food detective

Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on January 9, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten

Football’s been a constant in our home the past few weeks. Personally, I am a diehard Michigan fan, I also like to root for the Cleveland Browns. Obviously, I have had little to cheer about. That said, my attention span tends to wander and wane when it comes to other teams and competitions.

While my loved ones have been glued to the big screen watching the bowl games, I’ve secretly been glued to my little screen watching cooking segments on the morning news shows. Just happens they’ve been running New Year’s Eve appetizers. Seems like they were all trying to reach a broad audience (i.e. easy to prepare and appealing to the humblest of palates). To me their offerings appeared a little low brow to herald in the new year, but with a few tweaks could be the perfect playbook for the upcoming Super Bowl.

What football fan doesn’t crave pigs in a blanket, tater tots, and loaded potato skins? One of my entertaining mantras is to beg, borrow or steal any good idea that comes your way. Remember no one ever said everything you serve needs to be a completely original idea, that would be absurd.

Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions should be to intercept all of the good plays you happen upon in 2018, figure out how to make them work for you, then pass the heck out of them.

For the loaded potato cups start with 15 to 20 very small new potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the ends off the potatoes, then cut in half.

Using a small melon baller scoop out the center of each potato half, taking care not to scoop all the way through.

Toss with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. I like to re-use a grocery store produce bag.

Arrange potatoes cut side down on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 20-28 minutes depending on their size.

Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine a quarter cup each of finely chopped cooked broccoli, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. 

Stir to combine evenly.

Spoon the filling into the cooled potato cups. Garnish with chives.

The filled cups can be stored covered in the refrigerate for several hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Frozen tater tots are the secret ingredient for theses tater skewers with caviar.

Cook the tater tots according to package instructions.

Meanwhile combine the sour cream, dill, chives and lemon juice. Set aside.

The sauce can be made several hours ahead of time, cover and refrigerate.

Allow the cooked tater tots to cool slightly. Thread two tater tots onto short bamboo skewers.

Drizzle each skewer with the herbed sour cream.

Samon roe caviar makes for a great presentation and is reasonably priced. Be sure to use fresh caviar from the refrigerated seafood section of the grocery store, stay clear of the "caviar" on the shelf by the cans of the tuna.

Top with a dollop of salmon caviar.

Forget the pigs, try stuffed olives in a blanket instead. This one starts with a package of crescent rolls.

Unroll and press the dough into one large rectangle.

Cut the dough into 12 long strips. The cut in half to make 24 strips.

This recipe is super simple- just pick up some pitted Castelvetrano olives and roasted garlic from the olive bar at your grocery store.

Stuff each olive with a roasted garlic clove. If the cloves are large you might need to cut them in half lengthwise.

Place the stuffed olive at the end of each dough strip and roll the olive up. You will be able to see the ends of the olive.

Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the olives are rolled. Lightly brush the top of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. (The olives can be prepared to this point several hours ahead of time. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.)

Bake at 375 degrees until dough is cooked and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

This trio is sure to bring victory to all!

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