Sunday, January 31, 2016

Caribbean Bean Dip

The big Super Bowl game is next Sunday and besides looking forward to an exciting game, many of us are looking forward to the foods we'll be having at our watching parties.

Keeping that in mind, you might want to start thinking ahead to what you might consider preparing.

I always try to come up with a brand new dish to serve along with the tried and true party foods like our chicken slider sandwiches, corn and black bean salad, baked chicken wings, marinated shrimp, meatballs in our Balsamic Onion jam and stuffed mushrooms.

I admit I am truly in love with the pairing of our Persian Lime Olive Oil and our White Grapefruit Balsamic vinegar.  I use this combo often and decided to use this pairing in an admittedly different way.  This will be the new dish I'm adding to my menu.

Caribbean Bean Dip
½ cup Joe and Son’s Persian Lime Olive Oil
½ cup Joe and Son’s Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar
Garbanzo beans, 15 oz can, drained
1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup pecans, finely minced (optional)*

Place all of the ingredients except the pecans in a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.
Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the pecans.

Adjust seasonings, if desired.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours and serve chilled with Plantain Chips.
* The pecans will give a crunchy texture to the dip along with a slight, nutty taste. If you prefer a totally smooth dip, you may elect not to use them in the recipe.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hot and Spicy 3 Bean Soup

Today has been a rainy, overcast day in our city and that always makes me crave a hot bowl of soup as my comfort food.  Especially if I have a chunky piece of hot, artisan bread, slathered in butter to go along with the soup.

I didn't want to go out in this weather, so I relied on foods I had in my pantry and fridge to make this soup.  My family gave it a "thumbs up" so I feel comfortable in sharing this recipe with you.

The Chipotle Olive Oil gives the sausage some heat because I sauted it in the oil and it also gives the broth a little kick.  Feel free to add some red pepper flakes if you want a hotter taste.

Hot and Spicy 3 Bean Soup
2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Chipotle Olive Oil
2 medium sized onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
12-14 oz Kielbasa sausage, cut into bite sized rounds
40 oz beef broth
½ cup water
2 cans Chick peas, with juice (aka Garbanzo beans) 20 oz each
2 cans Cannellini beans, with juice, 15 oz each
2 cans Red Kidney beans, with juice, 15 oz each
1 ½ cup canned crushed tomatoes, with juice
1 package Vigo yellow food coloring (similar to Safron)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
4 medium potatoes, cut into 2” pieces
2 packages fresh baby spinach, washed, drained and dried, 5 oz each
Salt and pepper

In a large soup pot, heat the Chipotle Oil to a medium temperature. Saute the onions, garlic and bell pepper until the onions are soft and milky in color. Add the sausage pieces and continue to cook for about 7-8 minutes.
Add the broth, the canned beans and juices, the crushed tomatoes, food coloring and smoked paprika. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.
Add the carrots and potatoes and continue cooking until both are tender. Add the spinach and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
Season with salt and pepper as needed. 
Serve hot with crusty, artisan bread.