I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We did, and it was great having a day off. Today we're going to focus on fresh made foods.
If you follow us on the radio, you know how much we rail against processed foods. If you plan ahead you may find it is even easier to prepare a home cooked meal from scratch than it is to heat up a frozen entree. Check some of my previous blogs to find the ones that tell you how to plan your menu, prepare a shopping list, and then execute a food prep session that will have you eating better and saving money right away.
Today, we're going to concentrate on appetizers.
These recipes can also be made gluten-free.
Ham Pate en croute
1 tbls grated onion
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 tbls chopped parsley
2 tbls chopped chives
2 cups ground cooked ham
1/4 lb butter, softened
3 tbls heavy cream
1 loaf French bread, gluten-free available in our bakery (about 8 inches long and 3 inches in diameter)
2 tsp strong prepared mustard
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
Beat butter in the bowl of an electic mixer at high speed until the butter is light and fluffy. Lower mixer speed to medium, and gradually add the ground ham, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stop and scrape down the bowl as needed.
When the butter and ham are thoroughly combined, add the rest of the ingredients (not the bread). Beat again, until mixture is almost smooth.
Scrape the mixture into a small bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm enough to spread. This may be done up to 1 day in advance.
Using a large bread knife, cut off the ends of the loaf (save the ends).
Using a long slender knife, cut out and remove the soft insides of the bread, leaving a shell that is about 1/4 inch thick. Don't throw the insides away, dry them and grind them for bread crumbs.
Stand the bread upright. With a spoon gently push the ham mixture into the follow crust, packing it in firmly. Fill the shell completely. Replace the ends and wrap well. Refrigerate for several hours or until bread is cold and can be easily sliced. This may be done up to 24 hours before seving.
Cut the bread into 1/4 inch slices.
Mexican Cheese dip
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 to 2 cans (4 0z size) whole green chiles, remember, the more chiles the hotter the dip
1 (1 lb) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Large corn chips
Drain the chilies. Slit each chile lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds. Cut the chiles into 1/4 inch dice. Finely chop the onion to make at least 1/2 cup.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over moderately high heat until melted and hot. Add onions and cook until the onion is tender, but not brown. You want to constantly stir the onion while it is cooking to prevent burning.
Add the tomatoes, along with the liquid, the diced green chiles and salt to the skillet. Stir with a wooden spoon, pressing and breaking up the tomates.
Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the tomato mixture for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the cubed cheese and heat, stirring constantly, untilcheese is melted and ingredients are thouroughly combined.
Stir in heavy cram, a little at a time, and cook, stirring constantly until the miture is very hot.
Remove the dip from the heat, and allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Ladle into a small casserole dish and keep warm over a candle warmer. Or, use a double boiler, with a bottom that has about 2 inches of boiling water in it.
Serve the dip with the dippers