Columbus Day: 5 Unusual Foods You Should Explore
Columbus Day is coming on second Monday of the October. It means that the whole country officially celebrates the Columbus Day, when Americans have an opportunity to spread the patriotism all over the continent. America truly shares a bond with the name of Columbus, for this reason let's remeber some interesting Columbus Day facts, as well as of honorable sailor himself.
- All his life Columbus was quite sure he had sailed to the east coast of Asia; although in fact, he was about 15 thousand kilometers away.
- It took 7 years to persuade the King and Queen of Spain and their science advisers to help him organize an expedition across the ocean.
- Columbus’s team consisted of prisoners serving sentences as no one agreed to voluntarily participate in a dangerous voyage.
- Discoverer called people met on the islands Indians because sincerely believed that the land, found far away from his home, is a part of India. Surprisingly, this "false" Native Americans name survived to this day.
- Columbus brought back many food products Europeans had not tried before, for example: corn, tomatoes, potatoes; as well as thanks to him, grapes and even horses and cows appeared in America.
But besides the history and facts, Columbus Day is also about gourmet picnics and autumn BBQs and Marky’s provides some delicious food for this special day and our best Columbus Day recipes.
1. Prosciutto in Cantaloupe Salad
- 1 cantaloupe
- 8 oz./225 g fresh mozzarella
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 6–8 leaves fresh basil
- 2–3 tbsp. balsamic glaze
Peel, de-seed, and cut cantaloupe into bite size pieces. Cut mozzarella into ¼″/.63 cm chunks and toss with cantaloupe. Cut prosciutto slices into bite size pieces, toss with cantaloupe. Top salad with basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
2. Prosciutto and Olives in Mixed Antipasti Salad
- Anchovy filets, rinsed and patted dry
- Prosciutto, sliced very thin (Italian ham)
- Salami, sliced very thin
- Copacola, sliced very thin (made from pork)
- Canned chunk tuna, in bite-size chunks
- Asiago cheese, cut in thin strips
- Provolone cheese, cut in thin strips
- Italian fontina or fontinella cheese, cut in thin strips
- Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese, shaved into curls
- Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Marinated mushrooms
- Marinated artichokes
- Marinated Red Peppers
- Green olives
- Ripe olives
- Pepperoncini (pickled peppers)
- Pickled cherry peppers
- Sliced Hard-Cooked Eggs
- Romaine lettuce leaves (to line platter)
Lay the lettuce leaves on a large platter to form a bed. Roll the meats into cigar or funnel shapes. Place all of the items on the platter in an attractive manner, either center to outside or side-by-side; use the marinated and pickled items in between the various meats and cheeses. Think of the colors as you separate. The Parmesan cheese curls can be randomly placed on top of the other items. The platter can be prepared several hours ahead and refrigerated until about 30 minutes before serving, then brought to room temperature.
If you prefer to marinate your own vegetables, a basic marinade starts with olive oil to which a little balsamic (or red wine) vinegar, oregano and/or basil, salt and pepper are added. Serve antipasti salad some good Italian bread sticks, crostini or bruschetta on the side.
3. Spanish Nachos with Figs and Iberico Cheese
- 3 large Russet (or other white) potatoes
- Olive oil
- 8 ounces chorizo, sautéed and broken into pieces
- ⅓ cup chickpeas, chopped
- ¼ cup green olives, diced
- ¼ cup large capers, diced
- 1 cup grated Iberico cheese
- 4 figs, cut into quarters
- ½ cup yogurt (preferably European style)
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
To make the potato chips peel and thinly slice each potato. Place in a large bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Allow them to sit for about 30 minutes, then drain and rinse in a colander several times. Leave the potato slices sitting in the colander for approximately another 30-60 minutes.
Once the slices have drained, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lay the slices out in a single layer on an unlined, but lightly greased, baking sheet (you’ll either need two baking sheets or you’ll have to bake the chips in batches as you’ll have too many for one baking sheet). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then begin baking. After 10 minutes, flip them over, then continue baking for about another 10 minutes, or until the chips have turned golden brown and crispy.
While the chips are baking, it is a perfect time to sauté the chorizo, grate the cheese and chop the other ingredients, if you haven’t already done so. It’s also a great time to mix up the sauce by stirring the yogurt and paprika together in a small dish.
Once the chips have finished cooking, sprinkle the chorizo and cheese on top. Place them back in the oven for about another 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
At this point you can either leave the chips on the baking sheet or transfer them to a serving dish. Top them off with the chickpeas, olives and capers. Then drizzle with the yogurt sauce and finish with the figs. Serve immediately.
The chips can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Just store them in an airtight container and then reheat them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes before adding on the toppings.
The yogurt sauce can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
4. Andouillette Sausage
- 2 Andouillettes
- 1 large spanish onion
- A nob of butter
- A tablespoon of lard
- 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Prick your sausage with a fork on all their lenght. In a frying pan melt down the butter add the onion finely sliced. Season well and allow to cook gently. Do not let them take any color. Panfry your sausages until they reach a nice golden color all over. Then add the onions and 3 minutes later the vinegar (some would add a drop of white wine too). Serve your andouillettes piping hot with a sprinkle of finely chopped flat parsley. We suggest you serve some nice boulangere potatoe, alongside your andouillettes.
5. Truffle Honey on Cheese Muffins
- 1 English muffin
- 1 ounce fontina cheese, thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 teaspoons truffle honey
Split muffin in half and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Cover muffin halves with cheese and broil until cheese melts. Drizzle with honey.
Marky's gourmet store hopes you will have a wonderful day-off and celebrate the holiday sitting at the gorgeous festive table. We cannon miss chance to make you absolutely satisfied and enormously glad this day. And don't forget to check Marky's Columbus Day special offers!
Happy Columbus Day!