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Appetizers

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Caramelized Onion White Bean Dip

Growing up, caramelized onions were a mainstay in my house. They mixed into deviled eggs and topped “kotleti” ( Russian style pan fried hamburger patties), always resting on the stove on the mornings of parties, just out of reach of my and my siblings grubby hands. My mother made them with such ease that the first time I tried my hand at them, I was seriously surprised when they came out burnt. As a new cook, I chopped them roughly and figured that if I turned the heat up, I could cut my cooking time in half. Big mistake. The thing with caramelized onions is that you can’t be impatient. Don’t take shortcuts. If you read a recipe that says caramelized onions will take you 10 minutes, run.

For perfectly caramelized onions, you need to take the slow and low approach and chop the onions uniformly to ensure they cook evenly. You won’t regret spending some time making them- you’ll find a million ways to use them, including this a-mazing recipe.

Have you ever had a caramelized onion dip? It’s creamy and delicious- and full of sour cream and mayonnaise. This dip is super similar, but dairy is replaced with white beans creating a rich and creamy caramelized onion dip that’s just a bit better for you. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or little slices of toasted baguette. This recipe is a total party winner.

Caramelized Onion White Bean Dip

Ingredients

15.5 oz can of white beans (cannellini beans)

1 1/2 white onions

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon white champagne vinegar

Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder

Directions

1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium heat. Slice your onions into even size half rounds, using a mandolin slicer if necessary. Once the oil is heated, add the onions to the pan and cook on medium for about 5 minutes stirring frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Turn the heat down to low ( or just a little higher than low) and, stirring occasionally, cook for about 30 minutes to an hour until the onions reach a deep golden color and soft texture. At the 15-20 minute mark, lightly salt the onions. You may find you need to lower the temperature or add some more oil during the process. If your onions are sticking to the pan or burning, you’ll want to lower the temperature and scrape the pan. Don’t be tempted to cook them on a higher temperature, they’ll only burn. Once they’re done, set aside to cool.

2. While your onions are cooking, gently rinse your beans and add to a food processor. Pulse until they start to break up. Add your oil and champagne vinegar and continue to pulse until the beans are very creamy but still have a bit of texture (you may need to add just a bit more oil to get the right consistency). Season with salt, pepper and a little bit of garlic powder and transfer to a mixing bowl.

3. Once your onions are cooled, fold them into your white bean mixture, saving about a tablespoon. Transfer the mixture to a pretty bowl and top with your remaining tablespoon of onions. You can serve immediately or cool in the refrigerator first, but you will want to the dip to sit out at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy.

in Food

Shrimp and Avocado Sliders

Omg, you guys.

These are so good.

Melt in your mouth avocado is mixed with creamy, cold shrimp and served in slider form. These mini sandwiches are the perfect appetizer. Served cold, you can make the salad hours ahead of time and then just assemble before your party. Trust me, they’re a huge hit with tipsy people. A huge hit.

Shrimp & Avocado Sliders

Makes about 6 large sliders

6 slider sized rolls (like pretzel rolls or potato rolls)

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 pound cooked shrimp

1/4  cup light mayonnaise of choice

1 teaspoon dried chives (fresh is better- but I never have fresh)

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 heaping tablespoon chopped basil

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

3 teaspoons lemon juice, or more to taste (start with one teaspoon lemon juice, add until satisfied with taste)

A few dashes hot sauce, if that’s your thing

salt & pepper to taste

1. Chop the shrimp coarsely and mix with all ingredients except avocado.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

2. When you’re ready to serve, spray your rolls with pam or olive oil spray and lightly toast under broiler until just starting to get golden.

3. While your bread is toasting, slice your avocado.

4. Assemble a few slices avocado on one side of each slider, top with shrimp salad.

Eat & Be happy.

in Food

Dyed Deviled Eggs

How cute are these?

Inspired by all of the adorable dyed deviled eggs I’ve seen on Pinterest, I decided to make these for my sister’s Easter celebration this past weekend. Easy, cute and so delicious if you use my deviled egg recipe (not to toot my own horn, but for real.)

The Perfect Hard boiled Egg: Place your eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring your water to a boil, and once the water is boiling (it’s okay if it boils for a minute), turn the heat off, keep the eggs covered, and set your timer for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes are up, submerge the eggs in a ice water bath.  Once cool to handle, peel eggs and cut in half length wise,  scooping out yolks and placing into a separate bowl.

To dye the eggs whites: Fill two containers (bowls, glasses, etc) of water (about half way, enough to cover the eggs) with about 3 drops of food coloring of your choice into each. (For lighter colors like yellow, you will need a 4-5 drops). Place cut egg whites in water until they become the desired color of your choice. (The pink took quickly, while the yellow stayed in the water for an extra couple of minutes.)

Caramelized-Onion Deviled Eggs

1/2 a medium white onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Mayonnaise ( I used light)
Yellow Mustard
Tabasco Hot Sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste

1.Heat up your pan with half the tablespoon of butter. Add the finely diced onion. Turn the heat to medium-low, saute the onion, adding the rest of the butter half way, until crispy/caramelized (making sure not to burn the small pieces). Set aside.

2.Mix the mayonnaise with yellow mustard, hot sauce, salt and pepper. I eyeballed, tasting as I went- depending on how spicy/tangy you like your mixture, add each to taste (I only did a few drops of hot sauce, and enough mustard to turn the mayonnaise a light yellow.)

3. Fluff the yolks with a fork, and add in the cooled caramelized onion. Mix with enough of the mayonnaise mixture to the consistency of your choice (I like it left slightly thick). If you have a pastry bag, pipe the mixture into the egg whites, otherwise, just spoon it into the whites. Enjoy as is or top with chives, bacon bits or paprika.

Enjoy!

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