Category Archives: Appetizers

Queso Blanco

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups real whole milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch ground black pepper
10 ounces (about 4 cups) shredded white American cheese
1 tablespoon diced canned green chiles or jalapeños (optional)
To garnish:

Fresh pico de gallo
Chopped cilantro
Sliced jalapeño peppers

Make the roux: In a 3-quart saucepan (preferably one with sloping sides) melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is completely melted, sprinkle the flour over it and whisk the two together until a very loose paste forms. Cook the roux for 1 minute.

Make a béchamel sauce: Pour the milk into the roux in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Adding the milk to the roux slowly helps avoid clumps.

Add the spices: Once all of the milk has been whisked into the pot, add the cumin, garlic, salt, onion powder, and black pepper. Whisk the spices in completely while bringing the milk up to a simmer.

Thicken the sauce: Whisk the milk sauce frequently until small bubbles appear on the surface. This should take 3-5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the milk sauce should thicken to the consistency of a bisque or soup.

Gradually whisk in the shredded cheese: Once the milk sauce has thickened, decrease the heat to the lowest setting. Whisk in the shredded cheese a heavy pinch at a time, adding the next batch of cheese only when the previous batch has melted completely.

Stir in the chiles: Once all of the cheese has been whisked in, add the diced green chiles to the queso blanco. Taste the sauce, adding more salt if needed.

Adjust the consistency: When first prepared, the sauce will be slightly thin. This is to allow the queso to thicken properly as it cools. If you find your queso is too thick, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Keep warm over very low heat: If you plan to serve the queso blanco over the span of a couple of hours, keep the dip warm over very low heat. Stir every 10 minutes to keep it smooth. If the top of the dip starts to firm up, simply stir to replenish its creamy consistency.

Source: Queso Blanco Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Broccoli Cheddar Bites

1 large bunch of broccoli florets
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup, packed, torn fresh bread (no crust)
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup (4 ounces, 114 g), packed, grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 Place 1 inch of water in a pot with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil. Add the broccoli florets. Steam the broccoli florets for 5 minutes, until just tender. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Finely chop the steamed broccoli florets. You should have 2 to 2 1/2 cups.

2 Place the beaten eggs and the torn bread in a large bowl. Mix until the bread is completely moistened. Add the grated onion, mayonnaise, cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir in the minced broccoli.

3 Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the wells of 2 mini muffin pans (1 dozen wells) with olive oil (so the bites don’t stick). Distribute the broccoli mixture in the muffin wells. Bake for 25 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned on top.

If you don’t have mini muffin pans, you can cook the bites freeform. Just grease a baking sheet and spoon large dollops of the mixture onto the pan. Baking time is the same.

Credit: Broccoli Cheddar Bites Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Cheeseburger Mini Muffins

1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the ketchup, milk, butter, eggs and mustard; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the beef mixture and cheese.

Fill greased miniature muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 425° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 5 dozen. Yields about 30 muffins.

Smoked Atomic Buffalo Turd Jalapeno Poppers (aka – A.B.T.)

10 jalapeno peppers
10 bacon slices, cut in half
10 mini sausages or smokies (or 20 if they are very small)
1 cup cream cheese
1 cup grated monterey jack
1 tsp chipotle or chili powder
2 shallots, minced

Slice the jalapenos lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and membrane. If using bell peppers, quarter them after they are seeded.

Mix the cream cheese, monterey jack, chipotle powder and minced shallots. Fill the hollowed out portion of the peppers with the cheese mixture.

Place the smokie on top of the cream cheese. Wrap the half slice of bacon around the jalapeno. If the bacon is not staying tightly wrapped, it may be necessary to use a toothpick to hold it in place.

Smoke the ABTs in the smoker, set at 225F, for 2-3 hours, or until the bacon is browned

Notes
To cook on the grill: Cook on a medium heat grill until the jalapeno is tender and the bacon is browned. Keep the lid covered while cooking. To cook in the oven: Bake the ABT’s in the oven, set at 425F, for 20-30 minutes or until the bacon is browned.

Credit: Smoked Atomic Buffalo Turd Jalapeno Poppers (aka – A.B.T.).

Beer Cheese

12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (12 ounce) bottle beer, preferably brown ale
5 ounces evaporated milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Kosher salt, to taste

Toss cheese with cornstarch in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk together beer, milk, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until gently steaming, whisking frequently to prevent scorching.

When beer mixture is warm, add cheese, stirring until completely melted, bubbling slightly, and thickened. Stir in hot sauce and season with salt to taste; serve immediately.

Credit: Beer Cheese | Serious Eats : Recipes.