Sunday, November 19, 2006

Party Food!

A couple of weekends ago, we had a party at our place, and I made just a few easy things for people to snack on while they were nursing the keg :) - Fat-Free Bean Dip, Fresh Salsa, and Chez Megane's Pumpkin Bars. It turned out that people were very happy with them, and I got many recipe requests, which was really nice. Unfortunately, the only picture I have is of the bowl from the bean dip, which was clearly emptied out...

Fat-Free Bean Dip
adapted from the Foster's Market Cookbook

2 cans rinsed black beans
scant 1/2 c. tomato juice
juice of 2 limes
1 T. cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chili powder
2 t. salt
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. fresh cilantro

Place all of the ingredients, except for the cilanto, into the bowl of a food processer and blend until smooth. If you add a full 1/2 c. of tomato juice, the dip will be a bit thinner than a typical bean you may want to add a bit less and test it depending on your taste. Then, add the cilanto and pulse until cilanto is roughly chopped into the dip.

Fresh Salsa
adapted from the Foster's Market Cookbook

7 cored, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
One 14 1/2 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained (or 3 more fresh tomatoes)
One 4 1/2 oz. can diced mild green chiles
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and adjust seasonings to taste. This makes a mild salsa - plan on added extra jalapenos, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to spice it up if you prefer a hotter salsa. This makes a lot - 6 cups or more, and keeps for about a week.

So...lastly, I made the fantastically delicious Pumpkin Bars, which are posted here and here. I doubled the recipe, which seemed to fit nicely in one 11x17 jelly roll pan and a 9x 13 baking dish. I did make one change to the original recipe - Chris was kind enough to pick up a couple of things from the grocery store for me, and when he returned with the items on my list (cinnamon and ginger) he handed me a bag of ground cinnamon....and a big ol' hunk of ginger root. So, I decided it was better to up the nutmeg and cloves by 1/4 t. each rather than attempt to add grated ginger root to the recipe (although I am sure that would have worked out fine...). These were a hit as well - they were all gone!


Adam said...

Being the owner of that thumb, I can attest that both appetizers were wonderful.

emily said...

Yay! Does it still work if you use a blender instead?

Erin said...

I bet it would work fine if you use a blender - especially if you use the full 1/2 c. of tomato juice, and add the beans in batches instead of all at once. Worst case scenario, you have to finish it off with a potato masher and end up with a slightly lumpy bean dip, which ain't bad.