Smokey Bacon Onion Dip

This recipe is based off of one from Giada De Laurentis. As the holiday season is upon us, having a good dip to take to parties is essential.  I switched it up a little bit, added some garlic and liquid smoke. Turned out pretty good according to my coworkers. Enjoy!

 

Smokey Bacon Onion Dip

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz bacon, diced small
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 package chives (usually .66 oz), finely diced.
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke

Directions:

In a medium sized skillet on medium heat, sauté the bacon with olive oil until brown and crispy. About 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and put it on a plate lined with paper towels to catch the excess oil.

Add the onions to the skillet with the salt and sauté in the oil/bacon fat. About 15 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Don’t leave it unattended as it can burn. You’ll want to stir it occasionally.  About 1/2 through add in the garlic. Allow the bacon and onion mixture to cool. Combine in a medium bowl with the yogurt, chives, and liquid smoke. Put in a container and allow to chill for at least 1 hour, longer is better. Serve with crackers, chips or vegies.

Garlic Fried Chicken

I got the idea for this from America’s Test Kitchen. Unlike their version, I don’t finish mine with garlic butter. Keep an eye on it as it’s easy to overcook, which you can tell by my picture I did. It still tasted pretty good.  Enjoy!

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Garlic Fried Chicken

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 10 cloves minced garlic, divided 5 & 5
  • 4 Tbsp black pepper, divided
  • 4 Tbsp kosher salt, divided
  • 4 pieces of chicken (I use thighs)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder
  • 3 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder

Directions

In a ziplock bag; mix together the buttermilk, granulated garlic, 5 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp salt, and 2 Tbsp pepper. Add in the chicken and let it marinate overnight.

Sift together the flour, paprika, chipotle poser, baking powder, 5 Tbsp minced garlic and garlic powder in a medium bowl.

Heat a heavy pot, like a dutch oven, half full of vegetable oil until it’s 350 degrees. I’m lucky enough to have a Butterball XL Electric Fryer. Pour the buttermilked chicken into a medium bowl. Take and dip the chicken into the flour mixture, back into the buttermilk mixture and again into the flour. Gently place it in the hot oil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees.

Bread Salad

There used to be a great restaurant in the Capital Hill area of Seattle that was mediterranean, El Greco. It was there that I was first introduced to bread salad, or panzanella as it’s also known as. I was such a big fan that I have since recreated it at home all the time. It’s pretty simple but one of the keys to this is to toast the bread first, then oil it and rub it with cloves of garlic. WARNING! This has a lot of garlic in it. But you can always cut it back. This recipe also uses a couple of what I consider essential kitchen items. First a really good knife designed for veggies, especially tomatoes. I love my Wusthof Classic Wave, Black. Unlike a flat edged knife, this one won’t “tear” your tomatoes. The other is a chopper. I’m not a big fan of devices that only have 1 purpose but this is an exception. It does a much better job than I can mincing garlic. I have a Cuisinart Stainless Steel Chopper, which is pretty inexpensive. Again you can always modify the amounts in this for the most part to suit your taste. Enjoy!

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Bread Salad

  • 4 slices of good bread, cute 1 inch thick
  • 12 oz cherry tomatoes (or similar), quartered or halved
  • 1 bunch of basil, chiffonade*
  • 1 bulb garlic, keep about 4 of the largest cloves whole and mince the rest
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

In an oven set to broil and toast each side of the bread until golden brown. While still warm brush each side with 1/4 cup olive oil and then brush each side with the large, intact cloves of garlic.

In a large bowl add the quartered or halved tomatoes, minced garlic and basil. *So what does chiffonade mean? Basically take the basil leaves, roll them up like a cigar and cut thin slices. Mix together the remaining oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper; I just use a jar to do this. Pour into the bowl.

Cut the bread into cubes, roughly the same size as the tomatoes. Add them and toss, just before you service as you don’t want them to get soggy.