Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cranberry Walnut Couscous

With the holidays upon us, here is a festive new side dish for you to try. Zack found this recipe on the Country Living website via Google. It was tasty. We both agreed that our favorite part was the crunch of the walnuts. 

Here's what you need:
1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup couscous
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you do:
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup chicken stock and dried cranberries and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and allow the berries to steep and re-hydrate the berries.

Strain the berries from the chicken stock and set the berries aside. 

Using the remaining chicken stock from the cranberry re-hydration, add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and the garlic to the saucepan. Bring that back to a boil.

Meanwhile, chop the walnuts and toast over low heat on the stove top. Let those toast for a few minutes to release the oils. They'll smell extra nutty when they're ready. Be careful not to burn them!

Once your chicken stock is boiling, add the couscous. Cover and remove from the heat.

Let the couscous sit for 5 minutes to soak up all of the stock. Remove lid and fluff like you would rice.

Add the cranberries and walnuts.

Taste the couscous and add salt and pepper to your taste. We liked the hint of sweetness.

The original recipe called for chopped mint, which we thought would be nice, but we didn't have any on hand. We actually had all of the remaining ingredients in the pantry, so we decided we'd save the mint for next time.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hot Corn Dip

We've got a few blogs in the works, but we wanted to be sure to share this dip with you. It's great for holiday parties. Michelle took it to a work party and it was almost completely gone before lunch even started. If you notice in the picture above, there are already some spoonfuls taken out when she ran to grab her camera.

We found the original recipe on Tasty Kitchen, but in true Amateur Foodies fashion, we used it as a guide, not a rule. Also, we doubled the proportions since this was for a work party.

Here's what you need:
2 cups Mild Cheddar, shredded
4 cups Cheddar/Pepperjack blend, shredded
2 15 oz cans Sweet Corn, drained
2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, finely diced
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and ribs removed, then finely diced
1 cup mayo (we used olive oil mayo)
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Here's what you do:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cheeses, corn, chipotles, jalapenos, mayo and garlic powder. Stir until all ingredients are combined.  Transfer to a large casserole dish.

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and stir to mix the cheese in the center and allow it to melt. (If you halve this recipe, you won't need to stir halfway through, but it may be close to finished at this point). Bake for 10-20 more minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and cheese is bubbly.

Garnish with cilantro, tomatoes and onions. Serve immediately.