Party Ideas

Party Ideas

Roasted Corn Salsa

Fresh salsa always reminds me of summer.  This is one of my favorites to use.  The roasted corn and fresh ingredients in this salsa makes it unbeatable.  This recipe takes a lot of time if you want to do it right (believe me, the addition of roasted corn is well worth the wait) but if you can’t find fresh corn or don’t have the time to roast it, frozen corn will work in a pinch.

This salsa is super versatile.  You can use it as a dip an appetizer with tortilla chips, or as an accompaniment to a Southwestern dish, or a condiment for your fish tacos.  Get creative!

On a side note, I’ve found that using any type of chopper or food processor can make for a soupy salsa.  I prefer a chunky salsa and hand chop all of my vegetables.

Roasted Corn Salsa

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6 small portions

Ingredients

  • 4 roasted ears of corn, freshest you can find
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 6 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • 1 or 2 fresh avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Diced fresh mango or strawberries (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak the corn with the husk in salt-free water for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat your grill, about 45 minutes, and place the cobs of corn (still in the husk) on the grill about 8 inches from the heat. The ears will blacken and the silks will brown. You can also roast the corn in your oven at 350 degrees F. Let the corn cook for 1.5 - 2 hours, turning from time to time. After 1.5 hours, peel back the husk on one ear. If the silk pulls away from the kernels and the kernels feels soft to the touch, then the ears are ready to eat.
  3. Husk the corn cobs and let cool. Roll in butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and chili powder (if you're feeling frisky). Using a large knife, slice down the cobs of corn to remove the kernels.
  4. Place the corn kernels in a bowl with the tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, garlic, avocado and basil or cilantro. Add the olive oil and lime juice and toss well to mix.

Notes

This salsa is great for parties or pot lucks and keeps well overnight in the fridge. Add diced fruits to this salsa, especially in the middle of a hot summer. Mango and strawberry are my favorites.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/roasted-corn-salsa/

Recipe adapted from Great Salsa

Image courtesy of Recipes for Salsa

I Can’t Believe It’s Turkey Chili!

To me, chili represents one of two things: chilly winter nights and football season.  Things are cooling off here in Colorado, and it felt about time to try my first chili recipe of the season.  Trinity, a very dear friend of mine,  came up with a brilliant idea of a chili cook-off.   She unfortunately lives 16 hours away, so we instead made our chili dishes remotely using our webcams.  We had a few choppy technical difficulties, but overall I think our chili-cook off was a success!   Although we couldn’t try each other’s chili submissions, I am standing firm on the fact that my chili was the best.

[smiles]

If you have never made chili before, try not to be too intimidated by the amount of ingredients a good chili recipe calls for.  Each ingredient plays its part in creating a masterful bowl of chili, but keep in mind that you can play with spices here and there.  Be sure to taste the chili often while you’re seasoning and customize it to your own likes and dislikes.

I especially like this recipe because it is lower in fat content than a lot of chili recipes (I can justify loading on the sour cream), and you won’t even miss the flavor of beef.  The seasonings alone do a good job of masking the fact that this is turkey meat and not ground beef and with the addition of the Worcestershire sauce, you’ll never miss it.

The Best Turkey Chili!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yields: 6-8 Servings

Serving Size: 1 Bowl

The Best Turkey Chili!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • chili powder, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can of beef broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (include the seeds and membrane if you like heat!)
  • 3 small zucchinis, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can black beans (optional)
  • 1 can kidney beans (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, worcestershire, coriander, oregano, chili powder, black pepper and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is has very little pink in it.
  2. Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, brown sugar and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
  3. While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, jalapeno and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and peppers to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
  4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, lightly salt and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water if necessary.
  5. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve and enjoy!

Notes

Cook everything on low in a crock pot and bring your simmering chili to your next pot luck or football party. Supply a bowl of sour cream and Fritos Scoops and watch the chili disappear.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/turkey-chili/

Fresh Artichoke Spinach Dip {From Real Artichokes}

I had a particular craving one day for a creamy, cheesy, garlicky, artichoke and spinach dip.   From time to time, I’ll get mad cravings for food that’ll drive me buggy until I satisfy them.  So, I decided to satisfy!

Because I had never made this particular dip before, I researched some recipes online.  I was surprised at how many recipes called for canned artichoke hearts.  I tend to lean towards a “make it from scratch” kind of mentality, so I decided to pull the hearts out of fresh, organic artichokes instead.  This turned out to be a lot of work for little artichoke meat as a result.  Next time I may use the canned hearts in addition to the fresh artichokes  I must say, it was definitely an experience!

The end result was still delicious. One commenter used this to stuff chicken breast. What a great idea!

Fresh Artichoke Spinach Dip

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Serving Size: 8-10 Servings

Fresh Artichoke Spinach Dip

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (if using fresh you will also need an additional clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8-ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice

Directions

    If you are using fresh artichokes:
  1. Snip the little thorns on the end of the leaves off with a food scissors. Then slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke. Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem. Cut excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. Rinse the artichokes in running cold water. In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf. Insert a steaming basket. Add the artichokes and cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. I used three medium sized artichokes for this recipe and boiled for 35 to 45 minutes. Times will differ according to the size of your artichokes. You want these to simmer until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.
  2. To get to the heart of the artichoke:
  3. Pull off outer petals, one at a time. You can scrape the white fleshy end with a spoon and use this for your dip. This is tedious and doesn't have a fantastic result. Personally, I would save these petals to dip into melted butter. Continue peeling until all of the petals are removed. With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (the "choke"). This fuzzy part covers the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the delicious and tender heart. Cut into pieces for this recipe.
  4. Start here if you are not using fresh artichokes:
  5. Oil a large frying pan and simmer the minced garlic and spinach over medium heat, until the spinach is wilted but still bright green (2-4 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in ricotta cheese and cream cheese, mixing well. Add artichoke hearts. Stir in red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Add half of the parmesan cheese and add lemon juice if desired. Mix well and spread mixture in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on the top.
  6. Putting it all together
  7. Set baking dish on the center shelf of the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to the broil setting and broil until cheese has melted and top is bubbly with lightly browned edges. This will not take very long, so watch closely!
  8. Serve hot and enjoy with crusty bread, vegetables, or crackers for dipping.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/artichoke-spinach-dip/

Amazing Pizza Crust Without the Pizza Oven

I have recently developed an addicted to making homemade pizza.  I love working and tossing the dough and having complete control of all elements of in the pie.  The hardest part about making a good pizza to me is perfecting the crust.  The dough is key in a lot of what makes a pizza amazing. For me, it was an obsessive science experiment.  Believe me, I have tried various methods and recipes throughout my pizza making days.  This recipe is a definite keeper.

It’s tough to imitate the perfect pizza when you don’t have an awesome brick pizza oven, but this crust turns out pretty darn good!  As long as you’re patient and let your dough rest, your crust will be airy in the middle and crispy on the outside, like a breadstick.

As for toppings, I feel like I have tried them all — from strategically placed basil strips to piling the pie a mile high.  In my opinion, keeping the toppings simple almost always results in a better pizza.

On a side note, this recipe does offer an alternative for mixing the dough in the stand mixer, but I prefer to use my hands when it comes to most doughs.

I got this recipe from Peter Reinhart.  This book is awesome and has come in handy on too many occasions to count.  I highly recommend!

Buy Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

Amazing Pizza Crust (Uses Instant Yeast)

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 9 minutes

Yields: 2 medium pizza crusts

Amazing Pizza Crust (Uses Instant Yeast)

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups (20.25-ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 (.44-ounce) teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon (.11-ounce) instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups (14-ounces) water, ice cold
  • 1/4 cup (2-ounces) extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Mix the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a medium bowl. Make a crater in the middle of your flour mixture and add the oil and cold water. Mix with your hands until the moisture is absorbed. Work the dough into a smooth mass by folding the dough and rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If your dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it feels right. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.
  2. Cover the dough loosely with a flour sack and place the bowl in your oven with the oven light on for 2 hours. The heat from the light will help your dough rise. If you need to use your oven during this time, find a dry spot that is draft free.
  3. Once your dough has risen, sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months, just make sure you transfer them to the refrigerator (and then at room temperature for 2 hours) the day before you plan to make pizza.
  4. If you are using a pizza stone, place the stone on the lower third portion of your oven on a rack and pre-heat your stone at least 30 minutes before making the pizza. Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. If you do not have a pizza stone, use a pizza pan or the back of a baking sheet. Your baking sheet may warp a bit but should spring back to its original shape once cooled.
  5. Dust the pizza stone or sheet pan with flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift 1 piece of dough and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. If the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as the toss method.
  6. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction and fits your stone or pan, lay it on the pre-heated stone or pan. Prick your dough with a fork (especially in the center of the crust) to prevent over bubbling and dust with garlic powder. Bake for 5 minutes until the crust is bubbly and just starting to brown. Remove from your hot oven and lightly brush the entire crust with olive oil.
  7. Top the baked crust with your sauce, cheese and toppings. Slide the topped pizza back onto the stone or sheet pan and bake for 2-3 more minutes. Take a peek to see if the cheese is melted. You may need to rotate your pizza 180 degrees for even baking.
  8. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving to allow the cheese to set slightly.

Notes

Brush some extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle some parmesan on the edge of your crust for extra flavor.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/pizza-crust/

Photo courtesy of Crumbly Cookie

Refreshing Watermelon Margaritas

It’s hot one out there!  And heck, you deserve a cold margarita.  Try this on for size.  An absolutely refreshing watermelon margarita to you cool down on a hot summer day.

[“Ahhhh……..”]

Recipe adapted from Hub Pages.


Watermelon Margaritas

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 4 Glasses

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • Lime or watermelon wedges for garnish

Directions

  1. Place cut watermelon into a freezer bag and freeze for at least two hours
  2. Dip rim glass in a plate of lime juice then dip into salt or sugar to coat rims
  3. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth
  4. Pour into glasses and garnish. Serve immediately.
  5. Sip. Repeat.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/watermelon-margaritas/

Southwestern Turkey Burger

I’m a burger ADDICT. Lately I have experimented with healthier burger options.  I have this belief that with meats like turkey or buffalo, you sacrifice a lot of flavor in a burger patty. Lordy, lordy, he hath proven me wrong!

I never thought I would see the day when I, Foodie McBooty, falls in love with a turkey burger!  I am happy to announce that HEALTHY and FLAVORFUL characteristics do exist in one entity.  (Who knew?)  This (incredibly) messy burger is packed full of southwestern flavor.   Granted, I have never been to the “Deep South”… but if Texas had a taste I’d imagine this is what it would taste like.

Because these are so messy, I recommend carving out the guts of the top part of the bun.  That should help control some of the damage and save the salsa and crema from falling onto my lap.

I dream that some day I will have a decent picture of this absolutely amazing turkey burger.  Until then, trust me here and let your photo imagination run wild!

Southwestern Turkey Burger

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 6 burgers

Ingredients

    For the salsa:
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons cactus, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • For the Burgers:
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 5 ounces finely ground Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • slices of aged monterey jack cheese
  • fresh bakery rolls
  • 1 cup crema Mexicana (sour cream works too)

Directions

  1. Spray and heat grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the salsa:
  3. Combine the onion, avocado, tomatoes, and cactus. Add the garlic, cilantro, cumin and chipotle pepper sauce. Mix well. Add lime juice and combine. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. For the burgers:
  5. In a large bowl, combine turkey, chorizo, tortilla chips, soy sauce, pepper, parsley and Worcestershire sauce. Form into large balls, flatten and shape into a size that is slightly larger than your buns (they will shrink a bit when they cook!)
  6. Place burger patties on the grill. 6-8 minutes on each side. After turning place the pieces of monterey jack cheese on each burger -- Once cooked, the internal temperature should be 170 degrees. Put the rolls on the grill and close the lid until the cheese is melted and the rolls are toasted.
  7. While these cook whisk together a few scoops of crema and chipotle hot sauce (to taste).
  8. Put the burgers on roll bottoms, top with salsa and crema and cover with gutted roll tops.

Notes

These make great sliders too.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/southwestern-turkey-burger/

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