Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quick Pickled Pepper Onion Relish – Not Just for Mini Philly Cheesesteaks Anymore

As promised, here is the pepper and onion relish you saw me accessorize my bite-sized cheesesteaks a few videos ago. The whole trick here is to find peppadew peppers, which have a very vibrant, sweet-hot-tangy flavor, and quickly and easily turn a pan of sautéed onions and jalapeños into a world-class condiment.

Pretty much any large grocery store that has one of those self-serve salad/olive bars will have these peppers. Just be sure to ladle in some of the flavorful pickling liquid, as that’s what really brings this all together. You'll also sometimes see them in jars on the shelf, as well as online.

You can certainly use any jarred, pickled pepper, but this works best with something that’s on the sweet and spicy side. No matter what pepper you use, you can always adjust with salt, sugar, and/or vinegar. Like I said in the clip, even if you don’t do the mini Philly cheesesteaks, I still hope you give this versatile relish a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 1 cup of relish:
2/3 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup diced jalapeño
1/2 cup diced Peppadew peppers, or other sweet-hot pickled pepper
1/4 to 1/3 cup of the reserved Peppadew liquid, or as needed

Thursday, January 22, 2015

“Loaded Baked Potato” Super Bowl Dip – [Insert Deflated Football Joke Here]

Any decent Super Bowl snack table has to have a few substantial dips, and this “loaded baked potato” dip, with its three pounds of bacon, is nothing if not substantial. 

It’s also shaped like a football, which of course has been proven to taste better to people drinking beer than dips in a bowl. Speaking of beer, I think will pair nicely with something cheap, domestic, and in a can. Save the Pliny for the Kobe sliders. 

Needless to say, you can doctor this dip any way you see fit. There are so many ways you can “Tom Brady” this football, and change it to your liking. Some roasted chilies would be great, or maybe even some of that pickled pepper-onion relish I’m about to show you.

If you do want a stiffer mixture, for sculpting a more realistically shaped football, you could use part cream cheese, but I liked the lighter texture, and we still got enough height to qualify as 3-D. So, if you’re looking for a fun and delicious Super Bowl dip recipe, I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 48 servings:
3 pounds bacon
3 pounds (6 cups) sour cream
1/2 pound grated extra-sharp cheddar
1 cup chopped green onions for dip, plus more chopped green parts for the “grass.”
pinch of cayenne
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
lots of potato chips

Jury Duty Update

I was asked to leave. Apparently, I'm not "jury box material." Oh well, I think we're all probably better off. Anyway, I'm working on a new Super Bowl dip recipe now, which should be up later tonight. And, yes, of course I'm going to predict the winner of the Big Game using chicken wing bones. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mini Philly Cheesesteaks – Winning the Super Bowl Snack Table

Miniaturized sandwiches don’t usually float my boat, or submarine, as they’re almost always not as good as the full-sized versions, but these mini Philly cheesesteaks really captured everything I love about the classic.

Thinly sliced rib eye is traditionally used, and it’s fried and chopped on the grill, before meeting cheese and bread. Since we’re going to “grill” these in the oven, we’ll use a nice, juicy skirt steak instead, which has a big beefy flavor, and great marbling.

It will brown up around the edges, yet stay moist and tender because of the fat and connective tissue. I also really enjoyed the double shot of the sliced provolone and provolone “cheez whiz,” which provided a great creamy, richness. The peppers and onions brought everything together, and long story short, I ate the whole tray.

This was great hot, warm, and cold, and that alone makes it a perfect choice for your Super Bowl snack spread. Also, stay tuned for the quick and easy pickled pepper and onion relish recipe I mentioned in the clip. I hope you give these mini Philly cheesesteaks a try soon. Enjoy!

Enough for about 48 mini Philly cheesesteaks:

12 ounce skirt steak, or flap meat, or rib eye, or NY Strip
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup of pickled pepper and onion relish (stay tuned for video), OR 1/2 cup of sautéed onions and sweet peppers
*once mixed, be sure to taste and salt the final diced steak mixture!

For the “cheez whiz” sauce:
2 generous tablespoons flour
2 generous tablespoons butter
1 cup cold milk
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
salt to taste
2 thick slices provolone cheese (about 2 to 3 ounces), torn up

48 slices of baguette
sliced or grated provolone to top the cheesesteaks

Once assembled, bake at 400 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is browned