Football season is in full swing now, and as many of you know, we had a contest at The Courier Herald for the best tailgating recipe last month. After receiving many wonderful recipes, I would like to announce that the winner is Sally Willis Daniels!
I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Tailgating Recipe Contest! I received many great submissions, and my family and friends enjoyed several taste tests. It was extremely hard to pick just one recipe. However, when it came down to one winner I chose this fabulous Jalapeno Cheese Dip recipe for its terrific flavor and originality.
This dip is not the cheese dip that comes to mind when you first read the recipe title. The dip reminds me somewhat of Vidalia Onion Dip or Jalapeno Popper Dip. Adding the undrained jalapenos adds an unexpected flavor that I enjoyed. I even took this dip to Friday night tailgating with my friends. We baked the dip, uncovered, on the grill which gave it a fabulous smoky taste. Sally’s recipe makes enough for a large tailgating party. The amount pictured is half of the recipe.
Congratulations Sally, your Jalapeno Cheese Dip recipe is amazing!
And the Winner is...
- 2 (16-oz.) containers sour cream
- 1 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 2 c. mayonnaise
- 1 (12-oz.) jar chopped jalapenos, undrained
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. Mexican cheese blend or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Tostitos Scoops for dipping
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise (I did this with an electric mixer). Add the undrained jalapenos and the shredded cheese and mix.
- Spoon into a baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with Tostitos Scoops.
Sometimes the only thing that will satisfy the stomach and the soul is comfort food. There’s just something about creamy mac and cheese, delicious chicken and dumplings, melty chocolate chip cookies, or this ultimate homemade tomato soup with over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches. This combination has always been a favorite of mine. It’s like a warm hug and especially good when the weather turns cool.
I start my tomato soup as I do marinara sauce, with onions, garlic, carrots and celery. After adding tomatoes and simmering for a while, I then blend it until smooth and add a can of diced tomatoes so that I will have a small chunks of tomato scattered throughout the soup. The name of this grilled cheese could not be more fitting. It is over-the-top good! However, you can change it up to your liking. I usually start with good bread then I add a creamy cheese, like Monterey Jack or Brie, a sharp cheese, like Cheddar, and a few crumbles of goat cheese. Then as if that isn’t enough I add sliced onion and tomato, and a few leaves of arugula, basil, or spinach. Grilled to perfection in a skillet or Panini press its divine when dipped into a delicious bowl of tomato soup!
Ultimate Tomato Soup
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat, until onions are translucent. Add celery, carrot, salt, and pepper and cook until soft. Add bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, 28-oz. can diced tomatoes and bring to a boil, uncovered. Lower temperature and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour.
- Remove bay leaf and puree in a blender, in batches. Pour the pureed tomato soup into the Dutch oven and add the 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer until heated through.
Over-the-Top Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Good bread
- Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
- Sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced
- Goat cheese, crumbled
- Arugula leaves
- Onion, thinly sliced
- Roma Tomato, thinly sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the Monterey Jack cheese on one side of the bread. Add arugula leaves, onion, tomato, salt and pepper. Crumble goat cheese over top and then add Cheddar cheese. Top with second slice of bread and grill in a buttered skillet or a Panini press until the cheese has melted and the bread is lightly browned.
When Savannah comes home from college on the weekends I like to make something special. Usually a favorite dish of hers and something that she can’t get in the dining hall at school. Because she has a love affair with Mexican food, I decided to make these meatless enchiladas last weekend. These butternut squash enchiladas with salsa verde are excellent, and are a great combination of sweet and spicy.
If you have cooked with butternut squash before, you know how difficult it can be to peel them. No problem, these squash are halved and roasted with the peeling on. This makes it easy to simply scoop the pulp out for the enchiladas.
Also, if you’ve never roasted garlic before you are missing out. Roasted garlic is completely different from raw garlic, it’s smooth and creamy and sweet, yes sweet. It’s delicious spread on warm, toasted bread or mixed into recipes. Squeeze the bottom of the cooled head of garlic and the cloves pop right out. I know the recipe calls for half a head of garlic, but you might as well roast an entire head of garlic and save half for another purpose.
Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
- 2 to 2½ lb. butternut squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ c. chopped onion
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin, optional
- ½ head garlic
- ½ c. frozen corn kernels
- 3 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 dozen corn tortillas
- 2 c. salsa verde
- sour cream, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash cut side up in roasting pan. Add enough water to pan to come up sides of squash ½-inch.
- Cut ½-inch off the top of the garlic. Drizzle the cut size with about ½ tsp. olive oil and wrap completely with aluminum foil.
- Place the pan with the squash and the foil wrapped garlic in the oven at the same time. Bake until tender, adding more water as necessary, about 1 hour. Cool completely.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven and add chopped onion. Sauté until tender; add corn and continue sautéing for 3 to 5 minutes. Scoop cooled squash from the skin and add to Dutch oven. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into the mixture, mash with the back of a fork and mix well. You can mash the mixture with a potato masher if desired, or use a hand held electric mixer. Season with salt and pepper and add cumin if desired.
- Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- To assemble, wrap 6 corn tortillas in a damp paper towels. Microwave just a few seconds to warm. Place about 2 heaping tbsp. squash mixture down the center of a tortilla. Roll up and arrange, seam side down, in the casserole dish. Pour the salsa verde over the top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with sour cream, if desired.
The calendar may not agree but summer is officially here in Southeast Georgia. School is out or the last day is just around the corner for most local kids. The days are hot and mosquitoes, gnats, and snakes are already an annoyance. Our schedules change during the summer and so do most cooking habits. I prefer salads and sandwiches, or grilling and crock pot cooking. Anything to avoid heating up the kitchen.
Here’s a recipe for a delicious queso dip. This is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Pastry Queen Parties, by Rebecca Rather. I know, I know…queso dips are a dime a dozen. This version is a little bit different though. This recipe has fresh spinach, jalapeños and garlic. It’s delicious and creamy and worth having on hand for a quick snack or serving at your next get together with friends or family.
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 med. yellow onion, diced
- ½ c. stemmed, seeded, and chopped jalapeños (about 3 medium)
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 3 c. whole milk
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can tomatoes with green chiles
- ½ lb. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2½ lb. Velveeta, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6-oz. baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- Tortilla chips, for dipping
- In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat; sauté the onion, jalapeños, and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add to a crock-pot set on low heat. Add the milk, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, tomatoes with green chiles, Monterey Jack cheese, and Velveeta. Stir to combine. Add the spinach and mix together. Cover, stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth and creamy and the cheeses have melted. Serve in a bowl set on top of a warming tray or in a slow cooker set on low, with plenty of chips.