Monday, October 19, 2009

And thus concludes the cheese tour...

So, I seriously love to entertain. I love dinner parties. I love to feed people, I love to make the house pretty, I love to drink and laugh and all that stuff that comes with having friends over. But when you live in a one bedroom loft like we do, with no dining room table, the best we can do is this. Which is nice, sure, but since we can't fit more than 5 people comfortably around the bar counter, we tend to have more 'dinner' and less 'party.'

But that's ok. Luckily I have friends that don't mind me taking over their kitchens. Much like I did this weekend at K's house. We were BBQing, and since I don't believe in buying food for potlucks, (shocking, I know) I brought all my stuff over there to make. The plan was originally to prep it all the night before, but dirty martinis happened instead. Oops.

Here are a few things I learned from making the following recipes, both of which I thought were awesome, the poppers in particular. The hubby only got to taste them cold as leftovers, but I was informed I can most definitely make them again. Soon.

One, if you are handling jalapenos, wear gloves. If you don't have any, don't touch your nose, mouth, or eyes for at least an hour afterward. And if you have a jewelry rash under your wedding ring/bitten cuticles/slice from a knife at the top of your thumb, it's going to hurt. A lot.

Two, when cutting aforementioned jalapenos, ventilate the area. You and everyone else in the house will be coughing up burned lungs for hours otherwise.

Three, ensure the correct testing audience. People that refer to basil as 'herby' or 'green stuff' may not be the the most appreciative of lemon-basil dip.

That said, enjoy!

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers
Half a block of light cream cheese, softened
One 4 oz container of goat cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper (big pinch of each)
15 or 16 big jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded (I used a spoon to dig everything out)
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Heat grill on medium high heat.

Mix the three cheeses together til smooth. If you need to, microwave for 30 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds. Stir in green onion, salt and pepper.

Spoon cheese mixture into jalapeno halves one at a time. Don't overfill, and you should have just enough filling to fill all the halves.

Coat grill with cooking spray, and place poppers on it, cheese side up. Let them cook about 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are nice and roasted and the cheese starts turning brown. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
(Per popper, about 30 calories, 2g fat, 2g carbs, 2g protein)

Lemon-Basil Parm Dip
One 16oz container fat-free greek yogurt (sour cream will also work)
huge handful basil leaves
big squeeze of lemon half
salt and pepper, big pinch each
3 cloves garlic
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Throw everything in a big food processor or blender-or in batches if you only have a small processor-and blend til smooth. Chill. Serve with pita chips and cut veggies. About eight 4tbsp servings.
About 85 calories, 4g fat, 2g carbs, 10g protein

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