Vegan IPA beer cheese

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I love browsing the recipes and ideas that others have to share. I was doing some reading on food52 and came across this recipe for vegan cheese and thought it sounded really easy and good. It also made me think of one of my favorite things at the bar I used to work at in Ogden, their Stout ale dip is delicious!
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Lamb Biftekia with Anchovy, sundried tomato and mint sauce

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Biftekia is basically the Greek word for burger. After I graduated high school in 1999 my parents took myself and my sisters to Greece and I ate this several times, usually made with ground lamb, these were often served on skewers and served with different condiments. I decided to try my hand at my own version of these, which are similar to meatballs or meatloaf, I used a roll of delicious Papa George’s 100% American ground lamb and combined it with a few other seasonings. For my sauce I used another flavor packed pantry item….ANCHOVIES! Packed in olive oil and salt these lil’ babies can add umami flavor and depth to many dishes. Anchovies are not just for pizza, they are a great way to add the salt element to a dish, and I used mint, lemon, capers and sundried tomatoes to round out the flavors and served with the lamb biftekia it balanced out perfectly. Similar to the use of the condiment Nuoc Cham in Vietnamese cooking, this condiment can be used with a variety of roasted meat, veggies, or even as a topping for pasta.
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Anchovy, sundried tomato and mint sauce:
3 olive oil packed anchovy fillets
2 Tablespoons chopped, oil packed sundried tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (you can use soy, I would suggest temari for this)
¼ cup fresh mint
¼ cup fresh curly parsley
Juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons capers
I like to use a mortar and pestle for this to keep a more rustic texture, you can you a blender or food processor but just pulse a few times. Combine anchovies, garlic, sugar, sundried tomatoes, mint and parsley, muddle until it forms a thick paste, add the rest of ingredients, and stir to combine. Can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge.
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For lamb biftekia kabobs:
3/4 lb ground lamb, I used one roll of Papa George’s ground lamb
1/4 cup minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
6 bamboo skewers
In a medium bowl mix meat with other ingredients, portion into six logs. Wrap the meat mixture around skewers. Grill 4 minutes flip, cook another 3 minutes or so until firm. I used my indoor grill pan, you can also do these under a broiler, just watch closely to not over cook. Serve with anchovy sauce.
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Sage Sausage and Leek stuffed mushrooms

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Awww the 80’s what a magical time for appetizers! When I was a kid sausage and boxed stuffing mix, stuffed mushrooms were all the rage. Some of the recipes I was reading were rather funny, cook sausage, add cream cheese, add eggs, add more fatty stuff to your already fatty bowl of fattitude and stuff some shrooms…haha! So I set out to make a version with less steps, less fat, and more visual appeal. I also wanted to use some Papa George’s Sage infused sausage and figured some leek would pair well with the other ingredients. I was pleased with the result and was also pleased to revive a nostalgic recipe without the processed ingredient list.
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You will need:
1 8 oz package of mushrooms, I used plain old “button” shrooms, but crimini would be good.
Clean with a damp cloth, remove stems, and use a small knife or spoon to dig out some of the innards to leave room for maximum stuffage….not a word…yet! Dice up the innards and stems to put in stuffing.
12 oz roll Papa Georges Sage flavored sausage
1 tsp soy sauce
1 small leek, tough outer leaves removed (save those for stock), cleaned well and sliced.
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
3 T dry white wine
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 T fresh chopped, parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T panko breadcrumbs
2 T grated Parmesan

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place mushroom caps in a medium sized casserole dish, sheet, or cake pan, drizzle with 1 T olive oil, and place 1 T butter cut into chunks next to caps. Over medium heat, in a skillet place rest of olive oil, stem and mushroom innards, leeks, and garlic, saute until leeks are tender about 5 minutes, add soy and wine, cook another minute. Remove from heat, add raw sausage, stir well to combine. Stuff each cap generously with filling. Place stuffed mushrooms in oven cook 20 minutes, melt other 1 T of butter, add panko and parm, remove mushrooms from oven add panko topping, return to oven cook another 15 or 20 minutes until golden. Serve at your next dinner party or anytime you wanna relive the 80’s!

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Truffled twice baked heirloom potatoes

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This recipe actually came together by accident, as I had roasted off way to many baby heirloom potatoes one evening. In the morning I realized I had a ton left over and I remembered a trick I learned working as a bar cook. We would always save our left over bakers to make potato skins, topped with cheddar, bacon, and green onions. This version is kind of a mix of that and twice baked potatoes, with utterly creamy, savory results!

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

9 heirloom potatoes, I had reds, yukons, and blue.
1/4 cup half and half
2 teaspoons white truffle oil
2 tablespoons butter, salted
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated, one Tablespoon reserved for topping
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
several sage leaves.
1/2 cup cooking oil
Bake your potatoes on a sheet pan at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, when fork tender remove from oven and cool, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out innards, place in a bowl with 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter, truffle oil, half and half and 3 Tablespoons cheese. With a hand masher or immersion blender whip up potato mixture to desired texture, I like smoother for these. In a small saucepan place cooking oil over medium high heat, fry skin portion of potatoes until golden and crunchy, lightly salt. Fill each skin with whipped potato mixture, top with panko mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon remaining butter, and remaining cheese, top with a sage leaf. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Shumai Dumplings

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So I love, love, love dim sum! Often times I catch myself trying to calm my craving by buying pre-made frozen pot stickers, although in a pinch they are fine, they don’t even touch the real deal. I found some thin gyoza wrappers and I’ve had them staring me down in the freezer now for a few weeks, I decided that today was the day to make shumai. Shumai are a delicious version of Asian dumpling, mine are filled with pork, shrimp, and cabbage, but the possibilities are endless! I read a few recipes and found the best to be the Chinese food tutorials, the worst hands down was Alton Brown’s pot sticker recipe that included ketchup and mustard, and one review said they were like “meatloaf” pot stickers. Not what I was after so I tried the more traditional recipe ideas and honestly the results were so good that after cooking three for photo purposes I instantly had to make three more, because I had devoured the first three before I could get all my pics taken! Yeah that good……I would challenge you to try these at your next holiday get together or cocktail party, served in Asian soup spoons they would be a super sexy passed appetizer, WARNING make a lot cuz they won’t last long! Traditional Shumai are steamed but I didn’t have the right gear for that so I cooked them like you would cook any run of the mill pot sticker (oil first, then water, then lid) and they worked out beautifully.
Makes 3 dozen.
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You will need:
36 thin wonton wrappers, I used circular “gyoza” style but square would be fine as well
1 pound ground pork
36 small shrimp, I used 41/50 which were a little large so I cut mine in half, I like big pieces of shrimp cuz they look all pink and pretty when steamed, most recipes called for chopping them up, but I prefer the texture of the bigger pieces.
1 cup coleslaw mix, or shredded cabbage, I used an organic bagged coleslaw that worked great
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 8 oz can water chestnuts diced, small
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce, I used this because I hadn’t realized I ran out of sesame oil, it worked great
5 green onions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
Dipping sauce of choice, I used Kikkoman ponzu, a bit of sciracha , black sesame seeds, a little chopped cilantro, and a little fried shallots. You can use what you like, there are plenty of great recipes for pot sticker sauce on the web, find your fav.
In a bowl combine everything but, wrappers, shrimp, and of course dipping sauce. Combine those ingredients well to make sure the seasoning is spread throughout and everything is well incorporated, set aside.
Put a bit of water in a small bowl, place a few wrappers out at a time, with your index finger rub a little water just around the edges of the wrapper, add 1 Tablespoon filling to the center, top with shrimp, 4

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and then you can either form them by wrapping your thumb and pointer finger around 5
or you can pinch them closed the then fold the pinched portion over. 6
To cook, use a medium skillet, preferably one with a lid, and heat over medium high, add a little cooking oil of choice, add about 6 shumai at a time, let them cook in oil for a few minutes, then add ½ cup water, cover for a few minutes and watch until water evaporates, let sizzle a minute long and remove, serve hot with sauces of choice! Sorry though, these will totally ruin you for the frozen ones!

Mummy Calzone with bloody Bolognese

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I love Halloween! I always have, and one of the best parts of it for me is creepy food! I remember going to Halloween parties and drinking dry ice root beer and bobbing for apples. Halloween is the holiday that was always made a “big deal” of in my family growing up, when we had our restaurant my mom would make sloppy joe’s (which I never liked much, but I would call them brains) for fifty and her famous pasta salad. My sisters and I between sips of apple cider would spread those spider web decorations over the whole house and hang scary paper cut outs of witches, ghosts, and Dracula. I remember many a cool October night in Northern Utah, hopping from house to house trick or treating before we went home to do some candy swap out negotiations. My mom always has great Halloween parties, but now being a few states away I must carry out traditions for my kids. I am really not much of a decorator, but I definitely like to do some fun food! This one was inspired by a “Halloween party ideas” book from the 90’s, thinking it was some sort of marketing for Pillsbury or something, my sister and I made one of these about a decade or so ago, but I think I found a way to make one that will suit everyone’s personal tastes.
You will need:
1 package pizza dough, I used Trader Joe’s it makes one 12 inch pizza, so if you are making your own, most recipes make enough for two mummies.
2 cups pizza toppings of choice, I used ¼ Cup pesto, ½ cup sautéed spinach, 1 shallot, sautéed, 2 oz mozzarella, 1 oz feta, one green olive with pimento cut in half (eyes), one pepperoni cut in half (mouth), one cheddar stick cracker (Egyptian Crook that mummies hold) . You can use anything you like and personalize your mummy.
2 cups Bolognese, or any recipe you like.
Pre-heat oven to 400. Roll dough out with a little flour if needed into a rectangle about 12 x 9 inches, prep a baking sheet with parchment or cooking spray, place dough on sheet. Cut dough rectangle into 10 strips as shown in photo:
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Spread topping out evenly:
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Weave strips of dough over each other and ingredients:
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Make sure you shape your head with dough and place desired facial features and crook (cracker), bake twenty minutes, serve with a bowl of heated Bolognese and enjoy at your next monster mash!mummy7

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Kids love them!
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