Caramelized Onion Dip

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My kids have been taking piano lessons for a few years. Starting in October, they study a lot of Christmas music in preparation for a Christmas performance for their grandparents. This year, a couple of my friends enrolled their kids in lessons with the same piano teacher. My kids and their friends performed in a Christmas concert at our house for all of the parents- and each other!- followed by a reception. It was fabulous!!

I first saw this recipe on Feasting with Friends. It was perfect for the occasion. We also served wine, lemonade, double cream brie with sourdough baguette slices, and mini red velvet cupcakes. My friends brought tasty appetizers as well. I loved it- I hope it becomes an annual tradition. We ate the onion dip with kettle chips and crudités. This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown, via foodnetwork.com. It is super easy and delicious- it would be perfect for the Superbowl as well!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow or sweet onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  1. In a saute pan over medium heat add oil, heat and add onions and salt. Cook the onions until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients, and then add the cooled onions.
  3. Refrigerate and stir again before serving.

Two Years Ago:

Corn Queso Fundido

When I think of the Superbowl (this weekend!), I think of chips and dip (& fun commercials)…

When I think of a snowstorm (just snow shoveled for THREE hours!), I think of warm comfort food…

When I think of a fiesta (Angie’s Fiesta Friday!), I think of Mexican flavors…

& When I think of the ONE YEAR anniversary of Fiesta Friday at the Novice Gardener, I think that I better bring something extra tasty and festive…

It’s too bad that when I think of (and my son has) a swim meet over the weekend, I get nothing on my “to do” list done!!

So, this appetizer fits all of the above criteria, it’s just a little late to the party… Enjoy the First Fiesta Friday Anniversary Party (Part 1)! Over the past year Fiesta Friday has not only exposed me to wonderful dishes each week, I have made many friends who share a love of cooking. Fun! I look forward to it every week. 🙂

This warm, cheesy dip would be wonderful for a Superbowl fiesta as well. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Justin Chapple. I made half of the recipe (with 1 garlic clove) for my family of four and we gobbled all of it up.

Yield: Serves 8

  • 1 pound frozen sweet corn kernels (3 cups), thawed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 poblano chile—stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 to 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • finely chopped cilantro, radish matchsticks and thinly sliced jalapeños, as desired, for garnish
  • salted corn tortilla chips, for serving
  1. In a blender, puree half of the corn with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. (I used a Vitamix and pureed the mixture at high-speed for 30 seconds.)
  2. In a cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the poblano, onion, remaining corn and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and barely browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the corn puree and cook, stirring, until bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted.
  6. Season with salt and garnish with cilantro, radish, and jalapeño, as desired. Serve hot, with tortilla chips.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Pressure Cooker Mushroom Chili

Yum! Using dried beans makes such a textural difference in this tasty chili. Using a pressure cooker to expedite the cooking of the dried beans is genius! They were cooked perfectly and added a wonderful contrast to the softer “meaty” mushrooms in the finished dish.

The spiciness of the red pepper flakes is magnified in the pressure cooker- I reduced the amount suggested in the original recipe and the spice level (medium?) was just right for our crowd. This recipe was adapted from Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh, and Flavorful by Laura D.A. Pazzaglia, founder of hippressurecooking.com. The recipe can easily be made without the bacon to be vegetarian by using more vegetable oil in lieu of bacon fat. We ate it with cornbread and green salad on the side. A perfect cold weather meal- or for the Superbowl!

I am bringing this tasty bowl to share with my friends at the Novice Gardener for Fiesta Friday #51! Enjoy!!

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours, plus soaking beans overnight

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  • 2 T canola oil (4 T if using instead of bacon fat)
  • 7 oz bacon or pancetta, chopped, optional
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 24 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 2 T ground coriander
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups beer (I used New Castle)
  • 28 oz canned chopped tomatoes with juices
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight (up to 24 hours), rinsed, and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, stems removed, minced, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving, optional
  1. Cover the dried beans with several inches of water in a large bowl. Soak overnight. (or up to 24 hours)
  2. Heat the pressure cooker on medium heat; add the oil and heat briefly. Add the bacon and sauté until almost crispy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and celery; sauté until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms; sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned and about half of the juices have evaporated, 5 minutes or longer.
  5. Sprinkle the cumin, coriander, cocoa powder, and red pepper flakes over the mixture and stir to combine. Saute for 1 minute more to lightly toast the spices.
  6. Stir in the beer to deglaze the pan.
  7. Add the tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf and mix well.
  8. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat and release the pressure by “Natural Release” (letting it sit off the heat) as it continues to cook. (It took my pressure cooker 20 minutes to release the pressure.)
  10. Open the lid and remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the salt; taste and adjust the seasonings.
  11. Ladle the chili into individual bowls and garnish with sour cream and/or cilantro, as desired.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

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