Contributed by: NAPSA
The Real Dish On Flavored-Oil Dipping Dishes
(NAPSA) - There's good news for those who are tired of serving the same old cheese ball and cracker appetizer to their party guests.
New products make it possible to impress your friends with snacks that are tasty and trendy, such as flavored dipping oils.
Mediterranean-inspired oils with various breads can be a great appetizer for any occasion and are really impressive in spectacular dipping dishes.
If you don't have access to gourmet groceries, there is no need to worry. There are three varieties of olive oil found in most grocery stores. The highest quality of olive oil is extra virgin. It has the fruitiest flavor, is mainly used in dressings and is the best choice for dipping.
Pure olive oil is less flavorful and is used primarily in cooking, when the delicate flavor of extra virgin olive oil would be lost.
Extra light olive oil actually has the same amount of calories as all other olive oils. The "light" term refers to the lighter color and flavor. It can replace canola oil or vegetable oil in baking.
You can easily serve sliced or cubed bread with a variety of flavored oils and sauces. Flavorful oil additions include cracked black pepper, sea salt, fresh basil, roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Try using prepared basil pesto, sundried tomato pesto or calamata olive tapenade to add even more variety to the oil. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
For those who like cheese, fill one dipping dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and dip the bread into oil and then the cheese.
To make a spicy Italian dipping oil, add one teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to one-quarter cup of olive oil.
For a rosemary herb dipping oil, The Pampered Chef, a leading direct seller of high-quality kitchen essentials, has rosemary spice mix that combines flavor with convenience.
Simply add one teaspoon of The Pampered Chef's Pantry Rosemary Herb Seasoning Mix to one- quarter cup of oil and add in one garlic clove that has been cut in half.
To increase your bread-dipping choices, try different varieties of fresh bakery breads, such as ciabatta, focaccia or sourdough. Or bake one or two loaves of refrigerated French bread dough and serve warm.
For great flavor and authentic texture without the mess of a bread machine, try The Pampered Chef's Easy Focaccia recipe. The Pampered Chef's products, quick and easy recipes and tips, help home cooks bring family and friends together for everyday and special occasions.
- 1 pouch (16 oz.) Pampered Chef Pantry Pizza Crust & Roll Mix (including yeast packet) (One 16 oz. pkg. hot roll mix can be substituted)
- 2 cups very warm water (120 F - 130 F)
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
In large bowl, combine pizza crust mix and yeast packet. Add water and garlic; whisk for 1 minute or until dough is shiny and smooth (dough will be very soft); set aside.
Lightly brush bottom of Stoneware Bar Pan with olive oil. Grate half of Parmesan cheese over bottom of pan. Pour dough into pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle dough with remaining cheese. Allow to rise, uncovered, in warm place 30-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at least 20 minutes. Slice into bite-sized cubes using serrated knife. If desired, serve focaccia with assorted dipping oils and sauces.
Serving Size: Makes 24 Servings