Bella’s Bites – 4th Runner Up!

Hello fellow food enthusiasts! Chef Richie here, at your culinary service.

Happy Holidays!!! Tis the season to cook festive comfort food…and the next recipe from our 2016 recipe contest that merits honorable mention and a Bella Sun Luci gift box full of our “Products for Chefs” is…drumroll please…Bella’s Bites! Congratulations to Candy Barnhart! Very nice work chef! BRAVA! BRAVISSIMA! Here’s a gift from Mooney Farms and Bella Sun Luci to add to your season’s collection. You can use these products for your next recipe contest work of art! Hint-Hint!!! You were very close to being a finalist. The taste panel and I loved your recipe. Keep up the good work!


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BELLA BITES

2 (6.5 ounces each) jars BELLA SUN LUCI Sun Dried Tomatoes with Italian Herbs, drained and finely chopped
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Grana Padano (or high quality Parmesan) cheese
1/4 cup dry Italian style bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease or coat with non-stick cooking spray a 9″ x 9″ baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, blend tomatoes, onion, garlic, eggs , Italian seasoning, hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce until evenly combined. Stir in cheese until evenly combined, then add bread crumbs and blend well. Turn into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until firm and lightly browned on top. Allow to cool and then cut into 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ squares, or into longer slices. Serve at room temperature.


 

One technical note, you’ll want to cook this 5-10 minutes longer than it says, especially if you use extra large eggs. It shouldn’t be hard and dry, but it shouldn’t be too wet either.

I didn’t choose this dish because it’s named “BELLA’S Bites”…but it didn’t hurt…our matriarch Gretchen’s nickname is Bella, hence, Bella Sun Luci, so Chef Candy, nice work joining us with the play on words/name game.

This dish is aligned with my two goals in life and as a culinary arts student (which I…we…will always be), chef and teacher. My first goal and what this dish is helping me/us work toward is, Chef Richie Says: “To make Martha Stewart jealous”.

The second goal is to become an Italian grandma…or at least cook as well as one.

I’m allowed to dream, right?

About the Martha Stewart thing…these bites are packed with richness…flavor…heartiness, but…they can be cut daintily. Use round cutters! Cut into small squares and put them on a toothpick with an olive and a caramelized pearl onion or shallot! Cut them into DIAMONDS!…to do this, cut thin strips, then make equidistant cuts at a severe angle and you’ll see you end up with diamonds. Or simply cut into slices like they are pictured above! Chef Richie says: Top them with a dot of chive crème fraiche (fancy word for sour cream) with a pink peppercorn on top, or other fancy garnish. Remember, the goal here is to make Martha jealous!

Once more, congratulations Chef Candy and happy holidays! …and now, everybody get cookin’, happy cookin’ and buon appetito!

 

Amore,

Chef Richie