Roasted Garlic and Potato Dip Recipe

Roast Garlic & Potato Dip
Greek cuisine features many great snacks and nibbles from olives to pastries and dips. An easy dip to make is skordalia. Recipes vary regionally, but generally feature garlic, extra virgin olive oil and potatoes though sometimes egg yolks, almonds or bread as well. The problem for me is raw garlic which gets more and more potent over time. The solution espresso cups set? Roast garlic.

Roast garlic is sweet and soft and most important, mellow. It won't overpower most dishes like this skordalia inspired dip made with potatoes, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and roast garlic, instead of raw. Not only is this dip good for Passover, it's vegetarian (vegan if you use vegan mayo) and gluten free! That is if you use a gluten free mayonnaise, which adds additional creaminess to the dip.

I have been experimenting with "roasting" garlic in the microwave oven, but whatever technique you want to use is fine. The main thing is not to overcook it. It should be soft and creamy but not too darkly caramelized. I use 3-4 cloves Bordeaux, but feel free to use as much as you like. Serve it with fresh vegetables for dipping.

Roasted Garlic and Potato Dip

1 russet potato
4 cloves roasted garlic (use any method you like)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bake or microwave the potato until thoroughly cooked. You are not going to use the skin so however you prefer to cook it is fine. When cool enough to handle high chair. slice open and scoop the potato out of the skin. Place the potato in a bowl with the garlic cloves and mash. Mix in the olive oil, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add enough water to make a thick dip. Season to taste with salt.

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Sambal Chicken Sandwich Spread

Hot on the enthusiastic heels of my last post, I have already decided to make short work of those goals I mentioned. When it comes to that blessed event called “starting” there is no time like right now right? So that’s what we are doing for 2012 folks, we are starting. Starting, doing, moving. Starting what exactly? Oh, many things I’m sure: Starting on that list of resolutions. Starting to live a healthier life (ok, for me, that would be semi-healthier – sorry, but pork, butter, sugar, and caffeine are here to stay). Starting to attack that pile of bills on top of the printer. Starting that book you got over the holidays. It could be anything really, and I am sure as the year goes on, it will be a lot of things, but right now it doesn’t matter. What matters is holding on to that wonderful feeling of bursting possibility, that clean-slate of endless potential, and just running with it. What matters is pulling your foot up and moving it forward.

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But before moving mountains, or finally getting my files in order (which is actually very much the same thing), let’s start with leftovers. Finding ways to use leftover to be more exact…and avoiding food waste in the process (one of my goals forthis year). This is one of the things I like to do with leftover roast or baked chicken.

Sambal Chicken Sandwich Spread

2 cups very roughly shredded or chopped chicken meat (leftover from a roast or baked chicken)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
4-5 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 teaspoons sambal asli
Freshly cracked black pepper
Sea salt, if needed

- Place the chicken, dill, cilantro, onion, mayonnaise marie france bodyline, and sambal in a bowl. Top with a generous cracking of pepper. Mix thoroughly.
- Taste and see if it needs additional salt. If your roast chicken was heavily seasoned you may not need to add any more.
- Store in a clean jar in the fridge.

title As this makes use of leftover chicken it is pretty flexible in terms of quantities, so adjust based on what you have to work with. Here are some of my notes Domestic Helpe:

The chicken – It’s best to shred the meat off the bones with your hands to get every last bit out. You can also tear it out in big chunks and then chopped them up with a knife. The beauty here is that you can shred or chop as finely or as chunkily as you like, giving the sandwich spread your preferred texture. You can use leftovers off any roast or baked chicken. The chicken I used here came from leftover rotisserie chicken that my mom had brought over one night for dinner. Cost to me = zero! Oh, and make sure to save the bones for stock – just place them in a ziplock bag in your freezer until you have enough to make a batch.
The herbs – I like to add fresh herbs as this livens up the spread and gives the leftovers new life. I've used dill and cilantro here but feel free to experiment with your own favorites, or whatever you have on hand. And please nix the cilantro if you or a family member is averse to it – I know, and totally accept, that not everyone is a cilantro-lover as I am. This is also a good way to use up the odd bits of leftover herbs that you have hanging out in your crisper. Double leftover action!
The mayonnaise – There are mayo-people and non-mayo-people. I am a mayo-person. Please adjust the amount to suit your position.
The sambal – I used this sambal asli, but depending on your sambal, and your tastes, go ahead and adjust the amount until you find the right level of heat for you.
The sandwich – for the sandwich pictured here I used multi-grain bread, thinly sliced apple, and micro arugula. I love the bite of arugula, and I really prefer sprouts over leaf lettuce in sandwiches, so I have been a happy camper since I found micro arugula in my weekend market (from these lovely folks). And the apple provides both sweetness and crunch that gets on splendidly with the spicy, creamy chicken.

I hope to do more posts on saving leftovers, as well as odd bits from the kitchen (like stems from vegetables and skin from pork – yes, it has uses aside from crackling!), this year. I’ll also try to suggest uses for the leftovers of the other dishes I do post about. All towards the end of avoiding food waste. You can click on leftovers under Categories on my sidebar for other ways in which I've used leftovers. If there is anything in particular you’d like to see here just let me know.

Now let’s get started! Wishing you all a beautiful weekend!

Our First Paella

No recipe today. Just an exuberant rejoicing that finally, finally, we have managed paella! So please pardon me while I say...yay!!!

We have been wanting to make paella for a long time now. Well, C wanted to. Too many people in my family make paella, and make it well, that I never felt I had to...or perhaps I was always too scared to try for that very same reason. But C loves paella and every time we have some, or pass a paellera in a store, or one of my uncles talks about cooking one; his enthusiasm to make our own grew. It was a foregone conclusion that C would be the skipper in our paella adventure...I always believed that cooking was about passion and C has more passion for paella than I do, truth be told. So for this dish, I was to ride sous preamp.

The road to paella wasn’t a short one. We started preparations through the most obvious route – harvesting the knowledge and collective years of paella-making experience from my mom and uncles. We badgered them with questions, and C stood by and watched while they did their magic. We once rushed from out of town to be extra early for a family lunch, so C could stand in a smoky kitchen taking mental notes while my godfather (whose paella in my humble opinion is one of the tastiest I’ve ever tried) made his paella.

Now, it must be said at this point, that none of my family have a recipe for paella – it’s all by feel. They have their techniques (the secret’s in the stock), their ratios (liquid to rice), their timing (when al dente, stop heat, cover paella, take a shower, it’ll be done when you are), which we somehow patched together to make our own roadmap. Armed with a small/medium paellera we found, that perfectly fits out biggest stove-top burner, we were finally ready custom embroidery.

Like I said, no recipe yet. As this was our first try, nothing is set in stone. And perhaps, as we learned by feel, a rough sketch (continually being tweaked by necessity or mood) is all we will ever have. This is how it went (more or less)...

We used seafood (which is the flavour we like) and chorizo (to add punch). I bought prawns, squid, fish, and clams. Cooked the clams in garlic, parsley, and wine – saved the liquid from this for the stock. Made a fish stock from some bones I had in the freezer. In the paellera we heated olive oil, cooked chorizo until the nice orange oil was rendered, set chorizo aside. Added chopped garlic, onions, parsley (including stems!) to the pan and sauté until onion is soft. Cooked seafood one by one (squid, prawns, fish) and removed from pan. Added pimenton and some paella spice mix to the onions and fried a bit. Deglazed pan with wine. Added rice and sautéed. Added stock, smoothed surface and let cook...mind that it doesn’t dry out! When it would look too dry but the rice was still raw we added a bit more stock. If it looked to be drying up too fast we would lay some foil across the top. When it was almost done we placed the seafood and chorizo back in the pan and added some roasted red pepper on top...then cooked until it was finally done!

Whew! We couldn’t believe our eyes...it looked and smelled just like paella! And as we sat down to our (late) lunch and had our first mouthful we sighed happily...it tasted like paella too! In fact it was not half bad for a first attempt if you would be so kind as to let me say so :) It did not lack for seafood flavour and the rice was cooked through well (something which I was worried about). My mom stopped by to have lunch with us so we have a witness!

Some little mishaps: If you hadn’t already noticed I used too much rice! The pan was almost in danger of overflowing...lesson learned for next time. Also, my clams were sandy so we couldn’t use all of it and I had to strain the stock a million times through paper towels (sorry Earth!) :(

This was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon – creating something delicious with someone you care about. Enjoying your success with a wonderful meal and lots of high-fives and “go team!”. There are many milestones in a partnership. Different couples will mark different events as important on their conjugal calendar Ergonomic furniture. This paella is definitely one of those for us!

Reese's Peanut Butter + Ice Cream + Tree Shape = Christmas Delight

christmas tree reeses

Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are the chocolate hit of the Easter season Managed Network, so it's no surprise the candy maker would try to dominate the sweet-and-savory treat market around Christmas as well. According to Foodbeast, Good Humor has teamed up with Reese's to release a special limited-edition ice cream bar, dubbed Reese's Peanut Butter Ice Cream Tree Hong Kong Cruise Terminal.

The treats feature peanut butter ice cream with a swirl of Reese's peanut butter all dipped in a milk chocolate coating. The ice cream bars are available through December 25, so hurry if you're planning to score some extra edible holiday cheer Hong Kong Festival. A box of six ice cream trees costs $3.99


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