Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts

Monday, February 1, 2016

Game Day Menu Planning for Superbowl 50 and a Giveaway

I am excited to be participating in a Super Bowl Recipe Exchange with several incredible bloggers. Along with the recipes I'm sharing with you, here are their recipes to round out your Super Bowl 50 menu. This would definitely be a party I'd love to be invited to!

Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ from Eat.Live.Blog
White Bean and Chorizo Stew from LivinLemon
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas from Appetite for Instruction
DIY Snack Stadium from Wife in Progress
Homemade Pimento Cheese Stuffed Sliders  from Aimee Broussard
Taco Dip from Anchors and Bows

Not only am I sharing with you these great recipes, but I am also excited to offer you an opportunity to win a $100 gift card courtesy of www.wayfair.com!  You could choose from one of their MANY slow cookers, or any one of a million other things that will make your Super Bowl Party the biggest winner of the night. The giveaway is open until the winner of the Super Bowl is crowned.


Enter here for your chance to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Superbowl is a great 4+ hour excuse to put out your favorite snacks and graze while watching. Growing up it didn't matter who was in the game we always had a party. In middle school and high school my girlfriends and I would always have a Superbowl Bash. I can't remember what we ate at the parties, but I know we always had a great time!

Now my favorite things to eat while watching usually involve avocados, salsa, beans, and cheese. I have two recipes that share these ingredients in different ways. First up is a loose interpretation of a tamale - more closely related to the sweet corn tamales from The Cheesecake Factory. These take advantage of some shortcuts and produce a tasty dish. Up second are a healthier take on potato skins. These chili cheddar potato skins are indulgent but not over the top. One or both of these dishes would make a delicious and healthier addition to your Superbowl 50 viewing parties.

Both recipes have a number of components but it is easy to work on them at the same time. My workflow is to start the beans first and while they are simmering you can prep the other ingredients. Even better? Enlist your party guests to chop, mix, and assemble their own!


Corn 'Tamales' with Black Beans and More


I love to make as many things from scratch as I can when entertaining. For this recipe I 'cheated' and included a pre-cooked polenta to stand in for the traditional corn tamale. This speeds up the prep time and makes your life a little easier on game day. I've included the toppings that I like on these, but the recipe lends itself to endless customization. Don't love black beans? Substitute pinto or refried. Hate cilantro? Omit! Run out of lime juice? Use lemon or orange. That's the fun of cooking - you can make it just the way YOU want. If you have leftover toppings you can use them for a dip or a side dish. I used corn oil to enhance the flavors, you can also use vegetable or canola oil. Adjust the quantities based on the number of guests.

Corn 'Tamales' with Black Beans and More
Presented in the order of preparation

Black Beans
1 can of drained black beans
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 of a yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan
Add in garlic and onion and cook until softened (about 3-4 minutes)
Add in black beans, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil
Reduce to low and keep on the heat until it’s time to assemble the dish

Salsa
You can use your favorite store-bought salsa here if you want another shortcut. There are a lot of great local options. If you like to make fresh salsa I would suggest leaving it chunky so it doesn't run down your guests' arms or drip on your floor. Here's a quick and easy salsa recipe:

Tomato Salsa
Adjust the amount based on the size of your party, this is probably enough for a log of the polenta.
4 plum or roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper or your favorite chili pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 of a white or red onion, diced
A small handful of chopped cilantro (omit if you have cilantro haters)
Fresh Lime Juice
Salt and pepper

Mix well and chill

Avocado
Simply cut the avocado in half lengthwise
Remove the pit
Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the avocado flesh
Dice into small pieces and toss with lime juice

Corn
Ideally fresh corn. If it is not available you can use frozen or canned. You want to saute it for a few minutes to get a little color and develop the sugars.
If using fresh:
Remove the husk and all the silk from one ear of corn
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels away from the cob

For fresh, canned, or frozen:
Heat a small amount of corn oil over medium-low heat in a non-stick skillet
Cook corn for about 5 minutes (keep stirring so it doesn't burn)
Set aside in a bowl until you are ready to assemble everything

Southwestern Polenta
Precooked polenta, comes in a log wrapped in plastic, cut into 1/4" thick slices
For the seasoning, you want a ratio of about 1 tablespoon of chili powder to 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, adjust the amount to cover all of the polenta
Salt and Pepper
Corn Oil

Spread the polenta out on a plate in a single layer
Sprinkle the seasonings evenly across the top and press in gently
Let sit and absorb while the oil is heating
Heat corn oil in a non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat (enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan)
Cook polenta for 2 minutes on each side and remove to a paper towel lined plate




Putting it all together
Lay out polenta slices in a single layer on a serving platter
Top each round with:
Scoop of black beans
Corn
Sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco or goat cheese
Avocados
Salsa
Fresh cilantro


Chili Cheddar Potato Skins



I love potato skins but I don't love the way they make me feel. As part of a game day menu that is usually not light on calories these potato skins offer you a way to feel less bad about your game day dining. Avocado - health fat. Beans with vegetables mixed in - healthy. Cheese - dairy serving! Really, is there ever a reason to not include cheese in a party? I think the answer to that is always no.

Adjust the recipe quantities based on the size of your guest list. The techniques are the important part. You can start with my recipes and adapt to your liking. Once you use this method for making the skins you'll be adding them to your menu more often! The secret is another cheat, the microwave!

Chili Cheddar Potato Skins with Guacamole

Bean and Vegetable Chili
Approximately 4 servings
1 jalapeno, ribs and seed removed, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
1 quarter of a yellow onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney or pinto beans, drained
1 can petite diced no-salt added tomatoes (drain about half the liquid)
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

In a medium pot, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil at medium-high heat
Add in minced garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic
Add in onions and bell pepper, and cook 2-3 minutes until softened
Stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper
Add beans and tomatoes and stir
Bring to a boil and then reduce to low
Simmer until ready to serve





Potato Skins
Adapted from Amy at Playing House (who adapted from Ellie Krieger)
Serves 2 (1 potato/person)
2 Idaho potatoes scrubbed and dried
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pieces turkey bacon (use pork if you like, we don't eat it in the Good Cook Doris Kitchen)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar-jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Pierce the potatoes a few times with a fork and wrap in paper towels
Microwave on high for 13 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through
Take out the microwave and cool until the potatoes are easy to handle
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise
Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8 inch of the inside of the potato, being careful not to break the skin (save the potato guts for another use)
Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt
Put the potatoes, skin-side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet
Bake until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes



For the turkey bacon, cook in a small skillet over medium heat, turning often, until crispy
Dice into small pieces



Guacamole
1 medium Haas avocado
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced (Optional)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 a scallion, thinly sliced
Dash of salt and pepper

Roughly chop the cilantro, set aside
Squeeze the lime juice into a bowl
Cut open the avocado and add to the bowl with the lime juice
Using an avocado masher (or fork), mash until smooth
Stir in the cilantro, scallion, and jalapeno if using
Season with salt and pepper

Putting it all together
When the potato skins are done, remove from the oven and put on serving plate
Fill the skins with chili
Divide the shredded cheese evenly among the potato halves
Top with the turkey bacon
Spoon the smooth guacamole evenly over the four halves
Top with a few cilantro leaves for garnish



Don't forget to check out the recipes from these other great bloggers and to enter the giveaway to win $100 to Wayfair.com

Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ from Eat.Live.Blog 
White Bean and Chorizo Stew from LivinLemon 
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas from Appetite for Instruction 
DIY Snack Stadium from Wife in Progress 
Taco Dip from Anchors and Bows 

What's your favorite game day food?


Enter here for your chance to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 3, 2014

How Do You #LoveAvocado? There are so many ways!

{This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Hass Avocado Board. }


Every Saturday after breakfast, I gather up my cookbooks along with a pen and paper to make my weekly grocery list. Whenever I ask my 2 year old son what we should buy at the store he always answer the exact same way without fail, “avocados and apples.” Those are the first things we see when we get into the produce section, but I am always happy to oblige. These days the little guy is loving avocado – with a spoon, mixed into chili, on sandwiches, and more. I don’t mind because over 75% of the fat in an avocado is unsaturated. Avocados are so versatile and can be used in so many different cuisines and ways. Avocados have long been a part of my diet. The rich, creamy flavor makes them feel like an indulgence even though they are a good fat.




Some of my Favorite Ways to use Avocados: 










  • As a key ingredient in Taco Night
  • Cut in half, topped with hot sauce and either a little plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
  • Spread on warm toasty bread and topped with smoked salt. 
  • Blended with tomatillos, lime juice, and cilantro – used to top eggs, tacos, chili, soups, and more! 




Why are avocados so good? 
Avocados are nutrient-dense and have less than 1 gram of sugar per 1 ounce serving. Since they are sodium and cholesterol free, they fit right in to my goal to feed my family a well-balanced diet. What are your favorite ways to eat avocados as part of a healthy lifestyle?


Sweepstakes



#LoveAvocado and have an inspiring story about getting your loved ones to add fresh avocado to their diet? Enter for a chance to win for yourself and to share avocados with someone you love.

Prizes include:
• 1 of 4 prize packs including $100 and fresh Hass Avocados delivered to your door
• Plus an additional package of fresh Hass Avocados delivered to someone you love


Recipe Contest
Discover a new favorite recipe and vote today for your favorite avocado recipe! 

I’m excited to explore more ways to incorporate avocados into my cooking . I’d love to hear how you incorporate them in yours! Follow along the Love One Today™   fun on Twitter and Instagram with the #LoveAvocado hashtag.

{This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Hass Avocado Board.} Tracking Pixel

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pizza Dough, Two Ways (Plus a bonus recipe!)

It is hard to believe that it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving already, and this year is the added bonus of a joint Thanksgiving and Chanukah celebration. While I was poring over my stack of Thanksgiving themed food magazines, I came across a welcome distraction. In the November 2009 issue of Food & Wine there was an article entitled “Asia Comes to America.” Joanne Chang from Boston’s Flour Café and Bakery (and Myers and Chang) contributed a handful of recipes for traditional Chinese items made from non-traditional ingredients. The one that caught my eye was for scallion pancakes using store-bought pizza dough. Since I have been eating scallion pancakes almost every Thursday for the past few months (maybe year...), I thought I would give the recipe a try. (Recipe here, I quartered the recipe to make 1)



Does scallion pancakes every Thursday seem a little odd? Not when the delicious Mei Mei Street Kitchen truck parks across from your office every Thursday. When dumplings aren't on the menu, my next choice is whatever they are serving on a hot griddled scallion pancake. Some week’s it is braised beef, cheese, and pickles others it is roast beef, potato salad, cranberry hoisin and Swiss chard, or sometimes the double awesome. I know I can’t recreate the full Mei Mei experience at home, but the scallion pancake seemed like a good thing to try.



With a 22 oz. ball of pizza dough from the store, I didn’t need to use all of it for the scallion pancake. Earlier in the day I turned 3 pounds of local apples into an apple butter flavored with maple and pumpkin pie spice. This apple butter was packed with as much New England fall as I could find! Apples from Shelburne Farm (Stow, MA), pumpkin pie spice and apple cider from Bolton Spring Farm (Bolton, MA), and granulated maple sugar from The Warren Farm and Sugarhouse (North Brookfield, MA). I thought about making a batch of warm biscuits to slather it on, but then I remembered the leftover pizza dough in the refrigerator. Perfect for a no-fuss dessert!



I tore up the remaining dough and tossed the dough balls in a generous amount of cinnamon sugar. After arranging them in a Bundt pan they got smothered in a mix of my fresh apple butter and melted butter. Thirty minutes and a flip later, maple-pumpkin pie spiced-apple butter monkey bread! There is no recipe for this one, tear up your favorite pizza dough (or even refrigerated canned biscuits), toss in cinnamon sugar, top with melted butter and apple butter, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, invert onto a plate, and watch it disappear in no time at all.



One ball of dough plus a few great sources of inspiration equals a delicious day in the Good Cook Doris kitchen. Hope your fall is just as tasty!

Maple Pumpkin Pie Spiced Apple Butter
Inspired by Overnight Apple Butter, Domenica Marchetti, Cooking Light, October 2004

1/2 cup granulated maple sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider
1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
10 medium apples, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into large chunks (2 ½ - 3 pounds apples)

Add all ingredients in a Dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot
Cover and cook over medium-low heat 1 – 1 ½ hours or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally
Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Using a spatula, press the apple mixture through sieve. Discard pulp. Repeat with remaining apple mixture.  (This took a little while to do, you want to get as much apple goodness as possible in the finished product)
Return  the apple butter mixture to the pot and cook over medium low for approximately 15 minutes, or until desired thickness.

Time: 
10-15 minutes prep time, depending on your apple peeling speed
10-20 minutes sieve time, depending on your arm strength
Total cook time: 1 ¼ hour – 2 hours

Equipment:
Peeler, measuring spoons and cups, knife, Dutch oven or heavy pot, and spatula

Notes:
This recipe is not sweet – if you like your apple butter sweeter you can add up to double the amount of sugar and honey. I prefer a less sweet apple butter, to let the apples’ natural sugars determine the final sweetness.  

I used a variety of apples from our recent apple picking outing: Cortland, Red Delicious, Empire, Golden Delicious, Rome, and a few others I can't remember. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Traditional, with a Twist: Baked Farro “Arancini”


This is my entry to the contest hosted by Tuscan Fields to win a conference registration to Eat Write Retreat. I had a fabulous time the last two years and would love to attend again in the new Philadelphia location. I hope that you enjoy my post and that I am able to attend EWR13 thanks to Tuscan Fields!  

Connection – that is my word. Last year at Eat Write Retreat, Monica Bhide challenged us to find the one word that defined our blogs. Connection can mean many things, but for Good Cook Doris one of the main ways my “word” presents itself is connecting tradition with today through old recipes with new twists or traditional ingredients with a new spin.

This scholarship contest challenged bloggers to take farro, an ancient grain, and come up with an original recipe and post. Keeping my word in mind, I knew that my recipe would be traditional, with a twist! As with last year, I’m still squeezing cooking in along with family, work, school, and life. I wanted a recipe that would showcase the farro and be easy enough to make while having a million other things on my plate to do.

Tuscan Fields is bringing farro to the US from Tuscany.  Their products are grown at Fattoria Pieve a Salti and are 100% organic. Farro has been a part of Tuscan cuisine as far back as ancient Rome! In addition to being an agriturismo, the farm is also the second largest producer of organic agriculture products in Tuscany. For my recipe, I used Tuscan Fields® Farro Perlato. For a little background on farro, I turned to the Tuscan Fields website. Here is a description in their words:  “Farro is often translated into English as ‘spelt’ – but it is actually another variety of heirloom or “ancient” grain in the wheat family. Its biological name is triticum dicoccum and it is the forerunner to spelt (Triticum Spelta) on the evolutionary wheat chain. In the U.S. triticum dococcum is also called “emmer wheat” but it is readily known worldwide as “farro”.”



I decided on a twist on risotto and arancini. Farro’s nutty flavor and slightly texture makes it perfect for many different preparations and spice additions. We eat a lot of southwestern flavors here in the Good Cook Doris kitchen which means the spices and herbs we run out of the most are cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. I wanted to incorporate these into my farro recipe, along with a delicious Queso Blanco that we picked up at last week’s winter farmers market. The cheese is locally made in Rhode Island by Narragansett Creamery .

First, I made a savory and delicious farro-risotto with onions, carrots, garlic, spices, and chicken broth. Next, I wrapped it around squares of Queso Blanco and coated it in seasoned panko breadcrumbs. After about 20 minutes in the oven, and a quick broil, the baked arancini were ready. Cutting into the middle revealed a warm, melty cheese center. The sea saltiness of the cheese paired with the creamy, spiced flavor of the favor made for a delicious bite.




In true Good Cook Doris fashion, while I was making this recipe I was also busy at work on a paper for my graduate school class this semester. I set up shop in the kitchen and in between steps tried to get a few words written. It's all about maximizing the time you have, right?



I hope you enjoy this recipe and that I have a chance to enjoy Eat Write Retreat 2013 in Philly!



Farro Risotto
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced small
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a red chili powder from Texas)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1.5 cups Tuscan Fields Farro Perlato (this ended up being the entire 9.1 oz package)
2 cups water
1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tablespoon freeze-dried, or dried cilantro)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

In medium saucepan add oil, onion, carrots and garlic
Cover and cook over medium-low for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally
Stir in cumin and chili powder and cook until you can smell the spices (about 1 minute)
Add farro to the saucepan and stir well, cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly toasted
Add broth and water and stir
Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes until farro is tender (but still has slightly chewy texture)
Remove from heat, mix in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt if desired

Note:  I did not add too much salt, knowing that I would be adding a salty cheese to the final baked product.



Baked Farro Arancini
Farro-risotto from above recipe
10 half-inch cubes of Queso Blanco
1 cup AP flour
1 egg plus a splash of water, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Set up three shallow bowls on your work space
In one bowl, put the flour
In the second bowl, mix the egg and water
In the third bowl, mix breadcrumbs, chili powder, cumin and cilantro; add butter or olive and mix until well combined
Using an ice cream scoop (or cookie dough scoop), take a scoop of risotto and place it in your palm, flattening it slightly
Place a cube of cheese in the middle, using a smaller spoon, take about 1 tsp additional risotto and put on top of cheese
Shape the risotto into a ball, completely surrounding the cheese so you can’t see it at all, packing the ball tightly
Roll ball in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet
Repeat for as many as you would like to make
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees
Broil for 2-5 minutes until the outside is golden brown and crispy
Serve with warm salsa (your favorite jar or homemade)



Thank you to Tuscan Fields for the opportunity to win a chance to attend Eat Write Retreat!

Disclaimer: 
I signed up to enter this scholarship contest and was one the first 50 entries which meant that I received two packages of farro from Tuscan fields to use in developing a recipe for this contest entry. To be eligible to win, I had to create an original recipe and post, and link to both Tuscan Fields and Eat Write Retreat. For full details of the contest, you can click here



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kitchen Play: Leap into February with Jarlsberg Dip

With an extra day to play in the kitchen this month, why not try something new? The lovely folks over at Kitchen Play and Jarlsberg cheese asked me to be a part of a leap year celebration - "29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg Dip".

I was introduced to Jarlsberg cheese at last year's Eat Write Retreat conference in Washington, D.C. (a fabulous event!) Jarlsberg was a sponsor and provided delicious samples at the cocktail party. Jarlsberg is a semi-soft, nutty Norwegian cheese. Have you tried it? Last May was my first time - delicious! It is a good addition to a cheese plate, great on sandwiches, melted in an omelet, and the list goes on. At the grocery store you can find it in the deli case (to order sliced) or in the specialty cheese case.



As you can tell from the title, Jarlsberg has a new dip that they are introducing! I'm excited to be the official kick-off post for "29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg Dip". Throughout the 29 days of February, Kitchen Play has enlisted bloggers to post recipes and serving ideas incorporating this new cheese dip. Jarlsberg dip is a nutty, flavorful combination of Jarlsberg cheese, real mayonnaise, and diced red onions. There are endless ways in which you could use the dip. I have two recipe ideas to start off the month of creative ideas!


My recipes may seem pretty basic - but they are flavorful! Perfect for watching the big game, a red carpet special before an awards show, or just a relaxing afternoon at home. I hope you enjoy!

Devilishly Delicious Jarlsberg Eggs
Makes 24 pieces






12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 - 3/4 cup Jarlsberg Dip
Salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons finely diced pickles (bread & butter or kosher dill)

Note:  Start with a half a cup of Jarlsberg dip if you are using all of the yolks from the eggs. If you reduce the amount of eggs, add a little more dip to have enough to fill the eggs.

Slice the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks
In a medium bowl, mix the egg yolks with Jarlsberg dip
Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking
Using a spoon (or pastry bag, or plastic bag with a corner snipped), fill the egg white halves with the 1-2 teaspoons of the yolk mixture
Sprinkle diced pickles on top
Enjoy!

Alternatively, you could spread some dip on toasted bread and pile on sliced hard-boiled eggs and pickles for a quicker lunch!


Tasty Turkey Roll-Ups
My grandmother makes an appetizer that I request for every party - corned beef roll-ups. I took her technique and swapped in turkey and Jarlsberg for a new party favorite!


Serving size varies depending on the size of cucumbers used. I used three mini-cucumbers here and cut each into 5-6 pieces.

Mini cucumbers or pickling cucumbers
Thick sliced deli turkey, preferably oven-roasted
Jarlsberg dip (slightly softened)

Tear off one 10"x10" piece of foil for each cucumber you plan to use
On one piece of foil lay out 1-2 slices of turkey (wide enough to cover the entire cucumber)
Gently spread dip on the turkey slices
Lay one cucumber across the slices
Roll up tightly and then wrap tightly with the foil
Repeat until all are made
Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (these can be made a day or two ahead of serving)

To serve, unwrap and slice each roll into 1/4 inch slices
Place on a platter and serve


I hope that these recipes will inspire you to try something new! And you can win some Jarlsberg dip and other tasty goodies as part of the 29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg month! For all the details on how to enter, visit the Jarlsberg blog. Sounds delicious!

The giveaway will include a tailgate tote stocked with:
Jarlsberg Lite Cheese
Jarlsberg Cheese Dip
Snofrisk (a Norwegian style cream cheese)
Crispbreads
Honey crèmes
Honey vinegar



Disclaimer: I was provided with compensation to cover the cost of ingredients for these recipes. The folks over at Kitchen Play were kind enough to invite me to participate in this event with Jarlsberg cheese. My participation was voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own. It's always fun to have a new ingredient to work with - and a little motivation to create a new recipe!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beth From Denver: Zucchini Crisps for Healthy Snack Wednesday

My best friend Beth from Denver is back with another delicious vegetarian friendly dish. This is a great addition to the game night snack spread, or even for a quick appetizer before a dinner party. Some of our favorite Italian restaurants in St. Louis (where we grew up) offer fried zucchini sticks as an appetizer. While they are always tasty, this version is more appropriate for Healthy Snack Wednesday. Enjoy!

From Beth:
I love snacks! Especially when they are healthy and easy to make. I knew I would want something to snack on while watching the Broncos on Monday Night Football but didn't want to spend too long in the kitchen. So I sliced some zucchini and made some crisps. Sorry for the vague ingredients list, as I was being speedy, I didn't measure anything.



Zucchini Crisps
1 zucchini, cut into about 1/4 inch slices
Shredded parmesan cheese
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the zucchini and toss with olive oil in a bowl to coat evenly. Combine the shredded parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste in a smaller bowl. Coat both sides of each zucchini slice before placing on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until zucchini is tender. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Smokin’ Back Yard Cookout Part 2: Appetizers and a Giveaway

Every party has to start with appetizers! There is nothing worse than getting to a shindig and waiting and waiting and waiting for the food to be served. For a summer cookout there are a few things to consider when planning the menu. It is important to think about temperature, time, serving location, size of the main course and your guests. I knew that our appetizers would be set up inside, but would probably be out on the dining room table at room temperature for at least a few hours. That meant no dairy or other potentially quick-spoiling items. I also knew that at least one cilantro-averse friend was going to attend and made sure to adjust my recipes appropriately. And lastly – with a huge spread of meat for dinner nothing too heavy!

I decided on assorted dips with chips and vegetables. The first part of good chips and dip? Chips! Through a friend at work I was introduced to Adam and Noah over at Want’ems – a new snack food company started by the two friends. They are fellow Bostonians and have introduced a line of wonton chips and what they call fusion dips. You can check out their story over on their website. They offered some free samples, and I said I’d be happy to try them out. As usual, I did not receive any compensation other than free food and all opinions are 100% mine.

The chips are inspired by the wonton chips that you get at Chinese restaurants. However these are made with whole-wheat flour and have no trans-fats. While they wouldn’t necessarily qualify for Health Snack Wednesday, they are no worse for you than other snack chips. The chips come in two flavors – Original and Asian BBQ. In addition to the chips, they also created three dips. I tried the Sweet Chili dip (think a take on duck sauce) and a Thai Mango.



The chips were good – they were light and crispy and paired well with all the dips at the party. I liked the original best. They weren't greasy, but still held up to all the dips. The sauces were chunky and a little sticky. I used the Thai Mango as a dip. It was a little sweet and a little spicy. I used the Sweet Chili as a marinade for the smoked chicken wings and it worked well. The verdict from the party was that the chips were a hit!  We all liked that the dips were chunky and you could see all the ingredients - like good sized pieces of mango in the Thai Mango dip. The flavors were bold and something different than the ordinary salsa or onion dip. I think the dips will be fun to use for a marinade or sauce for different grilled meats and vegetables. I can picture making a chicken and vegetable stir-fry and pairing it with the General Tso dip (I have not tried that one yet).

The partners behind Want’ems want you to taste their full line-up of products and come up with your own creative uses! Details on how to enter are at the end of the post. If you can’t wait for the results of the contest, you can check their website for information on availability.I was able to find some at my Boston area Whole Foods.



Another dip that went well with the Want’ems and sea salt and lime tortilla chips is my go-to recipe for Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa. This is one of those dips that makes the menu for most of our parties. It’s quick and easy to prepare and the tomatillo and lime keep it bright green. Each time I make it I adjust the seasonings a little. Sometimes jalapeno, other times green chili powder. And if it’s the right season – a handful of ground cherries! The salsa lends itself well to adjustments.

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa
Adjust the number of ingredients based on your crowd size; this serves about 6 people as part of an assortment of appetizers.

4-5 raw medium sized tomatillos, husks removed and well rinsed
3 avocados, removed from skins
1/2 – 1 hot pepper (jalapeno or serrano chili, seeded)
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 of a yellow onion

Cut the tomatillos into quarters and set aside in a bowl
Cut the onion into a few pieces and set aside in a bowl
If using a hot pepper, remove the seeds and ribs and cut into a few pieces
Working in batches, add the tomatillo, onion and hot pepper pieces into a food processor and pulse until just smooth, add to a mixing bowl after pulsed
Remove avocado from the skins and add to the food processor, add in the fresh lime juice and a few spoonfuls of the tomatillo mixture and pulse until smooth
Add the processed avocado to the rest of the tomatillo mixture and mix until well blended
Season with salt and pepper
Add chopped cilantro if you know your crowd
Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until party time

For the next post, I’ll feature another chunky salsa and some delicious side dishes from the backyard cookout. Now, on to the giveaway!

Enter to win a full line-up of Want’ems chips and fusion dips! Want’ems will send one lucky winner the following:

1 bag of Original Want’ems
1 bag of Asian BBQ Want’ems
1 jar of Thai Mango dip
1 jar of Sweet Chili dip
1 jar of General Tso dip

Three ways to enter!
Entry 1: Leave a comment sharing your all-time favorite chip & dip combination
Entry 2: Head over to Twitter & follow @wantems1 or Facebook and Like the Want’ems page
Entry 3: Follow Good Cook Doris through the Google Follow widget on the right side, or subscribe to the Good Cook Doris RSS feed

The fine print: This prize is provided by Want'ems and will be shipped directly to the winner. The winner must live in the continental U.S. Entries must be received by Tuesday, July 19 at 9pm. Winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 20. Good luck!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wantems/190256281011929

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Poppin' Munch Madness!

Besides being my birthday month, March is also host to other fun food-friendly activities! With a full month of March Madness basketball, you'll need to to pace your game-time snacking. Keeping that in mind, here's a budget and healthy snack!

The friendly folks at popchips contacted me about a Boston Blogger recipe challenge for their "Munch Madness"  celebration. I had a blast creating a poppin' recipe for my Healthy Snack Wednesday series, so I knew I was was on board for this challenge! The winner gets to take home $250 to Roche Brothers, a $100 AMEX gift card, and a one-year supply of popchips! As an entrant in the recipe challenge, popchips provided me with a snack pack of popchips, coupons to pick up popchips, and a handy recipe notebook. 

A quick note about the contest. All entries will be posted on the popchips Facebook page in the Munch Madness photo album. The two bloggers with the most 'likes' on March 21 will be pop into the 'champion-chip' round! The final round will be an taste test event at Roche Brothers where the winner will be selected by a panel of expert snackers. If you like my poppin' creation, I hope you'll vote and 'like' my photo and spread the word! You can get to the album and vote by clicking here! You also have to 'like' Popchips on Facebook.

With my snack packs ready and assorted ingredients in the pantry, I put on my thinking cap and started brainstorming.



Chicken fingers...too easy. Mini-quiches...already done. What would show off the flavor of the popchips, be delicious, and still be healthy? The idea struck and I got to work - baked falafel!


In order to please fans of multiple teams, I decided to make a few pieces of falafel in each flavor. First step is  creating the popchips crumbs. Start with one flavor at a time and give them a whirl in the food processor. Be careful to label your flavors (I scribble when I write recipes, don't mind my spelling error)! 



Your popchips crumbs should be light and fluffy, and small enough to substitute for breadcrumbs. Each snack sized bag of popchips yielded approximately 1/2 cup of crumbs.


The next step is to make your falafel mixture. Using the food processor, blend garbanzo beans, parsley, scallions, a dash of olive oil and eggs until well combined. The texture should be like a chunky hummus. Split the mixture into five even portions for mixing. Starting with one portion of falafel mixture, add in half of one of the flavors of crumbs. Mix and continue to add crumbs until the mixture comes together, but is not completely dry. The first picture below is the falafel mix. The second picture is after mixing in the popchips crumbs.



Score each combined falafel and crumb mixture into four equal parts. Form balls and flatten slightly. Add the patties to a labeled baking sheet (you don't want to mix up the flavors!) and continue the process until all flavors are completed. I used a pencil to write the flavors on parchment paper, you can see it at the top of the rows below.


Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and continue baking for 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. I served these with low-fat plain sour cream. To spice up the celebration, you could make flavored sour cream or yogurt dip to match the flavors. Another great idea would be to use your favorite hot sauce and mix it with sour cream for a spicy dip. Really, there is no limit to what you can add! The patties themselves are healthy and leave room to add more decadent toppings!


Here's a look at each of the flavors, topped with a garnish representing the popchips flavor. Cheddar for cheddar, salt for salt and vinegar, barbecue crumbs for barbecue, peppercorns for salt and pepper, and scallions for sour cream and onion! The flavor of the chips came through and really worked with the falafel!


An interior look at the patties:


Here's hoping that  my bracket picks will be as successful as my poppin' recipe! And remember, if you have  minute to vote, head over to the popchips Facebook page and 'like' my photo in the Munch Madness photo album! You also have to 'like' Popchips on Facebook.

Poppin' Munch Madness Baked Falafel

5 snack sized bags of popchips (Salt & Pepper, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Cheddar Potato, Barbecue, and Sour Cream & Onion)
2 15-ounce cans of no-salt added garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 scallion (whites and greens), cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and label 5 rows with your selected flavors
Working with one flavor at a time, process popchips until the consistency of breadcrumbs and set aside
Add garbanzo beans, eggs, parsley, scallion, oil, and salt & pepper to the food processor
Pulse until the consistency of chunky hummus
Pour equal amounts of the garbanzo mixture into five separate bowls
Using one flavor of crumbs at a time, mix into a bowl of garbanzo mixture until well combined (you may not need all of the crumbs)
Form four equal sized patties and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet
Continue until all flavors are used
Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and continue baking for 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through
Serve with sour cream, greek yogurt, or hot sauce

Summary:
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Food processor, cutting board and knife, bowls, spatula, baking sheet, parchment paper, serving plates and utensils

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Holiday Favorite: Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs

Last year I went to sunny San Diego for a conference and flew out a few days early to spend the weekend with my sister- and brother-in-law in LA. Since my now nephew Sammy was two weeks away from entering the world, we had a low-key, relaxing weekend. When my brother-in-law Jim and I headed to the store for a lunch pickup I added the final print edition of Gourmet to our cart. I read the delicious Thanksgiving issue cover to cover while he (I mean we) spent the afternoon watching USC football.

One of the recipes I flagged was for beet pickled deviled eggs. It sounded intriguing. I had just started experimenting with beets last year and eggs are one of my top 3 favorite foods (bread, cheese, eggs). I was pretty sure that I had never made deviled eggs before and it wasn’t something that we grew up eating in my family. Since we were hosting Thanksgiving last year, I decided to add them to the menu. To my surprise, they were gone in almost no time! Here’s a look at the one picture I got last year before they were gone.


Fast forward to October 2010. We were headed to St. Louis to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family. Because they read about the Good Cook Doris adventure online and don’t get to experience it I knew I wanted to contribute something to the big meal. But planning a TSA friendly dish is tricky! We had a non-stop flight, but that still means about 5 hours in transit and no liquids, sauce, pies, etc. I checked the TSA website and decided that the pickled eggs would make the cut. I prepared the pickling liquid and marinated the eggs from Tuesday night through Thursday morning right before we left for the airport.


Just before our cab arrived to pick us up, I drained the jars and packed them in an insulated bag for the journey. No liquids through security also means that you have to get creative in packing your cooler for the trip. I pulled out three packs of frozen chopped spinach and a bag of frozen peas that had kept my cooler of precious smoked salmon preserved on my last flight back to Boston from St. Louis (my brother smoked about 5 lbs of salmon for us – nice brother!). Since the frozen vegetables are solid they don’t raise any issues in the x-ray machines. They may ask to peek inside and joke that they might need to taste test the delicious looking salmon, but they will let you through without any trouble.

I’m happy to report that we arrived in St. Louis and unpacked a bag with still frozen vegetables and ice cold eggs. We arrived about 10 a.m. and guests were scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m. so I quickly got to work assembling. My brother had a great idea to quarter the eggs, instead of halve them. That way we would have enough for all 27 guests to taste (a smaller than usual group).

Here’s a look at assembly and then presentation. My mom keeps a well stocked fridge, so I found all of my ingredients waiting for me upon arrival (I did bring the caraway seed in my luggage).



She didn’t have a spare coffee/spice grinder, so I improvised. It worked pretty well!



Ready to be stuffed back into the eggs.


I made 14-15 eggs and saved the beets this year (I love pickled beets!). Here’s a look at the eggs awaiting guests.




The best compliment is that my 11 year old cousin, who said she wasn’t sure about beets (her mom doesn’t like them) or the funny colored eggs tried one and even ate one of the pickled beet pieces. I think she said, “it’s not that bad”. There was only one lonely quarter and a few beet pieces left at the end so I’ll call it a success!


I plan to make these for every party I host – they are delicious and it’s a blast to see people’s reactions to purple eggs! Yes, they do come from purple chickens.

Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, November 2009

3 cups water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2-3 small beets, peeled and sliced into semi-circles about a quarter inch thick (I used more, because I wanted to eat the beets!)
1 small shallot, sliced (I used yellow onions, that’s all I had on hand)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Turkish or 1 California bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted & cooled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Add water, vinegar, beets, shallot/onions, sugar, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in a medium-large sauce pan
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes until the beets are tender
Uncover the mixture and cool completely
Divide your eggs into 2-3 wide mouth mason jars (or other non-reactive containers)
Put beet pieces in with eggs (just a few per jar) and make another jar with the leftover beets
Add the pickling liquid (unstrained) to each jar, filling it almost to the top
Seal lids and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, rotate the eggs one or two times a day, to ensure they get evenly colored

When you are ready to prepare for serving:

Finely grind caraway seeds in grinder. Or put them in a plastic bag and smash them with a hammer, rolling pin, or other implement
Remove eggs from beet mixture and pat dry (discard liquid, save beets if you desire)
Cut in half lengthwise, remove yolks carefully and place yolks in a large bowl
Add mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and half of the caraway (1/2 teaspoon)
Mash the yolks with the additional ingredients until desired texture and season with salt and pepper
Using a spoon & small spatula, carefully fill each half with yolk mixture until all are filled & mixture is evenly distributed
Dip a sharp knife in water and slice the halves lengthwise into quarters
Sprinkle with remaining caraway seeds and extra parsley
Watch them disappear!

Summary:
Prep time: 15 minutes
Active Cook Time: 20 minutes (plus egg-cooking time)
Inactive Cook Time: 3 hours – 3 days
Assembly time: 30 minutes or more, depending on how cooperative the egg yolks are.
Cutting board & knife, sauce pan, spoon, mason jars & lids, non-staining spoons & spatulas, spice grinder/mortar and pestle/hammer, fork for mashing, bowl, spoon & spatula, serving platter

Egg on Foodista

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