Barbecue with Tre Stelle

The time for outdoor entertaining, family get-togethers and barbecues has arrived! Sometimes it seems slow in coming, but who can help but feel that sense of anticipation as the days get longer?

No matter what the occasion – whether it’s a dinner for two under the stars or a sun-drenched brunch in the garden – there can be no question that the barbecue will always play a starring role in our summers. It’s the perfect opportunity for get togethers.

The great thing about barbecues is that simple, laid-back, no-fuss atmosphere that allows us to spend time with our guests without having to run off to check something in the oven or put the finishing touches on fancy plating. It’s so nice to be able to keep things simple where we can quickly throw together a variety of unexpected hot dishes, even if you aren’t an expert in the kitchen or a great fan of cooking! There’s no excuse not to give it a try – in fact, some people who never set foot in front of the stove turn into avid chefs in the summer, thanks to the barbecue.

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Beyond the traditional meat, fish and vegetable dishes, you can experiment with recipes that are more elaborate and creative, but still not difficult. So, it’s time to venture into new culinary territory, surprise our taste-buds, swap in some new ingredients, and put a new twist on old favourites. Remember: it often only takes one little addition to make a huge difference, in both taste and presentation.

Keep in mind that most ingredients are perfect for the barbecue, from appies to desserts. Play around with your favourite flavours, choose seasonal fruits and vegetables to add cheerful accents of colour to your menu and turn delicious summer soups into unforgettable experiences.

Time to whet our appetites!

Here are 3 original recipes perfect for the barbecue.

  1. Greek salad with Grilled Feta
  2. Polenta, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Kebabs
  3. Grilled Strawberries with Mascarpone Cream

 

Greek salad with Grilled Tre Stelle® Feta

12-15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 large English cucumber, finely sliced

¼ red onion, finely chopped

3 tbsp. Kalamata olives

1 tub Tre Stelle® Feta

Olive oil

Salt and oregano to taste

 

Season a piece of Feta Cheese with 2 generous tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of oregano, then wrap the cheese in foil and cook it on the barbecue for 2-3 minutes on either side;  In the meantime, put the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and olives on a platter and season them with a few spoonfuls of olive oil, a pinch of salt and oregano to taste;

Place the unwrapped barbecued Feta with its seasoning on top of the vegetable salad, using two spoons as the cheese will be quite soft.

Serve immediately. 4 servings

 

Polenta, Prosciutto and Tre Stelle® Bocconcini min mini Kebabs

250 mL of water

5 heaped tablespoons of quick-cooking polenta

4-5 thin slices of prosciutto

Tre Stelle® Bocconcini mini mini

A few fresh mint leaves

Salt, olive oil

 

Bring the water to a boil in a pot and add a pinch of salt;

Lower the heat and sprinkle in the polenta, stirring with a whisk;

Let it cook for 5 to 6 minutes, adding a few more drops of water if necessary;

Pour it into an oiled baking pan: you want it to be quite thick. Allow it to cool completely;

As soon as the polenta has cooled and set, cut it into squares;

Brush the squares with oil and put them on the barbecue for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side; assemble the kebabs with a mint leaf, a ball of Bocconcini, half a slice of prosciutto and two pieces of grilled polenta.

Serve the kebabs or, if you are preparing them in advance, keep them in the refrigerator. 4 servings

 

Grilled strawberries with Tre Stelle® Mascarpone Cream

3 eggs

6-7 tbsp. of sugar

250 g Tre Stelle mascarpone

A few drops of lemon juice

12-16 strawberries (depending on the size of the berries)

 

Separate the egg whites and yolks into two bowls; Add 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar to the egg yolks and beat until you get a frothy, uniform, pale yellow cream. Set aside;

Gently fold the mascarpone into the egg yolk and sugar mixture;

Add the lemon juice to the egg whites and, using a hand mixer, beat them until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, taking care to keep it light and airy; Cover the mascarpone cream with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it; Coat the strawberries with the remaining sugar, put them on skewers and grill them on the barbecue for about 1 minute on either side; Serve the strawberry skewers with the mascarpone cream. 4 servings

 

Host an Awards Night Viewing Party

With the holiday’s officially behind us, Award Season is now in full swing.  Whether you’re a film buff or music lover, there’s a show for everyone.  Award shows are great for red carpet moments and celebrity-watching, but they also give you an excuse to throw a soiree!   Gather your friends for the hottest ticket in town – an Awards Show viewing party.

When planning your party, be mindful of the experience you want your guests to have.  Do you want Old Hollywood Glam, or perhaps you favour a more relaxed vibe?  Do you want to serve swanky hors d’oeuvres or keep it casual with movie theatre munchies?  Pops of gold and black are a classic combo to add elegance.   A popcorn bar with different toppings served in boxes is great for a relaxed, casual event.  Either way, it doesn’t take a lot to achieve an awarding winning vibe.

Invite the crew over early, have them strut down the Red Carpet and don’t forget a photo booth to document the evening.  Kick off the night right and serve your guests champagne or cocktails –  bonus points if you create cocktails influenced by the nominees (Queen Bey Spiked Lemonade, anyone?).

Finger foods will steal the show at your Awards Night Party.  They’re easy to pass around and are perfect for feeding a crowd of star-struck guests.  The award for Best Feature Appetizer goes to Parmesan and Thyme Sablés.  These delicate, crumbly shortbread cookies are the epitome of classy snacks.  They’re perfect on their own, with a glass of white wine, or served with a dollop of fruit preserves (fig is my favourite) and a thin slice of prosciutto.

You may not get to mingle with the stars in real-life on awards night, but you can still embrace your inner celebrity when you host an Awards Night Party.  It’s the perfect excuse to get dolled up, invite your friends over and enjoy great food and cocktails.  Be sure to serve these Parmesan and Thyme Sables to impress your guests regardless of the theme.  Black tie optional.  Cheese Mandatory.

Award Season_Nicole

Parmesan and Thyme Sablés

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperatures

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp finely minced fresh thyme

2 oz grated Parmesan (about ¾ cup)

1 cup all-purpose flour

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add in salt, thyme and grated parmesan.  Mix until well combined.  Add in the flour and mix until almost combined, but still crumbly.

Turn the crumbly dough out onto a lightly floured surface and work with your hands until a cohesive dough is formed.  Only work the dough until it has just come together.  Roll the dough into a log about 8 inches long.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and remove plastic wrap.  Cut the dough into ½ inch thick rounds and place on the lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Serve on their own, or with fruit preserves and prosciutto, or on a cheese board.