Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Game Day Foods

It'll be the last game of the season, and I'm sure you're trying to figure out what to make for that Party you're going to, or are you the one planning it?  Here are some great snacks I've made throughout the season I hope you enjoy as much as my husband.
It's rare when I make empanadas, but they're the fave in the household. There are none left when I'm done, and I may make the sweet ones this week instead of the savory.  The stuffed jalapeños are unbelievably easy and oh so good.  Between four people we ate all 20 and still wanted more.  And, lastly, the crab dip is not cheap, but it will be gobbled up like there's no tomorrow; here, even the little one will eat this hidden protein.
Since it will be the three of us, yet again, at this Sunday event, I'm not planning too much. I think stuffed jalapenos, pulled pork sandwiches, and sweet empanadas (unless I find something else yummy).
Enjoy!


STUFFED JALAPEÑOS
makes 24

12 jalapeños
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
bacon bits (homemade or store bought)

In a heated skillet, and oil and whole jalapeños. Cook until jalapeños are slightly browned and heated through, turning constantly.
In a bowl, mix cream cheese and as much or as little bacon bits.
Cut jalapeños length-wise. Take seeds and ribs out; for some heat leave ribs. Spoon the cream cheese mixture and fill the cavity of jalapeños.
Place jalapeños on a cookie sheet. Put into broiler. Let stuffed jalapeños until top is browned, about 5 minutes.

Family recipe
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EMPANADAS DE CARNE
makes 10

1 package Goya Discos (found in the frozen foods section; egg roll rappers can also be used if not found)
1 pound ground meat
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce or 1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup green olives, roughly chopped
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Adobo (seasoning salt)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
oil for frying (preferably peanut oil)

To make the filling, brown meat in a pan on medium-high heat.  Season meat with the Adobo.
Once meat is browned, set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic to sau.  Add olives and tomato sauce; let simmer. Add the meat and stir. Let mixture cook for 10 minutes.  Take off heat and let cool to handle.
In a deep pot, fill with frying oil to at least 4 inches up. Heat to about 350°F.
Carefully, separate discos, and cover with damp cloth to prevent drying.
Lay one disco on flat surface.  Put filling, about 1/4 cup, on one side of the disc leaving about 1/4 inches from edge.  With finger, dampen edge with water. Fold empty side over to close. Seal edges, by pressing with fork until completely sealed. Add to hot oil, and let fry until golden brown. Take out of oil and set on paper towels to drain excess oil.
Empanadas can be fried 2 or 3 at a time.
For party, cut discos in half to make 20 delicious bites.

Sweet Empanadas are filled with 2 tablespoons of guava paste and couple slices of cream cheese. Once fried and slightly cooled, cover with powdered sugar

Family recipe
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HOT CRAB DIP
serves 8

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), room temperature
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon crab boil spices, (recommended: Old Bay)
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 ounces fresh crab meat, picked over for bits of shell and patted dry
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, crab boil spice, and garlic in a medium saucepan until smooth; season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Heat the cream cheese mixture over medium-low heat until warm, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the crab, scallions, parsley and lemon juice and warm until heated through, about 1 minute more. Serve immediately.

From foodnetwork.com, Hot Crab Dip

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lemon-Garlic Cauliflower


I'm sure a lot of you have the New Year's resolution to either get on a diet or just eat healthier.  Since I had my son, I've eaten as healthy as possible because I want to have great energy for him and it will also help him form good eating habits.  So here's a recipe to jump start your resolution.
This recipe from Emeril has great garlicky flavor with awesome health benefits. Tons of vitamin C with out a ton of calories from the cauliflower, cancer fitting power from the cauliflower and the garlic, and it's a great anti-inflammatory that will help with those workouts I'm sure you're starting too.
Our family loves cauliflower, so if I can find different ways of making them or finding different foods to marry them with then it'll always be a winner.  A new taste for a household staple.
Super good dish with tons of good garlic.  Enjoy!

LEMON-GARLIC CAULIFLOWER
servings: 6 to 8

5 to 6 cups cauliflower
21 cloves garlic
2 lemons, halved
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano - Reggiano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place cauliflower in a large bowl.  Add garlic.  Squeeze lemon halves over cauliflower and add the juiced halves.  Add salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
Put mixture in casserole dish and cook in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Serve immediately.