Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE HOT ARTICHOKE DIP ! ( And make the best in the USA ! ) And with today, March 16 being "National Artichoke Heart Day," well ........... HAPPY NATIONAL ARTICHOKE HEART DAY Y'all !
The Best Hot Artichoke Dip Ever !
the secret to this great dish is that you first chop, then roast the artichoke hearts to dry them out as when they come from a can they can be watery. Then you use equal parts of the following ingredients:
Chopped and roasted Artichoke hearts
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Granulated garlic - to taste
Tabasco - to taste
Mix-em together and bake till bubbly and you have a crust on top. This winner is best made in a designer pie pan for presentation. If you use a gleeming chaffer you run the risk of the dish becoming an "Oily Mess," as a former client called it. The cheese and mayo could break and then, well, you end up with an oily mess. I never add salt as the Parmesan can be a bit salty but pepper never hurt a pan of Artichoke Dip !!!
As a caterer you have to trust your employees but you also had to worry about killing people or giving them food poisioning. And let's face it, you never know where your staff will shove a jar of Caesar dressing ..... in their trunk, back seat floor of an un airconditioned car in the summer ,,,,,, so I searched for a great eggless Caesar dressing. Thus, in honor of the Ide's of March here is a great recipe for "Egless Caesar Dressing !" I know, it was not the Italian Caesar that the salad was named after but, hey, some artistic license !!!!!
Egg-less Caesar Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
2 clove garlic, crushed to a paste, a garlic press works well here
4 Tbl lemon kuice, (1 large lemon )
3 Tbl anchovy paste
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp coarse black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Add all of the ingredients except the oil to the bowl of your blender. On medium speed whir the mixture and, through the opening in the blender lid, stream in the oil until well blended.If the dressing is too thick, thin it with some milk a little at a time.Adjust the tanginess by adding mayonnaise or lemon juice, whichever is needed.
Dolly's Seasoned Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 lb Asparagus - some folks use Jumbo, I prefer either thin or jumbo. I would just rather not
peel a jumbo !
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Peel, grated
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Italian Parsley, finely chopped
Blanch your Asparagus. Saute the garlic in 1 Tbl of the olive oil, add 1 tsp of the lemon peel to the pan. Set aside. Wipe out the skillet and add the rest of the olive oil, the lemon and cook over medium heat until golden. Add the Panko and and saute until golden, then transfer to a plate. Add the rest of the ingredients to a hot pan along with 1 Tbl of water. Transfer this deluxe mixture to a serving platter. Season the panko with the rest of the ingredients, spoon over the Asparagus and serve to rounds of applause! Delish !
Out of all the crazy stories that we have told folks one of the funniest, at least to me is the mud encrusted porta-potty. We got our hands on one of the tightest bride-to-be that ever lived. And I mean tight, tighter than two coats of paint. I could not blame her though she did work my nerves trying to get my low prices lower. The botanical garden in Dallas was expensive to rent, pretty as it is. This was a November and the rental house was in remodel mode. One thing that I insisted on was that all of my staff show up dressed for work. Yes, I provided aprons and allowed sneakers to replace black shoes when it was messy out. This bride was heading towards the Bridezilla faze until I finally cracked. I offered her the opportunity to use the Camp House though in remodel mode but she had to use the out door facilities as the interior loos were being remodeled. That was fine with the bride though the groom was not that happy so I said that it was up to them. The whiny bride won out and the groomsmen had to use either a closet in the kitchen or the out house! It was OKAY that some of my staff showed up in jeans and tennis shoes this day as it was real muddy. Stuck in the mud the men arrived, one by one changing in the our door potty. Furious at his bride the best man decided to ignore her request and decided to change in the kitchen closet. Her Ire was up and the men were marched out to the out house - oops, one of my staff members was in there changing. Porta-potty on it's side, embarrassed Paul and crew and a stuck potty. That is when I decided to learn to just say no !!! Luckily my carver had no problem being seen in his tighty whities !!! But that did cost me plenty. Overtime pay - Yikes !!!!!
My son emailed me for this recipe which is adapted from a cookbook written by Giada DeLaurentos. I good sauce it is unusual as usually a Bolognese sauce has milk to tenderize the meat. This is a winner though and if you simmer simmer simmer you end up with a tasty sauce that is good on anything, even if you do like I do and eat it out of a bowl for breakfast. I use dried Italian seasoning to replace the fresh herbs and still it is a winner. You will not be sorry that you have adapted this for your own use!!!!! Thanks Giada !!!
1/4 cupfreshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese
In a 6 quart pot, add extra-virgin olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Sauté, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1/2 hour. Finish with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. Check for seasoning.Serve hot.
Whether you take a trip to New Orleans or just wish you were there a good bowl of Jambalaya will evoke memories of Mardi Gras past ! New Orleans is a great place to visit and the food of that great city is yummy any time ! One of my favorites is Jambalaya ! Basically this dish is the Cajun version of Spanish Paella, only better! Do not skimp on any ingredient, make it as spicy as you like and you will have a dish that will make you want to slap yo mama!
1 lb shrimps, 21 - 25 count ( use the Easy Peel variety as they are usually deveined already )
2 ea boneless chicken breast halves cut into 1 inch pieces
Cajun seasoning - use your favorite !
1 cup onion, medium dice - divided use
1/2 cup celery - medium dice - divided use
3 clove garlic - minced
2 tsp salt - divided use
1 Tbl olive oil
8 oz smoked sausage, such as Andouille or Polish sausage, 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup green bell pepper - medium dice
1 can diced tomatoes in juice ( 14.5 oz size )
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper - to taste
3 cup chicken stock
2 cup long-grain rice ( I use Uncle Ben's Converted Rice as it is not gummy when cooked ! )
1/4 cup green onion - small slice
Peel your shrimps reserving the shells, set aside. Dice your chicken breasts, set aside. Season your shrimps and chicken with your favorite Cajun seasoning.
In a small saucepan add 2 cups of water, the shrimp shells, 1/2 cup of the diced onion, 1/4 cup of the diced celery and 1 tsp. of the salt. Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer the shells until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup or so, approximately 8 to ten minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid and discard the shells and vegetables.
In a large dutch oven add the oil and heat it until it shimmers, then add the chicken, browning it cooking for 5 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the sausage, green bell pepper, green onion, remaining 1/2 cup onion, remaining 1/4 cup celery, and the garlic, then cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the shrimp stock that you made and the chicken stock assuring that you have 4 cups in total. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of salt, the tomatoes with their juice, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Stir in the rice; simmer over medium-low heat, tightly covered. After 10 minutes add the chicken and cover to continue the cooking. After another 10 minutes add the shrimps and cook for 5 minutes more or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. The total cooking time should be about 25 minutes.
Remove the kettle from the heat and allow it to sit a minute or two. Sprinkle the jambalaya with green onion before serving to rounds of applause !