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Posts Tagged ‘fast’

  1. Dip #2–Farmhouse Cheddar and Tomato Fondue

    July 14, 2011 by admin

    I’m a fan of fondues. I just have to say that up front. There’s just something about that 1970s wholesomeness. It makes me imagine shag carpeting and rooms paneled in wood from wall to ceiling so that you feel like you’re in an oak womb. The sound of corduroy rubbing together. Disco balls. Bad mustaches. Key parties. Unprotected sex while sniffing massive doses of cocaine.

    Uh

    Er

    Okay…so maybe the 70s weren’t exactly wholesome. I don’t know if this dip is wholesome either, but it’s good and comforting.

    THE RECIPE

    This comes from the book “delicious dips”  by Diane Morgan.

     

    Makes 2 ½ cups

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    6 cloves roasted garlic

    2 tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded

    and cut into ¼-inch dice

    1 ½ tablespoons flour

    3 cups shredded white farmhouse

    Cheddar Cheese

    ½ cup dry white wine

     

     THE PROCESS*

    *Stuff in quotes is from the original recipe. The other stuff is my own comments.

    “In a have 4 quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and tomatoes and sauté, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.”

    I don’t have time to roast garlic. (You wrap it in foil and roast it in a 350 oven for like an hour) so I use raw garlic, but less of it. Yeah, it’s probably better with roasted garlic…but that’s a winter time thing. So far so good.

     

    The house is starting to smell pretty amazing. Did you know that tomatoes and cheese both have that hard-to-define quality/taste in it called umami? They do. And it’s why this dip is comfort food galore.

     

    “While the tomatoes are cooking, combine the flour and cheese in a bowl and toss to coat the cheese. Add the wine to the tomato mixtures, stir once, and then add the cheese. Heat and stir until the cheese is completely melted. ”

    I toss in the wine, and pour a glass for myself. You know, this dip would probably also be equally good with beer, and I don’t even like beer. But beer gives it that good-old-pub feeling.

    Anyway. I throw the cheese in. You’re supposed to do it a handful at a time, but that’s just too high maintenance. I throw all the cheese in except for one handful which goes in my mouth. (We didn’t know what “Farmhouse” cheese was so we bought Irish cheddar, thinking that Ireland must have farms.)

    Then I stir. It occurs to me just how fast this dip comes together once you have the ingredients prepped. It’s fast. Super fast. I should make a note of that.

    THE VERDICT

    “Transfer to a fondue pot set over an alcohol or sterno flame to keep it warm. Serve immediately.”

    My fondue pot is somewhere in the basement, plus it’s just me and Kealoha eating it, so I save the fondue pot for another time. We dig right in.

    It’s creamy, cheesey, gooey, warm, hint of garlic, wine and salt. Oh, it’s a balance of yummy heart-attack flavors. Yay! It’s melted cheese, for God’s sake. And it is all I expected it to be.

    This dip is perfect for a winter party. I’m not sure I recommend it for summertime. It just really calls for a crackling fire and bad holiday sweaters. It’s rich so you don’t want to eat a ton of it. This is best for a party with a lot of other options. It is addictive.

    I’m giving it 3 out of 5 pretzels, simply because you can’t eat a ton of it even if you want to.

    THE DUNKABLES

    Pretzels would be ideal. We use bread and bagel chips. If you’re going old-school fondue then cube the bread and have little forks to impale your food with. You could dip veggies in here too. Probably meat too. Shoot, slather it on a sandwich and add some bacon and you’ll probably go straight to heaven. Literally. It will kill you with its goodness.


  2. Dip #1–Avocado Dip

    July 10, 2011 by admin

    I wanted to kick this off right by using a vintage cookbook that my fiance (let’s call him Kealoha) gave to me. He has a box of vintage mini-cookbooks from his mom. For some reason, several of them are about lamb, though Kealoha says he doesn’t recall ever eating lamb as a kid.

    Anyway, tucked in this box was a fantastic little handbook from the makers of Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

     

    I love vintage cookbooks especially when they’re about a specific product. I actually found a recipe for A-1 Steak Sauce that was like A-1 Steak Sauce poured over canned ham and served with a green olive. This was fast food for the 1950s housewife: open a can, pour over a condiment and there you go. Eat up. Oh, and pour another Manhattan.

    This dip seemed appealing because there was very little effort involved, and also because I had a sack of avocados I needed to use.

    THE RECIPE

    Philly Avocado Dip

    1 cup mashed avocado

    1 8-oz package Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese

    3 tablespoons lemon juice

    1 teaspoon finely chopped onion

    1 teaspoon salt

    Dash of Worcestershire sauce

     

     THE PROCESS

    This was a surprisingly easy recipe since it requires no cooking. Mostly you just mash stuff. I didn’t even bring the cheese to room temperature. Nope. I just twisted open that avocado (once I cut around it), mashed about 2 avocados in a bowl with a fork, then added the avocados and the rest of the ingredients into my Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment and blended.

    I didn’t have regular onion on hand so I used some purple onion, and ended up liking the color.

    After the dip was done, I kept looking for something else to do. I was done, so I just drank some wine.

    THE VERDICT

    It’s a great dip! Easy. And it’s perfect right after you make it, or refrigerate it and let the flavors meld. It’s creamy with a little of the wonderful 1950s spice AKA Worcestershire sauce. It’s a great green color, but it could use something else. Maybe top it with some pretty chopped tomatoes.

     

    DUNKERS

    We tried a variety of things, but we liked potato chips and snow peas from our garden the best. It would be great with blue corn tortilla chips, pita, or other veggies.  It’s easy. It’s green. It’s got cheese in it. It doesn’t turn all brown while it sits there on the buffet table. (We know. We stared at it for more than an hour. No brown!) What more could you ask?

    All in all, this dip gets 4 pretzels out of 5.