Melted Caprese for the Summer Progressive Dinner & Giveaway
Today I’m part of the Summer Progressive Dinner Party and do we ever have some delicious recipes and amazing giveaways for you! Scroll on down (or click here) to see my recipe for a Melted Caprese Appetizer, scroll down some more (or click here) to see the delicious party food that the other bloggers have made for our dinner party and scroll down some more still (or click here) to enter to win a $200 World Market Gift Card, a KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Blender and a Margaritavilla Margarita Maker from Woot Froot.
I know this is wrong.
It’s just plain deceitful.
And I shouldn’t be admitting it to you. Not here. Not anywhere.
But I can’t hold it in any longer.
Oh my god. I can’t believe I’m actually telling you this. Here goes:
I invite people over for dinner just so I have an excuse to eat cheese.
You see, I try to limit how much cheese comes into our house because I know that most of it will go into me. Our fridge has a standing No Brie Allowed rule and fresh mozzarella is only ever purchased when we have garden tomatoes meaty enough to make the fat grams worthwhile.
But if we have company coming over, the rules are relaxed. Completely relaxed in fact, to the point where cheese shows up in every course.
Because it’s not fair to deprive my guests of cheesy goodness just because I’m watching my weight. And then I figure it would be rude to not indulge along with them.
As you can imagine, this means we’ve been having more and more people over for dinner lately!
Today, I’m using the Summer Progressive Dinner Party as an excuse to share a meltingly delicious cheese recipe with you.
It’s a Melty Caprese Appetizer!
Fresh mozzarella is secured inside a soaked cedar cooking wrap with a few lengths of string. The whole thing is grilled or baked until hot and melty. The cedar paper is transferred to a plate, the strings are cut, the cedar paper is trimmed with scissors and finally tomatoes, basil and olive oil are scattered liberally over the melted cheese.
At that point, you have to make sure that everyone has a fork, a plate and a cracker or piece of baguette ready to go. The cheese won’t stay melted for long! Reach in, snag cheese with your fork and eat. If you somehow don’t manage to devour it all before it starts to solidify, 30-60 seconds in the microwave (tomatoes, basil and all) will bring it back to its stringy self.
Note: The cedar wrap does not transfer any wood smoke flavor the cheese, unfortunately. Its purpose is to contain the cheese and make it easy to move the cheese to a serving platter. The purpose of this technique is to prevent burns as people dive in to grab melted cheese. The cedar sheets are a perfect container for melting cheese because they cool almost instantly. Your guests may burn their tongues on the hot cheese but they won’t burn their fingers when trying to get at it!
- 1 cedar cooking wrap
- olive oil
- 4 – 12 inch lengths of kitchen twine
- 1-16 oz cylinder of fresh mozzarella
- aluminum foil
- crackers or slices of baguette
- 20 grape tomatoes, halved
- 10 basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF or a grill for indirect cooking.
- Soak the cedar cooking wrap in water for a minimum of 10 minutes, maximum 1 hour. Lay the kitchen twine out on a baking sheet so that they form vertical rows in front of you. Place the cedar sheet on top of the strings. Rub the sheet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Lay the mozzarella horizontally acroos the middle of the sheet. Drizzle with another teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle it with a good pinch of salt and of black pepper. Pull the horizontal edge of the cedar sheet that is closest to you up and over the cheese. Bring the opposite side up and over top of it all. Secure the resulting tube with the strings. See the picture for clarity. Wrap the foil around the ends of the tube to help keep the cheese contained as it melts.
- Keeping the tube on the baking tray, put it in the oven or on the indirect heat side of the grill. Cook for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine the tomatoes with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Use your fingers to tear in the basil leaves. Stir gently.
- Give all guests forks, knives, plates, crackers and slices of baguettes and tell them to get ready!
- Remove the baking sheet from the heat. Transfer the cedar tube to a serving platter. Remove the foil and cut the strings with scissors. Use the scissors to trim away the sides of the cedar sheet. Scatter the tomato mixture immediately over top and tell everyone to dig in quickly while the cheese is hot and meltingly stringily delicious.
All the Progressive Dinner Party Recipes
We have everything to make your summer parties sing!
With a $200 gift card from World Market you can get your hands on all kinds of summer entertaining fun like delicious global cooking sauces, outdoor furniture, bright and fun cushions, serving trays and glassware.
The KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Blender will have you whisking, crushing and blending all kinds of delicious summer treats. Get some delicious ideas for your summer fun from The Kitchenthusiast, the new KitchenAid blog.
And, an amazing Margaritaville Margarita Maker given by Woot Froot. Woot Froot is excited to bring you the ease and convenience of fresh cut peaches and nectarines just in time for summer. Perfect for summer snacking, dishes and drinks – like peach margaritas. Fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win this Margaritaville Margarita Maker and get the party started. A $200 value.
Fill out this rafflecopter for you chances to win this amazing prize pack.
Disclosure: World Market, KitchenAid, and Woot Froot have sponsored this group of posts by providing the prizes for the giveaway. I have not been paid nor given any items for myself in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.