Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Best Ever Onion Dip

This is the easiest and best dip ever!  It serves a crowd and can be made in advance for no-fuss entertaining.  I've plated it very simply in the photo above but you can make it très elegante.  Make your own chips or buy gourmet potato chips and using a pastry bag, pipe a dollop onto each individual chip.  Garnish with a sprig of chive and you have a New Year's Eve worthy canapé.  The flavors of this dip really pop in your mouth.  The caramelized onions are so sweet, and the white wine and sherry vinegar really add a tart-saltiness that balances everything perfectly.  Because the onions are caramelized, you don't have any of the sharp bite that an onion can sometimes have.  So, no stinky onion breath when you might be doing some New Year's smooching;)  For a more casual serving, I like to use the Kettle Brand salt and fresh ground pepper krinkle cut potato chips (as pictured above).  They are thick enough to hold up to a hearty dip and have a great crunch.  It's seriously addicting and I have to put a limit on how much I'll let myself have.  Make this for New Year's Eve/Day or for a  Super Bowl party.  You'll love it!  Enjoy and Happy New Year everyone.  
This recipe was inspired by an onion dip that I had at The Farm and Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill.  It's delicious and if you live in the south Jersey/Philly area you definitely need to go.  It's fantastic and one of my favorite places around.  Chef Todd is the best.  
Also, I want to do a long distance dedication to my good friend Carrie;)  We shared some of this dip together after Thanksgiving.  We don't live in the same state anymore and I miss her tons!  Bises!  

La Recette:

1-large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar* (or another white wine vinegar will work too) 
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chives, chopped

1 - sauce pan
1 - wooden spoon
Measuring cups and spoons
Chef's knife
Cutting board
Vitamix, blender, or food processor (if you don't have any of these, chop the onions as finely as possible after you caramelize them.)

-Peel the onion, cut it in half and then make thin slices.  Put the onion and butter into the saucepan on medium-high heat.  Cover the pan and let the onion sweat out for 10-12 minutes.  After 10-12 minutes check the onion.  There should be some brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
-Add in 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar (it will really steam up here) and with your wooden spoon, scrape up all of the brown bits.  This is a process called deglazing.  Add in the salt and pepper.  After you get most of the brown bits up, give the onions a good stir and let them cook for about 2-3 more minutes.  The onions should have a nice carmel color to them now.  
-Next, turn the heat off and let the onions sit for about 5 minutes.  Pour the onions into your Vitamix or blender.  Add in the cream cheese, sour cream, and sherry vinegar.  Blend until smooth.  
-Refrigerate for at least two hours or preferably overnight.  Garnish with chives.  Enjoy!

*I love the Napa Valley Naturals brand
**Recipe can be doubled.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Poached Egg Crostini with Sriracha Mayonnaise

So this is one of my favorite breakfasts ever.  I'm a huge breakfast fan.  If I had to pick, it is probably my favorite meal and these little scrumptious bites are mouth watering!  They would make a fantastic breakfast or brunch option on Christmas or New Years.  The best thing about these guys is that they are so customizable.  You can build them to taste and add in your favorite items! I happen to really like a bit of bite to my breakfast, so I created a spicy mayo.  If you aren't that into spice, an avocado mayo or roasted red pepper would be delicious.  If you need them to be vegetarian, just take out the salami.  I used cherry tomatoes but any veggie would work really well.  Mason doesn't like tomatoes yet, so I took them off of his crostini.  I'm not sure which veggie he would prefer!?  These little guys are really easy…you just need to practice poaching an egg a few times if you aren't too familiar.  Once you get the hang of it, it's simple.  The trick is creating a whirlpool in the water so that the egg white doesn't feather.  I'll include instructions and two quick video tutorials in the post.  So get your brunch on and try these delicious crostinis!  Enjoy!  

Use a circular cookie cutter and and make the crostini whichever size you prefer.   I am using Udi's white bread for the crostinis and about a 2 -2.5 inch diameter cutter.  

I've combined 3 tablespoons of mayo and 1 tablespoon of Sriracha.

The Sriracha mayo is delicious on the crostini and on a sandwich too!

Toast the crostini and mozzarella cheese until it just starts to brown.

Choose a salami that you really enjoy.

Start to build your crostini.

Include a veggie of your choice.

La Recette:

4 extra large eggs
4 slices - bread,  I like to use Udi's
4 tablespoons shredded Mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha
4 slices salami, thinly sliced
4 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
Chives, chopped for garnish
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

Sauce pan
Small bowl
1 small mixing spoon
1 medium mixing spoon
Large slotted spoon
Chef's knife
Circular cookie cutter
Measuring spoons
Cutting board
Toaster oven

-Fill your sauce pan 3/4 full of water.  Bring to a boil.  When it starts to boil add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar to the pan.  
-While you are waiting for the water to boil, cut out your round bread circles using your round cutter.  Then place the cut out rounds in a toaster oven or regular oven, and toast until they are light brown.  About 4 minutes.
-Next, put about 1 tablespoon of Mozarella cheese on each crostini and toast until the cheese gets light brown as well, 2-3 minutes.
-While the cheese is melting, mix the mayo and sriracha together in a small bowl.  Slice your salami and tomatoes.  Also, chop the chives.  
-When the cheese is melted, take the crostini out and top with the salami and tomatoes.  Set aside.
-The water should be boiling, so add in the salt and vinegar.  With a mixing spoon, start mixing the boiling water in a circular motion so it looks like a whirlpool.  With the water circling, crack the egg and drop it right in the middle of the whirlpool.  Continue to stir for about 30 seconds and then let the egg cook for about 3 minutes.  
-After 3-4 minutes remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon, and set the egg (while it's still on the slotted spoon) on a paper towel to drain.  Repeat and change the water once.  Add the salt and vinegar in again if you change the water.  I only change the water if it looks really cloudy.  You can do more than one egg at once, but I like the results when you do one a a time.  
-Once the egg has drained for a minute or two, you can place the egg on the crostini.  Top with the chopped chives.

Here are two quick video tutorials on how to poach an egg.  The key steps are:
1.  Make a whirlpool
2.  Drop the egg in the middle of the whirlpool.
3.  Keep stirring the egg for about 30 seconds after you drop it in.  Cook for about 3 minutes total.

As long as it's still the holiday season, I thought I would include a photo of my most coveted gift this
year -hint to Jake ;)  I'll see if he is reading.  Aren't they stunning?!  They're at Bergdorfs and it's really just wishful thinking at this point…but maybe an anniversary gift in April?  Happy Holidays everyone!  

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