Appetizers

Loaded Queso Fries

by Shawnda on May 2, 2014

in Appetizers,Cinco de Mayo,Mexican & TexMex,Sides,Vegetarian,Veggies & Starches

Loaded Fries with Chile con Queso

“You’re going to get me kicked off the internet for this.”

Not the first time I’ve said those words to Jason… probably won’t be the last, either.

But he has a point. There is no such thing as too much queso. Nor is there any shortage of things to do with the leftovers. Especially if you have no shame and even less regard for cholesterol levels. Hi, I’m Shawnda :)

Loaded Fries with Chile con Queso

On Cinco Eve, when you’re trying to decide whether you should double or triple your favorite queso recipe between sips of margarita (of course) – go with the little tequila bottle whispering in your ear.

Triple it.

Because if your friends disappoint you and don’t lick the bowl clean, you have options.

Loaded Fries with Chile con Queso

There’s Eggs Benedict. And not that you really need anymore options after that because [swoon]…

Then there’s that thing where you dump it over a pan of enchiladas for the ultimate cheesy enchiladas. Or over a chicken cheesesteak for a killer sandwich.

Loaded Fries with Chile con Queso

And then there’s scooping the leftovers over a pan of oven-baked fries (because frying anything destined to be covered in cheese is kind of irresponsible). And then top it with a mound of pico de gallo (vegetables!) and avocado (avocado!) and a few squeezes of lime juice (expensive!).

Loaded Fries with Chile con Queso

Loaded Queso Fries

The ultimate Cinco de Mayo hangover cure: baked french fries topped with leftover queso, pico de gallo, and avocado.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Bake fries according to package instructions.
  2. Warm the queso and then scoop over the still-hot fries and lightly toss.
  3. Serve topped with a generous scoop of pico de gallo, diced avocado, and the juice from the lime wedges.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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Guacamole with Goat Cheese, Grilled Mexican Corn, and Bacon

Let’s be honest here – anything more than salt, lemon, a little lime, and avocado isn’t really necessary to make guacamole. It’s pretty perfect, just like that. But that doesn’t mean you have to – or should – stop there. I know I almost never do.

Guacamole with Goat Cheese, Grilled Mexican Corn, and Bacon

For this year’s Cinco (Cuatro) de Mayo Bash, I was thinking of doing a “guacamole bar” al a my friend Josie with bowls of fun toppings for guests to top their own smashed perfection, things like:

Pico de gallo
Chopped jalapenos
Grilled pineapple
Goat cheese
Bacon
Mexican grilled corn, cut off the cob
Grilled tomatillos
And a mountain of cilantro.

Because I’ve yet to discover that line where “too much cilantro” is actually too much cilantro. (As long as chocolate isn’t involved, I’m not sure that line exists.)

Guacamole with Goat Cheese, Grilled Mexican Corn, and Bacon

For this batch, I took three of those ingredients: The kernels cut from two Mexican grilled corn cobs, some tangy goat cheese, and a couple slices of salty, smokey, crispy bacony bacon. And I made what was quite possibly the best guacamole combo ever. (You know, aside from “best guacamole ever” that is simply the bare minimum.)

Guacamole with Grilled Corn, Bacon, and Goat Cheese

Guacamole studded with grilled Mexican corn, tangy goat cheese, and smokey bacon.

Ingredients

  • 3 large avocados, seeded and diced.
  • Juice of 1 small-ish lemon (~2-3 Tbsp)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
  • Kernels cut from 2 Mexican grilled corn cobs
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon, crumbled
  • Large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

  1. Smash the avocado with lemon juice, lime juice, and salt.
  2. Fold in the corn, goat cheese, bacon, and cilantro.
  3. Serve cold or room temperature.
  4. For breakfast or a party.
  5. Or lunch.

Notes

Yields: ~3 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

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Simple Ceviche for Cinco de Mayo

You know what beats a weekend bowl of ice-cold ceviche, crunchy tortilla chips, and a frosty-mug margarita by the pool?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

A few years ago, Jason & I dumped our not-even-a-year-old little girl in my aunt’s lap, ran away laughing maniacally, and then spent the better part of the next week sustaining on the world’s most fabulous ceviches, guacamole, and margaritas in Mexico.

Octopus (shockingly Jason’s favorite), sea bass, snapper… whatever they had literally caught that morning, was ceviche by our 2pm Margarita Break. It does not get any fresher than that.

Simple Ceviche for Cinco de Mayo

Ceviche is simply fresh raw fish that is “cooked” in an acidic citrus marinade and then mixed with… well, any variety of things: capers, onions, spicy peppers (a must!), olives, tomatoes, avocado, etc. Don’t be weirded out by the “raw” aspect. Ceviche is phenomenal. Cold, fresh, tangy, and crunchy.

We make a simplified version of that beach-side staple at home a few times each summer, mixing the fish with pico de gallo, avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, and the perfect crunchy vehicle: corn tortilla chips. And all for substantially less than 2 roundtrips to the Riviera Maya and a babysitter.

We have this ceviche on our menu again for this weekend’s Cinco (Cuatro) de Mayo bash. I hope our guests aren’t so weirded out by it that I’m forced to eat it all by myself.*

Simple Ceviche for Cinco de Mayo

*That would be a total lie.

Simple Ceviche

A simple ceviche served with pico de gallo and avocado.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • 1 lb of the freshest fish you can get (I use sea bass or halibut; scallops and snapper are also internet-recommended), skinned and diced into 1/2-inch or smaller cubes
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • For the pico de gallo:
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 jalapeno or serrano, finely diced
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • For serving:
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • Olive oil
  • Corn tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Place the fish and lime juice in a small-to-medium glass bowl (size matters - giggle - so all of the fish is in contact with the juice but not overcrowded), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
  2. Just before serving, assemble the pico de gallo and pace it in a medium bowl with the chopped avocado.
  3. Drain the fish, discarding the lime juice, and add to the avocado mixture.
  4. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and lightly mix.
  5. Serve immediately with chips.

Notes

Yields: 8-10 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 3 hours 30 minutes

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Beer Caramelized Onion Dip

by Shawnda on January 26, 2014

in Appetizers,Tailgating Favorites

Beer & Caramelized Onion Dip

Omaha! OMAHA!

This Sunday, the players from my two favorite teams will be doing the exact same thing that Jason & I will be doing: watching the Super Bowl on TV.

Beer & Caramelized Onion Dip

The Colts were this close. And the Texans? The opposite of close. Next year, man. Next year.

But this year? We’re going to sit on our couch, except for the occasional trip to the keg fridge in the garage, and eat this dip while we watch the last bit of televised football until August.

Beer & Caramelized Onion Dip

It’s a Super magical gameday concoction of caramelized onions simmered in beer, 6 cloves of roasted garlic (because there’s no such thing as too much garlic), and cheddar baked in to a Super magical bubbly dip.

Chips. Crackers. Sliced bread. A spoon. Whatever you got. Because it all works.

Beer & Caramelized Onion Dip

So go make this dip. And go Broncos!

Beer Caramelized Onion Dip

A bubbling hot dip of caramelized onions, roasted garlic, cheddar, and beer. And go Broncos!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium/large onions, thinly sliced*
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 cup beer (I used our homebrew amber ale)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 green onions, sliced and dark green parts reserved for garnish
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • * Don't be shy about throwing in those 4 sketchy little shallots that you bought but can't remember why; add them after the onions have cooked for ~15 minutes.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Make a small foil pouch for the whole/unpeeled garlic cloves, drizzle with oil, seal, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  3. While the garlic is roasting, heat a little olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onions.
  4. Cover and stir occasionally for 30-35 minutes. You can turn up the heat a little to speed the process but be careful not to burn the onions.
  5. Once the onions are all a beautiful golden brown, add the beer, cover with the lid slightly ajar until the liquid has reduced to a glaze.
  6. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel and add to a medium bowl with the cream cheese, a pinch of salt, some pepper, and sour cream.
  7. Mash the garlic with a fork into the ingredients and mix until uniform.
  8. Stir in the white and light green parts of the green onions, the cheese, and the onions (reserving a small spoonful for garnish, if desired).
  9. Transfer to a small baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes, until bubbling.
  10. Serve topped with the reserved beer caramelized onions and green onions.

Notes

Yields: ~3 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 10 minutes

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