Oh, poor little neglected blog, how I have missed you! Last semester was so crazy and so interesting (microbiology!) that I barely had time to procrastinate and since most of my blogging is born out of procrastination, things just kind of stopped around here. Luckily, I have a much easier course load this semester and I have already been accepted to nursing school (yay!), so hopefully things will start looking a little more normal around here…
I made this dip at the beginning of football season to go with some football watching. It was an instant hit in my (play)book and since the season is now only one game away from being over, I guess I better share it before it’s too late (I’m not even going to apologize for those horrible football puns).
Chipotle and ranch are probably two of my favorite flavors. Combining them resulted in what I think is the world’s best dip. This dip is the perfect combination of slightly spicy, tangy and absolutely delicious. I served the dip with some veggies and kettle chips, but I think it would be a great dipping sauce for chicken wings if they are your thing.
1/4 high-quality mayonnaise (I recommend Hollywood Safflower Mayo)
3 Tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
4 green onions, finely chopped and some reserved for garnish
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
1+ canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (add more if you like it spicy!)
In a medium sized bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, ranch mix, almost all the green onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and chipotle. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with veggies or potato chips.
My wonderful mother had this dip at a dinner party a few months ago. She raved about it. I decided to make it for my book club meeting shortly after that and we all raved about it. This dip is fantastic. I served it with veggies and crackers, but I think there are endless possibilities for serving it.
The only minor change I made was upping the number of garlic cloves from one to three, but I’m crazy like that. I made this dip ahead of time and let the flavors get all happy together. I left off the last drizzle of olive oil until serving time. If you do make this dip ahead of time, make sure you give it at least 30 minutes to sit out at room temperature so it is of dip consistency and not a brick of feta.
If you haven’t already be sure to check out my baking set giveaway! You have until July 1 to enter!
Pulse shallot, garlic, and water chestnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse until just combined. Add spinach and chives and pulse until incorporated.
I’ve already discussed my caramelizedonionproblem many times. If you can think of it, I’ve probably come up with a way to put caramelized onions in it. But it’s not my fault, caramelized onions are so delicious. They belong on everything.
This dip can definitely be made the day before since it should chill before serving, but be warned, once you get your first taste, there might not be much left over.
Caramelized Onion Dip
3 large yellow onions, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
4 ounces neufchâtel (reduced fat cream cheese), room temperature
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the onions are soft and beginning to release their juices. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the onions are lightly browned and caramelized. Allow to cool. There will be about 2 cups.
Place the onions in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Remove half of the onions and transfer them to a bowl. To the remaining onions in the food processor, add the onion powder and process until pureed. Add the cream cheese and yogurt and process just until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the bowl and fold into the chopped onions.
Taste and season as needed. Chill for at least 1 hour. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.
This is the easiest appetizer in the world. It’s a welcome twist on your usual sour cream dip. The cheese makes the dip a little more decadent, but the tang of the lemon just helps balance it out perfectly.
Lemon, Pepper and Pecorino Dip (adapted from Real Simple)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Pecorino
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
cracked black pepper
chips and veggies for serving
In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, pecorino, lemon zest, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ to 1 teaspoon cracked pepper. Serve with the potato chips or veggies.
There’s something that makes sweet potato fries that much better than regular fries. But it is quite easy to make bad sweet potato fries. They are soggy and gross and no one likes them, but good sweet potato fries are phenomenal.
The secret to great sweet potato fries is to soak and double fry. When you cut the fries, you have to make sure to soak them in cold water to remove excess starch. Soak them 20 minutes, soak them overnight, just make sure you soak them. Now the next step to achieving the best sweet potato fries, is the double fry, which is covered in the directions below.
The cranberry ketchup is phenomenal. The tangy, tart bite of the cranberries goes so well with the sweet potatoes. I would imagine that with a bit of extra chopping instead of blending, that the cranberry ketchup would make a great Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.
Sweet Potato Fries
Oil for frying
Preheat oven to 200F/95C and line large baking sheets with paper towels.
Peel the sweet potatoes, rinse and cut into fries. When cut, soak in cold water to draw out the starch, at least 20 minutes. Make sure to dry the fries very well and remove as much water as possible.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot (place a popcorn kernel in the oil and when it pops, the oil is hot enough) place the first batch of fries in the oil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the sweet potatoes from oil, drain for a few seconds and place on towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Repeat with the next batch of fries.
Return the original batch of fries to the oil and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until golden and crispy, then remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain for a few seconds and place on towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Place baking sheet in the oven. Repeat until finished with all the batches.
Sprinkle the fries with a bit of kosher salt. Serve while still hot and enjoy!
Cranberry Ketchup (from Cooking Light, Nov. 2011, p. 272)
1 2/3 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Combine cranberries, brown sugar, chopped shallots, cider vinegar, water, salt, and red pepper in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Pour into a blender; process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.
It’s July apparently. If someone could please explain how that happened I would be forever grateful. This past week has been hectic. In this past week I have somehow managed to acquire a ‘job’ and moved to LA, kinda. It’s complicated, it’s just until the end of the year, we’ll have to figure it all out again then, and I’m just going to leave it at that. The best thing to come out of all of this is all of the LA adventures that shall shortly ensue. Get excited.