Super Bowl Party Buffalo Chicken Dip

I know, I know, the Super Bowl was two weeks ago and this post is old. Fair enough. But I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and spending much less time on the computer. But I promise that good eats are following.

I promise!

The Super Bowl is taken very seriously in our house, as my husband loves football.  Every year, our group of friends take turns hosting the party and every year, I look forward to attending.  But not for the game. Nor for the hilarious mess of a half time show. No, I do not go for the football but for the food. It might as well be called Super Buffet of Excellent Noshing as far as I am concerned because I have no idea who is playing or what the score is.  All I care about is what’s on my plate and how I can get it in my mouth.

This year, I had two parties in one day: a bridal shower in the morning for which I made my Caramelized Onion and Brie Tart and then a Super Bowl Party at Andy and Amy’s for which I made a Buffalo Chicken Dip. The tart was a hit (as always) and the Buffalo Chicken Dip became a new favourite (especially with our friend Jorge, who loved it so much that he requested that I give the recipe to his wife who then had to make it the next day!).

The original recipe came from the Rachael Ray show and can be found here. It’s basically every wonderful thing that you get when you order a plate of wings at the pub. The only thing it’s missing is the beer and carrot sticks. The first layer is cream cheese and I used light cream cheese. The second layer consists of a deli chicken which I substituted for diced roasted chicken thighs, buffalo chicken sauce ( I used Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce), and 2 tbsp of melted butter. I also added a 1/2 tsp of garlic salt and pepper. The third layer calls for blue cheese dressing.  I bought fresh blue cheese crumbles and had intended to add it to ranch dressing but of course I didn’t have any on hand. You top it all off with shredded cheese, I used a nacho mix. Bake in the oven and serve with nacho chips.

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Homemade Pasta Boot Camp

Last week I had the most fabulous day learning how to make fresh pasta with my cousin Catherine and her sweet baby, Ruby. Now to be honest, I was a little nervous about  making my own pasta ever since the Great Gnocchi Debacle of 2002. Without getting into the gory details, it was an ignominious failure. And although ten years have passed, the memory is still strong ((silent shudder)). However, I had great faith in the culinary abilities of my cousin and therefore was eager to learn and VERY eager to test out the Kitchenaid pasta attachment!

And it ended up being a great experience!

The day started out with a kind stranger paying for our Tim Horton’s order, followed by a surprise visit from cousin Briley, her son Evan and my grandma Noonie and ended with a delicious plate of fresh homemade pasta. I now have renewed confidence in my own ability to make fresh pasta and am jonesing to own the Kitchenaid pasta attachments for myself (I don’t think I can wait for my birthday in July and will have to dip into my shoe fund…)

We made three different kinds and each was a variation of a basic egg noodle recipe:

  1. Basil and cracked pepper linguine
  2. Red Chili Pepper Rigatoni
  3. Plain bucatini

Basic Egg Noodle Recipe from the Kitchenaid Pasta Attachment manual

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups of sifted flour (which we didn’t sift)
  • 1/4 cup water

Place eggs, water and flour in mixer bowl. Attach flat beater to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix for 30 seconds. Remove flat beater and attach dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead 2 minutes. Hand knead dough for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Cover with dry towel and let rest for 15 minutes before extruding through pasta maker.

Variations:

Basil and Cracked Pepper: Crush peppercorns in mortar and pestle and to basic egg dough with 2 tbsp of basil paste

Red Chili: 2 tbsp of red chili pepper paste and 1 tsp of chili powder added to basic egg dough


Wontons

Wontons aren’t just for chinese restaurants. Nope. They are easy to make right at home to be enjoyed whenever you want them. My grandma Noonie and I have been making wontons for several years now and we can whip up a couple of batches in less than an hour. We use store bought wonton wrappers and one package makes a few dozen.  My grandma and I like to use bbq ground pork cutlets from the IGA. It sounds strange. But trust me, the bbq spice really adds something to the filling.

Mixing the meat and ingredients in a medium bowl with my favourite assistant.

Wrappers brushed with water

A teaspoon of filling placed on every wrapper

Wontons

  • 2 packages of ground pork cutlets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 package of wonton wrappers
  • water

In a medium bowl combine the first 7 ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Spread your wonton wrappers onto a clean, flat surface and using a pastry brush, brush the edges with water. Put a tsp of filling in the centre of the wrappers and pinch together. Working in small batches, put the raw wontons in a pot of boiling water until they are floating about 7 minutes. If you aren’t going to eat them right away, place them on a cookie sheet until cool and then freeze before packaging.