Zippy Zucchini!

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Let me just tell you Diamonds .. this zippy zucchini is the most simplistic, but succulent summer side of all time!! You can whip it up within minutes,  while adding very little ingredients, and have it be undeniably delicious!

  • The longer you cook up these little spicy, pops of heat; the crispier, and yummier they will become!

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Even if you think you are a horrible cook, if you don’t know your way around the kitchen at all, or you sometimes get confused on what to do with your farm fresh vegetables, this zucchini side dish will be a beautiful breeze for you! I never doubted you Diamonds before, and I’m not about to start. 😉 

  • I used one zucchini, but like I always say.. it would depend on how many people you are serving. Keep in mind as well, that zucchini is filled with water (like most vegetables) so they will shrivel down a bit after cooking.

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  •      Chop the zucchini into individual cubed pieces, and toss them in a sauté pan with a glove of minced garlic, along with a gulp of good olive oil. 
  • Sautee on medium heat for five minutes! 

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As the zucchini cubes are beginning to crisp up, now is the time to add all of your seasonings! The seasonings, and powerful flavors are going to make this dish exactly what is needs, and is supposed to be.

THE SEASONINGS  – Seasoned salt, fresh cracked black pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, a drizzle of sriracha because I love that type of flavorful heat that it gives off, crushed red pepper flakes (as little or as much as you want for a spicy as you want it), and a squeeze of honey to balance out all of the smoky spice! 

After the seasonings are combined, sauté the zippy zucchini for another five to ten minutes to let all those spices crust up around the outside of each unique cube! 

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As I said before.. this couldn’t be any easier, and it couldn’t be any better! It’s amazing along side grilled meats, or fish, fried chicken sandwiches, or even tossed in a succulent summer pasta! Speaking of pasta.. the summer season is the capitol of pasta salad season, and you Diamonds will be able to look forward to so much of that coming soon here on deep fried diamonds. 🙂

  • Pro tip – Always remember .. just because something isn’t extremely different to make with 20 different ingredients, and steps.. it doesn’t mean it isn’t classy, and won’t delight the pallet when indulging!

     XOXO

A Fantastic, Fiery Avocado & Hard Boiled Egg Open Faced Bagel Sandwich.

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 This is where avocado toast isn’t avocado toast anymore.. it begins to level up, and Diamonds just know you can take it to any level that you would like! 

I have to say.. this right here is in fact my ultimate obsession at the moment. It is so wonderful that I truly don’t think it will ever go out of style. Ever! Avocado toast will always be in season, no matter what season we enter into! This stunning sandwich can literally be enjoyed at any time of the day. There is really no wrong way when it comes to this breathtaking plate! Period. 🙂

The levels of flavors, and textures in this dish is unreal. You will absolutely be on a journey right from your first bite, up until your very last! 

Most of the time whether I am in snack mode, or indulging in a full on meal.. there always needs to be sides for me. I never like to just eat one thing. Even if I’m out to eat; knowing I won’t finish everything, I’ll order a few different things, just so I can enjoy different flavors at once! With that considered.. THIS little avocado toast baby does not need anything else to go along with it. It stands on its own, and speaks for itself. The flavor from this bundle of joy is endless, and you’re going to love it!

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Although avocado toast of any kind is self explanatory, and based on what you’re into topping in with; when designing this one .. you’ll definitely want it to be exact. You won’t be disappointed!

FROM BOTTOM TO TOP:

  • A plain bagel, toasted to perfection.
  • Half of a mashed up avocado.
  • One hard boiled egg- sliced.

Seasonings & Garnishes:

Since this is a fiery opened faced sandwich, I made sure to add some serious heat. Very appropriate if you’re not a morning person, and you are trying to wake your Diamond self up! Lol 😉

  1. Granulated Garlic. 
  2. Fresh cracked black pepper.
  3. Everything but the bagel seasoning. (This stuff makes it!)
  4. Paprika– for some colorful garnish, and a smoky bite.
  5. Crushed red pepper flakes- the burn in the back of your throat that we want, while also adding great flavor along with it.
  6. My holy grail.. sriracha! Drizzle, drizzle drizzle! You can not go wrong putting it on everything!

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  •      Please, please, please! Do not skip the seasonings on top of here. They take the experience to a whole different place… a whole different world, actually!

You have to think about it this way.. It would be just like eating something plain, with no flavor, and no personality to it to create those culinary creations that we love to do with food! Would you want to eat a plain hamburger with absolutely no cheese, and nothing on it? Would you want to eat toast with no butter on it? You’re getting it now Diamonds.. FLAVOR IS KEY! That’s what we love most about food. That is exactly what makes every piece of food so special and unique; it’s delightful flavor profile!

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You can obviously just make this for yourself, or you can host a beautiful brunch party at your house on a Sunday afternoon in the summer, filled with endless mimosas, and double the amount of these gorgeous sandwiches than you have guests! No matter the day, or what the occasion, you’re going to have an outstanding time diving right into this fantastic fiery avocado and hard boiled egg open faced sandwich! 

     Without a doubt, Diamonds! 

XOXO

Candied Brie & Prosciutto Canapes.

 My most favorite way to eat in this life is to snack. I love making a charcuterie board, appetizers, canapés, crudite platters, and pick trays into a meal. It is the most fun you will ever have while eating; picking and pairing little mouthfuls together to create wonderful bite sized combinations! In the warmer months especially when spring is still here, but the hot temperatures of summer days start to roll in.. I love nothing more than the iconic duo of soft creamy brie cheese, and some salty, thinly sliced prosciutto. Most of the time canapés; particularly at events are already arranged for you, but I’m not a most of the time kind of gal. I enjoy when food is displayed into a style that makes you want to become an artist. Instead of having this much of one thing, or that much of another thing on the surface of your canapé (cracker) you can put as much or as little as everything that you want onto it. Food is about being creative, and making it what you want it to be, so I really feel like thats where my love of platters/boards comes into play.

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You can surely just take a piece of beautiful brie, and roll it up into a blanket baby with the pretty prosciutto, but I love doing it the open faced sandwich way.. AKA the canapé way.

  • Canape – (For those who are not familiar) is a small, bite sized hors d’oeuvre that you can pop in your mouth at once to experience it’s amazing flavors and textures all together in a wonderful, glorious, one bite wonder!

As you Diamonds might have guessed who have been getting “fried with Bri” every single week from the beginning..you have come to realize I am an extravagant person. There are very little times where I keep stuff simple, so in this case I wanted to make this delicious pairing of brie, and prosciutto into a sensational sweet version. Candied, if you will! 😉 

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People go absolutely nuts over a “sweet and salty” flavor profile, but my obsession is more along the lines of “sweet and SAVORY” .. a little alike, and a lot more different. We’re not just pairing sea salt and caramel here Diamonds, we’re entering a luxurious lifestyle with this combo here! Thyme infused honey smothered all over these brie and prosciutto canapés are the very best way to enjoy them!

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Even though the honey gives everything the sweetness it wants, and a slight stickiness it needs, I like adding another component of sweetness, but with a very different texture. Those dark little gems sitting upon the top of the cheese are dried blueberries. Alor of times when pairing brie with a dried fruit, it’s usually cranberries, but these these two together are where it’s really at. They are sweeter than dried cranberries, and I love the contrast of color it gives as a garnish!

  • The perfect way to build the canapé– A cracker or “surface” for all your tasty toppings.. then I love starting with the cheese, since it’s flat shape leaves an endless opportunity to pile more pretty things on beyond that.

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Of course when you’re piling you’re own canapé to it’s most perfect possibility, you definitely need a canvas to start with. Crackers are always an amazing way to kick the creating process off with. Butter crackers are a necessity, where seeded water crackers compliment fatty foods very nicely by having that crispy, light bite, and texture, and sweet potato tortilla chips are awesome to add in as a unique flavorful twist.

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These candied brie and prosciutto canapés that you build yourself is an ideal late night, date night idea. Having an opportunity to invent a whole different flavor combination with the same flavors that someone else is also using is just wild! It is always going to be such a relaxing time sitting outside on your picnic table with a wild berry sangria, enjoying classic canapés.

  • Brie and prosciutto are such a gorgeous couple that you can have this little delicious   date anywhere, and it will always be scrumptious. So scrumptious .. it just may be my all time favorite cheese and meat tag team! Lol.

 

XOXO

 

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Ravioli Pasta salad.

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For every holiday barbecue, cookout, or just a fun filled backyard party.. you need to include cold salads! It is a total summer food essential, and it pairs so amazingly with hot, juicy meats off the fiery grill! Of course we love the traditional macaroni, potato, and pasta salads for a memorable feast on Memorial Day weekend, but as you Diamonds know, I love nothing more than switching things up, and keeping you all on your toes. 😉 If you are a past lover.. even better, a stuffed pasta lover, this is the salad for you! There are very few of us out there who don’t love pasta salads, so with this being kicked up a notch.. having the inside of the raviolis stuffed with spinach and cheese, there aren’t going to be many people not fighting over the last of these babies laying in the bowl at the end of the party!!

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One of the many wonderful things I love about pasta salads is how beautifully colorful they are! You can fill them with as much color as you want, and thats what I love so much about the culinary arts world; even more so in the summer months!

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It’s pretty obvious that we can’t have ravioli pasta salad without the ravioli’s! These little pretty pouches are filled with spinach and cheese, but you can even choose just ricotta filled if thats what you desire most.

  • Fill a stock pot half way with water. When the water comes to a boil, salt it and slowly shake your raviolis in from the bag. Cook the raviolis for 3-5 minutes. When they’re done cooking you will be able to see through them, and they will also be floating at the top of the water!

As for the yummy veggies in our salad.. start by thinly slicing different colored mini bell peppers. I only used two! Then after slicing, i went ahead and small diced them, so that when you are enjoying the salad you aren’t going to be chewing on large bites of raw bell pepper. Sometimes the flavor of a raw pepper can be a little too overpowering, especially in a cold salad!

Honestly, in every single cold salad I make I need to add an onion into the mix no matter what kind it may be. For this salad specifically I went with thinly sliced scallions. Scallions give dishes that amazing mild onion flavor with a pop of freshness. They’re not too strong, and not too weak. It’s pretty much perfect for the flavor profile we want to achieve inside this magical garden of a ravioli salad!

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You Diamonds already know I need to chop up a fresh herb to toss in with this beautifulness! I think fresh herbs just make a salad really pop with color, and with taste as well.

In a serving bowl: slide in all of our vegetables and herbs that we just finely chopped up, along with a healthy handful of grated parmesan cheese, dried oregano, dried basil, and dried onion flakes. 

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To complement the spinach inside of the ravioli itself, I took two nice handfuls of fresh spinach to thinly slice up to throw in with everything to kind of act as another “herb” if you will. It adds an awesome brightness to the salad once everything is mixed together!

Throw the spinach into the bowl, along with a 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, and six blend Italian cheeses all combined together.

Once you’ve piled all that stringy delicious cheese in, you may also toss in your spinach and cheese filled ravioli.

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It might be because red is my favorite color, but it just never feels right having a pasta salad without some red Rubys shinning all around. Hehe. I believe roasted red peppers are the ideal way to add the rich red color that I strongly know it needs!

After the peppers, I wanted to add another type of texture and flavor. Green olives were the first things to come to mind, and I think the saltness paired great with everything else that came along with this dish.

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All this unique holiday salad needs is some salt and pepper to taste, the best Italian dressing you think you have ever had in your life (this is what will truly make or break this salad), and finally a good hefty drizzle of olive oil.

  • As some of you Diamonds may have already known for previous posts.. I enjoy finishing many of my creations with a gorgeous glisten of olive oil. I love the way it give something that highlighted glow, and a silky texture when you eat it.

This Memorial Day weekend is meant for remembering, and being grateful for everything we have in our country! The way we know how to honor that best is by enjoying the finest foods we adore. For some reason.. I have always associated this weekend with the very beginning of summer activities; even though technically, it is not summer yet.  It’s the final start of grilling season, and big summer bashes! I hope this salad can be apart of your memorial day festivities tomorrow, and if you Diamonds recreate it I would absolutely love to see what you served along side of it!


Follow me @therealdeepfrieddiamonds on Instagram and tag me in your memorial party pictures! 

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Have fun and be safe! XOXO

Gorgeous Guacamole!

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 When I think of warm weather, patio pick trays, and poolside eats, I instantly think of guacamole! Avocados are one of my absolute favorite pieces of produce to ever exist! I love how filling, creamy, and delicious they are! Besides the fact that they taste like an amazing dream, you can’t over look how versatile these gems are! The possibility list is endless between adding them to sandwiches/salads, topping protein dishes with pieces of them, adding it onto canapés, and of course, mashing it up to make spicy and savory guacamole. 

  • When I create guacamole it’s truly almost different every single time depending what I’m using to dip into it, or what I’m putting it on top of! Of course there are countless times where I make the classic jalapeño and cilantro filled guac because the taste is iconic, but in this case I changed it up.. just a bit. I must say it was a true winner in my house! 

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The gorgeous, gorgeous GUAC:

  • I truly think guacamole is one of the most simplest, and purest tasting dips you could make! There is just genuinely nothing like it! I used six incredible ingredients, and the tried & true seasonings to create this delectable dip that leaves you feeling full, while also leaving you feeling vibrantly fresh. 
  • The steps are simple, and it takes no time at all! 

  1. Mash up very ripe avocados. I used one, but obviously use what you need to serve who you need! 
  2. One ripened tomato (deseeded) and small diced. 
  3. Scallions (green onion)- finely chopped. 
  4. Pickled jalapeños– finely chopped. i used three to one avocado, but you can use less, or more depending on your spice tolerance. In the classic version I use a fresh jalapeño, but I wanted a briny type of kick to this guacamole party! Lol. 
  5. Finely chopped parsley- Now we all know that cilantro is the main flavor maker in guacamole. It’s a fact, BUT it’s also a fact that some people taste soap when they try to enjoy eating it. With that being said.. I wanted to keep it fresh, bright, and flavorful, while taking it down a notch because cilantro can be strong, and unpleasant if you don’t love the taste of it. 
  6. Fresh lime juice– I always use citrus juice in my guacamole creations! Sometimes it’s lemon, maybe even orange, but usually always lime juice. It’s classic, and it goes with the taste of avocados like butter on a noodle. It’s just a divine flavor combination. 
  • Seasonings– Sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to your liking! 

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     For traditional purposes I served this gorgeous guacamole with restaurant style thin and crispy tortilla chips. Personally I think they are the best! They have such good flavor, and I just am obsessed with how light & crunchy they are. 

  • A little out of the ordinary.. although it may be so sensational that the trend will be all over the world soon.. salted, butter crackers! Not only are they salty, and buttery, but they are seasoned just as an everything bagel is. When you dip this seasoned filled cracker into this delicious guac.. you’re taste buds are going to go wild! There are times when two very flavorful things are sometimes a little “much”, but this is the perfect duo. The combination will send you on a ride to avocado toast land!! I know all of us who are avocado lovers have made avocado toast on an everything bagel before, since it is just down right awesome! This is basically the exact same situation.. but with less carbs, so you just get to eat more of it! 😉 

     Guacamole to me.. no matter which way you turn it, no matter what delicious delights you fill it with, it will ALWAYS be so perfectly perfect! I feel like you can truly do no wrong when it comes to creating something with an avocado. When people think of the word guacamole, they think of a classic and traditional Mexican topping, but you can make it any way you want in the world. 

  • If you’re ever having friends, or guests over at the last minute, and you don’t know what to through together.. this is the trick right here! I promise you everyone will love it! I have come across people who won’t add avocado in anything that they eat, but they’ll eat the life out of some guacamole. You can do no wrong with it! 
  • I think a really amazing party planning move with this beauty would even be to use it as a center piece. You can serve this dip in a massive molcajete bowl on a riser, and have all the dipping utensils, and chips cascading downwards around the guacamole! You can even take this centerpiece to greater heights by grazing the presentation with whole avocados, limes, herbs, or anything you used to put inside of the crazy gorgeous guac! 

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     As you Diamonds can see, this guac is easy, but oh so gorgeous

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Avocados are not just for guacamole, but they sure do make an exceptional one, and truthfully I don’t know how I would ever live my life without enjoying some guac myself! It’s an essential to happiness.. especially in the summer, and like I said, I am always incorporating avocados into my meals on a daily basis. I am very VERY loyal to the avocado, and I can guarantee that you Diamonds are going to be very loyal this gorgeous guacamole once you give it a go! 

 

XOXO

 

Deluxe Caprese Summer Salad.

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 A caprese salad is an Italian classic in the summer. The flavor profile goes with everything, and it is super refreshing! I love the contrast of colors, especially when adding new little gems to it, to make it even more colorful, and delicious looking! Normally the traditional herb to garnish caprese salads with is basil. It is an iconic combination with tomatoes, but sometimes I truly feel like parsley gets put on the back burner. It’s one of my favorite herbs because you can put it on anything, and you don’t ever have to worry about interfering with other strong flavors, which is why I decided to use it in this deluxe summer salad. There are even fancy restaurants, and certain chefs who use parsley to garnish desserts with because it serves a fresh pop of color without interrupting sweet flavors. Theres nothing better than a salad with various different colors, textures, and flavors, paired with something hot and juicy off the grill! I think steak compliments this salad exquisitely, but you can seriously even pair it with something as simple as a plump, juicy, hot dog laying in it’s bun! Anything goes!

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If you’re having a party, or you have a huge family, you’ll want to make the caprese salad according to how many people you need to serve. This salad was serving three of us, so I went with using three tomatoes.

  • You want to make sure that the tomatoes are really bright, and fully ripened. The ripeness of your tomatoes will really determine the flavor of this dish, and even the texture feel in your mouth while enjoying it.

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They say some of the most yummiest foods are the simplest, and this definitely is the definition of that!! It is extremely easy to put together, while still be super impressive for presenting at an event, or a dinner party! I love it so much, and I promise you if you make this even once, you will continue to make it all summer long! 

  • I started out classically by just chopping up three garden tomatoes.
  • Then I chopped up a few thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Some of us are cheese lovers more than the rest of them, so add as much, or as little as you would like.
  • To add a creamy note to the whole mix, and to make it more of a filling kind of salad, I threw in half of an avocado chopped up.. so if you wanted to make this your meal by just adding protein at the end you very well could!
  • For a dressing concept, and immense flavor.. I splashed in red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar to give it that tangy, aged bite that tomatoes pair so awesome with! Then for smoothness, and fat.. I pour in some good olive oil. I enjoy using much more olive oil than vinegar because the vinegar is a lot more powerful, and the olive oil to me is an amazing way to finish off any cold salad. In Italian cooking most dishes are finished with olive oil anyway to give it that shine, and eye appeal! If you use a great olive oil.. it just makes all the flavors of the dish come together to mend every single flavor once you go ahead, and take those delectable bites.

These next few steps are the steps that are going to make this caprese summer salad, deluxe edition! Once you have everything chopped up in the bowl, mixed all together with the oil and vinegar, toss in some briny green olives, small diced roasted red peppers (they go extremely well with mozzarella cheese), thinly sliced scallions, and chopped fresh parsley, to tie everything together! I always finish plating with herbs. Whether I have fresh, or dry on hand, it does not matter to me. Finishing, and garnishing with herbs is quite the experience for eating with your eyes, and also to enhance the flavors when you do go in, and experience the taste yourself.

  • Of course the final thing we need to do is season everything! A salad isn’t a sensational salad without it’s seasonings!
  1. Cracked sea salt. 
  2. fresh cracked black pepper. 
  3. Garlic powder. 
  4. A pinch of dried basil, and Italian seasoning, just for that extra punch of herby goodness. 

When something has beautiful presentation, AND is colorful on top of that.. you will never fail at hosting. They’re probably two of the most important parts to platting food when having a party, or even just putting together a light snack board for date night. I adore styling food. It is probably one of my favorite things about being a chef. 

At times, depending on what event, or party you’re setting up a display for.. I love making small dishes look like they are being put in the middle of a grazing board. A grazing board is just an island, or tables-cape, filled with piles of food to show beauty, and options! Even though I’m not making an exact grazing table here, I like incorporating ideas of that design concept into how I present my food that I serve. You can do this variation with any meal you prepare. I always will stick by the fact that it is true when people say first impressions are everything because when you get your first impression of food that you’re deciding on.. a big part of that is how it is presented to you!

This honestly just looks like a beautiful board of summer eats to me. It looks mouthwatering while still being so light, so that you could have the opportunity to pair it with many other dishes, and pick food along side of this succulent salad.

  • This is for sure something that I truly thin you Diamonds will make time, and time again.

 

               XOXO