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Cooking With Spring Vegetables!

In case you’ve been ignoring the news lately, there’s been a lot of talk about pizzas and weddings (or any event for that matter!) If you scoff at the idea of having pizza at your nuptials or special event, perhaps this recipe will change preconceptions.

When you combine spring vegetables, pizza dough and cheese something remarkably delicious can happen. This is the kind of pizza that you’d be proud to serve at your spring or summer wedding, perhaps as an appetizer or during cocktail hour. But be warned, your guests might tear up the next time they try to eat pizza when it becomes all too clear that your pizza has ruined them and now no ordinary pizza will do.

Cheese: Because it’s a wedding or special occasion, opt for a fancier selection than mozzarella. The chef behind the recipe below used a Robiola Bechamel. Robiola is an Italian blend with goat, cow and sheep’s milk. It has a tangy taste to complement the vegetables and salty meats that top this appetizing, yet chaotic, culinary feat. If you cannot locate Robiola cheese, you can always substitute Fontina cheese.

Veggies: On top of the cheese, sprinkle asparagus tips and fava beans and mix in a pesto puree. Rather than quail eggs, use farm fresh chicken eggs. Add a pop of color to the pizza with yellow tomatoes and red peppers.

Protein: Coppa is hard to locate in stores so sub it for prosciutto or soppressata. Either meat will taste spectacular without losing the chewy, salty, “why haven’t I always put this on pizza” effect that we’re aiming for.

Tip: If you want to get out of the hot kitchen and enjoy the weather, this pizza tastes just as good prepared on the grill as it would baked in an oven.

That Personal Touch Catering has the expertise and creativity to create a custom menu for your event. From pizza to pan seared shrimp, let us cater your wedding, anniversary, milestone birthday and together we can make delicious memories. Get the spring pizza recipe here: http://www.zencancook.com/2012/04/spring-pizza/

Keep it Fresh with these Spring Cooking Ideas (Plus a Bonus Recipe!)

Spring has sprung and thus our cooking styles have changed. Say goodbye to the thick, hearty meals we enjoy in the fall and winter seasons and say hello to the lighter, fresher fare of spring! So what makes a dish more “springy?” Typically spring cooking is lighter and very colorful! Here are some tips to help you add a springtime flare to your cooking at home!

  • Keep it Fresh – Lots of fruits and vegetables will be coming into season during the coming months so take advantage!
  • Get Colorful – The beautiful colors of spring can easily transfer into your cooking. Add fruits and vegetables with bright colors to your dishes to give them a springtime feel.
  • Stay Light – After months of hearty winter meals, now its time to get light (and I’m not just talking about losing our winter insulation!) Use lighter oils and glazes instead of thick sauces. Try using a protein like fish instead of London broil.
  • Keep your Cool – Now that its warm outside we can start making cooler meals (temperature wise that is!) Try making pasta or couscous salads and mix in fruits for a fresh springtime taste.
  • Lots of Veges – Start your meal off with a fresh salad and accompany your main course with lots of roasted vegetables!

Spring is all about growth and rebirth. Spring clean your diet and start cooking with a fresh new perspective! To give you a head start try out this recipe we would like to share with you. Not interested in cooking anything? Have your next office meeting or event catered by That Personal Touch Catering! Check out some of our spring specials here.

 Roasted Asparagus Salad

  • 1/4 pound of fresh asparagus
  • 2 Red bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • ¼ cup of sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 cups of spring mix salad greens

Slice the red peppers in half lengthwise, removing the seeds and the membrane. Place peppers skin up on a sheet pan and place under a hot broiler until the skin blackens and blisters.  Cool peppers in a plastic bag for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove skin and dice peppers. Place lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and basil in a small bowl and wisk to combine.  Add diced peppers and pine nuts, season with salt and pepper. Wash and rinse asparagus, carefully remove the woody end (hold each spear at both ends and bend gently-the woody end will snap off at its natural breaking point.)  Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes, or until just tender.  Immediately drain asparagus and place in a bowl of ice water to cool.  Drain again, and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange spring mix on plate, garnish with sliced grape tomatoes.  Place asparagus over spring mix and gently spoon the dressing over the top of the asparagus and serve. Garnish options: sliced black olives or lemon wedges for squeezing.

Light and Lively Dishes for Your Spring Wedding or Event

Spring is here and we are ready for it in the kitchen. We have assembled some delicious ideas for your Springtime wedding, party or event! Let us know what you think and if you’d prefer to have someone else do the cooking, give us a call! Check out some ‘Springy’ meals on our main menu here or see our current specials here.

Now, let’s begin with Appetizers! Our pick: Cucumber Tomato Bites Far from tame, these tasty mouthfuls combine cream cheese, mayo, and ranch seasoning to create a pillow of ectasy between the sublime cucumber and the cherry tomato topping.Hint: Don’t spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the cucumber. Use a pastry bag. Weddings are the time to take the presentation up a notch. Click here for the recipe: http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2013/11/cucumber-tomato-bites-appetizer-recipe.html

Next up, Salads Our pick: Spring Salad with Orange Vinaigrette This is unique and filling, yet won’t slow your guests down on the dance floor. Take the zest and juice from in season oranges, add a nutty Jarlsberg cheese, crunchy bacon pieces and hardy walnuts for texture. Even your relatives who only consider potato salad a “real salad” will be clamoring for seconds. Get the full recipe and instructions here: http://dineanddish.net/2012/01/the-runners-diet-recipe-spring-salad-with-orange-vinaigrette/

We’re almost there: Sides Our pick: Greek Orzo Salad Orzo, or by another more exotic name, Risoni, is like a blank canvas before Van Gogh got his hands on it. It is a mere brushstrokes, or in our case, ingredients from becoming spectacular. The cooled orzo is punctuated by crunch red pepper, red onion, and cucumber but softened by spinach and artichoke hearts. Uncover the recipe here: https://veganadventures.squarespace.com/blog/greek-orzo-salad

Where’s the beef? Mains Our pick: Garlic Lime Chicken with a Mango SalsaChicken is a mainstay because of its versatility and people pleasing potential. Why mess with perfection? Your guests will love the colors and kick of the lime and mangoes.

Take it from a bride: Use chicken thighs. They don’t dry out as easy as chicken breasts. Another tip? Add grilled pineapple and keep an assortment of hot sauces on your guests table. Nothing breaks the ice like a challenge to the rest of the table to see who can stand the heat. Full recipe here: http://www.food.com/recipe/garlic-lime-grilled-chicken-with-mango-salsa-161381Fresh, springtime, light and refreshing, no matter the adjective used, these springy menu options are packed with veggies, fruits and plenty of flavor.