Mediterranean Lifestyle: Tapas, por favor!

This week’s Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking Class at vomFASS in Mall of America put the spotlight on Spain and their delightfully delicious tradition of tapas.

Tapas are a variety of small savory Spanish dishes, often served as a snack with drinks, or with other tapas as a meal. To “tapear,” going from bar to bar for drinks and tapas, is an essential part of the social culture of Spain, especially in the south. Learn more about tapas in this great guide to tapas bars and restaurants in Sevilla.

 

Tapas are perfect appetizers for your summer parties, or serve several for a “small plates” dinner party. Pair them with one or more of our Spanish wines currently in stock. I especially love Cava or Tempranillo with these dishes. These recipes were a huge hit in class this week (and vomFASS staff scarfed up the leftovers very quickly!). I hope you enjoy them as well! And I invite you to join us in a future cooking class. Check out our schedule.  Call us at 952-426-3222 to order the vomFASS products included in these recipes.

Tater Tapas Serves 8 – 10

15-20 mini potatoes

Tapas Cooking Class Potatoes Tom vomFASS Mall of America
Tom did a great job of demonstrating how easy it is to create Tater Tapas!

¼ C. Manchego Cheese, finely shredded
¼ C. vomFASS Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Sea Salt & Pepper
¼ C. Sour cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
½ t. vomFASS Fried Potato Spice
3 green scallions, tops cut on a diagonal

Fill stock pot with enough water to cover potatoes, add a teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of potatoes (do not overcook).  Strain and cool enough to handle or refrigerate up to 4 days before using.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a paring knife, cut each potato with 3 to 4 slices halfway through. Place potatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with Truffle oil. Sprinkle with cheese, salt & pepper. Roast until slightly brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. While roasting potatoes, combine Fried Potato Spice and sour cream or yogurt. Remove potatoes from oven and cool slightly. Top with a tiny dollop of sour cream/yogurt mixture and garnish with scallions before serving.

Tuna & Red Pepper Toasts Serves 12

½ C. mayonnaise

Tapas Cooking Class Tuna vomFASS Mall of America
Jake demonstrated impressive kitchen skills as he showed the class how to create delicious Tuna & Red Pepper Toasts.

½ C. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided; more for serving
1 T. minced garlic
3 t. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar, divided
2  – 7 oz. cans tuna, drained
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 T. small brined capers
3 T. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
vomFASS Pyramid Sea Salt and freshly ground Peppercorn Mix, to taste
1 jar vomFASS Red Pepper Pesto
¼ C. Manchego Cheese, finely shredded
12 baguette slices, cut on a sharp bias Brush baguette slices with olive oil and lightly toast under a broiler or on a grill.

Combine mayo, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, 1 t. Calamansi Balsam Vinegar and sea salt, to taste. Set mixture aside for a moment or make in advance and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Combine Red Pepper Pesto with Manchego cheese and set aside.

Place tuna in a medium mixing bowl and break it up with a fork. Add to tuna: ¼ cup of the aioli you just made, minced shallot, 2 teaspoons Calamansi Balsam Vinegar, capers, 2 tablespoons minced parsley, and ¼ cup of olive oil. Fold mixture gently to incorporate all ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, adding more vinegar, olive oil, or aioli for flavor if desired.

Spread Red Pepper Pesto mixture in a thin layer onto toasted baguette slices. Arrange baguette slices on a serving board. Top them with a spoonful of tuna mixture, followed by a small dollop or drizzle of remaining aioli. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve immediately.

vomFASSified by Tamra Kramer, inspired by this recipe from Serious Eats.

Shrimp and Chorizo Flatbreads Serves 16

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, or 1 1/2 C. fresh diced tomatoes
2 T. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T. vomFASS Forest Honey
1 T. vomFASS White Balsamic Vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. vomFASS Aglio Olio Pepperoncino spice blend
vomFASS Sea Salt and freshly ground Peppercorn Mix
½ C. hummus (see recipe below)
4 pocketless pita breads
½ C. thinly sliced dry chorizo (2 ounces)
½ pound shelled and deveined cooked small shrimp
1 C. Manchego cheese, shredded
vomFASS Aceto Balsamico Maletti, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes with olive oil, honey, vinegar, shallot, garlic, spice blend, salt and pepper. Stir in shrimp.

Spread hummus on pita breads. Top with chorizo and Manchego. Bake directly on the oven rack for about 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Transfer flatbreads to work surface. Using slotted spoon, top with tomato mix. Quarter flatbreads, drizzle with Maletti and serve.

vomFASSified by Tamra Kramer, inspired by this recipe on FoodandWine.com

Garlic Hummus

1 can chick peas, drained

Tapas Cooking Class Hummus vomFASS Mall of America
Nice job of making hummus for the first time, Pete! And what’s up with only the guys demonstrating recipes this week?!

2 T. vomFASS Toasted Sesame Oil
2 T. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more, as needed)
1 T. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
vomFASS Sea Salt, to taste

Directions

Using a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients. Slowly drizzle in more garlic olive oil while mixing, if needed, until desired consistency. Serve with corn chips, fresh veggies as a dip. Also good as a sandwich spread or pizza base sauce.

Advertisements

Balsamic Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are a flavorful addition to add to pizza, mashed potatoes, salads, meats, sandwiches, omelets . . . in other words, have some on hand to add sweet and savory flavor to many dishes! Here’s how:

Balsamic Caramelized Onions

2 large onions, thinly sliced or julienned
¼ C. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ – ½ tsp. vomFASS Sea Salt
¼ tsp. vomFASS Peppercorn Mix
¼ C. vomFASS Aceto Balsamico Platinum Vinegar, Sherry Reserva Vinegar or Spanish Red Wine Vinegar

In medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and toss to coat. Cook slowly until onions are softened and slightly translucent – about 10 minutes.

Add vinegar to the pan, being careful to not inhale the steam created by the addition of the vinegar, as it is rather powerful! Stir to coat onion and continue cooking, stirring frequently, about 3 – 5 minutes or until vinegar is reduced and onions are glazed. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Store in refrigerator up to five days.

Simple Roasted Asparagus

It is incredibly easy to roast vegetables for a delicious and healthy side dish. One of my favorites is asparagus. You can replace the vomFASS extra virgin olive oil and seasonings I used with any number of yummy flavor combinations!

Roasted Asparagus vomFASS Mall of America Minnesota Food

 

Roasted Asparagus

Fresh asparagus, washed, dried, and tough ends trimmed

vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread asparagus evenly in a single layer on a sheet pan. I like to line my pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ground Garlic Pepper. Roast in oven for about 5 minutes, until tender crisp.

Gourmet Pizza: Easy with vomFASS!

As a busy Mom, Nana, Sister, Friend and Business Owner, my forte is making gourmet crowd-pleasing recipes that are quick and easy. These pizzas fit that bill, with a little help from carefully selected convenience foods and/or leftovers. Feel free to improvise to use ingredients you have on hand or prefer, especially with the veggies and meats. Don’t overload the toppings, as that will result in a soggy pizza.

These recipes have received rave reviews from two different cooking classes at vomFASS, as well as from my siblings at a long overdue gathering this past weekend. Enjoy!

Artichoke Pesto Chicken Pizza

Artichoke Pesto Chicken Flatbread Serves 4
1 10 inch pizza or flatbread crust*Pizza Recipe Chicken Artichoke Pesto vomFASS Mall of America
¼ C. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 C. chicken breast, diced (leftovers, from the deli or rotisserie chicken)
½ jar vomFASS Artichoke Pesto
½ C. Shredded White Cheddar or Gouda cheese
½ C. sliced mushrooms
¼ C. Balsamic Glazed Onions
½ C. baby spinach leaves, roasted asparagus or other veggies
2 T. vomFASS Sherry Reserva Vinegar
2 T. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Pyramid Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste

Finishing options: Red Pepper,Truffle, or Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Aceto Balsamico Maletti

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss mushrooms with Sherry Vinegar & Garlic EVOO. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Remove mushrooms from vinaigrette and dry on paper towels. Combine Parmesan and Pesto. Spread in a thin layer onto crust. Top with chicken, remaining cheese, mushrooms, veggie and seasonings. Bake 10 – 12 minutes directly on the oven rack for a crispier crust. Remove from oven. Individuals may finish as desired with a drizzle of oils, vinegars or spices.

*I use frozen gluten free crusts. Some of my favorites are from Gooters Dough to Go and Against the Grain, from Hyvee. 

 

Arugula Pesto Margherita Pizza

1 10-inch pizza or flatbread crust Margherita Pizza Recipe vomFASS Mall of America
¼ C. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
½ jar vomFASS Arugula and Pine Nut Pesto
¼ C. fresh mozzarella, sliced/diced, or pearls
8 fresh basil leaves, shredded (chiffonade)
2 roma tomatoes
vomFASS Pyramid Sea Salt
and Peppercorn Mix,
to taste

Finishing options: vomFASS Red Pepper, Basil, or Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Aceto Balsamico di Famiglia or Maletti

Preheat oven to 425°. Slice tomatoes and place onto paper towels to draw out some of the liquid. Combine Parmesan and Pesto. Spread in a thin layer onto crust. Top with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, salt and pepper. Bake 10 – 12 minutes. Individuals may finish as desired with a drizzle of oils, vinegars or spices.

Whisky BBQ Steak Bleu Cheese Pizza vomFASS Mall of America

Whisky BBQ, Steak & Bleu Cheese Pizza

1 10-inch pizza or flatbread crust
1 jar vomFASS Whisky BBQ Sauce
¼ C. finely grated parmesan
¼ C. Bleu cheese crumbles
½ C. grilled or broiled steak strips (leftovers or from deli)
¼ C. Balsamic Glazed Onions
½ C. broccoli, cut into small pieces and steamed for 2 minutes
vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine BBQ sauce and Parmesan cheese. Spread in a thin layer onto crust. Top with beef, Bleu cheese, broccoli, balsamic onions and seasonings. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.

 

Sweet & Savory Carrots, Instant Pot® Style

I’ve been wanting to try Instant Pot cooking for a while. So to make that a reality, I bought an 8 Quart Instant Pot, scheduled a cooking class to give me a deadline for my first trials and started cooking!Instant Pot Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America

My initial feedback: I love it for cooking meat. I made a beef short rib recipe and a lamb souvlaki recipe, and in both cases the meat turned out tender and flavorful with less than an hour. In the case of the short ribs, the entire meal was completed in one pot, which I love. I was not as keen on the results of cooking vegetables, as I felt the total time it took to pre-heat, cook and vent the high pressure cooking process was at least as much as roasting the vegetables, with less control of the final result. I had a complete fail with a rice recipe, so I’ll be doing more research and experimenting with that before doing another Instant Pot cooking class.

All that said, here is one of the recipes so far that I most successfully “vomFASSified” from Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Sara Quessenberry & Kate Merker.  I love their cookbook and highly recommend it for Instant Pot beginners and experienced cooks.

Sweet & Savory Carrots

Ingredients

8 medium whole carrots (about 1 lbs) Carrots Instant Pot Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America
2 T. vomFASS Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T. vomFASS Mango Balsam Vinegar
1 T. vomFASS Forest Honey
1 T. vomFASS Walla Walla Onion Mustard with Chipotle
vomFASS Sea Salt and Indian Green Peppercorns, to taste
1 T. fresh dill, minced

Directions

Add olive oil, mango balsam vinegar, salt and pepper to Instant Pot. Slice carrots at an angle into ½ inch slices and add to the pot. Stir to coat carrots. Combine honey and mustard in a small dish, then drizzle over carrots. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Use “Quick Release” method to vent steam, then open lid. Press Cancel, then press Sauté/medium. Stirring often, sauté until juice thickens and glazes the carrots, about 3 minutes. Add dill to carrots before serving. Cooking class vomFASS Mall of America

Nice job making these yummy carrots Andy!

 

Deviled Eggs Two Ways

So maybe you wouldn’t trade that Cadbury Chocolate Egg for a Deviled Egg. But then again, maybe you haven’t tried a vomFASSified Deviled Egg! Here are two recipes for putting some zip in your app!

Curried Deviled Eggs

Serves 12 (2 each)

12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeleddeviled eggs Easter vomFASS Mall of America Minnesota Food1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 t. vomFASS White Grape Balsamic Vinegar
½ t. vomFASS Madras Curry Powder, more for garnish
1 T.  vomFASS Walla Walla Sweet Onion Mustard
vomFASS Himilayan Sea Salt and Indian Green Pepper to taste
vomFASS Calamansi Balsamic Pearls
cream or milk to moisten yolks, as needed

Slice eggs in two, lengthwise. Spoon out the yolks into a bowl and mash with fork until smooth.  Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, curry powder, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon the filling into the egg whites, or put the yolk mixture into plastic re-sealable bag. Cut one corner off and squeeze yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with Curry  and Calamansi Balsamic Pearls before serving. Use a small spoon to create a little divot in each yolk mixture to keep the pearls in place. Enjoy!

 

Smokin’ Good Deviled Eggs

Serves 12 (2 each)

Ingredientsdeviled eggs recipe Easter vomFASS Mall of America Minnesota Food

12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/3 C. real mayonnaise
2 T. bacon bits (optional)
1 T. vomFASS Spanish Red Wine Vinegar
1 T. vomFASS Walla Walla Sweet Onion Mustard
vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend and Danish Smoked Sea Salt, to taste

Cream or milk, as needed, to make the filling easy to pipe.
vomFASS Spicy Smoked Paprika and Raspberry or Calamansi Balsamic Pearls, for garnish

Directions

Slice eggs in two, lengthwise. Spoon out the yolks into a bowl and mash with fork until smooth. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, seasonings, and mustard, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings and vinegar, as needed. Add a teaspoon or two of cream if needed. Spoon the filling into the egg whites, or put the yolk mixture into plastic bag. Cut one corner off and squeeze yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with paprika by putting it in a fine strainer and tapping over eggs. Make a small divot in each yolk and add a few balsamic pearls. Enjoy!

 

Easter Brunch at Home

You can fight the crowds of people Sunday morning for a turn at Easter brunch in a restaurant. Or, you can make this easy, delicious and healthy brunch at home while in your PJs, with your favorite music streaming and sipping on a glass of bubbly!

Here’s our suggestion: Asparagus + Manchego Cheese Omelets – Serves 4Brunch at Home Omelet Asparagus vomFASS Mall of America

Ingredients

1 lb asparagus
8 eggs
1 C. Manchego cheese, grated
vomFASS ingredients:
Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Pepper Whole Blend
Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil
Pyramid Sea Salt
Indian Green Peppercorns

Tomatoes, avocado, or green onions for garnish.

Directions

Heat oven to broil. Wash asparagus and snap off tough ends. Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes in a steam basket over boiling water in a large saucepan. Then rinse asparagus in cold water to stop cooking. Pat dry on paper towels. (You can blanch a day in advance and hold in a container or zipper bag in the refrigerator until the next morning.) Place spears on aluminum foil lined baking pan with Asparagus Grilled Vegetarian vomFASS Mall of Americasides. Drizzle with Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, turning spears to coat evenly with oil. Crack Garlic Pepper Whole Blend generously onto spears. Broil for 4 minutes on top rack of oven. (If your grill is free from its snow bank, use that instead of broiling!) Hold asparagus in oven on low, or turn oven off to hold while making eggs.

Make omelets two eggs at a time. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add 1 T. water and a pinch of Pyramid Sea Salt, groundProsecco vomFASS Mall of America or crumbled with fingers, and a grind or two of Green Indian Peppercorns and whisk again. Heat Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil in an omelet pan or small non-stick saute pan over medium high heat until oil is hot. Add eggs, reduce heat to low and cook until set but not dry. A cover can help get the center set. Slide omelet onto plate and put in oven to hold with asparagus. Cook the remaining omelets. Assemble with asparagus, add grated 1/4 cup grated cheese to each omelet, saving some for garnish. Add other garnishes desired.

Pair with sparkling wine, such as our beautiful Sentio Prosecco from Italy, on its own or add orange juice for a Mimosa. Enjoy!

Simplify: instead of omelets, simply scramble the eggs all at once and serve with asparagus on the side and grate cheese over all.