Dining and Entertainment / Sports

Touchdown Worthy Snacks by Wolfgang Puck

Holy Guac-a-moly! Super Bowl Sunday is approaching and it will soon be time to get your feast on. Reports show that Americans eat enough dip to fill 12 football fields, so you might as well make sure your dip compliments your chip! Emmy-Award winning chef and restauranteur Wolfgang Puck would like to share his favorite Super Bowl Sunday snacks with our readers.

World renowned chef and master of the kitchen, Wolfgang Puck has created the new www.WolfgangPuckCookingSchool. com, a comprehensive and ever-growing online collection of instructional recipe-lessons, how-to techniques, and always engaging video cooking courses. Here are three of those recipes sure to please even the most discerning Super Bowl Fan! You can find more of his famous recipes here: WolfgangPuckCookingSchool.com

WOLFGANG PUCK’S HOMEMADE POTATO CHIPS WITH BLUE CHEESE DIP

Serves 12

Making your own potato chips fresh at home will really impress your guests. Yet, it’s incredibly easy with a thermostat-controlled deep fryer. I find a mandoline is the fastest, easiest way to get uniform thin slices. A quickly made blue-cheese dip is the perfect accompaniment.

potatoe chipsIngredients:

Potato Chips:

1 1/2 pounds baking (Idaho) potatoes

vegetable oil for deep-frying

kosher salt

Blue Cheese Dip:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 quart whole milk

1 pound blue cheese crumbled

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

1. Preparing the potatoes

Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water. Peel the potatoes. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the potatoes crosswise into uniform wafer-thin slices no more than 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to the bowl. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.

2. Making a roux

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Using a wire whisk, stir in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until thick and bubbling but not yet browned. Reduce the heat.

3. Making a white sauce

Whisking continuously, slowly pour in the milk. Increase the heat slightly. Stirring continuously, bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring continuously, until thick and creamy. Pour a through fine-meshed sieve into a clean saucepan.

Must Include Credit If Published: WolfgangPuckCookingSchool.com

4. Completing the cheese dip

Gradually sprinkle 12 ounces of the crumbled blue cheese into the sauce, stirring until it melts. Remove the pan from heat. Cover to keep warm.

5. Heating the oil

Fill an automatic deep-fryer with vegetable oil, following manufacturer’s instructions. Or fill a heavy pot with at least 4 inches of oil. Heat to 350°F on the deep-fryer’s thermostat or on a deep-frying thermometer.

6. Draining & drying the potatoes

While the oil heats, drain the sliced potatoes. Using paper towels, pat the slices until thoroughly dry.

7. Frying the potatoes

When the oil is hot, fry the potatoes in small batches until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning the chips. Using the deep-fryer basket or a long-handled wire skimmer, transfer the chips to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Fry any remaining batches of potatoes.

8. Rewarming the dip

While the last batch of chips is frying, gently rewarm the dip. Stir in the chives, reserving 1 teaspoon for garnish. Season the dip to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Serving the chips & dip

Arrange the chips on 1 or more platters or in shallow bowls. Transfer the dip to a bowl or sauceboat and serve separately for dipping, garnishing the chips with the remaining crumbled cheese and chives.

WOLFGANG PUCK’S HOT SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP

Serves 4 to 6 (Makes about 2 cups)

One of the most popular appetizers in casual restaurants is surprisingly easy to make at home once you know the secrets I’ll share with you for this creamy, cheesy, satisfying dish. You don’t even have to use fresh artichokes; those straight from a jar work fine. You can prepare and refrigerate the mixture several hours ahead, ready to bake just before serving.

artichoke dipIngredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed

3 bags (6 ounces each) baby spinach leaves, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry

10 ounces water-packed artichoke hearts or frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and thoroughly drained

1 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic (recipe follows), mashed with a fork

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper, optional

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs

1/4 teaspoon ground sweet or hot paprika

thinly sliced French bread

Directions:

1. Preheating the oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Sautéing the spinach

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot enough to swirl easily, add the spinach and sauté until it has wilted and turned deep, dark green, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a sieve over a bowl to drain.

3. Chopping the artichokes

Put the artichokes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Pulse the machine on and off until the artichokes are very coarsely chopped, about 5 to 7 seconds.

4. Mixing the dip base

Leave the artichokes in the processor and add the mayonnaise, roasted garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne if you’d like a spicier dip, and half of the Parmesan. Pulse the machine several times just until they are thoroughly combined.

5. Drying the spinach

With your hands or a sturdy wooden spoon, press down on the spinach in the sieve to force out any more excess liquid. Discard the liquid from the bowl.

6. Pulsing in the spinach

Add the spinach to the processor and pulse several times more, just until the spinach is combined evenly with the other ingredients. The mixture should still have some texture.

7. Filling the baking dish

Carefully remove the processor blade and, with a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture from it into a shallow ovenproof baking dish. Scrape all of the mixture from the processor bowl into the dish. With the spatula, smooth the surface.

8. Topping & baking the dip

In a small bowl, toss together the remaining Parmesan with the breadcrumbs and paprika. Sprinkle this topping evenly over the dip. Put the dish in the preheated oven and bake until the dip is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

9. Making crostini

If you like, lightly brush the French bread slices on both sides with a little olive oil. Place them on a baking sheet or tray and put in the oven to toast while the dip bakes, removing them when golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

10. Serving the dip

When the dip is done, transfer the baking dish to a heatproof trivet or pad on the table and surround it with the crostini or other chips or crackers for dipping.

WOLFGANG PUCK’S ROASTED GARLIC

Serves 4 to 12

Roasting whole garlic caramelizes its natural sugars, turning each individual clove rich, sweet, and tender, without the harshness some people object to in raw garlic. I like to use this as a flavoring in all kinds of savory dishes. Or I’ll serve the roasted heads straight from the oven as a sharable appetizer, to squeeze from the papery skins and smear on hot, crusty bread.

Ingredients:

4 garlic heads

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheating the oven

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Coating the garlic with oil

Arrange the garlic heads in a small roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat them thoroughly.

3. Roasting the garlic

Roast garlic until very tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven. If serving immediately as an appetizer, set it aside until just cool enough to handle but still warm. If using as a condiment or seasoning, set aside to cool completely.

4. Halving & serving the garlic

With a serrated knife, cut each garlic head crosswise in half to expose the pulp. If serving immediately, transfer the garlic halves to individual plates, cut side up, for guests to squeeze the softened pulp from the skin of each clove.

5. Removing & storing the pulp

If storing the garlic pulp, squeeze it out by hand from each half into a bowl. Or use a small spoon or table knife tip to scoop it out. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

WOLFGANG PUCK’S CALIFORNIA GUACAMOLE WITH ROASTED

GARLIC

Serves 4 to 6

I like my guacamole simple, keeping the ingredients to a minimum. For the best avocado flavor, start with the pear-shaped, pebbly-skinned Hass variety, and use fresh lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño chile. What makes my version California-style? I add mellow roasted garlic, which I show you how to make at home in another lesson here in my Cooking School; or you can buy it in many supermarkets. Serve with tortilla chips or vegetables for dipping, or use as a condiment on sandwiches, in tacos, or with quesadillas.

guacomoleIngredients:

1 or 2 garlic heads

kosher salt

extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium ripe Hass-style avocados

2 fresh limes halved and juiced

12 cherry tomatoes, stemmed, quartered, and seeded

1/2 small red onions, finely chopped

1 to 2 small jalapeño chiles, halved, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra sprigs for garnish corn tortilla chips or vegetable crudités, for serving

Directions:

1. Roasting the garlic

Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a sharp knife, cut off about 1/2 inch from the stem end of each garlic head to expose the cloves. Place in the center of a sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic. Roast until tender when squeezed with a kitchen towel, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Halving & pitting the avocados

Halve an avocado lengthwise, cutting down to the pit. To remove the pit, carefully but firmly tap it with the edge of a sharp knife blade, then twist to dislodge. Discard the pit. Scoop the avocado flesh into a mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining avocados. Pour the lime juice over the avocado flesh.

3. Scooping out the avocados

With a large kitchen spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining avocados. Squeeze the lime juice over the avocado flesh, discarding any seeds.

4. Mashing & mixing the guacamole

Add the tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, and salt to taste. With a fork or a potato masher, lightly mash the avocado while mixing it with the other ingredients, leaving the avocado still slightly chunky.

5. Adding the roasted garlic

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into the bowl. With the fork or masher, mash and stir in thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

6. Serving the guacamole

Spoon the guacamole into a serving bowl and place it at the center of a platter. Surround with tortilla chips or fresh vegetables for dipping. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

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