Strawberry Bruschetta

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A friend of mine was coming over because we were going to go see Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium. ¬†She was in town doing a show, and if you know who she is or watch her show then you know who I’m talking about, no we did not get read.
But the show was much more then that, it was great experience and I’m happy for the people who came and might have gotten a glimmer of hope and peace.

And since we were not going to be having dinner, I thought maybe a little appetizer and a glass a wine before hand would be nice.

I had been thinking of this recipe and how I wanted to make it a little different then other recipes…well it came to me…maple syrup ūüôā

(you can see from the pictures I cut the recipe in half, the recipe below is the full recipe)

Ingredients

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Dice the strawberries

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add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup

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add a pinch of salt and stir, let set for 1 hour

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add maple syrup to ricotta and a pinch of salt, stir

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Slice your baguette, brush with olive oil, bake to brown

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till light brown

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stack your basil leaves on top of one another, and roll like a cigar

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Chiffonade

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Ready to assemble 

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spread ricotta, then top with strawberries

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then basil….One done ūüôā

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The rest done ūüôā

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Recipe – makes 18 – 20 pieces

14 strawberries, diced (1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
 couple pinches of salt (I used Kosher)
1 cup ricotta cheese 
18 – 20 slices of a baguette
olive oil
Fresh Basil, chopped

In a small bowl add diced strawberries, vinegar, 2 tbsp. maple syrup and a pinch of salt, stir to fully coat all the strawberries, set aside for for 1 hour, stirring about every 20 minutes. You can leave longer, the strawberries will start to release their juices, this is a good thing since we will be using all the left over juice.

In another small bowl add ricotta and remaining maple syrup, along with a pinch of salt, stir to fully combine, keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Take slices of baguette and brush with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until lightly brown.   Let cool.

Putting them together, divide ricotta among the slices of bread and spread over top, top ricotta with strawberries, but try not to get too much of the juice, you can drain, but reserve the juice for a tip later in this post.

Take you basil leaves and stack them on top of one another and roll like a cigar, take your knife and slice roll (like in photo above), this is called Chiffonade.

Top the strawberries with a few¬†pieces¬†of the basil and serve with the beverage of your choice…ours was some Sweet Strawberry Wine ūüėõ

These were so delicious, what great appetizer for a party or a great dessert after a summer meal. ¬†It’s light and it really it the spot ūüôā

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Okay now I told you to keep the juice from the strawberries…which is now Strawberry Maple Balsamic Vinegar
Which you can put on a salad like I did, or you can whisk in a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil as well and toss with your lettuce or mixed greens.
This would be great on a salad with sliced strawberries and candied pecans too!!

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Sesame Crusted Shrimp with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

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sesfinal1This recipe really is quick and easy, and most definitely great for a party.

As I was coming up with this recipe I had recently purchased this new IMG_20130224_105604peanut butter powder, this company   http://www.bellplantation.com/nutrition  was at one of our stores sampling and it really made my brain start to reel with ideas.  (I had no idea they had a website and recipes, so please go there for lots of great ideas and for the nearest store near you that carries this product)  If you love peanut butter you really need to try this for sure!!!

First thought was a peanut sauce, I love¬†Thai¬†peanut chicken so I thought well I’ll start with a sauce and then go from there. ¬†I was having some friends over and I wanted to serve shrimp, with this peanut dipping sauce. ¬†So this is what I did.

Now you can use regular peanut butter but if you are trying to cut out a lot of calories give this a try.

Ingredients

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Devein shrimp and pat dry with paper towels

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mix shrimp with oil, salt and pepper

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mix both sesame seeds together

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take shrimp and press one side into seeds and place seed side up on baking sheet

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Bake and serve with sauce

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Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth or water, (plus another 1/4 cup to thin sauce out, set aside it needed)
3/4 cup PB2
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce or red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan over medium heat, whisking until smooth and well combined, cook until brown sugar has dissolved let cool, if sauce is to thin just add broth a little at a time and serve with shrimp.

If you want to use regular peanut butter, do use 3/4 cup and you will need that extra broth to thin it out.

Shrimp
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left on
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Black and White Sesame seeds

Toss shrimp in a bowl with the oil, salt and pepper, on a plate add about 2 tbsp. of each black and white sesame seeds, mix around with your fingers.

Then take shrimp and dip one side into the sesame seeds, place on line baking sheet, sesame seed side up.

Bake at 400 degrees until shrimp are opaque, this happens quickly so keep an eye on your shrimp.

Place on a platter and serve with the spicy peanut sauce. ¬†Note – if you don’t like spicy just omit the sriracha hot sauce/red pepper flakes or don’t add as much.

This was a huge hit and you can serve at room temperature. 

Enjoy!!!

Shrimp and Avocado with Mango Vinaigrette

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Mango Vinaigrette

3 tbsp. mango nectar
3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Add above ingredients to a blender or in a bowl and use a stick blender to emulsify. Set to the side.

2 mango’s, seeded and cubed
1 pound cooked med shrimp, peeled and tails off
2 avocados, cubed
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, sliced

In a large bowl add shrimp, mangoes, avocados and cilantro, fold just to combine then add vinaigrette to coat.

Can be served in martini glasses for an appetizer, or over a bed of romaine lettuce.