It’s Party Time | Superbowl XLVII

Superbowl Spread

It’s almost here – Superbowl XLVII! Get ready for the game with some of our favorite game day snacks!

Spicy Artichoke-Spinach Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
10 oz fresh spinach (I prefer fresh over frozen)
2 cups Agiago, Parmesan and Fontina cheese, shredded.
1/2 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz can jalapeño peppers, chopped (I used 1/2 the can, feel free to use more!)
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbl red crushed peppers
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and a little bit of the jalapeño juice in saute pan and wilt the fresh spinach. While this is sautéing, mix together the Italian cheese blend, artichoke hearts, sour cream, cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a bowl until well blended. Remove the spinach and drain well before adding it to the mix.  Spread the dip into the prepared baking dish topping it with any extra cheese you may have. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese has melted and is bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with homemade crostinis.

Cajun Prawns Wrapped in Bacon

(Thanks to Jason for making these!)

Cajun Shrimp

2 lbs 16/20* prawns, thawed, peeled and deveined
¼ extra virgin olive oil
1 package bacon
¼ cup Cajun Spice Mix

Spice Mix

4 T paprika
2 T garlic powder
2 T cayenne pepper
2 T black pepper
1 T dry thyme
1T dry oregano
1T onion powder
2 T salt
1 T white pepper

Toss the freshly cleaned prawns in the extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle spice mixture on the prawns and wrap with a small piece of bacon, securing with toothpicks. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until bacon is done. Serve immediately.

Grilled Sausages with Brandy-Mustard Sauce

Sausage with Mustard

1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
Korbel Brandy mustard sauce

Enjoy the grilled sausages with the mustard sauce alone or add the sausage slices and sauce to homemade crostini’s and top with cole slaw.

Korbel Brandy-Mustard Sauce

1 tsp olive oil
2 T chopped shallots
1 cup Dijon mustard
1 T whole mustard seeds
½ cup chicken or veal stock
½ cup Korbel Brandy
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Saute shallots in olive oil until soft. Add mustard seeds and Dijon to the shallots and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add brandy and chicken stock to the mustard and let cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or room temperature over grilled meats and sausages. Makes 1 ½ cups

Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes

Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes

1 cup (4.5 ounces) all purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.3 ounces) sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons(1.5 ounces) Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Guinness Stout

Ganache Frosting

3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Add in the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add 1/4 cup of the beer into the mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add remaining beer. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour. Divide it evenly among the lined cups. Bake 18-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

To make ganache frosting: Bring heavy cream, butter and vegetable oil to a light boil. Pour hot heavy cream mixture over chocolate. Using a spatula gently fold chocolate through heavy cream until well combined. Set aside to cool for at least an two hours or until frosting consistency is achieved. Frosting will thicken as sits. When cupcakes are cooled, apply the frosting and pretzels. Drizzle chocolate and caramel on top. (Adopted from Bakers Royal blog )

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sliders

(Click here for recipe)
Pulled Pork Sandwhich


Game Day: Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork Sandwhich

Rochelle and I both love football season and with the NFC Championship game right around the corner, what better snack to serve at your next party than this easy slow cooked pulled pork sandwich recipe. Having a large group over? No problem! Turn those pulled pork sandwiches into pulled pork sliders for a delicious finger food that all can enjoy. What make this recipe great is that it is SO easy to make. Throw the below ingredients into a slow cooker and in 4-6 hours (on high) or 8-10 hours (on low) you will have the most tender, juicy, packed-with-flavor dish perfect for your next game day party. Wondering which libations to serve? Check out our drink guide for the perfect pairing!

1 (4 1/2 to 5 pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt)
1  1/2 cans (14 ounces) chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 – 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bottle of barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
1 bag crostini sandwich rolls/buns or slider buns
Coleslaw – recipes below

Pulled Pork Banner

Combine the sugar, salt, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry, trim off any large areas of fat (optional) and rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap or heavy duty ziplock bag and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator (The rub does not penetrate the meat during refrigeration, at least not deeply, but it does form a moist layer of seasoning that adheres well during cooking. You can also apply a bit more rub before putting the meat in the cooker.)

Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Pour 1/4 – 1/2 bottle of barbeque sauce over the pork, cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork.  Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl and pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.

If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces using two forks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Add the rest of the barbecue sauce (to taste) and mix to combine. If you do not have barbecue sauce use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.  – Makes 6 sandwiches.

Perfect Pair? COLESLAW!

I don’t eat coleslaw often, but with pulled pork sandwiches it is a must for me. Add it to your sandwich or as an accompaniment on the side. Check out 10 different twists on the “classic  coleslaw” recipe by Rachel Ray. Pick your favorite or experiment with your coleslaw concoction.


Drink Pairing

What to drink with your pulled pork sandwich?

  • Our friends over at Heritage Public House, located in Santa Rosa, California, suggest either a Pale Ale or Brown Ale to complement this dish. The malty sweetness balanced by hoppy bitterness in a pale ale pairs wonderfully as it brings out the flavors in the pork rather than competing with it while the malty flavors in a brown ale tend to bring out the spiciness of the dish.
  • A bright and fruity Barbera wine pairs nicely with the spice and bbq flavors in the pork. Michael Muscardini, of Muscardini Cellars,  makes a delicious Barbera that’s worth a try.
  • If you are looking for a cocktail, try a dark spirit based cocktail like a Lynchburg Lemonade.