Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bruschetta Duo

Bruschetta Duo

I had to travel to my corporate office today, which is two hours door-to-door.  I had a very long day.  Dan was just returning from a business trip.  Mama Pirri, angel that she is, brought us her famous Escarole and Beans so I would not have to cook.

Note: I am not permitted - yet - to release Mama Pirri's secret recipe.  I will tell you that Mama Pirri's Escarole and Beans is the best I ever ate.

To extend the dinner I needed to make a side dish.  Drama!  I REALLY  did not want to cook.  Salad was out; we already had the greens.  So I looked at the header on my blog and I exclaimed aloud, "Bruschetta!  Oh, Bruschetta, where art thou?"

Okay, maybe not!

What I love about Bruschetta is that you can get creative yet it is often hands-free.  You throw a few simple ingredients into a skillet, let them do their thing, toast bread, top it, and it's done!

While my Drunken Bruschetta is fantastic, I wanted to do something a little bit different tonight.  I scoped out what I had on hand and I came up with this fabulously delicious and easy Bruschetta Duo

Fennel and Green Onion
Greek Pepper, Shrimp & Goat Cheese Bruschetta

In Latin, duo means "for two."  Since there are only two of us here, two of each was perfect along side the main course. 

Okay, technically there are three of us in the house if you count Eddie, our Golden.  He doesn't eat Bruschetta but he has suggested if I made one using Milk Bones and Cheddar Cheese he might give it a try. 

Note:  Baby bell peppers are small bell peppers you usually find packaged in quantity in your grocery store. 

With no further adieu:

Bruschetta #1: Fennel and Green Onion

4 slices Baguette - 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Generous sprinkle of seasoned salt
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 large green onion, sliced (white and green) - about 1/8 cup
1 tablespoon butter
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Chopped fennel frawns, for topping
Chopped scallions, for topping

Brushetta #2:  Greek Pepper, Shrimp & Goat Cheese

4 slices Baguette - 1/4 inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Generous sprinkle of seasoned salt, plus extra for shrimp
Generous sprinkle garlic powder
1/8 cup sliced baby bell peppers (any color)
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail off)
Squirt of fresh lemon
2 Greek olives, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese
Dried Oregano, for topping

Other:  Balsamic vinegar for drizzling


Preheat broiler.

For both types of bruschetta, baste 4 bread slices with one tablespoon of the olive oil.  Place on cookie sheet or pan.

Sprinkle four of the slices with just the seasoned salt.  Sprinkle the other four with a combination of the seasoned salt and garlic powder.

For bruschetta #1:  Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to skillet.  Add fennel, green onion and butter.  Cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes until caramelized.  Add fresh pepper and loosen up with the wine.  Stir.  Cook for one or two more minutes until wine reduces.

For bruschetta #2:  Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to skillet.  Add peppers.  Cook over medium heat for five minutes until softened and the peppers begin to brown. 

Add shrimp.  Cook for three or four minutes until shrimp turn pink.  Add lemon juice.  Remove from heat.

Broil the oiled and seasoned bread for three-to-five minutes until browned to your liking.

To assemble bruschetta #1:  Top each slice of crusty bread with 1/4 of the mixture.  Top with frawns and scallions.

To assemble bruschetta #2:  Top each slice of bread with peppers and 2 shrimp.  Top with olives, goat cheese and oregano. 

I like to plate four slices on each plate and garnish with fennel frawns.  I like to also drizzle the bruschetta with a little balsamic vinegar. 


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