French Onion Dip

The Super Bowl is coming up! I’d be lying you to if I said I was really into football (and we don’t lie to each other on this blog) but I AM super pumped for all of the food that I’ll get to munch on during the game. This year, I don’t think there will be a snackadium involved, but I’m ok with just eating this dip.

I’d really just like to face-plant into this french onion dip. Over and over again. There’s something wonderful about caramelized onions, and it makes me want to find caramelized onion scented candles so I can continuously smell the aroma.

Making caramelized onions also lets me practice patience. The longer you wait, the more delicious they will taste. And it’s worth it! This french onion dip (adapted from Iowa Girl Eats) is made with Greek yogurt and cream cheese, instead of mayonnaise and sour cream, which I think adds a fantastic touch. It makes a big bowl and although you can eat it right away, I recommend chilling it for a few hours in the fridge. Again, that patience thing.

You can make it the night before and it will be a fantastic addition to your Super Bowl party…or on any ol’ day, really. It’s also great served with veggies!

Homemade French Onion Dip

What are your plans for the Super Bowl?

Recipe adapted from Kristen over at Iowa Girl Eats

Homemade French Onion Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese (1 package), at room temperature
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and stir to make sure the olive oil coats all of them.
  2. When the onions become translucent (about 5-7 mins) stir in 1/2 cup beef broth.
  3. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature down to medium/medium-low heat.
  4. Continue to cook onions until they are brown and caramelized…about 45-60 minute total, stirring every few minutes. If the onions are burning, turn the heat down a bit. The onions will start to turn a caramel color and then a deep amber–this is when you know they are done.
  5. Add the Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and then cook for about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and place onions on a plate or in a bowl to cool.
  6. When the onions are cooled, mix the room temp cream cheese (i softened it in the microwave), Greek yogurt, dried thyme, and additional salt/pepper together in a medium sized bowl.
  7. Then add the onions to the cream cheese/Greek yogurt mixture and incorporate until everything is mixed together.
  8. Top off with a little extra dried thyme for garnish, and then serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

I was excited to get the opportunity to work with Kraft and create a recipe using their cheeses. I’m always overly eager to consume any and all types of cheese so this project was perfect.

I decided to make this tart because I love the combination of flavors and texture. It’s creamy, sweet, and slightly salty with a flaky crust. The trick to this dish is to get your onions fully caramelized and then to add tons of cheese! It makes a great appetizer for a party, a delicious snack, or a fun addition to a weeknight dinner. All you need is a sheet of puff pastry, some olive oil, red pepper flakes, a sheet of puff pastry, onions (plus some butter), arugula, and 3 types of cheese: mozzarella, goat, and parmesan.

I recommend making this recipe in 2 parts: 1) Caramelize the onions the night before and then 2) Assemble and bake the tart the next day. It takes about an hour to get your onions caramelized, which seems like a long time but it’s well worth it. Once you achieve that deep, sweet taste, you know you’ve got yourself some perfectly caramelized onions. This is probably the longest part. Also, I only ended up using about 3/4 of the caramelized onions on the tart so I got to save some to use in other dishes! Score. 

The rest is easy. You simply roll out the dough, add the toppings and then bake away.

Once the tart is fully baked, top everything off with some arugula. Now, I LOVE arugula and it pairs sooo well with this tart but you don’t need it. The tart is delicious on its own so if you’re not a fan of that particular green leaf, leave it out. No harm, no foul.

But since I’m a big fan of arugula, I added a ton :) What’s also wonderful about this recipe is that it can be easily doubled or tripled for big parties. You already have extra cheese, puff pastry packs come with at least two sheets, and you can just pick up a few more onions. Voila! 

 

Three Cheese Caramelized Onion Tart with Arugula Recipe

  • 2 Medium yellow onions, sliced thinly 
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 Puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil – drizzle then brush
  • 1/8 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to your liking)
  • 1/2 Cup Kraft mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Kraft parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Cup goat cheese
  • Arugula

To caramelize the onions

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the sliced onions and stir until the onions are all coated evenly with the butter and softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Then continue to let the onions cook for another 40-50 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. You don’t want to stir them too much or else they won’t brown properly–just enough so that they don’t burn and stick to the pan. Depending on how hot your stove is you also might have to turn down the heat.
  4. Once the onions start turning a deeper brown and are almost done (about 50-55 minutes), add about 1/4 cup water to deglaze the pan and then cook for another 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and salt the onions to taste.  

To assemble the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the puff pastry until it is about 13×10 inches. 
  3. Fold in each side about 1 inch to form a crust and then place the puff pastry on the baking sheet.  
  4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the entire puff pastry (crust part too) and then brush it so that it spreads evenly. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  5. Spread an even layer of Kraft mozzarella cheese on main part of the tart. Then do the same with the goat cheese. 
  6. Add a solid layer of caramelized onions over the top of the cheeses (this was about 3/4 of the onions I ended up caramelizing) and then top the tart off with an even sprinkle of Kraft parmesan cheese. 
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is cooked through and the edges are golden brown. 
  8. Let cool slightly and then top with arugula. 
  9. Cut into pieces and serve immediately. 

From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sausage Apple and Sage Stuffing

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! And I can’t wait. It’s my favorite holiday by far…you don’t have to stress about getting people gifts, friends and families get to spend quality time together, and then you just eat and eat and eat until you want to pass out and nap. Who could ask for more?

Sage Apple Sausage Stuffing

One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is stuffing. I guess it’s technically called dressing if you don’t cook it inside the turkey…but that sounds like salad dressing and it’s confusing, right? So let’s stick to calling it “stuffing” even though it’s baked in a casserole dish.

This stuffing is sourdough heaven. It has a slight apple tang, a hearty flavor from the sausage, and then a heavy  drizzle of browned butter and fried sage.

Can we talk about combining browned butter and sage for a minute? It produces the most amazing aroma ever. If you’ve never tried this, do it…you won’t regret it.

Sausage Stuffing with Apples and Sage

This recipe will make enough to feed 8-10 people. You pack it down into a 9×13 inch casserole dish and then bake it until the top is nice and crispy. It’s also really easy to make! The hardest part is slicing the bread into 1 inch cubes (why don’t I have a sharper bread knife for this?!).

The apple/sausage/sage combo is a fantastic alternative to your traditional stuffing recipe. Plus, if you’re not cooking for a big group, leftovers tastes just as delicious when heated up the next day!

Stuffing with Sausage Apple and Sage

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? 6 more days until Thanksgiving! :)

Sausage, Apple, and Sage Stuffing
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Loaf of sourdough bread
  • 1 Lb sausage, removed from casing, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 Green apples, peeled and diced into 1/2-1 in cubes
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 4 Stalks of celery, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 Heaping tablespoon of fresh sage, minced (about 8-10 leaves)
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 1 Can of chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. The Night before: Cut bread into 1 inch cubes the night before and leave in bowl to dry out.*
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet (spread evenly) and bake for 5-10 mins to dry out the bread.
  4. In a large skillet, melt 5 tbs of the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chopped celery, onions, and apples and cook until the apples and celery are softened (about 10 mins).
  5. In a very large bowl, combine the apple/celery/onion mixture, the bread cubes, and the sausage together.
  6. Using the same pan that you cooked the celery in, melt the remaining 3 tbs butter over medium high heat. Add the minced sage.
  7. Swirl the pan so that the butter doesn’t burn but keep cooking it until you start to see brown bits and the butter is golden brown–you must watch this carefully as browned butter can turn into burnt butter quickly!
  8. Drizzle the sage/brown butter combo over the stuffing and stir to incorporate.
  9. Mix in the chicken broth a little at a time until the stuffing is nice and moist.
  10. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and some pepper to taste.
  11. Pour everything into a lightly buttered 9×13 casserole dish. Push down the mixture lightly to condense it a little bit.
  12. Pop into the oven for 30-40 or until the stuffing is heated through and the top is crispy.

Notes
*If you don’t have time to dry out the bread cube the night before, just toast the cubes a little longer in the oven.

 

 

Shrimp and Avocado Crostini

Avocados are amazing. Especially when you find one that’s perfectly ripe and beautifully green after you slice it in half. You know that awesome feeling, right? Or is it just me?? It’s like a small, but very fulfilling food win that deserves a pat on the back :) And shrimp? Anything with seafood is delicious in my book. Add a little citrus and spice, and you’ve got yourself an easy, flavorful snack/appetizer!

Avocado and Shrimp Crostini

Remember how I’m training for my first half marathon? Well, it’s in less than a month…EEK!…and I’m definitely not prepared. I’m running the race with a few coworkers, my roommate, and two of my friends so although I’m huffing and puffing during each of my runs, I’m really excited to finish a 13.1 mile race! A fellow food blogger friend, Ishita, was also training for a different half (which she just completed–go Ishita!) so we had a lot of fun motivating and updating each other about our training.

Because I’ve been running so much each week, I’ve been paying more attention to what I’m eating/drinking for fuel. And avocados have been a staple in my diet lately. They have an abundance of healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. Plus, some say that eating avocados can give you healthier hair and skin–and well, I’m not positive it’s true, but sure I’ll believe it!

Crostini with Avocado and Shrimp

This shrimp and avocado combo is delicious. It’s super easy to whip up, and it makes a great appetizer for a fancy dinner or fun potluck. You just combine all of the ingredients, refrigerate it for just a short time, and then toast some crusty bread!

Plus, shrimp, avocado, and bread = perfect workout fuel! :) Right?

Enjoy!

Shrimp and Avocado Crostini
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Pound of shrimp, cooked and cooled, cut up into 1/2-1 inch pieces
  • 1 Large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 Small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • Small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Baguette
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced

Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, avocado, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeno. Add salt and pepper to taste (I recommend more salt than pepper). Then while preparing bread, stick the shrimp/avocado mix in the fridge.
  2. Slice the baguette into 1 inch slices and then brush both sides of each bread piece with olive oil.
  3. Using a grill or grill pan (set on high temperature), toast each side of the bread until it is golden brown. (Alternatively, you can toast the bread in the oven).
  4. Once the bread is toasted, top each piece off with a spoonful of the avocado/shrimp mix.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 

Spicy Jalapeno and Bacon IPA Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese

I like my bacon extra crispy. Like so crispy that it’s nearly burnt. That’s the only way to eat bacon. Bacon + Avocado + Pepper Jack + IPA + Meat? Even better.

Cooking with beer is awesome. It adds so much flavor to a dish and is fun to pair with your meal. My friends and I headed up north to the quiet town of Willits last weekend and we even created a beer-inspired menu! More on that next week though.

This burger is a summer must. It’s really easy to throw all of the ingredients together. Switch up those boring frozen burger patties and give this a try! The IPA adds a nice taste and I love the kick that the jalapeños and cheese add. I also encourage using grass-fed beef and fresh ingredients to keep it on the healthy side (well, ya know what I mean). Also, this burger tastes just as delicious when it’s made on a grill pan in your kitchen as it does on an outdoor BBQ grill. Add some easy baked sweet potato fries on the side and you’re good to go.

You can also freeze them! I ended up doing this because it made about 6 patties. Every once in a while, I’ll take one out of a freezer, toast a hamburger bun, and cook one up for dinner. So if you’re planning on grilling this weekend or are just in the mood for a burger, you should give these a taste. My only wish…is that I topped the burger off with onion rings. Anyone agree? Next time!

Spicy Jalapeno Bacon IPA Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese

Spicy Jalapeño and Bacon IPA Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 1 lb Lean grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 Cup of your favorite IPA beer
  • 1/4 Cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4-1/2 Of a small yellow onion (depending on how big the onion is)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard (a spicy brown one works too)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper (a couple turns, about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
  • 4-6 Hamburger buns
Toppings (grab enough of the ingredients below to top each burger):
  • Bacon, fried
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Jalapeños
  • Pepper Jack cheese, sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Spicy mustard/ketchup

Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients (except for the toppings) in a large mixing bowl. You can mix everything together with a wooden spoon or your hands.
  2. Using your hands, grab a handful of the mixed burger meat, and shape it into a patty about 1 inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the meat.
  3. Heat grill pan or grill to med-high heat.
  4. Place the patties on the hot grill and cook for about 4 mins on one side then flip and then cook another 3-5 minutes (depending on how thick your burgers are).
  5. When the patties are almost ready, top them each off with a generous amount of jalapeños and then lay a slice of pepper jack cheese over the jalapeños.
  6. Cover the grill (or use a large pot lid to cover an individual patty) and let them cook for another minute, or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve the burgers on a toasted bun with all of the toppings.

Notes
PRO TIP #1: This recipe makes 4-6 burger patties depending on how big each of them are so adjust recipe accordingly when cooking for a group of people. PRO TIP #2: To freeze the burgers, individually wrap each patty in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer ziplock bag.

 

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