Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl Apps!

“We’re not here to cause no trouble.  We’re just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.”  Does anyone else immediately sing that when they think about the Super Bowl?  No?  Just me?  Huh.  Yes, I know that was the Chicago Bears, who won’t be playing this Sunday, but I still sing it each and every time I think about the Super Bowl.  Maybe that is because I don’t think about the actual game, who is playing, who will win, etc.  I’m just in it for the food, folks.  Especially since the Niners aren’t playing.

The Super Bowl is a huge food day for me.  Why, you ask?  Because it is usually straight finger foods.  All apps, the whole time.  That is a day I can get behind.  I don’t care what sport they are playing.  This could be the biggest Curling tournament of the year, and I would still be excited.  Because I get to eat my body weight in Buffalo wings.

But I will leave the Buffalo wings to someone else.  Seriously, Travis….provide the Buffalo wings.  My menu this year for the big day is:

Irish Nachos with a Chipotle Cheese Sauce

Cheesy Beer Dip with Pretzels

BBQ Short Rib Sliders

Blue Cheese and Bacon Coleslaw

Loaded Brownies

Are you hungry yet?

I will start by showing you how to make the Cheesy Beer Dip.  This dip is a warm dip that should be kept warm in a mini slow cooker or fondue pot.  It is a yummy combination of beer, cheese, and mustard.  Seriously, perfect for pretzels.

For this dip, I used a brick of processed cheese, a beer, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and smoked cheddar jack.  Go ahead and laugh at the Velveeta.  But let’s be honest here….it melts like nobody’s business.  I know you might also laugh at my choice of beers.  I would prefer a dark beer here, but this was what I had.

I was lucky enough to find a smoked cheddar jack.  You can use either a smoked cheddar or mozzarella.  Your choice.

I diced my brick o’ processed cheese for easier melting.

I melted my processed cheese cubes in the beer.  Once the cheese was melted and smooth, I added in the mustard, Worcestershire and smoked cheddar jack.

This takes about 10 minutes over medium-low heat.  You don’t want the heat to high on this or the bottom will burn, and you will have weird brown chunks in your dip.

Once it is all smooth, let it cook for an additional 10 minutes to thicken.  Stir occasionally, you really want this smooth!!

I kept my dip warm in a mini slow cooker.  If you can’t keep it warm, just put it back on the stove a few times and re-heat it.

What goes better with pretzels then beer, cheese and mustard?  This dip is smoky, melty and delicious.  And you can totally taste the beer, which is the best part!  Super boy friendly too.

Soft pretzels would be yummy with this too!

My next appetizer is my Irish Nachos with a Chipotle Cheese Sauce.  What are Irish Nachos you ask?  They are nachos, but instead of using chips, I used potatoes.  Waffle cut fries to be exact.  Were you expecting some sort of weird mix of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes?

I make my own nacho cheese sauce for this recipe, and it is shockingly easy.  It isn’t neon orange like nacho cheese sauces that you are used too….but it is 100 times better.

For the sauce, I used cheddar jack cheese, evaporated milk, corn starch, and one chipotle.

You could totally use all cheddar here, or even pepper jack.  I like the combination of cheddar and jack cheeses.

My chipotle is just one straight out of a can.  I diced it up, leaving the seeds.  You can use two if you like the spice.

I started by tossing my cheese with the corn starch…off the heat.  Then, I turned the heat onto medium and added the evaporated milk.

I whisked this sauce as it cooked for about 10 minutes.  At first, it will seem really weird and stringy, and you will be cursing me for steering you wrong.  Keep whisking and cooking, and it will come together as a sauce.  I promise.  At some point in all that stirring, stir in your diced chipotle.  It really doesn’t matter when.

I serve my nachos on a “Family Sized” bag of waffle cut fries.  I also topped them with salsa, red onion, sour cream and guacamole.  Usually, I would use black beans too.  And I will on Sunday!  You can top your nachos with whatever you want;)  I’m not the boss of you.

Yum!  I love nachos, and this cheese sauce puts the cans of “Que Bueno” that I usually use to shame.  So, so good.

So that was my apps.  On Thursday, I will show you how to make the rest!  I’m so ready for Sunday!

Are you ready for some football?

Ok, I will lay off the lame quotes;)

Beer Cheese Dip

16 ounces processed cheese spread, cubed

8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, grated

12 ounces dark beer

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 tablespoons mustard

Add all ingredients to a medium sized pot.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cheeses are melted.  This will take about 8 minutes.

Keep warm in a small slow cooker or fondue pot.

Serve with assorted soft and hard pretzels.

Makes about 3 cups of dip

Irish Nachos with a Chipotle Cheese Sauce

1.25 lb. bag of frozen waffle fries

4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

4 ounces jack cheese, grated

1 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 to 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (from can), minced

½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup tomato, diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

¼ cup guacamole

¼ cup sour cream

Bake waffle fries according to package directions.

While fries bake, place cheeses and cornstarch in a bowl.  Toss to combine.  Place cheese mixture in a medium sized pot and add evaporated milk and minced chipotle pepper.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.  As cheese melts, it will become stringy.  Keep stirring, and cheese sauce will become smooth.  This will take about 5 minutes.

Pour cheese sauce over cooked fries.  Add remaining toppings and serve warm.

Serves 8 -10

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