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Holiday Appetizers

by Tom Fleming

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24 medium to large crimini mushrooms

1/2 cup dried instant polenta

1 3/4 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine

1 large shallot minced

1 TBSP roasted garlic puree

1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes

1/4 cup goat cheese

1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano

1 oz. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Place mushrooms in large bowl and rinse and clean mushrooms under cold water. Dry completely with a paper towel. Remove stem carefully and reserve caps on baking sheet. Drizzle caps with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place stems on cutting board and finely chop and reserve. In a medium pot, heat olive oil. Place shallots and roasted garlic in a pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add chili flake and oregano and sauté for 1 minute. Add white wine and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add polenta and stir constantly until thickened. Add goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly and fill mushroom caps. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake in 375° oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 3 minutes before serving.




2 large baguettes

1 can artichoke hearts

1 bunch standard asparagus

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. roasted garlic

1/2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Zest of one lemon

1 TBSP finely chopped chives

Salt and pepper to taste


Cut each baguette equally into 24 pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and grill quickly over high heat and reserve.

Open artichokes and completely drain and reserve. Trim asparagus and season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Over a hot grill, quickly cook asparagus and remove.

Cut drained artichokes into quarters and place in medium bowl. Cut asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces and place in bowl with artichokes. In separate bowl combine olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and chives. Toss asparagus and artichokes with this. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Evenly top toasted brushetta with mixture.




2 large baguettes

2 cups julienned sun dried tomato

2-7 oz. tubs buffalo mozzarella in brine

2 TBSP capers rinsed and chopped

1 large sprig fresh basil

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

4 oz. thinly slice prosciutto, julienned

Salt and pepper to taste


Evenly cut baguettes into 24 pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and quickly toast over hot grill. Remove from grill and reserve.

Remove mozzarella from container and dry with paper towel. Cut into medium dice and reserve. Place sundried tomatoes in a medium bowl and toss with cheese. Add capers, basil and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Evenly top brushetta with mixture.

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