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Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

standard August 14, 2016 Please Comment
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Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

There are a few must haves when we get ready to throw a game day party, or if someone asks me to bring something to theirs. Game day spinach and artichoke dip, Game Day Buffalo Wings, or Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers are in the top 3 for sure. My oldest son, Andrew would eat this right out of the bowl if we let him. Actually, he does do this. All the time. Now that I think about it. Ok, well, he gets almost straight A’s, so we have to pick our battles here.

For my artichoke dip, If I have the time, I plan ahead and make buttery garlic baguettes to go along with it. If not, the standard tortilla chips or pita chips are just as good. I remember one restaurant serving just plain french bread with it. Chips is the easy go-to though. Hands down.

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Everyone shares the stage

It’s so creamy and every ingredient is tasted and accounted for. You don’t get an overwhelming amount of cream cheese, or spinach flavor, or artichoke flavor like with some spinach and artichoke dips at some restaurants …. you get a little bit of everything in each bite. I am so disappointed when I order spinach and artichoke dip thinking it’s going to be amazing, only to be let down when it has a heavy taste of mayonnaise and no flavors. I also don’t like it if all I taste is spinach. I want all of the players to have a part. The perfect combination.

The only advice I have for this recipe, is that once you have it all mixed together in a bowl, TASTE it. Take a chip or use a fork and just taste it. If it’s super bland, then ADD salt, garlic salt, or parmesan cheese. If it’s not creamy enough, add a little more mayo or milk. This is the time to adjust.

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Takes: 

45 Minutes
Serves: 8-10 People

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz block of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 10 or 12 oz box of chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1/4 cup Italian blended cheeses plus more for sprinkling on top (sold in 1 bag mixed)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (taste after mixing – add more if necessary)
  • 1/2 black pepper
  • 1/4 of each: salt and garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp of milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.

Take spinach out of container and place in a strainer or colander. Squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as you can. It will seem like the volume has gone to nothing. It’s ok. This is normal.

Chop up your artichoke hearts into bits and pieces. Some brands of artichokes are much stronger. If you find one you know is stronger, just omit 2-3 of the hearts when combining everything.

Add cream cheese to bowl and add all other ingredients. I make sure my hands are washed if I use my hands. Mix well with a spoon or hands until everything is combined. TASTE. This is where you can adapt the flavors.

Place in baking dish or casserole dish and top with approximately 1/4 Italian cheese blend. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve your game day spinach and artichoke dip with toasted, buttered baguette, pita chips, or chips. Enjoy!

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

 

Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers

standard August 14, 2016 Please Comment
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Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers

A variation of just regular jalapeño poppers is my Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers with Smokies. I attended a football party one year where they combined sausage into the mixture and it was so good. It just sent it over the top with the creaminess of the cheese, then the heat from the pepper, the savoriness of the lil smoky, then you got the crunch of the bacon in the end. Serve these jalapeño poppers, or my Game Day Buffalo Wings or Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Serve all 3 and you’re guaranteed to please any game day crowd. They are always a hit and they are always gone within the first hour.

Game Day Jalapeno Popper Bombers

I know a common complaint I see is the bacon doesn’t get cooked all the way when the jalapeño poppers are cooked in the oven. One way to help this is to pre-bake or pre-cook your bacon just for a few minutes. If you slap them in the microwave for about 1 min 20 seconds, it helps them with the cooking process later in the oven. Don’t cook them though. If you cook them too much, you won’t be able to maneuver them around the poppers.

To remove the Pods of Hell or not to

Another thing (and this is a huge, executive decision that can be life saving) is how hot you want your jalapeños poppers to end up. Being from Southwest Louisiana, I do like my food a bit on the spicy side. If you prefer not to use 10 tissues to wipe your nose and sweat from your brow, you can opt to remove the seeds completely from the jalapeño….but even then sometimes the pepper will be hot. Just depends on the peppers you find. I would also advise wearing gloves through the whole removing of the pods of hell (seeds) from the jalapeños process. Trust me. Tried telling our youngest son who is 14 this. Yep. He learned the hard way. He later was seen with an ice pack on his lips. Tried to tell ya, son. Tried to tell ya.

Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers

Takes: 45 Minutes to an Hour
Serves: 8-10 People

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Jalapeños
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 8-12 slices of bacon (depending on how much bacon you like)
  • 6-12 lil smokies (I cut them in half length wise and if a jalapeño is really long, I use two)
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle seasoning or 1/4 chili powder and 1/4 paprika
  • 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs

Instructions

Place oven to 375.

Slice all jalapeños in half length wise. Be careful to not touch seeds too much, or wear gloves. Remove as many seeds as the heat you wish to achieve. (the less = more heat) Place them on a sprayed sheet pan, or lined with parchment paper.

Sauté diced onion and garlic in a medium high heat pan for 5-7 minutes. Set aside and let cool for 10 mins.

Mix your cream cheese, cheddar cheese and seasoning in a bowl. Fold in your onion and garlic.

Cook bacon in the microwave for 1 min, 20 seconds. The idea is to pre-bake them a little where they cook thoroughly while in the oven on the poppers. It is easier if you use them almost right away rather than when they have time to stiffen up.

Take each pepper and put about a tsp to 2 tsp of cheese mixture. Sprinkle a little of the panko bread crumbs on top. Take a smoky sausage half and place in the middle of the cheese. Take bacon and wrap the jalapeño, securing the lil smoky. You can use toothpicks if need be. You can always remove them later.

Place in oven for 20 minutes or until done. Can also be served with a pepper jelly dipping sauce, or you could try putting a dab of the pepper jelly in the jalapeño pepper before you put your cream cheese mixture!

Game Day Jalapeno Popper Bombers

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Brisket Nachos using leftover brisket

standard July 17, 2016 1 response
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Brisket nachos using leftover brisket could not be more simple to make. A little chopping along with purchasing ready-to-go items makes this a major go to when hosting a small get-together and / or any time you have a ton of hungry teenagers around. I happened to have leftover brisket and bbq salsa from a previous recipe.

Anytime you have leftover meat, poultry or seafood, you should save them. You can top so many things with leftover meats. This Huevos Rancheros using leftover brisket was another dish I used leftover meats for.

These nachos can be made in less than 5 minutes. Chopping the ingredients is what takes the most time, and even then, you could always purchase a lot of these items pre-cut at the grocery store if you really, really want to save time on it. Brisket nachos using leftover brisket is also perfect because it’s also so simple that they can throw this together themselves!

Other Alternatives:

You could absolutely substitute marinated chicken that has been marinated in southwest flavors such as cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and peppers. Shrimp would also work here. If you want to get super fancy, you can always fry some seafood like oysters and use a remoulade instead of a nacho cheese.

Brisket nachos using leftover brisket

Brisket Nachos

Brisket Nachos using leftover brisket

Brisket Nachos

Brisket Nachos Recipe:

Leftover brisket, chicken, or shrimp
1 jalapeno chopped finely and slices for garnish
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
1-2 Tbsp of your favorite bbq salsa
2-3 tsp of your favorite bbq sauce to drizzle
2-4 oz of your favorite melty cheese
Sour Cream
Cilantro
Tortilla chips

Melt your cheese in a microwave safe bowl, or in a pot on the stove. Arrange chips on a platter. (1 layer) Spread your cheese, meat, sour cream, red onion, salsa, bbq sauce, cilantros and tomatoes. Repeat until you have 3 or more layers. That is all! Super easy, quick, fast, and restaurant quality in minutes!

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