Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tre Stelle: Fun with Bocconcini!

Bocconcini are fun little morsels of fresh mozzarella cheese, just perfect for making appetizers for your next get-together. I love making mini skewers with them, paring them with other similar-sized morsels of tomatoes, olives, grapes.. and fresh herbs of course! But you can also get a little fancier. Try these Southwest Bocconcini Salad Cups, or Jalapeno Bocconcini Grills (below) for your next party!
‘Small mouthfuls’ is the literal translation of the Italian word Bocconcini. These little balls of fresh mozzarella are made with 100% milk and have a firm but yielding texture and subtle milky flavour.

Bocconcini is made by a process known as pasta filata – curds are dipped into hot whey and then kneaded, pulled and shaped before being packed in water to preserve freshness.
Tre Stelle® Bocconcini Cheese stands ready to play an important supporting role in salads, soups, appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas and more.

Tre Stelle® takes the ‘little mouthfuls’ concept even further, with ‘mini mini’ and ‘Pearls’ variations that add versatility to this delicious cheese. Light versions of Tre Stelle® Regular and mini mini Bocconcini are also available.

Click here for more bocconcini recipe from Tre Stelle!

Southwest Bocconcini Salad Cups
recipe and image courtesy of Tre Stelle

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin
pinch chili powder
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
2 fresh limes, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tub (200 g) Tre Stelle® Bocconcini Cheese Pearls, drained
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
3/4 cup (175 mL) canned chick peas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
3 sheets filo pastry
melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 & 730° F (180 & 730° C).
Layer and butter three sheets of filo pastry. Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
Cut filo into squares one half-inch wider that the muffin cups. Press carefully into tins so that the pastry fits snugly into the cups.
Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly golden.

In a medium bowl combine garlic, cilantro, onion, cumin, chili powder, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add Bocconcini Cheese, jalapeno and chick peas, toss gently. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the mixture to marinate for at least 30 minutes before assembling. Bring mixture to room temperature before serving. Fill filo cups and serve immediately.

Makes 18 mini cups

Jalapeno Bocconcini Grills
recipe and image courtesy of Tre Stelle

1 tub (200 g) Tre Stelle® Mini Mini Bocconcini Cheese, drained

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika
1 tbsp (15 mL) parsley, fined minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar

9 fresh jalapeno peppers
9 rashers thinly sliced bacon, cut into halves
toothpicks for assembly

In a medium bowl combine Bocconcini Cheese with marinade ingredients; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cut the jalapeno peppers lengthwise, keeping the stems intact – remove seeds (we recommend wearing gloves).

Place 2-3 Bocconcini into the halves of each pepper, wrap with bacon and secure with toothpicks.

Preheat barbeque or indoor grill. Place peppers on grill and barbeque, cut halves up, until bacon begins to crisp and peppers soften. Carefully turn peppers open side down and quickly grill only until cheese begins to melt.

Makes 18 grills