Saturday, January 30, 2016

Football Food (part 2)

Go Broncos!!  While we'll be out of town to watch Super Bowl 50 (isn't it weird the NFL dropped the Roman Numerals or am I the only one who notices such things?), I still have some ideas about your football food!  Last post was about a main dish idea but this is a new appetizer.  My friend Lisa makes this tomato feta dip and I've enjoyed it at some of our parties before, but this was my first time making it.  It went great with pita chips and veggies.  I think it would be a good addition to any greek / mediterranean menu or to your football snack repertoire.

Tomato Feta Dip

Dice three tomatoes and mix together with 4 thinly sliced green onions, and 8 ounces of crumbled feta cheese.  Add some Greek seasoning to taste (I have the "Cavender's" kind).  Stir it all together and drizzle with about 1/4 cup of olive oil, folding gently together.  Serve with pita chips or crackers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Football food!

How about them Broncos?  We had a great time with friends watching the Broncos victory over the Steelers last weekend and we have two more great football weekends left in the season.  If you need some food ideas for the big game, these mini french dip crescents are something new I made that turned out great.  In fact, they were pretty addicting and I think this sums up what happened to me as I watched the game:

I don't usually think of making french dip at home and what I liked here was using deli roast beef and making the simple au jus instead of a big roast and the au jus with the pan drippings.  I bought the horseradish sauce in the deli area at Vons but if you can't find it easily, I think a spicy mustard would be a good substitution.  You could also use a thinly sliced swiss cheese instead of provolone.  My husband's only critique was that the Pillsbury Crescent dough is a bit sweet and that something like phyllo or pie dough might be better.  I'll post an update if I give that a try.

Mini French Dip Crescents with Easy Au Jus (8 servings)
(recipe from Mama Loves Food blog)

2 T olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2.5 cups beef broth
1 T worcestershire sauce
freshly ground pepper

2 packages crescent rolls (8 count)
1 lb deli roast beef, thinly sliced
1/2 lb deli provolone cheese, thinly sliced
Horseradish sauce

Start by making the au jus - saute the red onion in olive oil until soft and slightly browned.  Add the garlic cloves and saute another minute more.  Pour a little bit of beef broth (1/4 cup or so) in the pan and deglaze.  Add the rest of the beef broth, the worcestershire sauce, and a couple grinds of pepper and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain and return to the pan.  I left it off the heat while I baked the crescents and then heated it back up to serve.  You could also make it ahead and refrigerate it until you're ready to heat and serve.  I used the little dishes that are for soy sauce when we have sushi to serve the au jus on the side.

To make the crescents, unroll the crescents on a large lined cookie sheet (silpat, foil or parchment paper).  Spread 1-2 tsp. or horseradish on each crescent and lay one slice of roast beef and a half slice of provolone on top of the crescent.  Roll the crescents starting with the wide end and ending at the narrow end.

Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes, until crescents are lightly browned and cheese is melty.  Serve warm with au jus.  (makes 16 total).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spicy Soup

Happy New Year!  I'm looking forward to trying new recipes and feeding my family in 2016.  We started out the year with this nurturing spicy soup. Eating lentils on New Year's Day is a tradition thought to bring good luck in the new year in several cultures.  You can adjust the spiciness to your liking so don't be scared off!  And, definitely don't skip the lemon and cilantro at the end.  It's delicious!

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon (makes about 6 cups)

3 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T tomato paste
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch of ground chile powder or ground cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
3 T chopped fresh cilantro

In a large pot, heat 3 T oil over high heat until hot and shimmering.  Add onion and garlic and salute until golden, 4 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper, and chili powder or cayenne (I used a bit of both) and saute for 2 minutes longer.

Add broth, water, lentils, and carrot and bring to a boil.  Give it a good stir, cover the pot, and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.  Test and see if the carrot and lentils are soft.  When they are, taste and adjust the salt and cayenne pepper (I like it spicy!).  

Using a traditional blender or an immersion blender, blend about half of the soup so that it's slightly chunky still.  If you like it smooth, you can blend all of it.  Reheat soup if necessary then stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.  Serve soup drizzled with a little olive oil.