Monthly Archives: January 2010

Jalapeno Popper Dip

With the Super Bowl coming up, I thought I would share some great football snack foods that feature local Texas produce!

I thought it couldn’t get any better than buffalo chicken dip (aka “crack dip,” since it’s just that addictive), but this is fantastic! It’s a riff off of jalapeno poppers, so it’s got those same smoky/spicy flavors, but in a warm, cheesy dip form. The only change I made was to increase the amount of bacon from 4 to 6 strips (that was a no-brainer), and to cook the onion mixture in bacon grease (also a no-brainer).

I should mention that when I’m heading over to someone else’s house, I usually make my goodies in disposable aluminum pans. Though they’re not the sturdiest things out there, they usually come with a lid and there’s no clean-up, making it easier for me and the host. They’re also oven-safe, so you can prepare the dip at home and bake it when you get to your destination.

I think this would also be great with some cilantro or chives sprinkled on top after baking, if you have some!

From Evil Shenanigans


  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1/2 c. onion, finely diced (I used half of a red onion that came in our Local Box)
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2/3 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 c. pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a skillet, cook the bacon until it’s crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Add the onion, jalapenos, garlic, bacon and cumin to the bacon grease and saute until the onions begin to soften. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
  • In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Add cheddar cheese, 1/2 c. parmesan cheese and chopped pickled jalapenos. Add the sauteed ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Spread the dip into a casserole dish and top with the panko, 1/4 c. parmesan cheese and paprika.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then cool for 5 minutes before eating with tortilla chips.

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 25-29

Better late than never, right? We’re getting our Greenling box this afternoon (shoot, I forgot to put the empty box outside this morning!), and as always, it’s got some nice winter-y goodies for us.

This week, we’re getting broccoli, pac choi, baby collards, and turnips from My Father’s Farm; lettuce from Animal Farm; oranges from G&S Groves; cilantro and red spring onion from Acadian; tomatoes from Village Organics; and white button mushrooms from Kitchen Pride.

So I’m making:


  • Tuna salad on a bed of…salad?


Side Dish:

I’ll also make some fresh-squeezed OJ with waffles for Sunday breakfast.

Maple-Roasted Vegetables

I tweeted a picture of these a few nights ago, and I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you all because it was so good! I had some sweet potatoes that I hadn’t yet used from a Local Box a few weeks ago, and we got some beautiful purple turnips in our box last week, so I thought this would be a perfect way to use both.

These veggies are sweet, with a hint of spicy from the coriander. The peppery notes of the turnips are much more muted.

When roasting vegetables, it’s important to limit the use of oil in order to prevent the veggies from getting soggy, rather than caramelizing. A hot oven and baking sheet will also help!

Adapted from The New York Times


  • 2 lb. vegetables, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • Heavy pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When you turn the oven on, put a baking sheet in there as well. I’ve found that roasting on a hot baking sheet also helps to ensure the crisp factor.
  • Combine the olive oil, maple syrup, coriander, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  • When the oven and pan are ready, toss the vegetables in the maple syrup mixture and spread out on the hot pan. Make sure that every piece is touching the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for ~40 minutes, or until the veggies are caramelized and fork-tender. If the veggies haven’t caramelized adequately, turn on the broiler for a few minutes.

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 18-22

Seems like despite the deep freeze of 2010, Texas farmers are churning out lots of yummy produce! I’m really excited about this cauliflower. I hope it comes in neon colors, like the ones I’ve seen recently at the Pearl Farmer’s Market! What can I say? I’m easily amused.

This week, we’re getting cauliflower or broccoli from Home Sweet Farm; green shallots from Acadian; green garlic from Naegelin or Green Gate Farm; a salad kit from My Father’s Farm; spinach from Oak Hill; red potatoes, garlic and mustard greens or kale from Naegelin; citrus from G&S Groves; a slicing tomato from Village Farms; and green or red leaf lettuce from Bluebonnet.

So this week, I’m making:


  • Winter bruschetta with white beans, tomato, garlic and green shallots


  • A steakhouse dinner with Caesar salad, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes with green garlic
  • Mustard green/kale gratin

Side Dish:

  • Cauliflower puree (recipe to come from my brand new Top Chef Quickfire cookbook — a gift from my wonderful husband!)


Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers with Cabbage Slaw

Uncultured as I am, I had to do a bit of research to determine the differences between dumplings and potstickers. Turns out that dumplings are steamed or boiled, while potstickers are pan-fried. Ah! I decided to try my hand at both.

I was so pleased with the way these turned out! My pleating technique was terrible at first, and really took some practice to get the hang of it. The filling was moist and flavorful, and the ginger and soy in the dipping sauce really brought out those flavors in the filling. I liked the light, chewy texture of the dumplings, where my husband liked the crunchy bottoms of the potstickers (let’s face it, did anyone think he wouldn’t prefer the fried option?). The slaw was light and refreshing, and a good way to make dumplings a full meal. The dough is a great base and I’m looking forward to experimenting with lots of different fillings, including dessert ones (peach with caramel? raspberry with chocolate ganache?).

The recipe as written below yields ~30 dumplings. The amount of dough only uses 1/2 of the filling yielded in this recipe, so if you don’t want to have filling left over, double the dough recipe. Since we didn’t really need 60 dumplings, I sauteed the filling by itself while the dumplings/potstickers were cooking and we ate it in lettuce wraps.

Adapted from Use Real Butter


For the dough, go to Use Real Butter. I used the same exact recipe, only mine needed a bit more water (~1/4 c.)

For the filling:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage, chopped finely (Note that if you’re planning on steaming the dumplings, reserve a few of the outer leaves to lay in the bottom of the steamer basket to prevent the dumplings from sticking.)
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped finely
  • 1-8 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped finely
  • 1.5″ fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch

For my version of the dipping sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. sake
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger, grated


  • Check out Use Real Butter for instructions on how to make the dough and pleat it correctly.
  • With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a circle. They should be ~1/8″ thick and the center of the circles should be a bit thicker than the edges.
  • Once you’ve got the dough made and rolled out into small circles, put ~1 Tbsp. of the filling in the middle of the circle and fold the circle in half. Close the dough pocket by pleating the edges.
  • Food safety tip: assembling the dumplings takes a bit of time, so you want to make sure the raw filling stays cool. To do so, store the bowl of filling inside of a larger bowl filled with ice. Work in batches of dumplings, so as you finish 5 or so, put them on a plate and store them in the fridge.
  • To steam the dumplings, lay cabbage leaves in the bottom of a steamer basket and steam them for ~6 minutes, then serve immediately.

  • To pan-fry the potstickers, heat ~2-3 Tbsp. canola oil over high heat in a frying pan. Add the potstickers so that the pleated edge is facing up. Fry the potstickers in the oil for a few minutes until the bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 c. water to the pan and cover immediately (please be careful while doing this — it makes a ton of steam and is downright scary!). Cook until the water has boiled off, then remove the cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Let the potstickers cook for another 2 minutes, then serve immediately.

  • Combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the dumplings/potstickers.

I served these with an asian-esque cabbage slaw made with the rest of the cabbage (sliced finely), 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar, 2 Tsbp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil, 2 stalks green onions (chopped finely), 1/2 c. cilantro (chopped finely), ~1/2″ grated fresh ginger, and 1 tsp. sesame seeds. Combine the ingredients and let sit for 1 hour before serving.

Cranberry-Pear Crisp

I made this recipe a while ago, but while digging through my photos, I realized that I hadn’t yet shared it with you!

Cranberries and pears are a great combination for a fall/winter dessert. The longer pears ripen, the sweeter they become, so they play nicely with the tangy cranberries. And using cranberries makes the whole dish turn pink, which of course I love.


I used a bag of cranberries and 4 pears for this crisp. I made it the same way I made my other crisps, but since I had so much fruit, I doubled the topping. Despite the fact that the pears were quite sweet, I knew that the cranberries would be a bit too tart without adding a bit of sugar, so I tossed the fruit in 1/2 c. brown sugar before sprinkling the topping over it.

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 11-15

Given the devastating freeze that afflicted South Texas last week, I wasn’t hopeful that our Greenling Local Box would contain too many goodies. Luckily for us, I was mistaken! Though I expect that some of these items may change due to unpredictable quantities, I still wanted to make a plan for the things we would get.

We’re supposed to get bok choy and radishes from My Father’s Farm, apples from Top of Texas, tangerines from Orange Blossom, collard greens from Naegelin, Louisiana spring shallots and green leaf lettuce from Acadian, broccoli microgreens from Bella Verdi, and purple turnips from Lundgren.

So I’m making:




Side Dishes: