We recently had the most spectacular evening with our good friends Steve and Debby Vis. Eating wonderful food, sipping lovely wine, enjoying each others company on a warm early fall night…what could be better? I often say “Food is Love” and this night was filled with both.
|Deb and Steve stealing a kiss!
Our duck had some problems. We’ll talk about that in the next blog. Although the sauce Deb and I created for the duck was out of this world!
But, first things first…APPETIZERS!
We had three different appetizers, but let’s start with the one everyone liked best.
SUCCULENT SMOKY SALMON DIP
I found this recipe at The Rowdy Baker’s blog site (http://www.therowdybaker.com/?p=2280). The Rowdy Baker, aka Lorinda, served her salmon dip in a hollowed out loaf of bread shaped like a football to serve on game day. Very clever. I will keep in mind for the Super Bowl where hopefully our beloved New England Patriots will win this year. (Sorry, Steve!) I served our Succulent Salmon Dip with crackers.
|And here is Fr. Vis blessing our evening
with one of those crackers.
3 7.5 oz. cans Demings Red Sockeye Wild Alaskan Salmon (or The R.B. suggests either using the canned or 1 1/2 lbs. cooked salmon)
8 oz. Neufchatel or Creamed Cheese (I used Creamed Cheese.)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke (R.B. says optional, but I think this is what made the dip so special.)
3 cloves garlic, minced very finely, about 1 Tbsp.
4 slices thick bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 green onions, sliced thinly (R.B. calls for 6. That seemed like too many to me, although I did garnish with more green onion.)
Salt/Pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and garlic. Mix well with a spoon. Do not use a food processor or the texture will become too smooth. Drain and clean the salmon and roughly chop it. Add to the bowl and mix gently with a spoon. It’s OK to have some good bite-sized pieces of whole salmon. Stir in the bacon, lemon juice, green onions, salt and pepper. Top with green onions if you like. Keep in fridge until ready to serve. I made this dip about 6 hours before our dinner, but you could also make it the day before to allow the flavors to meld. This was very delicious!
|The view from Steve and Deb’s back patio.
|My happy husband, Jerry, and me ready to dig into appetizers!
CHEESY SWEET POTATO COINS
WITH CHIPOTLE CREMA
This recipe came from a site called “The Foodie Physician” (https://thefoodiephysician.com/dining-with-doc-cheesy-sweet-potato/).
1 1/2 lbs. (about 3 medium) sweet potatoes (choose long, narrow potatoes)**
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. smoked paprika*
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. aged cheddar cheese
I was out of Smoked Paprika so used this spice blend of
Smoked Paprika, Garlic, Chili and Chives.
**I realized I was making too much food so only used one sweet potato, but kept all the proportions of all other ingredients as the recipe called for, which meant much more spice than if I had used 2 more potatoes. As with most recipes like this, you can take a lot of liberty.
1/2 cup lowfat plain Greek-style yogurt (I used one 7 oz. container FAGE 2%. This is Bobby Flay’s favorite so works for me!)
1 tsp. minced chipotles in adobo (I used a little less, but use more if you like spicy.)
1/2 tsp. adobo sauce from the can
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup sliced scallions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash the potatoes and slice them into 1/4 inch slices or “coins”. Use a mandolin if you have one or simply a sharp knife, which is what I did. Place them in a bowl and add oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Toss to combine well. Arrange the potato coins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip and roast another 10 minutes until tender.
At this point, I let the potato coins cool and bagged them to take to Deb’s. Before serving reheat at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes just to get warm. Top each coin with equal amounts cheddar cheese. Return the tray to the oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
You can also make the crema ahead of time. Mix yogurt, chipotles, adobo sauce and lime juice together in a small bowl. Arrange the sweet potato coins on a serving platter. Top each with a dollop with chipotle crema and garnish with scallions. Very good and good for you! Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and due to their orange color high in carotenoids.
The last appetizer was so simple it hardly needs a recipe, but here goes.
GARLIC ROAST BEEF PINWHEELS
3 soft flatbreads or flour tortillas
4-5 generous Tbsp. Garlic & Fine herb Boursin Cheese
3 Tbsp. prepared Basil Pesto
1/4 lb. (or 9 slices) good quality deli Roast Beef, thinly sliced and preferably rare
Salt to taste
Top each flatbread with 3 slices of roast beef. Gently salt the beef. Spread about 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Boursin cheese all over the beef. Add about 1 Tbsp. of Basil pesto. Roll up tightly the long way.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. To serve, trim off ends and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Plate, cut side down on a serving tray.
Can you believe after all these treats we moved into dinner? In the next blog I’ll talk about the continuation of our feast, which included Roast Duck Legs, Creamed Spinach baked in Portobello Mushrooms and Wild Rice with dried fruit. For dessert we had Coconut Date Bonbons, an excellent sugar-free treat.
In the meantime, remember to enjoy each and every precious moment of this glorious life! Be good to yourself and let friends and family know how much you love them.
This was such a special evening with good friends.
Can’t wait to share more!
Tune in again soon for another episode of: