Archive for the ‘snacks’ Category

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Super Sunday Snacks

 

I don’t watch a lot of football, baseball is really more my game of choice. However, I do make an exception for the Super Bowl.

Of course the Super Bowl is just barely about football. It’s about the ads, and the halftime show, and, of course, the food. I’ve got a few suggestions for what to serve at your party.

 

If you’re looking for a Super Bowl snack that is a little more upscale, try my take on classic Buffalo Wings with this Buffalo Wing Rillettes. It taste great and can be prepared in advance (in fact it will taste even better if it sits for a couple of days) freeing you up for more game-watching enjoyment.

 

 

I like to put several bowls of snack mix all around the party room so that tasty treats are never too far away. If you fill them up with my Sriacha Soy Chex Mix plan to refill bowls a couple of times because from my experience, this gets gobbled up pretty quickly.

 

 

Lastly, I’ve never been to a Super Bowl party where a cheese ball wasn’t welcomed and devoured. This one features sharp cheddar cheese, pancetta, smoked paprika and pumpkin seeds. Here’s the ingredients.

To start, saute the pancetta until it is good and crispy.

 

Remove the pancetta from the pan, leaving behind the rendered fat, and add the pumpkin seeds. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until the are toasty brown and start to pop.

 

Remove them from the pan and sprinkle them with a little salt, then set them aside for the time being.

Next, in a medium-size bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, crispy pancetta and green onions.

 

Stir it well to combine.

 

Then turn it out onto a piece of plastic wrap.

 

Gather the edges of the wrap to force the cheese mixture into a ball. Put the ball into the fridge for at least one hour.

 

When you are ready to serve, chop up the pumpkin seeds then combine them with the remaining smoked paprika.

 

Remove the plastic from the cheese ball and roll the ball in the pumpkin seed/paprika mixture.

Arrange the finished cheese ball on a plate with some crackers and enjoy.

 

Smoky Cheddar Cheese Ball
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
If you don't have pancetta feel free to substitute bacon. Or, leave it out entirely for a vegetarian option.
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped small
  • 4 ounces pumpkin seeds
  • 6 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3-4 green onions. chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika, divided use
Instructions
  1. In a saute pan, cook the pancetta until it is crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pan, leaving behind the rendered fat, and add the pumpkin seeds. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they are toasty brown and starting to pop. Remove them from the pan and sprinkle them with a little salt, then set them aside.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, crispy pancetta, green onions and two teaspoons of the smoked paprika. Stir well to combine, then turn the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Gather the edges of the wrap to force the cheese mixture into a ball. Put the ball into the fridge for at least one hour.
  3. When ready to serve, chop up the pumpkin seeds then combine them with the remaining smoked paprika.
  4. Remove the plastic from the cheese ball and roll the ball in the pumpkin seed/paprika mixture.
  5. Arrange the finished cheese ball on a plate with crackers and enjoy.

 

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Sriracha Soy Chex Mix

The other day I was walking through Costco (no story starts that way and doesn’t end without spending $100) and I saw this on the end cap.

“Make Chex Party Mix. What a good idea” (I am so easily influenced, sigh).

I haven’t made Chex Mix in years (and years and years) and, I was hosting a party where I knew snack mix would be a welcome addition. I like the traditional Chex Mix recipe well enough, but I’m not a huge fan of pretzels and I wanted something a little spicier. So, I decided to switch it up a little (or a lot as it turns out). The idea of using Sriracha as the heat in my mix popped into my head, which then led me to add some other Asian flavors. Although the mix takes a little while in the oven it comes together very quickly.

Here’s the ingredients:

 

First, melt the butter in the microwave (or on the stovetop) and then stir the seasoning ingredients into the melted butter. Give the butter a little taste at this point and add more sriracha if you like.

 

Put the cereals and the toasted almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, pour the seasoned butter over top …

 

… then use a spatula to stir and distribute the seasonings throughout the cereals.

 

Place the sheet in a 250 degree oven and bake for one hour, stirring the mix every 15 minutes. Let cool completely and then enjoy!

 

Salty and spicy (and mildly addictive), all my guests raved about my mix. Try it as an addition to your next party. You’ll be glad you did.

Sriracha Soy Chex Mix
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Make this recipe gluten-free by omitting the wheat Chex and increasing the amount of rice and corn Chex to 4½ cups each.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups wheat Chex cereal
  • 3 cups rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups corn Chex cereal
  • 1½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
Seasonings
  • 6 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon hoisen sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in microwave or saucepan. Stir in remaining seasoning ingredients.
  3. Place the cereals and almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour the seasoned butter over and stir well to distribute seasonings.
  4. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.

 

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Stuffing Croquettes

Last night we hosted our monthly poker night for our group of friends. Occasionally this group of friends gives me a hard time because I don’t make enough yummy food for them. I’ll often just put out some chips or cheese and crackers (food that doesn’t take much effort). Well, for a high-end Thanksgiving party that I catered I created Stuffing Croquettes. When I told my friends about them I was told that I had to make them for poker night.

I used box stuffing (because I’m lazy) and prepared it according to the instructions. I also took about 4 ounces of hot Italian sausage and fried it up, breaking it into small pieces. I combined the stuffing and sausage and set it aside to cool.

While it cooled I pulsed 10 slices of white bread in my food processor to create fresh bread crumbs, then set them aside. I put a bit of flour in one bowl and beat a couple of eggs in another.

Using an ice cream scoop I portioned out the stuffing and rolled it into balls about 1″ in diameter. I rolled the balls in flour, then the eggs and if I was going to fry the croquettes right away I would have have rolled them in the bread crumbs too. But since I was prepping the croquettes the day before I used a method for breading recommended by Tom Douglas for his crab cakes. With this method I put just a small amount of crumbs in the bottom of a container, then added my stuffing balls (leaving a bit of space between them) then covered the balls with the rest of the bread crumbs. I covered this and put it in the fridge for the night.

When I was ready to fry the croquettes I put about 3″ or so of oil in my stockpot and brought it to 350 degrees. I added about six stuffing balls at a time to the oil (using a spider to put them in the oil because third-degree oil burns on you fingers is no fun) and fried them until they were golden brown and delicious. I pulled them out of the oil and put them onto several sheets of paper towels to cool.

I was going to take a photo of the finished croquettes but as soon as each batch was completed they were snatched away by my hungry guests.

How were they? So good. Everybody loved them. This may be the best way ever to have stuffing. Crunchy on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside. Yum.

About Me

I'm a personal chef living happily with her picky-eater (but willing to try anything) husband, neurotic black lab and a red heeler puppy.

I watch way too much TV and enjoy hip-hop more than any reasonable grown-up should.

I'm an avid swimmer and sometime triathlete (whenever I'm not nursing an injury).

Find out more about me here.

About This Blog

I started this blog at a time when my personal chef business was quite slow and I needed to keep my mind busy and my skills sharp. But now, business is booming so I've had to put the blog on the back burner. So, no new recipes for now, but please enjoy my archives.

Follow ChefDJen on Twitter

Categories

Archives