Monday, June 18, 2012

Delicious Party Snacks

This weekend a few of my favorite ladies came over for drinks, gossip, and what turned out to be some really great grub.

In addition to the usual snacks (veggies & dip, chips & salsa, mind blowing chocolate hazelnut cream puffs),  I was able to try two new recipes - Avocado Yogurt Dip and a Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Flatbread. Both turned out so well I will definitely make again and again and again...

This Avocado Yogurt Dip, from two peas & their pod, is a delicious creamy mix of non-fat Greek yogurt and your usual guacamole fixings - avocado, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, lime. I honestly wanted to lick my blender clean after whipping up this dip. We enjoyed it with pita chips and sweet potato chips but I couldn't resist using it as a dip for my veggies and some tortilla chips too - so good anyway you dip it. 

Find the recipe here!

Another great thing about this dip? It could be considered relatively healthy and it didn't brown up the way guacamole, and avocados in general, often do. It was still a beautiful soft green colour after spending a night in the refrigerator and tasted as fresh the next day as when it was just made. 

The second recipe, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Flatbread turned out equally well. Who can resist warm gooey cheese, a hit of balsamic, and sweet caramelized onions? First, a little background on my love for this flatbread, and then the recipe...

Once upon a time, in downtown Vancouver, after a long day of walking around Stanley Park, my boyfriend and I tried this flatbread at a Cactus Club Restaurant. It has haunted my taste buds ever since. The end.

Darn you Rob Feenie! (via)

To replicate this jaw dropping flatbread here's what you'll need:

1 Store bought flatbread*
1 Sweet yellow onion (chopped)
1 tbls Butter (approx)
1/4 c. Pesto (approx)* 
Soft Goat Cheese
Feta Cheese (I used goat's milk feta)
Grape Tomatoes (cut in half)
Arugula or other micro greens*
1c. Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbls Brown sugar

Start by caramelizing the onions and making the balsamic reduction... Combine the butter and onions over medium heat; once the onions start to cook reduce the heat. Allow to cook slowly for 10-15 minutes until the onions are soft and sweet and wonderfully caramelized.

While the unions are making everything smell heavenly, bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan and add the brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then every couple of minutes while the balsamic reduces and thickens, about 10-15 minutes. 

After rubbing a store bought flatbread with some olive oil and garlic, baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes to warm through. 

Remove from oven and top with a layer of pesto, the the caramelized onions, crumpled cheeses, and grape tomatoes. Return to the oven to crisp up - this time place the flatbread directly on the metal oven rack (a baking sheet on the rack below will catch any drips).

Once the cheese has started to melt remove from the oven and top with arugula and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

May it now haunt your taste buds as well. 


*A few recipe notes that may help...

I was able to find flatbread at my local grocery store - with the pizza crusts and pita pockets - however if you can't this could be tasty on naan bread as well.

I used prepackaged pesto (the fresh stuff sold next to the fresh pastas) although if you are one of those high achiever types by all means make your own.

I was unable to find arugula so I used one of those organic prepackaged salad mixes.

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