Tag Archives: Appetizer

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso #SundaySupper

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Welcome to #SundaySupper, where our wonderful theme this week is… Football Food!!! Very near and dear to my heart – in fact, I happily watched Houston beat OU yesterday, woohoo! (I hate OU. It’s a Texas thing).

Anywho, when I think of football food, a spicy, Tex-Mex-y, cheesy dip is pretty much the ONLY thing that comes to mind. Growing up in Texas, obviously football was huge, there was always a game on every weekend, and to my young, impressionable mind, it was like queso = watching football in the den. Period. So, of course I have to make a queso for today’s Sunday Supper, right?

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

This particular queso is amazing, addictive, awesome, and incredibly spicy as written. You start by roasting jalapenos at a very high oven heat (recipe instructs roasting at 500 F, but if that makes your smoke alarm go off too, you can totally roast them at 450 F with no problems). Then you brown lovely, fatty, flavorful chorizo in a cast-iron skillet, add some onion, then you add the roasted jalapenos, some canned diced tomatoes and melty processed cheese product (no real cheese here, people. It just won’t do.) Once the “cheese” is melted (ha! Sorry!) you dice up an entire fresh jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all, and add it to the queso once you’ve turned off the heat. Yeah, it’s freakin’ spicy! But sooooo delicious. And if you want, you can totally leave off that last step with the fresh chile to tame the spice level. It’ll still be amazing!

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Enjoy this perfect football-watching queso dip! And be sure you check out the rest of my Sunday Supper crew!

Source: slightly adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

Ingredients:
6 large jalapenos, divided
1 tbs olive oil
½ lb. fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
¾ cup diced onion
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, with juices
1 lb. processed cheese product, such as Velveeta
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:
Preheat your oven as high as it will go without angering your smoke detector – up to 500 F but 450 F is fine too.
Halve and seed 5 of the jalapenos. Toss with olive oil in a bowl to coat, then arrange on a small, foil-lined baking sheet, skin-side up. Roast until blistering and getting dark, about 15 minutes. Cool until you can handle them, then thinly slice or chop, discarding the stems. Set aside. Finely mince the remaining raw jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all. Set aside.
In a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet* cook the chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until browned and no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, with their juices, and the roasted jalapenos. Then add the Velveeta. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until the “cheese” melts, 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the raw jalapeno and stir until mixture is perfectly smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.
*I made this twice, once using a 12” skillet and the other time using a 10” skillet. It really doesn’t matter which one you use. The 12” is easier during the cooking process (more room) but the queso cools much faster this way after you serve it. With the 10” you have to be more careful while you stir during cooking (less space) but it’s better for serving. Your choice.

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

I think that in addition to having a lot going on this summer, one of my other lame excuses for not blogging much has been writer’s block. Like I said, lame. Every professional writer (of which I am certainly not) seems to give the same advice for curing writer’s block: just sit down and write. So, I shall finally take that long-overdue advice to make this post happen at long last!

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

The words aren’t coming to me in any entertaining or sophisticated fashion, but you really need these spareribs in your life. They’re so cute and little! Summers are for pool parties, and these would be perfect to set out at an adults-only one, particularly if said shindig involves copious amounts of bourbon and/or a quasi-legal inhalable substance. Strong Asian flavors and a touch of heat, and it’s really tough to stop eating them. Tender with just the right amount of chew. Utterly delicious. I’ll let the recipe speak for itself. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Spareribs with Chile and Lemongrass

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie

Ingredients:
3 ½ lbs. Asian-style (flanken) pork spareribs*
2 tsp kosher salt
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
3 Thai bird chiles
¼ red onion, stem and roots trimmed, cut into chunks
2 tbs sugar
2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and rough-chopped
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
1 lime
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

*Basically flanken spareribs are cut horizontally into thirds; have your butcher do it

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Place a broiler pan or cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet (it must be rimmed). Grease the cooling rack with cooking spray. Season the ribs with 1 tsp salt and place on the cooling rack. Add a ¼-inch depth of boiling water to the baking pan, then wrap the ribs with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook until the ribs are pull-apart tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Basically, yes, you’re steaming the ribs.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, lemongrass, chiles, onions, and ginger, and process 30 seconds, until well chopped. Add the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and the remaining 1 tsp salt. Continue to process until a coarse paste is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.

Adjust the rack in the oven to the highest setting and preheat the broiler to HIGH.
Remove the ribs temporarily and pour off the water in the baking sheet. If you don’t do this, the ribs won’t crisp up properly. Arrange the ribs, meat side up, on the rack and smear with some of the paste. Broil the ribs until nicely caramelized, 5 minutes. Flip them, smear the other side with some paste and broil on the bone side for 3 minutes. Flip them again, smear with the remaining paste, and broil a final time to get them nice and crispy on the meat side, about 2 more minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into single-bone pieces. Squeeze the lime onto the ribs and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce #SundaySupper

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Welcome to a Meatballs-themed Sunday Supper!!! So much fun, so many possibilities of what to cook – I debated for a while but decided I wanted to showcase some seafood meatballs.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

So this is crab cakes meets meatballs in a delicious little appetizer that will likely remind you of being at the beach. If that sounds perfect to you, then you’re in good company. Bread-y seafood liberally dunked in tangy, creamy tartar sauce always wins in my book!

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

You may notice I do not call for salt in the meatballs – that is not a typo. Much of the binder is crushed kettle potato chips, and they provide plenty of salt already. As written, this may or may not provide an excess of tartar sauce, depending on your tastes and dipping style. I toss shredded green cabbage in my leftover sauce to make a very fast and quite tasty impromptu coleslaw.

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce

Enjoy! And be sure you check out the meatball offerings of my Sunday Supper crew!

Sources: meatballs from The Meatball Shop Cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow; tartar sauce from 20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:

TARTAR SAUCE:
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped cornichons
2 tbs minced shallots
2 tbs minced green onion tops
1 tbs finely chopped capers
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp Creole mustard or other spicy mustard
½ tsp Louisiana style hot sauce
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp dried basil
Small pinch of kosher salt

MEATBALLS:
Olive oil, for coating the baking dish
1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat, picked over for shells
1 ½ cups crushed kettle-cooked potato chips
½ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tbs Old Bay seasoning
Juice from ½ a lemon

Directions:
First make the TARTAR SAUCE by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed. Ideally, make this about 30 minutes ahead of time so the flavors have a little time to marry together.
To make the MEATBALLS, preheat your oven to 450 F. Drizzle enough olive oil to coat a 9×13” baking dish and use your hand, a paper towel, or a pastry brush to brush the olive oil over the entire surface. Set aside.
Combine the crab meat, potato chips, mayonnaise, egg, bread crumbs, Old Bay, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into ¾-inch balls, making sure to pack the mixture firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, lining them up snugly in rows. Roast for 10-12 minutes, until the meatballs are firm and golden on top. Allow the dish to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Meatball Appetizers:

Meatball Soups:

Main Dish Meatballs:

Meatball Desserts:

Plus Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and More Amazing Meatball Recipes  from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Broccoflower Cheese Tartlets

Broccoflower Cheese Tartlets

The past few years, as I’ve paid more attention to the seasonality of produce and followed several farmers’ markets on social media, the oddly beautiful yet somewhat alien-looking winter vegetable known as broccoflower, or sometimes Romanesco, has caught my eye.

Broccoflower Cheese Tartlets

This year, I saw some and impulsively decided to try it for the first time. This veggie is a hybrid (love child) of broccoli and cauliflower, and frankly, I think it tastes better than either of its “parents”. I know broccoflower isn’t all that common and has a very short season, but could we please, please have more of it?? It’s so good!

broccoflower

broccoflower

The texture is slightly softer than broccoli or cauliflower, and it lacks the bitterness of broccoli. It has an almost-sweet background note that is very tasty and pleasant. When cooked, the texture was soft but still with a nice bite to it. Matt and I were extremely pleased with my impulsive purchase, and kept raving over these little tartlets with each new bite. I hogged all the leftovers for myself, I’m afraid to say. I regret nothing.

Broccoflower Cheese Tartlets

These tartlets would be perfect for setting out at a cocktail party, but I can also say with some authority that they work just fine for dinner alongside a side salad. If you can get your hands on some broccoflower, don’t hesitate to pick it up. Enjoy!

Broccoflower Cheese Tartlets

Source: A Lot on Her Plate by Rosie Birkett

Ingredients:
Uncooked pie dough for a one-crust pie
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 broccoflower (also called Romanesco cauliflower), cut into little florets, stalk discarded
3 large eggs
1 generous cup (5-6 oz.) shredded Gruyere cheese
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tbs heavy cream
6 tbs whole milk
Pinch of crushed red chile flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
Roll out the pie dough until it is ½-inch thick. Cut out rounds slightly bigger than the holes in the muffin tin. Line each hole with the pastry rounds so that it’s level with, or even slightly sticking out from, the top of each hole. If you need to patch the bottoms or sides with the scraps, that’s fine. No one will see it.
Chill the pastry for 15 minutes, then use a fork to prick the base of each. Line with pieces of parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Blind bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment paper and dried beans/pie weights. Let cool while you make the filling.
Blanch the broccoflower florets in salted boiling water until they turn bright green – barely 1 minute. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and drain.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the cheeses, cream, milk, and chile flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then whisk to combine. Divide the filling between the cooled pastry cups, leaving about ½ an inch from the top.
Arrange the broccoflower in the filling and grate over a little more Parmesan. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the custard is set and the pastry is golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

Pigs in Jalapeno-Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

Pigs in Jalapeno Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

My obsession with pigs in a blanket, that ubiquitous, classic and a-little-bit-trashy party food, has quite the long history. I literally can’t remember ever not going gaga over these little treats. Fortunately for me, they showed up often enough: Super Bowl parties, sometimes at Family Christmas, birthday parties…

Pigs in Jalapeno Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

Since Matt and I cut out (most!) processed food from our diet, I’ve been missing my pigs for quite a long time. They are usually made with canned croissant dough, and since I switched to making all dough (except puff pastry) from scratch, they just haven’t made an appearance.

pigs in jalapeno cheddar blankets with jalapeno mustard dipping sauce

Thus, the reason why excited really doesn’t begin to describe my feelings upon finding a version of pigs in a blanket in Lisa Fain’s most recent book where the dough is made entirely from scratch!! Giddy though I was, I sort of made the knee-jerk assumption that the dough would be complicated. Turns out, nope! I was totally wrong on that one. This dough couldn’t be easier – a first-grader could probably do it – and it’s incredibly tasty.

Pigs in Jalapeno-Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

This recipe has a bit of a Tex-Mex spin what with the jalapenos and cheddar, but I’d encourage everyone to take this method and really adapt it to your own tastes. Since my taste buds love Tex-Mex, I left it as is, but my brain began spinning with all the different flavor profiles you could do here. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have this little trick up my sleeve now, and it should definitely be in your arsenal too! Enjoy!

Pigs in Jalapeno Cheddar Blankets with Jalapeno Mustard Dipping Sauce

Source: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:

DOUGH:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp cayenne
½ cup (2 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced

32 cocktail size hot dogs

DIPPING SAUCE:
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup prepared yellow mustard
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:
First make the DOUGH: using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, mix together the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the flour, salt, cayenne, cheddar, and jalapeno until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough in half, shape each piece into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Either lightly grease or line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll one of the dough halves in an 11-inch circle. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the circle into 16 equal-sized wedges, like slicing a pie. It does not matter one bit if the edges of the circle are jagged, as long as each wedge is about the same size.
To assemble the pigs, gently lift one of the dough triangles, and starting at the wider end opposite the point, roll the dough around one of the cocktail hot dogs. Place the blanketed pig on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough triangles. Now repeat this whole process with the second disc of dough.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.
While the pigs are baking, make the DIPPING SAUCE. In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, and cumin. Add salt to taste and chill until serving.
Serve the pigs warm with the dipping sauce.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Welcome to another Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! This month I was assigned The Kitchen Witch, a lovely food blog run by Rhonda. Rhonda is a beautiful straight-shooter, motorcycle-riding gal who has “retired” to Montana from a distinguished military career. She’s also a wife, mom, grandma, dog mom, professional photographer, freelance writer, and a master gardener. When do you sleep, Rhonda??!

spiced saltine crackers

spiced saltine crackers

I’ve been craving dips lately, and fortunately Rhonda’s blog can easily come to my rescue, offering tempting goodness like Garam Masala and Preserved Lemon Hummus, and Green Onion and Dill Dip. But, seeing as I have an extreme weakness for creamy seafood dips, yet for some strange reason have never shared one on the blog, my decision became an easy one.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

I was quite impressed with this family recipe of Rhonda’s. Quite. The saltines are what makes the whole thing, but not to neglect the shrimp dip – it was everything you want it to be. Crab would make a lovely substitute too, I think. I have to admit, I didn’t let the crackers sit in their little bath as long as the recipe instructs – I was too impatient and running short on time, but I did marinate them for about 5 hours, and it was perfectly delicious that way.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

Be sure you check out The Kitchen Witch! And please do try this recipe, it’s a wonderful little appetizer.

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Elevated Saltines

{One Year Ago: Salade-aux-Lardons Pizza; Steakhouse Pizza; Hamburger and Onion Bread Pizza; Roast Leg of Lamb with Parsley-Walnut Pesto}
{Two Years Ago: Glazed Donut Muffins; Caramelized Onion, Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza; Red Kidney Bean Curry; Three Cheese Beer Bread; Battered and Fried Merguez Sausages}

Source: slightly adapted from The Kitchen Witch (both the Dip and the Saltines)

Ingredients:

SALTINES:
1 1/3 cup canola oil
1 pkg Ranch mix
3 tsp crushed red pepper
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp dried thyme
3 sleeves saltine crackers

DIP:
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8 oz sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 green onions
2 (4 oz) cans tiny shrimp, drained and rinsed well
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
First make the crackers. In a medium bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, combine the oil, Ranch seasoning mix, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Whisk thoroughly and make sure it’s well combined. Arrange the saltines, standing up domino style, in a baking dish or a food storage container that will fit them in snugly. Pour the oil and spice mixture over all. Close the container with a tight-fitting lid and store at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 24 hours. If you can, flip the crackers halfway through (though I must confess to skipping this step and it was fine).
Just before you plan to serve, make the dip. Add the cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice to the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed (that lemon juice can really splatter!) until the mixture is smooth. Add the green onions and shrimp and mix about 1 minute more on medium low to medium speed. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately with the saltines.


Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Around six or so years ago, Matt and I decided to embrace seasonal eating. We were convinced of all the compelling yet, well, preachy arguments in favor of it, like reducing carbon footprints and all that, but I think my favorite part about it is admittedly quite self-serving: in-season produce just plain tastes better and is more pleasurable to eat.

Like asparagus. Years ago, I mistakenly thought asparagus could and should be eaten year-round, so I did just that – solely for the health benefits – and for years I found it to be mostly bitter and soggy. Let’s just say that asparagus and I turned our relationship right around when I discovered that duh, if you only eat it in the spring when it’s locally grown and in-season, it tastes kind of amazing! What a concept, right?

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Since we now eschew it at least eight months out of the year, when it is in its tasty prime I go a little nuts with it, cooking and eating as much as I can before it goes back to its sad, flaccid, not-in-season-anymore state. And I must admit, I’m generally not terribly creative with it. I find that it serves as a perfect side dish for any number of proteins, and all it needs it a roast in the oven, or a trip to the grill or a hot sauté pan. Some salt and black pepper and a small pat of butter.

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

I wouldn’t blog such unoriginality though – I didn’t tell anyone anything they didn’t already know. Instead, I do make sure some of my asparagus cooking is less mundane, and this one I’m happy to share with you. I’ve always found salmon and asparagus to be a perfect pairing whenever possible, and apparently I’m not alone. Ottolenghi. The guy knows what he’s doing. This is beautiful. Enjoy!

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

I made this recipe twice, the first time with fat asparagus and the second time with the pencil-thin stalks. With the fat version, I used a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus stalks, then tossed them with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. The thin asparagus version is written below, which is basically blanching the asparagus quickly in salted water, then tossing in a bowl with the same salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil and splash of lemon juice.

{One Year Ago: Pork Neck Bone Stew; Nocello-Spiked Carrot Cupcakes; Vegan Carrot Soup; Carrot Pie; Whiskey Glazed Carrots; Carrot Cake Pancakes; Banana Chocolate Whoopie Pies; Crispy Cornmeal Waffles with Spinach Queso Sauce; Joanne Chang’s Perfect Waffles with a Lemony Twist; Fudge Chocolate Waffles; Chicken and Waffles for Two}
{Two Years Ago: Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Ice Cream; “Old Fashioned” Snickerdoodles; Greek Salad with Chickpeas; Meatless Muffulettas; Easy Adobo Chicken; Malted Waffles; Chicken Pot Pie}

Source: slightly adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
Olive oil
12 oz. slab of salmon fillet, skin on
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
4 juniper berries
½ cup rose wine, or another light red wine of your choice
1 lemon, halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced thickly
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled but not smashed, cut in half lengthwise
5 oz. pencil-thin asparagus spears
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
Lemon wedges, or torn parsley, or torn chervil for garnish, if desired

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Drizzle a small (8×8”) baking dish with olive oil. Place the salmon skin side down in the dish, then add the bay leaves and juniper berries. Pour the wine over the salmon, then squeeze half the lemon over the salmon as well. Sprinkle the flesh of the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the salmon flakes with a fork but is still a little pink in the center. Remove the foil and let cool – not all the way to room temperature, but you definitely want it warm, not hot.
Meanwhile, lay the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil if desired, then toast in the oven about 10 minutes. While they are still hot, rub the bread slices with the cut side of the garlic. Let the bread cool down a little bit too.
Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus, then cut into roughly 2-inch lengths. Drop those lengths into boiling salted water and blanch for about 1 minute. Drain in a colander and run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer the asparagus pieces to a small bowl and hit them with a splash of lemon juice and a small drizzle of olive oil. Toss to combine.
When the salmon has cooled enough, flake it into nice chunks with your hands and spread it out on a plate.
Spread the toasts liberally with the cream cheese. Place some salmon chunks on top, then arrange a few asparagus pieces on top of the salmon. Finish with a grind of black pepper, and you can garnish with chopped herbs or serve with lemon wedges if you like.

Lobster Bruschetta #SundaySupper

Lobster Bruschetta

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Today we bring you a theme of Red Carpet Party, in honor of the Academy Awards airing tonight! This event happens once a year, is undoubtedly a bigger deal to some than others, but it can be seen as a very fun excuse to gather with friends and eat fancy, elegant food. And you know, my friends, they would *never* do this, but I’ve heard that *some* groups of friends might well, be catty and pass harsh judgment upon *critique* some of the fashions strutting up and down the red carpet, and maybe even have a money pool and get really competitive over who picked the most winners. See, it can be extremely fun! (From what I’ve heard, nudge nudge wink wink).

Lobster Bruschetta

But, everyone over at #SundaySupper agrees, you need some fancy-pants food to get the party started right. So I’m doing my part with this amazing Lobster Bruschetta. This is sort of a play on a lobster roll, but more sophisticated and a touch spicier from those serrano chiles. I seeded my chiles, and the heat level was surprisingly mild – so if you want some real heat, I’d highly suggest leaving those seeds in! The flavor is so delicious, with sweet tender chunks of lobster meat nestled in creamy mayonnaise and there’s a pop of fresh herbs in every bite.

lobster bruschetta

Tonight it’s just me and Matt watching the Oscars. We’ll likely have a contest between ourselves on who can pick the most winners. And then we’ll reminisce about taking a little weekend getaway to Los Angeles a few years ago, where we strolled down Hollywood Blvd, mostly to say we’d seen it, but we did stop at Kodak Theater and seriously could not believe how small it was!!! There seem to be some insane camera tricks involved when they air the show, because the red carpet looks so much grander on television than in person. So I’m sure we’ll make jokes about that. 🙂

Lobster Bruschetta

Everyone enjoy this elegant little appetizer! Your guests will be very impressed; and shrimp could easily be subbed in for the lobster if you want. It will still be quite delicious! Oh, and make sure you check out the Red Carpet Party the rest of my Sunday Supper group is throwing, it’s sure to be incredible and fit for the occasion. Enjoy!

Lobster Bruschetta

{One Year Ago: Margarita Meringue Pie}
{Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Fritters; Sloppy Joe Pot Pie}

Source: Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet by Padma Lakshmi

Ingredients:
8 (1 inch) slices of crusty sourdough bread, grilled or toasted on both sides with a generous amount of olive oil
2 large ribs of celery, finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh chives
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
2 tbs good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
About 1 lb. cooked lobster meat, cut into chunks

Directions:
Place the grilled bread slices on a platter.
In a large bowl, combine the celery, chives, parsley, chiles, mayonnaise, olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Whisk or stir to combine and work out any lumps the mayonnaise may have to offer. Now add the lobster meat and gently fold in until combined.
Top each bread slice with 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the lobster mixture. You can of course garnish with either chives or parsley, but I found it wasn’t necessary, for taste or looks. Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:

Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:

Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:

Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:

Nominees for Best Dressed Table:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips #SundaySupper

parmesan pistachio kale chips

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week is Heart Healthy – in the middle of February, which is Heart Healthy Month. (Very apropos!) We’re doing our part to spread awareness and reminders of the benefits of incorporating heart healthy practices into our lifestyles.

But what exactly does heart healthy even mean? These days, it’s hard to know for sure. The prevailing wisdom dictates eating a low-saturated-fat diet and getting enough exercise, and lowering cholesterol. But the data coming in is indicating that maybe this is not the key to decreasing and preventing the American epidemic of heart disease. Many scientists are now reporting that sugar and refined carbohydrates may be the real culprit, and that saturated fat is just fine in moderation.

Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips

The results seem to be inconclusive at this point. But it’s interesting to note that Dr. Ancel Keys, the scientist who got this whole low-fat-equals-heart-healthy trend started with his Seven Countries Study is widely believed to have cherry-picked his data. Oops. BIG no-no there. And did you also know that, according to renowned Harvard researcher Steven Pinker, this “prevailing wisdom” from a purportedly flawed study has been used by some animal rights activists to help further their cause of advocating widespread vegetarianism as a way to end factory farming and animal cruelty? While I’m as against factory farming and animal cruelty as anyone, and I absolutely laud the intentions of the animal rights revolution, I say this to demonstrate the ubiquity of this so-called common wisdom, that it’s coming at us from more than one source, and not all those sources are concerned with our heart health. The more a line is repeated, the more it seems obvious and self-evidently true, even if maybe it’s not.

Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips

I think the jury may be still out, but the old verdict is seriously in question. So that left me pondering what to make for today’s theme. I decided to go for something settled and non-controversial. Even if we someday find out conclusively that saturated fats are just fine, that certainly won’t invalidate the health benefits of fresh vegetables, particularly dark greens. I think everyone can agree that vegetables are an important part of a healthy lifestyle, including for the health of our hearts.

Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips

So I made you kale chips! Kale chips that are baked, not fried, and that are flavored with pistachios – again, not at all disputed that nuts are good for you – and a touch of parmesan cheese. Parmesan is a lower-fat cheese and is usually a garnish, not a main ingredient, as it is here.

I’m sort of in love with these things! They are super crunchy, flavorful, nutty, and completely guilt-free! This is probably the most perfect afternoon snack I’ve made yet!

parmesan pistachio kale chips

I hope y’all enjoy them, and definitely check out the Heart Healthy recipes my Sunday Supper peeps are sharing today!

{One Year Ago: Soy-Ginger Salmon over Asian Veggie Noodles; Anchovy Pasta Carbonara; Freeform Crawfish Ravioli}
{Two Years Ago: Malted Chocolate Ice CreamPimento Cheese SpreadCuban Black Bean Soup}

Source: slightly adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Ingredients:
1/3 cup roasted salted pistachios
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
2 small heads of lacinato, or dinosaur kale, each leaf chopped into thirds, bottom third with the thickest part of the stem discarded or saved for another use
2 tbs olive oil

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
Add the pistachios to a food processor and pulse until the nuts are in fine crumbs. It’s fine if there are a few slightly larger pieces. Keep this on the pulse setting as you do NOT want to make nut butter.
Pour the pistachios into a small bowl and use your fingers to thoroughly combine them with the cheese.
Add the kale pieces to a very large bowl. Pour the olive oil over the top and use your hands to toss the kale and massage the oil into the leaves. Once the kale is evenly coated with the oil, lay the pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the pistachio mixture evenly over the top of the kale, pressing it to adhere if necessary. Bake the kale 15 minutes, until crispy but not browned.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely, and then leftovers can be stored in an airtight food storage container.
Note: I’m sure you could also make this recipe with curly kale, but I haven’t tried it.

Better for you breakfasts:

Jump start your health with these appetizers and snacks:

Soups that’ll win your heart:

Veggies, Sides, & Salads your heart will thank you for:

Healthy is the center of attention in these main courses:

Staying healthy doesn’t mean giving up desserts!

We heart wine.

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Bacon Guacamole

bacon guacamole

Ah, guacamole. A snack/appetizer from Mexico that will likely never lose its status as beloved, revered even. However, I’ve noticed that guacamole lovers fall into one of two fairly polarizing camps: the Guacamole Purists, and the Guacamole Adventurers.

The Purists want to keep guacamole in its original form. The avocado mashed with citrus juice, chile, onion, garlic, cilantro, maybe tomato, and salt. Lots of salt. The Adventurers are willing to have add-ins in their guacamole. The most common things I’ve seen are mango, shrimp, chipotle, and the like; on the less typical side I’ve seen things as out there as apple and smoked salmon.

Bacon Guacamole

I am firmly in the Purists camp. I have always held, no clung to, the belief that good, made-from-scratch guacamole is perfect as it is and needs no embellishment, and in fact that said embellishments might overall detract from the wonder that is guacamole.

Bacon Guacamole

And then, my parents gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas, and I used it to purchase Richard Sandoval’s new cookbook, New Latin Flavors (thank you Mom and Dad!). And what do I see but a recipe for Bacon Guacamole! Well, y’all know how I feel about bacon. And it’s not like avocados and bacon are strangers in the realm outside of guacamole, either.

Bacon Guacamole

So I decided to take a personal day from being such an uptight Purist and give it a shot. I was definitely impressed! The bacon didn’t clash or detract from the guacamole, and it was actually quite tasty to get the contrast of the crunchy, salty bacon with the creamy avocado. While I highly doubt I’ll be chasing after smoked salmon guacamole anytime soon, I thoroughly enjoyed this bacon version, and I would eat it again in a heartbeat! Enjoy!

Bacon Guacamole

Source: adapted from Richard Sandoval’s New Latin Flavors by Richard Sandoval

Ingredients:
¼ small red onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 generous tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt, to taste
2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
A few spoonfuls (about 3 tbs) pickled jalapeno juice
1 pickled jalapeno, stemmed and chopped
3-4 slices of bacon, cooked until very crispy and chopped or crumbled
2-3 tbs crumbled Cotija cheese
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:
Add the red onion, garlic, serrano and cilantro to your molcajete. Add a nice pinch of kosher salt. Mash the mixture against the side and bottoms of the molcajete, releasing their juices. Add the avocado chunks and spoon the pickled jalapeno juice over the avocado. Use a fork to mash the avocado. Now fold in the pickled jalapeno, bacon, and Cotija, leaving a little bit for garnish. Taste again for seasoning and add more salt or acid as desired. Sprinkle a touch of bacon bits and Cotija on top for garnish. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.