Posts Tagged ‘Appetizers’

I take both my football watching and my party food seriously. The Super Bowl is an event on both fronts. Today’s game was a particularly sweet one for me because, even though my team was not invited to the big dance, I am from Pittsburgh: it is my birth right to hate the Patriots.

My apologies to all of you New Englanders out there – it’s nothing personal against you. I just really, really dislike your team. No hard feelings. To make sure that we all stay friends, I offer you this recipe as a peace offering – it’s a fitting peace offering because I guarantee that if you bring it to your next sports watching function it will bring carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans together over one plate of delicious food: No Piggies in Blankets … or … Veggie Dogs in Sleeping Bags … or … Happy Piggies Don’t Sleep in Blankets (unexpected bonus of bringing these to a party: people have a really fun time trying to come up with names for them).

No Piggies in These Blankets
Makes 30 “No Piggies”

1 ½ cup soymilk
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
1 packet rapid-rise active yeast

2 packages Jumbo Smart Dogs (or other brand of “jumbo” vegan dogs)
Olive oil
Sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds

1. Pour soymilk into the bread pan in your bread machine. (If your bread machine calls for the yeast to be added first, reverse the order in which you add the wet and the dry ingredients.)

2. Sprinkle the flour over the soymilk, making sure that the soymilk is completely covered. Add the salt, sugar, and butter to three separate corners of the bread pan. Maker a shallow indentation in the center of the flour, making sure not to go down as far as the liquid, and add the yeast.

3. Set the bread machine to the dough setting and press start.

4. When the dough cycle has finished, remove the dough from the pan and punch it down gently. Take a little more than half of the dough, roll it out on a lightly floured surface and, using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into small squares about 2” x 2”.  Wrap the rest of the dough in plastic and put in your refrigerator for use in another meal in the next few days or place in the freezer for use sometime in the next few months.

5. Cut the vegan dogs into thirds. Wrap each veggie dog section in a piece of the dough, taking care to press the seam together, and set the dough wrapped dogs seam side down on a baking sheet that has a silplat sheet (a non-stick silicone sheet) on it or has been lightly greased.

6. Cover the dough wrapped dogs with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.

7. Lightly brush the dough wrapped dogs with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds. Bake the veggie dogs for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly on a rack.   These can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.


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I love roasted garlic. I love the texture of garlic cloves after a good roasting: smooth, buttery, sweet, and mellow. Of course, once I start eating roasted garlic I want everyone else the room to do so, as well, lest I be the only one with the pungent breath that alerts the neighbors to what’s on the menu at my house. Eating garlic alone is just anti-social. Eating garlic as a group … well, that’s just bonding.

On New Year’s Eve I went nice and simple with our appetizer. I simply roasted a head of garlic and we ate the cloves smeared on garlic herb crackers. Doing so made me realize that roasted garlic is something that I should make a lot more of it as it really is so simple to do and it packs huge flavor. As I happen to have an abundance of garlic on hand at the moment, as well as a number of sweet potatoes (another food that I would send not-so-secret admirer letters to, if such a thing were possible) I decided to see what I could do with the two as an appetizer for the dinner I was making tonight for some friends who just came back on island after spending the holidays on the mainland. This dish was such a hit that we did the revisit after dinner while waiting for dessert!

Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Butter

1 head of garlic

1 medium sweet potato

2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
A few dashes of chipotle hot suace
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pine nuts for garnish

1. Peel off the papery outer layes of the head of garlic, and cut off the tops of the cloves with a sharp knife. Place the garlic on asheet of garlic large enough to enclose it. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on the garlic, then wrap it completely in the foil.

2. Bake the garlic and the sweet potato (the potato should be pierced with a fork to allow stem to escape and just placed on a lightly greased baking sheet) at 400F for 35-35 minutes or until both are tender. The garlic may be done before your potato, depending on its size – be sure to keep an eye on them! Let them cool a bit after removing them from the oven.

3. Scoop the potato out of its flesh and squeeze the roasted garlic out each clove and place it all into a food processor along with the maple syrup, olive oil, chipotle hot sauce, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth. Serve garnished with pine nuts. Spread it on crackers, bread, pita, etc.


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