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FEEDING THE TEMPLE: Football Anyone?

The Starter or A Great Nosh

Whether it’s a Super Bowl Party or the visit time before dinner is served, something to nibble on is always welcome and may double as an informal appetizer. There are three of these delicious “small plate” options for you to whip up in quick time.

The first of these nibblers has been welcomed at gatherings when I’ve been asked to bring a dish, as well, and there are always a number of people asking for the recipe. Loaded with protein and easy to prepare with just 3 ingredients, the only certain prerequisite is having these ingredients on hand.

SALMON PÂTÉ

Increase the quantities depending on the number of people to be served. This recipe will provide about 6 servings when accompanying other hors d’oeuvres.

Ingredients

3 cans (6 oz. ea.) Pink Salmon, drained
4 Tablespoons Low Fat Mayonnaise (add more mayo if you prefer a creamier presentation)
2 teaspoons Cento Chopped Cherry Peppers (to taste)

1.    Combine all ingredients, adjusting the amount of mayo and peppers to taste. The consistency should be moist and the heat of the spice is up to you. Use more to taste…I prefer the spicy version and add 1 ½ Tablespoons when it’s just for home use.

BLACK BEAN DIP

This dip is a doozey. It is great served with corn chips or, of course, Baked Tostito Scoops (cut the fat!). Put this alongside the Chili Con Queso (the recipe you can find on Feeding the Temple – LET’S MAKE CHILI) and you’ll be serving a perfect duet! In fact, to make life easy for you, I’ve copied it below. Remember that you can always shortcut the prep of the Chili Con Queso, if you haven’t had a head’s up that company’s coming, by skipping the chopped onion and bell pepper and simply adding Salsa. It’s there for you to see below called, ‘Easy Peasy Chili Con Queso.’

Ingredients

2    cans black beans, rinsed and drained
½   cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 fresh onion, sliced or diced (find this already diced for you in the supermarket)
½   green bell pepper, sliced or diced (also available in the supermarket)
¼   cup + bottled salsa of choice, to taste
1 Tablespoon cilantro, diced, to taste (optional)

1.    Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
2.    Stir well.
3.    Now is the time to start tasting for the addition of cilantro and salsa, as needed.
4.    Mash some of the beans with a fork or potato masher to thicken the consistency until perfect for dipping.
Now you have a choice…Chili Con Queso, both ways. As seen with the recipe for LET’S MAKE CHILI, here’s a repeat of the longer version of the dip:

CHILI CON QUESO

Although this looks like a time consuming prep, because of the minced onion and green pepper, it takes no time at all if you’ve purchased the onion and pepper, already freshly diced in the supermarket veggie area. The only time involved is melting the cheese (which simultaneously cooks the veggies) in the microwave.

Ingredients

½ onion, minced
½ green bell pepper, minced
1 package (2 lbs.) Low Fat Velveeta
2 cans Ro*tel® Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, reserve juice

1.    Place all ingredients in a microwave bowl, reserving the juice from the Ro*tel®. Be sure to cover the bowl, leaving a bit of air space, otherwise your microwave will be splattered with cheese or the cover, if it does not have a vent, will get sucked into the bowl.
2.     Heat on high, in the microwave, for 5 minutes. All microwaves have different power and lose power as they age, therefore, use judgement for time.
3.    Stir well and if there are lumps of cheese, heat again for 3 minutes. Repeat until heated through with no lumps of cheese remaining.
4.    The onion and pepper will cook in the hot cheese.
5.    If the dip is too thick, add a bit of the reserved juice…bit by bit…until it is the right consistency to cling to the chip without breaking it.

EASY PEASY CHILI CON QUESO

If you think the above recipe is a snap, just wait till you try this one. If you have a stash of corn chips in the pantry, and a package of Velveeta handy, you’ll always be prepared. Salsa, in the jar, lasts for years, so it’s a good pantry staple. And if you want to enhance it, we’ll have a recipe for that coming soon.

Ingredients

1 (or 2) pound Low Fat Velveeta, chunked
1 (or 2) cup thick salsa picante

1.    Combine ingredients in a microwavable bowl, and cover leaving air space.
2.    Heat on high for 4 – 5 minutes, stir, and reheat for another 3 minutes…repeat until melted.
3.    If too thick, add a bit more salsa until the right consistency to dip, as above.

Enjoy your guests and the accolades!

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