Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese on Ciabatta

As spring comes around the corner, this is something I find myself siding towards. It's best served cold, and no one enjoys cold fingers in the winter. But, ahhhh, in the spring, when you can finally get outside and enjoy lunch at the park or with your window open, this is a winner. It's fresh, very satisfying, and messy as all get out. Make sure you have napkins and don't care what you look like while you're eating. If you do care, eat alone or learn to glory in the goodness of well made food. I pick the later and try to do it with class.


4 Ciabatta rolls, halved
8 oz goat cheese, at room temp
8-12 basil leaves

1 Jar of roasted red peppers, or 2 whole roasted red peppers
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, plus 1 tablespoon juice
2 cloves minced garlic

Drain canned peppers and place back in jar, or place roasted peppers in a shallow bowl. Mix balsamic vinegar, oil, capers, garlic, and salt/pepper and pour over peppers. For best results, marinate over night. For those who are craving this a little more immediately, spoon some sauce onto the bread to get the flavor effect.

Toast bread, layer on cheese, peppers, and top with basil leave.

Short hand: Marinate peppers, layer goat cheese, peppers and basil on toasted ciabatta bread. Eat like the Gods. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Let's be real. There are a thousand different versions of spinach artichoke dips floating around out there. I won't start making outrageous claims about how "this is the best!!!! thing!!!! ever!!!!!" like some people do about their variation of it. Because lets face it - it's not. There are a lot of things in life that are waaaaay better. In fact, there's even better food out there. Shocker, right?

Regardless of how snarky I can be, this basic recipe scratched an itch I'd been having for something salty and crunchy.

When it comes down to it, it's a bunch of mashed up artichoke hearts (ah, the real reason I was labeled a heartbreaker my whole life!), a handful or two of spinach, a few spoons of mayo, shredded asiago cheese, and some garlic salt. Pepper if you're adventurous. Heck, you can even measure the ingredients if you're going Downton Abby Formal on my. So, like I said, there is nothing special about this, other than the fact that when you eat it hot, on a crunch chip, your mouth starts craving more and before you realize what you've done, the whole thing is gone.

1 can artchoke hearts, drained and mashed
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded asiago, parmesan, OR swiss cheese
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 teaspoon garlic salt

***For anyone who is following a slow card or 'four hour body' diet, omit the cheese. If you want to add protein, mix in a few spoonfuls of black beans.

Mix everything together in a medium bowl, and transfer to a microwave or oven safe serving blow. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir. Return for an additional 2 minutes, stir again, and return for 1 minute. Yes, it's in there for five minutes. If not hot, keep heating in 1 minute intervals.

If for whatever reason you don't have or don't want to use your microwave, bake in a 350ยบ oven for about 30 minutes.

I don't use seasoned hearts, FYI. 

I only use olive oil mayo - yes mayo is 4HB certified. 

Ahhh, the cheese. 

Eat your heart out! Get it?! Hearts?!? hahaha! 

Either way you cook it, you're going to have one hot, easy, and delicious dish waiting for tortilla chips to hurry it to your salivating mouth. Enjoy!

Short Hand: Mix everything. Nuke it for 5 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Eat with chips.