Friday, November 28, 2014

Broccoli salad, Roasted Yams and Carrots, Taco Dip

The following three dishes were my contributions, along with plenty of wine, to the Thanksgiving feasts.

Broccoli Salad
five cups (roughly two heads) of raw broccoli florets
1 cup raisins
1 cup sunflower seeds
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup Mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls cider vinegar

Mix sugar and vinegar until dissolved, stir in the mayonnaise until smooth and creamy. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, reserving 1/3 of the bacon crumbles.  Pour dressing over the salad and stir with rubber scraper, to ensure each  floret has dressing, nd t distribute raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits.  Pour n serving bowl, top with remaining bacon.

Roasted Yams and Carrots
Wash and scrub 4 medium size yams, and 5-6 large carrots.  Peel if you prefer.  Slice the yams in pieces bout the size of an adult thumb.  Do same with carrots, though try and get pieces about a third thinner than the yam pieces. Put veggies in a bowl and generously shake with cinnamon-I estimate I used probably 3 Tbls.  Sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, and same with pepper, but use more pepper to taste if you like.  Stir in bowl to get seasoning over all vegetables.  coat all vegetables with Olive oil, or a light vegetable oil-your preference, (I use Olive oil for almost all cooking) Spread out vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Bake in over for 30 minutes.  after 30 minutes, stir, and check for softening-they should be getting soft, but not mushy at this stage.  If still hard, keep baking and check in 5 minute intervals.  Once soft, but still with firmness, stir, and then sprinkle brown sugar over the single layer.  Roast for another 10 minutes to let the sugar caramelize.  Pour in serving bowl, scraping the good flavored glaze over the top.  If you like a nuttier taste, you can put under the broiler for a coup minutes, which will brown up and even crisp the sugars, but watch carefully. 

Taco Dip-embarrassingly easy
1 brick 8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup Salsa or picante-chunkier the better, hotness to your preference
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese cheddar or Monterey jack or Colby
1-2 cups shredded lettuce
10-12 black olives sliced
diced small tomato

Combine cream cheese and salsa until blended but chunky texture.  Spread on a large plate or platter.  spread 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese over the cream cheese mixture.  Top with the Lettuce, spread across the base, followed by the rest of the cheese, and then the black olives and tomatoes on top.  chill at least an hour for the base to firm up.  Serve with tortilla chips.   I often omit the tomato in the winter if the tomato's are expensive and not good quality, but personally would never leave off the olives!

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