Saturday, August 16, 2014

BLT with Peppered Bacon and a Cajun Garlic Aioli for a Group - 52 Catering Recipes


Delicious in their simplicity and always a popular Sandwich.

But there are a few tricks to make your Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich better... Worthy of a caterer!  Worthy to serve at any "Pass a Plate" Event, PotLuck or family gathering.  You will LOVE This Sandwich!

Fancy Bacon and Fancy Mayonnaise... Here's the recipes!


****************************************************************

Baked Pepper Bacon

Ingredients

1 Pound Thick Cut Bacon
Several Turns of a Cracked Pepper Grinder
In addition, you will need Aluminum Foil and a Sheet Pan with a small lip to catch the bacon fat.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Lay the bacon strips out flat on the baking sheet, leaving space so they don't overlap.
  3. Make several turns of a pepper grinder over the bacon. Pat this into the bacon so it sticks better.
  4. Pop the bacon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. If it's thick bacon that produces a lot of grease you'll want to drain the grease halfway through.
  5. Depending on how crispy you like your bacon, you can pull it out early or leave it in for a bit longer, but a couple of minutes makes a big difference so keep an eye on it..
  6. Serve as you would pan fried bacon and ENJOY!!!
****************************************************************

Cajun Garlic Aioli

Ingredients

1 cup Mayonnaise
Zest from one Lemon
Juice from one Lemon
1/2 TBS Dijon Mustard
4 Garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 TBS Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence (Savory spice mix)
1 tsp Big Easy in a Jar (Cajun Spice mix)

Put everything in a mini chopper, small food processor or a blender and whirl away!

It's a terrific little dipping sauce, spread (just about anything you use mayo for you can use this stuff... very useful for lots of things.  I make a cup at a time and it usually lasts about a week.


OK... Simple enough... Here;s what I did...


BLT with Peppered Bacon and a Cajun Garlic Aioli


Ingredients
  • 6 Soft yeast bread Rolls, cut in half (making 12 Sandwiches)
  • 12 Slices of Thick Cut Baked Pepper Bacon (each slice cut into 3 pieces)
  • 1 Head of Leafy Lettuce
  • 12 Thin Slices of Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Cajun Garlic Aioli
Cooking Directions
  1. And make the sandwich.... 1 full slice of bacon (3 pieces) per sandwich and a generous slather of the aioli on each side of the bread.
  2. Wrap individually or arrange on a platter and wrap the platter in cling wrap.
  3. Serve chilled and ENJOY!


******************************************************

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

***********************PINTEREST*********************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Friday, August 15, 2014

SUPER MOIST Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Scones - 52 Church PotLuck Breakfast


The words Moist and Scones are rarely used together.  Generally at least for me, scones tend to be dry and crumble too easy.

These are different.

The sweetened muffins have a couple of secret ingredients, but the moistness will come from the extra fat in the sour cream.  Adds a delicious tang and helps prevent the crumbly problem.

My second secret ingredient adds a slight nutty extra making these about as delicious as possible.  I also like to use mini chocolate chips that give that LOADED TO THE MAX look with chips in every bite!

A real winner for a fancy breakfast, and a stand out dish for a "pass a plate" PotLuck, family occasion and a wonderful breakfast standout for a catered affair!


OK... Here's what I did...


SUPER MOIST
Sour Cream
Chocolate Chip Scones


Ingredients
  • 1 - 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Meal (can substitute another 1/4 Cup flour)
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 3 TBS Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • pinch Baking Soda
  • Zest of 1 Medium Orange
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 6 TBS Butter, VERY COLD and cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 (12 Ounce) Bag Mini-Chocolate Chips
  • 2 TBS Melted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix flour, almond meal, both sugars, baking powder and soda, orange zest and salt.
  3. Add flour mix to the bowl of a food processor. Add the COLD Butter one cube at a time with the processor running. Continue to process until the mix forms into tiny beads.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the Sour Cream, Egg, and Vanilla.
  5. BY HAND, do not add to the food processor as that would cause tough scones... By hand add the flour mix to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended. do not over mix.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a flat 7 inch circle and slice into 8 pie shaped pieces.
  8. Transfer to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, pieces separated by about an inch so they are not touching. Bake for 15-17 minutes until top just begins to brown on the edges
  9. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. While the scones are still warm, brush with the melted butter and then sprinkle additional sugar on the top
  10. Best served warm with a nice hot cup of coffee, but tastes great room temperature. If not served immediately, store in air tight container.... And ENJOY!!!

******************************************************

This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Breakfast Ideas!"

It's the most important meal of the day.  From fancy to simple, there are always ways to dress up a breakfast dish.  These are the meals that make Bed and Breakfast Inns legendary (and usually easier than you think).

Here's your chance to make your guests Ooh and Aah!
******************************************************

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

***********************PINTEREST*********************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Baked Brie with Cherries and Chocolate - 52 Church PotLuck Appetizer (or Dessert)


YUM!

Here's one of those ugly dishes that is absolutely AMAZING!  And incredibly easy to boot!

A puffed pastry cheese wheel is topped with a handful of sweet cherries and chocolate chips.  Then wrapped in store bought puff pastry. Just a few tricks to get this right and you have... SPECTACULAR!

This can be made a few hours in advance (tricks to keeping it melty warm are in the recipe); which makes this perfect for catering or any "Share a Dish" event like a potluck or family event.  It just screams, "PARTY"!

And if you want to really show off, you can make this on a grill... Just set your grill up for indirect heat, coals on one side and a free "cool" area on the other.  This will turn your grill into an oven and at the same time add a delicious smoky taste to the cheese.

A real favorite!


OK... Here's what I did...


Baked Brie with
Cherries and Chocolate


Ingredients
  • 1 Square Sheet Puff Pastry (Thawed according to package directions)
  • 1 - 8 Ounce Brie Cheese Wheel
  • 1/4 Cup Maraschino Cherries, stems removed and sliced into quarters
  • 1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (can use Semi-sweet)
  • 1 Large Egg,
  • 4 Medium Fuji Apples, slice thin
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 "roll" package Decorative Crackers
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk the Egg (to be used as an egg wash)
  3. Flatten out the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Place the wheel of brie in the center, top with the quartered cherries and then the chocolate chips.
  4. Working from one corner of the puff pastry, bring the corner to the center of the cherry/chocolate covered Brie. Bring the opposite corner to the center and brush the seem with the egg. Repeat with remaining corners, continuing to brush the egg wash on all seems.
  5. Do the same with the center edges of the sheet, washing and pressing as you move around. This should form a decorative flour like center of the pastry. Press and brush entire wheel (plus sides) one last time.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry has a golden brown and delicious look.
  7. While the Brie is baking, prepare a cutting board for display/serving. Slice the apples and toss in the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  8. When the Brie Wheel is ready, allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
  9. If you are travelling with the Brie to be served within 5-6 hours, wrap in Aluminum Foil and immediately place in a small ice chest (no ice). The Brie will stay melty warm for several hours) Wait until just time to serve before removing and unwrapping.
  10. Serve WARM and ENJOY

******************************************************

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

*************************************************************************

So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!

****************************PINTEREST**************************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Orange-Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad - 52 Church PotLuck Salads


Beautiful mix of Colors, Textures and Tastes,  Bright Oranges, Crunchy Water Chestnuts, healthy Earthy Spinach, Fresh Made Orange-Teriyaki Asian influenced Salad Dressing soaked Pasta and finally topped with the pop of Honey Roasted Peanuts!

A SALAD TO REMEMBER!

The salad is unusual, delightfully sweet with a mix of textures and flavors.  Beautiful enough to grace any "take along" occasion like a Church PotLuck or family gathering.  Like I said, a dish to remember that will have your Sister-in-law Spinach Green with envy!

It is also a delicious salad that I have been serving at some of my catered lunches.  Tasty, beautiful and unique enough to justify charging.  Easy, Fast, Travels Well... Perfect for a catered affair!


OK... Here's what I did...


Orange-Teriyaki
Spinach Pasta Salad


Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Bow Tie Pasta, prepared Al Dente (Cooked 1 Minute less than the directions on the box))
  • 8 Ounces Spinach, stems removed and washed
  • 1 Can (11 Ounce) Mandarin Oranges, drained but reserve the liquid
  • 1 Can (4 Ounces) Water Chestnuts, Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Honey Roasted Peanuts
  • For the Fresh Made Teriyaki Dressing
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • Large Pinch of Salt
  • Large Pinch of Pepper
  • 1//3 Cup Bottled Terriyake Sauce
  • 3 TBS Sugar (can substitute 1/4 Cup Honey)
  • 1/4 Cup of the reserved liquid from the canned mandarin oranges
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare the Pasta according to the directions on the box... EXCEPT, cook for one to two minutes less than directed.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Spinach (washed, stems removed).
  3. Also, open and drain the liquid from the Mandarin Oranges, reserving the liquid
  4. Open and drain the can of water chestnuts (discard the liquid).
  5. Prepare the Salad Dressing, Combine all of the ingredients (Olive Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Salt and Pepper, Teriyaki Sauce,Sugar and the Mandarin Orange water) in a blender and whir away until thoroughly mixed. You are mixing oil and water so process for at least a couple of minutes.
  6. When the Pasta is done, drain. DO NOT RINSE WITH COLD WATER. The hot pasta will absorb the Salad Dressing better if you mix with hot wet pasta.
  7. SO, once drained, pour the Orange-Teriyaki Salad Dressing over the pasta and stir to mix. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
  8. If there is any dressing pooling in the bottom after 10 minutes, now drain the pasta.
  9. Mix the spinach with the still HOT sauced pasta. The spinach will begin to wilt and soften from the hot pasta. Cover and allow to rest another few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Mix in the oranges, water chestnuts and peanuts, reserving a few to garnish the top.
  11. Serve chilled, room temperature or still hot and ENJOY!

******************************************************

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

***********************PINTEREST*********************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pineapple / Cherry Tomatoes = Sweet and Savory on a Stick - 52 Church PotLuck Appetizers


More Food on a Stick... A little stick.

People like bite size.  People also like contrasting tastes and looks.  The bright red deliciousness of savory herbed Cherry Tomatoes, paired with the sweet flavor of Pineapple, made pretty with a sprinkling of sweet Paprika and you have a perfect party appetizer.

A tray of these is ideal for any "take along" Potluck event and works as an appetizer for a catering event.  Colorful, Tasty and a crowd pleaser!


OK... Here's what I did...

Pineapple / Cherry Tomatoes = Sweet and Savory on a Stick


Ingredients
  • 36 Small Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Herbes de Provence
  • 36 Pieces Fresh Pineapple (Pieces about the size of a quarter)
  • Dusting of Sweet Paprika
  • 36 Decorative Toothpicks
Cooking Directions
  1. First, prepare the savory... In ziplock bag, Combine the washed and dried Cherry Tomatoes with a drizzle of Olive Oil and a TBS of Herbs (I used an herb mix of Herbes de Provence, but feel free to use your favorite... Dill works wonderfully as well). Shake the bag to coat.
  2. Next, prepare the Sweet... Cut from a fresh whole pineapple, remove core and outer rind, Slice into 1/2 inch thick quarter sized pieces (about the same size as the tomatoes). Sprinkle the sweet Paprika on 1 side of the pineapple
  3. And finally, make the food on a stick presentation... Using a decorative toothpick, pierce the cherry tomato, through and into the top of the pineapple piece.
  4. Arrange decoratively on a serving platter.
  5. Serve chilled and ENJOY!!!

******************************************************

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

***********************PINTEREST*********************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The "UN"Sandwich For Low Carb Diets - 52 Church PotLuck Appetizers


This may sound like a joke as a recipe... BUT, as an idea for catering or for about any "pass a plate" occasion (like a church potluck), you will be surprised how quickly these start to disappear.

First, bite size.  Perfect as an appetizer.  Everything you want, sweet little pickles, meat and cheese, on a fancy toothpick; One bite wonder!

And next, the title gets the attention of the folks trying to avoid carbs.  A No (well, low at least) Bread Sandwich will appeal to a certain percentage of any large gathering.  Gobble up three or four of these and you ave a light lunch... Almost fits into that low carb diet.

So, as a recipe I will admit it is a bit of a joke (Only three ingredients, no cooking, assembles in seconds).

But as an idea for a PotLuck or catering situation... They disappear fast!


OK... Here's What I Did...

The "UN"Sandwich For Low Carb Diets


Ingredients
  • 36 Midget Mini Pickles (Sweet Gherkins)
  • 36 Slices of Thin Slice Lunch Meat (I Like Black Forrest Ham)
  • 36 Pieces of Cheese (I like a Smoked Gouda)
  • 36 Decorative Toothpicks
  • Optional, Serve with dipping sauces (Mustard, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, etc.)
Cooking Directions
  1. Could not be easier, drain the Pickles and dry with a paper towel.
  2. Wrap with the lunch meat, folded narrow so the ends of the pickles stick out.
  3. Push the decorative toothpick through the piece of cheese, through the lunch meat, through the Pickle and back out the other end.
  4. Serve on a platter with optional dipping sauce
  5. And ENJOY!


******************************************************

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

***********************PINTEREST*********************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WORLD's BEST Guacamole with Secret Ingredient - 52 Church Potluck Appetizers


Really Really good Guacamole... What could be better?

Really Really bad Guac... Well, we've all had it.  But we continue to order guacamole 'cause the times when you find that really really good guac is worth the bad times.

There are a few trick to making fresh made and having people proclaim yours as... "The World's Best"!

The first "Trick" is to make a really flavorful Pico de Gallo.  In simplest terms, Guacamole is simply a combination of Crushed Avocados with Pico de Gallo.  It makes sense, more flavorful Pico makes a more flavorful Guac.

SO... Here's an easy and fast way to make the most flavorful Pico...

Start with your Onions (Pico de Gallo is a combination of Onion, Tomato and Cilantro (The colors of the Mexican flag), flavored with Lime Juice.  Dice your onion and put in a big bowl.  Then work your limes.  First zest all three (there is more flavor in the zest than in the juice).  Then juice your limes.

An easy way to get the most juice out of a lime without a lot of effort (and gadgets) is...

Slice the nipple end of the lime off (about 1/5th of the lime); just enough to get a good opening but not so deep that you reach seeds.  The "non" nipple end is where the lime is connected to the branches of the lime tree.  That end has the fibers that are more firmly connected.  By juicing from the end with the less solid fiber connections, the lime releases more of it's juices.

So, to get the most juice without lots of effort and gadgets, slice that end off, put in a fork (see photo) and twist as you squeeze.  Then move the fork to a different area of the lime and continue to squeeze with one hand and twist with the fork.  Continue until you have as much of the juice out as possible.  The three limes will get about 3/4 of a cup.  Enough to give a very good coating of the onion (remember them, they were in the bowl while you were zesting and juicing over 'em).

OK, now let the bowl rest for 10 minutes.  What is happening during those 10 minutes is the acid in the juice actual cooks the onions.  They gently soften and they actually begin to pickle.  If you were to use red onions instead of the white sweet that I used during the photo session you would begin to see then take on that pinkish "pickled red onion" look.  This is actually changing the taste of the onion.  Allowing just that few extra minutes is enough to add a new layer of flavor!

But just because the onions are resting in the juices does not mean you are resting...

During that 10 minutes, start cutting the tomatoes.  Small dice, just a little bigger than the size of the onions.  Pull the leaves of the cilantro and chop them (not too much chopping, you don't want minced herbs, just chopped).

As to the spice, traditionally that means Jalapeno Peppers.  Here's the deal on Jalapenos... The Green part is not as hot as the seeds and the white membrane.  For me, I prefer just the green part and I always remove not just the seeds, but also the white rib parts.  If you want HOT HOT HOT... just dice up a whole Jalapeno seeds, ribs and all and add,  If you want mildly spiced, just the green part.  Make sense?

And finally, the secret ingredient... A small can of crushed pineapple.  Juice and all.  Add this to your pico and you get not only the HOT spice of the Jalapeno but also a hint of the natural sweetness of the pineapple.  A deliciously beautiful combination that joins in with the herbaceous Earthiness of the onions and tomatoes (and Cilantro).

Last tip is the consistency.  Some folks like a chunky Guac.  Simply mash the avocado with a potato masher.  You will have chunks.  If you like it smooth (as I do), use a food processor.

Guacamole is about the easiest thing to make.  It is ideal to take as a sharing dish for any potluck or big meal.  Universally loved... This recipe and these techniques will have your friends and family proclaiming your Guacamole as the BEST in the WORLD!!!


OK... Here's what I did...


WORLD's BEST Guacamole 

with Secret Ingredient



Ingredients
  • 2 Medium (about 2 Cups) Onion, Fine Dice
  • 3 Medium Limes, Zest and Juice
  • 4-6 Medium (about 2 Cups) Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped
  • 2 Medium Jalapeno Peppers, Stems, Seeds and inner white ribs removed, Fine Dice
  • The Secret Ingredient - 1 Small can (8 Oz) Crushed Pineapple in Natural Juices
  • 12 Medium (about 8 Cups) Avocados, Cut in half, Pit removed and scooped out of shell. Crushed into paste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large Bowl, Add the diced Onion. Add the zest and juice from the limes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, allowing the onions to naturally soften and slightly pickle.
  2. Add Tomatoes, Jalapeno, Cilantro and the can of pineapple (including all the juice). Allow this to rest for an additional 10 minutes for all of the flavors to mix.
  3. After 10 minutes, drain all but 1/2 cup of the liquid and discard (you have now made pineapple Pico de Gallo).
  4. During the resting time, prepare the avocados, cut in half, remove the pit and scoop from the outer rind. For smooth guacamole, put the flesh into a food processor and pulse until smooth. For chunky guacamole, use an old fashioned potato smasher and smash until you reach the desired consistency.
  5. Combine the avocado with the pineapple Pico de Gallo.
  6. Best when serve room temperature Fresh made Guacamole within a couple of hours of making. If you need to make ahead, Cover with plastic wrap that is touching the top of the guac so as little air as possible reaches the guac. chill in the refrigerator and remove about an hour before serving.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips and ENJOY!

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This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy

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