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ONLINE EXTRA -- APPETIZING DIPS: Steak-Cut Oven Fries with Blue Cheese Dip . . . Salmon Rillettes . . . Roasted Artichoke Dip, etc.

Steak-Cut Oven Fries with Blue Cheese Dip

FOR DIP:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup crumbled Maytag or other blue cheese (about 6 ounces)

½ cup buttermilk

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon celery seed

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

FOR FRIES:

4 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt to taste

Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Prepare blue cheese dip: In food processor fitted with metal blade, combine mayonnaise, blue cheese, buttermilk, shallot, lemon juice and zest, Worcestershire, salt and celery seed. Pulse until evenly combined but still slightly chunky. Stir in parsley and season with pepper, to taste. Transfer dip to bowl and refrigerate for flavors to come together while you make fries.

Prepare fries: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Place baking sheet on center rack and preheat 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut potatoes lengthwise into wedges by eighths, leaving skins on. In large bowl, toss wedges with olive oil.

Carefully remove baking sheet from oven and arrange potato wedges on it, cut side down, keeping them evenly spaced. Using rubber spatula, scrape remaining oil in bowl over potatoes (it helps them get crispy). Bake until browned and crisp, about 30 minutes. Transfer fries to serving platter, arranging them so that they overlap slightly and season with salt. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with blue cheese dip.

Yield: Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional analysis serving: 400 calories, 55 percent of calories from fat,

24.4 grams fat, 6.1 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 1.5 grams fiber, 700 milligrams sodium, 89 milligrams calcium.

Salmon Rillettes

3 cups water

1 pound skinless salmon fillet

½ pound smoked salmon, finely chopped

½ cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

¾ cup minced shallots

1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons drained capers

2 teaspoons brandy or B&B liqueur

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

FOR SERVING:

Toasted sliced baguette or crackers or cucumber slices

Sprigs of Italian parsley for garnish

Bring 3 cups water to boil in deep, 12-inch skillet on high heat. Add fresh salmon; reduce heat and poach at bare simmer, turning once, until just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. With slotted spatula, transfer salmon to bowl and cool.

Flake poached salmon with fork. Add smoked salmon, butter, shallots, parsley, lemon juice, mustard, capers, brandy, zest, salt and pepper. Stir until well-combined. Pack into 1-quartterrine or bowl. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours. Serve with bread, crackers and/o rcucumber slices. Garnish with Italian parsley. Provide a small spreading knife.

Yield: About 4 cups

Approximate nutritional analysis per teaspoon: 107 calories, 47 percent of calories from fat, 5.6 grams fat, 6.3 grams protein, 4.9 grams carbohydrates, 0.1 grams fiber, 85 milligrams sodium, 21 milligrams calcium.

Roasted Artichoke Dip

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced

2 ounces butter

2 ounces all purpose flour

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup chicken broth

2/3 cup pecorino and romano cheese, grated

½ cup pecorino and romano cheese for topping

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Tabasco

1 teaspoon kosher salt

12 cranks black pepper

¼ cup sour cream

1 12-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped

In a 2-quart iron skillet over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in butter until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon and cook, continually stirring, for 1 minute.

Slowly whisk in cream and broth, and continue cooking until it reaches a boil. Stir in 2/3 cup grated cheese, lemon juice, Tabasco and salt and pepper until cheese has melted completely.

Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and artichoke hearts. Check for seasoning; you can adjust by adding more salt or pepper. Top with ½ cup cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 4 to 8 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips or baked pita bread.

Yield: Serves 12.

Note: If you make the dip ahead of time, it can be refrigerated for as long as 3 days in an airtight container. Try adding chopped boiled shrimp with the artichoke hearts.

Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Sauce

For SHRIMP:

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

¾ cup all-purpose flour, divided use

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup fat-free milk

½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

¼ cup shredded coconut

Cooking spray

FOR DIPPING SAUCE:

¼ cup light sour cream

2 tablespoons liquid pina colada mix

2 tablespoons canned crushed pineapple (packed in water, not syrup)

½ tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Set a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put the empty baking sheet and rack in the 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the dipping sauce ingredients, cover and put it in the refrigerator to chill while you make the shrimp.

Put half of the flour in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, mix together the remaining flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Stir the milk into this flour mixture and let this batter stand for 5 minutes.

While the batter rests, combine panko bread crumbs and coconut into a third medium bowl.

Remove the heated baking sheet and rack from the oven.

To batter the shrimp, dip each one in the plain flour, then the wet batter. Next, coat each shrimp with the panko-coconut mixture. Coat the preheated rack with cooking spray. Carefully place each shrimp on the hot rack and lightly coat the shrimp with cooking spray.

Put the shrimp in the 400-degree oven and bake for about 9 to 12 minutes, or until the shrimp is fully cooked and the breading is crispy.

Serve shrimp with pina colada dipping sauce on the side.

Yield: Serves 3.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (4 shrimp with 2 tablespoons sauce): 293 calories, 49 grams carbohydrates, 5.8 fat grams, 310 milligrams sodium, 1.5 grams fiber, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 15 grams protein.

Green Onion Dip

1½ cups light sour cream

¾ cup minced green onion

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1 tablespoon grated onion

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Pepper and salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients well. Cover and chill at least two hours or overnight. Serve with crudites or chips.

Yield: 2 cups.

Approximate nutritional analysis per tablespoon: 25 calories, 2 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 45 milligrams sodium, 2 grams carbohydrates.

Artichoke Spinach Dip with Pesto

14 ounces canned or frozen artichoke hearts, drained, diced

9 ounces frozen creamed spinach, thawed

½ cup diced red onion

2 tablespoons pesto

½ cup grated parmesan

¼ cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven or gas grill to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients well.

If using an oven, transfer mixture to a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, until heated through. For a grill, use a 9x9-inch foil baking pan and cover with foil. Place on grill and let cook for 15 minutes, turning the pan every five minutes to keep the heat even. Serve with chips.

Crab Dip

2 6-ounce cans lump crab meat, drained, flaked and picked clean

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, regular or low-fat, softened

1 3-ounce jar diced pimentos

1/3 cup finely chopped white sweet onion

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons hot sauce

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Sour cream to thin (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Blend well or process in a food processor. Chill for about one hour before serving. Add a small amount of sour cream for a thinner dip.

Clam Dip

4 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese

1 6.5-ounce can minced clams

2 teaspoons finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco pepper sauce (a few drops)

1 tablespoons mayonaisse

2 or 3 tablespoons finely cut fresh parsley

Soften the cream cheese. Add the minced clams and chopped onion and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well blended. Refirgerate to chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with assorted snack crackers.

Fresh Fruit Dip

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, regular, low-fat or fat free

4 ounces. regular, low fat or fat free sour cream

½ box regular or sugar-free vanilla instant pudding

¼ cup skim milk

Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together. Mix the vanilla pudding into skim milk. Combine with the cream cheese/sour cream mixture. Refrigerate until serving. Tor a thinner dip, stir in a small amount of skim milk. Serve with fresh fruit.

Pepperoni Pizza Dip

1 8-ounce package light cream cheese

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

½ cup prepared pizza sauce

2 tablespoons finely chopped bell pepper

½ cup diced pepperoni

Blend the cream cheese with the and Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Spread the mixture in the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch glass pie or cake pan. Top with half of the mozzarella, then the pizza sauce, then the remaining mozzarella, then the chopped bell pepper and diced pepperoni. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm with snack crackers or corn chips.

Layered Taco Dip

1 16-ounce can refried beans

1 4-ounce package taco seasoning mix

¼ cup green chilies, finely chopped

¼ cup black olives, finely chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, medium size, chopped

8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese

1 avocado, medium size, mashed (optional)

Mix the taco seasoning and refried beans together. Spread the mixture in a 9-inch glass pie pan or similar dish. Layer the other ingredients, in the order given, on top of bean mixture. Microwave on full power of for 1 to 1½ minutes. Serve warm with corn chips or tortilla chips.

Smoked Salmon Spread

1 15-ounce can red salmon

8 ounces cream cheese, regular, low-fat or fat free, softened

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon. lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Drain the can of salmon. Flake the salmon. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flaked salmon, cream cheese, horseradish, onion, lemon juice and liquid smoke. Mix until well blended. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. Serve with wheat crackers or melba rounds.