Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cheesy Bacon Potato Rounds

I have seen these on Pinterest for a while now but have not had a chance to make them but when we were planning the menu for our Opening Ceremony party I was trying to think of something that would make a substantial amount of food while not breaking the bank.  

Whenever I can use potatoes that typically meets both of those goals.  Oh and I am obsessed with the any form or fashion!  They truly are my greatest weakness!!

As it turns out the most expensive ingredient was the bacon so I think this entire appetizer cost me no more than $15.  You really can't beat that if you ask me.  The bonus....they were devoured within 20 minutes of me putting them on the table! That is my kind of appetizer!

Cheesy Bacon Potato Rounds
as adapted from the blog Envy My Cooking

4-5 baking potatoes (depending on their size), cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup melted butter
8 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bunch chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Brush both side of potato slices with butter; place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
Bake in the preheated 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides, turning once.
When potatoes are ready, top with bacon, cheese, and green onion; continue baking until the cheese has melted
 Here are some pictures from our Opening Ceremonies Party....GO TEAM USA!!!! 
 If you are wondering, YES, Sara and Wade are wearing the same shorts! Oh and Hubert wanted to watch with us so he just sat down in between Allen and Matt!
 A very pensive Nicoll awaits the Olympics!
Wade is on the road to Team USA 2016
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Cookin' Our Catch

After our awesome day on the boat catching a million fish (that's right we were reelin' 'em in one after the other!) it was time to cook what we had caught. After we brought in the mackerel our captain said the best way to cook thta would be on the grill with a simple marinade and one that would be absolutely delicious, so we took his advice and assembled our ingredients:

Grilled Mackerel
Orange Juice
Soy Sauce
Italian Dressing
Combine the basting ingredients and brush the fish. 
Grill over medium heat, skin side down, basting occassionally until fish are done and flaky.
After we had figured out what to do with the mackerel it was time to figure out what to do with the shark. I think we all went into that one with a pretty skeptical mind...I thought it would be tough, fishy, bland, but since we caught it I was determined to cook it. Oh and we caught two so we had a ton of shark meat to eat! 

When we asked our captain how best to cook the shark he nonchalantly said to just fry it. Well that I knew how to do. I did a little research to figure out what type of batter I would need and then set out to make some good ole fried fish.

I must admit, it was my favorite. The mackerel is delicious and falls more along the lines of fish you would find in the grocery and on a restaurant menu, but the shark was pretty amazing in it's own right. The mackerel tends to be a more oil fish while shark falls more under the sturdy, almost steak-like fish.

Battered Fried Shark
2 lbs. shark fillets or other fish
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Oil for frying

Cut fillets into 1 inch chunks. 
Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add 1 cup water and vinegar. Mix well. Dip fish cubes into batter and drop into hot oil, 365 degrees. 
If you don't have a candy thermometer to measure the oil temp simply place one shark chunk in there to see how quickly it fries. 
Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. You will want to fry the strips in small batches otherwise the batter from each strip will stick together and you will end up with one really large fried shark chunk!  I would recommend frying 4 or 5 pieces at a time.
Drain on absorbent paper. 
Serve with Tartar Sauce.
I knew from the get-go that I wanted to make a tartar sauce for the shark because what goes better with fried fish than a good homemade tartar sauce, right? Well that is what I think so that is what I did and I am pretty sure that I would have eaten this sauce with a spoon!

Tartar Sauce
as adapted from Ina Garten's recipe
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons french pickle relish
1 tablespoon Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper fitted with a steel blade and pulse several times until the pickles are finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed but not pureed.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

White Pizza Dip

When you are at the beach in the dead of summer one would think we would err on the side of light, cool, crisp appetizers, but someone is going to have to explain to me how I am supposed to want veggies and ranch dip when I am presented with White Pizza Dip!  It's just not possible....I can't get it out of my head and it is all I want to try!

This is basically what happened when I was at the beach with my family and was aimlessly flipping through some food blogs while I waited for everyone to get ready to head down to the beach.  Once I came across this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs ( I was a mind!  We were simply going to have to have this for an appetizer before dinner.

As it turns out this is the perfect dish to take to a party as it is easy to assemble, simple in its list of ingredients and a crowd pleaser to put it mildly.  The only downfall is that it makes a TON so next time, unless I am taking it to a party, I will at least cut it in half as it was more than my family could eat, especially before dinner!

White Pizza Dip

1 pint grape tomatoes, tomatoes cut in half
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 (12 ounces) blocks cream cheese, softened
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces provolone cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano leaves
crackers, bread or chips for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then place tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt, then roast for 20-25 minutes, until bursting. Set aside.
While tomatoes are roasting, mix softened cream cheese with about 7 ounces each of provolone and mozzarella, then and parmesan. Stir in fresh herbs, garlic and roasted tomatoes, mixing well to combine.
Transfer mixture to an oven-safe baking dish (mine was 6 x 4 round).

Sprinkle with remaining provolone and mozzarella.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly.
Serve immediately with crackers, chip or toasted bread.
If I was taking this to a party I would go ahead and bake it in advance, cover it in aluminum foil and take so that by the time you arrive it has cooled enough to eat!
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