Go crazy for caprese | Dining with Debbie

During the hot summer days, something fresh can help brighten it up. Food blogger Debbie Arnold shows us tips on how to make some flavorful cheese and peaches.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – It’s Tuesday, and that means food time on THV11 This Morning. Let's go crazy over caprese. Food blogger Debbie Arnold joined us with some light-weight recipes for the summertime.

An authentic caprese contains just four ingredients: ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, fresh mozzarella and pure olive oil. Using those basic elements, you can create a multitude of dishes.

The real keys, according to Arnold, are summer-ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Once you've tasted fresh mozzarella, nothing else compares. Forget the shredded stuff soft, fresh mozzarella is pure perfection.

Ovolini or burrata are Arnold's choices for this Fried Green Tomato Caprese salad. Ovolini mozzarella (sometimes seen as buffala mozzarella) is slightly smaller than a typical large ball of fresh mozzarella, perfect for when you're making a caprese for just one or two people. 

The name stems from the Italian word for egg, which makes sense since they are about the size of extra-large eggs. Made with either buffalo milk, cow’s milk or a combination of the two. In the U.S. they are mostly made with all cow’s milk.

Burrata is the richest and most decadent mozzarella. It can be made with cow or buffalo milk. On the outside, it looks like a regular ball of fresh mozzarella, but the inside is filled with a mixture of the remaining soft cheese curd scraps from the mozzarella-making process that have been soaked in cream. 

The ball oozes out the buttery cream filling when you slice into it. Burrata is more expensive than regular mozzarella, but it’s a real treat. Once cut, the entire ball should be eaten.  Indulge yourself.

 

Avocado-Burrata Toast with Burrata and Savory Tomato-Basil Jam

Serving: 1 slice

Ingredients

•    1 1/2-inch slice fresh multi-grain bread

•    1/2 avocado, sliced

•    1/2 ball of fresh burrata, sliced

•    Olive oil or garlic-infused olive oil

•    Savory Tomato-Basil Jam (see link below)

•    Salt

•    Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

1.     Toast the bread on both sides.

2.     Alternately, layer the avocado and burrata across the toast.

3.     Drizzle with olive oil and Savory-Tomato-Basil Jam

4.     Salt and pepper to taste.

Coming from the Italian word for cherry, ciliegine mozzarella is the perfect choice for this caprese pasta dish. It’s larger cousin, bocconcini (Italian for mouth) can be substituted but will probably work best if cut in half. Both work very well for appetizer skewers of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil.

 

Watermelon-Tomato Salad

Pick up a deli rotisserie chicken for this quick and easy lunch or dinner. Any size or type of mozzarella can be smoked. The cheese sits over hickory or cherrywood smoke to develop a golden-brown exterior and complex flavor. It's particularly nice melted, in a grilled tomato-mozzarella sandwich, on pizza or in this Chicken Caprese Wrap.

 

Chicken Caprese Wrap

2 servings

Ingredients

•    1 clove garlic, minced

•    1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

•    1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

•    1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)

•    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)

•    2 cups chopped romaine or preferred salad greens

•    3/4 cup shredded, skinless rotisserie chicken breast

•    1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

•    1 1/2 ounces fresh mozzarella or smoked mozzarella, chopped small

•    1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

•    2 pieces burrito-sized tortilla, tortilla wrap or flatbread

Directions

1.     Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add lettuce, chicken breast, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, tossing to coat. Set aside.

2.     Coat a large, nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium-high heat.

3.     Working with 1 tortilla or flatbread at a time, warm bread about 1 minute on each side. Toasting is optional.

4.     Place approximately 1 1/2 cups chicken-romaine mixture in the center of each flatbread and roll up.

5.     Slice in half on a diagonal

 

With a nod to the request for fresh peach recipes, here’s are some for your consideration:

Peach-Habanero Jam with Ginger

This cobbler recipe from Jennifer Derrick Malardier is very similar to a peach cobbler that Arnold has made. It’s so easy; give it a try.

Easy Recipe Peach Cobbler (uses canned peaches)

Preheat oven to 350.

Place a stick of butter in baking dish and place in preheating oven to melt.

Mix together:

1 cup of self-rising flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup  milk

Whisk together until smooth.

When oven is preheated and butter is melted, remove pan and pour 1 large can of sliced (or diced) peaches in heavy syrup into the melted butter (with the syrup) 

Then pour the mixture/dough over the peaches (pour mixture all over pan not just in 1 spot) 

 

Here’s an Easy Fresh Peach Cobbler version from Nettie Rushing Theodore. It also sounds delicious.

6-8 peaches peeled and sliced mixed with 1c brown sugar and juice from one lemon or lime.

Cook over medium heat till juices are released.

Melt one stick of butter in a baking dish in a preheated 350-degree oven.

While butter is melting, mix one cup each of all purpose flour, milk and white sugar.

1 Tablespoon baking powder, a dash of salt and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Remove baking dish from oven. Pour flour mixture over the butter then peaches on top. Return to oven and bake 30-45 minutes until brown. Peaches are caramelized and yummy

Then sprinkle mixed cinnamon and sugar (to taste- no certain amount or you can omit if you don't like) over the top. 

Bake until golden brown (usually around 30-45 mins)

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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