitor for their celebration weekend event last saturday & sunday. both events were a lot of fun...a lot of work...and resulted in terrific exposure for our company. it was amazing to meet so many cool people, offer tastes from our "farmhouse food" assortment and get real time feedback. hello to everyone that i met...and thank you for your kind words about napa farmhouse 1885™...both the company and this blog.

so i was exhausted on monday....and my body felt like it had been hit by a mack truck (i carried billions of cases back and forth setting up and taking down the booth and, yes, i am getting very whiney ha!). my friend linda from the cordair gallery in downtown napa phoned and said..."hey, how would you like to make the food for this month's tweet up event on wednesday night? it would be a great opportunity to feature your food". linda has been hosting monthly parties for twitter users since the beginning of the year...and each month she focuses on a different type of wine. price of admission is a bottle of that wine so, in addition to meeting terrific people, you get to sample many wines. and...since this is napa after all... many of the guests are from the wineries producing the wine so you have subject experts there to answer all of your quetions...really fun. june was "rose" month. so there i was...torn between wanting to do NOTHING for a day or two...or "cater" a party. ok, i am so not a caterer...but making food for the party won. just could not pass up the opportunity...or refuse to help a friend...

now, my food assortment is primarily jams, marmalade, granola, chutney and seasonings . i thought creating appetizers would be a massive challenge. but i had just spent two weekends passing out samples of my preserves on bread and figured you can't really go wrong with bread and jam right?

introducing my "farmhouse food bruschetta" selection. 4 quick and super easy recipes for summer (or anytime really) entertaining. actually "recipes" may be a bit of a stretch. i should just say "combination suggestions". here is the menu:

"farmhouse preserves" bruschetta selection
~persimmon & jalapeño jam with organic cream cheese on crostini
~meyer lemon marmalade with organic strawberries and fig/balsamic reduction on crostini
~orange & ginger marmalade with whipped marscapone cheese on walnut toast
~fig & grand marnier jam on whipped marscapone cheese with applewood smoked bacon crumbles on walnut toast

here are the details for each one. i am not going to provide quantities because it just depends on how many you want to make...i was preparing for 100 people so i bought a lot of bread :) also, while i use my products in all of my recipes, i never want you to feel you have to...there will be links to my webstore if you are interested, but you can always use whatever brand you like...just ensure it is the best quality you can find. with something this simple, the ingredients really do matter.
i used french baguettes for the crostini and a walnut loaf boule for the other two. (fyi, both were purchased at model bakery in napa). i preheated the oven to 350 degrees, sliced the baguettes into crostini on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick, sliced the walnut bread into 2-bite pieces the same thickness and toasted in the oven until crunchy and just turning golden (about 10 minutes) you can make your bread whatever size you wish.

once the bread is ready, take out of oven and let cool...from there you just assemble and serve.

for the persimmon & jalapeño crostini i spread the cream cheese on 1/2 of each piece of bread and spread the jam on top of the cheese. how easy is that? the sweet of the jam, with a bit of heat from the jalapeños is really nice married with the cream cheese.

for the meyer lemon marmalade option i sliced organic strawberries lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick. i layered 3 pieces of strawberry (with the ends overlapping) on each crostini. i spooned a small amount (about a teaspoon) of the meyer lemon marmalade in the center and drizzled some of the fig/balsamic reduction over the top. * note, i make the balsamic reduction each year during fig season and have shared the recipe before but if you don't have any...or can't find figs...a regular balsamic reduction...or even a high quality, aged balsamic would work really well.

the orange-ginger option couldn't be simpler...just spread the marscapone (as much as you like...i use about 2 teaspoons per piece) over the walnut toast and top with the marmalade. then i sprinkle chopped mint over the entire platter.

and, last but certainly not least because this one involves bacon!!, the option featuring our fig & grand marnier jam. i cook thick-cut applewood smoked bacon until very crispy, drain on paper towels and chop. i spread marscapone on walnut toast, top with the fig jam and sprinkle the bacon pieces over everything. all night i kept hearing people say "bacon!"

so...the next time you are looking for easy appetizers that are a bit different from the norm...try a couple (or all) of these suggestions...they taste really good...hold up well...and are just different enough to get people talking. feel free to take these ideas and experiment with your favorite flavor combinations...i would love to hear about your recipes...please share in the comments section of this post...
happy june! (oh..and thanks to my friends from paupaiz for taking these photos and posting via twit pics...i always forget my camera!)


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style™ "
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1 comment:

Jesse said...

This is great! I will give them a try. The strawberry and lemon marmalade one sounds especially good.