Where There’s Smoke…There’s Bacon

I appreciate the idea of hummus because it’s such a stinking fantastic dip and it’s not even based in fatty sour cream or cream cheese. I think eggplant based dips, to be honest, aren’t as delightful as bean dips, but I keep trying anyway, especially with almost-out-of-season eggplants filling crates at the farmers market.

I googled for a few baba ganosh recipes and turned to my friend Justin’s fav, David Lebovitz. Lebovitz accentuated the smoky qualities of the dip and I ran with it, adding extra smoky flavor everywhere I could.

Smoky Eggplant Dip with Bacon-fried Tortillas

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The Stolen Guac


Listen up. This is the only time I will EVER PROMOTE CHEATING.

And I’ve been having a hard time doing so. I’ve literally been trying to write this post for awhile. By awhile I mean….a year or so.

However, there is a certain guilt associated with putting a recipe on the internet when it is supposedly a secret. One of my best friends stole this recipe from her roommate a few years ago. I say she stole it because said roommate refused to give it up, so my intelligent friend closely watched her make it. And took notes.

This is probably the best guacamole I’ve ever had, and the secret lies in the little yellow seasoning packets. If you’re against sodium or MSG, etc, etc…you should probably just stop reading here.

Everyone I know raves about it, and this guac is the only thing my friend is allowed to bring to parties. If she brings something else….well, she wouldn’t do that. She knows how much we like it.

The Best Ever Guacamole Maybe Because It’s Stolen but I Don’t Care or Because It’s Cheating but Again, I Don’t Care

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When Guacamole is the Most Ambitious Menu Item

Guacamole for a party makes an easy dish – a few ripe avocados, some chopped onion, tomato, chilies and seasoning. Serve the guacamole soon after mixing and it will be the party’s star.

But what happens when you have to feed 30,000 people — breakfast, lunch and dinner — in more than 30 corporate tents at this past weekend’s U.S. Open? Well, you have to make a lot of guacamole.

Bennett and I checked out the third round of this (what people tell me) very important golf tournament, located just outside of D.C. this year at Congressional Country Club. We were able to check out the caterer’s own corporate tent and get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to pull off the edible win.

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Friday Fuck Up: Are Those Tortilla Chips in Your Jell-o?

I confess: I don’t like recipes. That, and my tendency to leave out key ingredients even when they are listed right in front of me, makes me a worse-than-average baker.

It’s not that I can’t follow directions; from K*nex to origami, I have personally experienced the power of step-by-step instructions in my life. When I’m in the kitchen, though, I’d rather be swept up in the moment, adding a little of this, a little of that. Generally, the results are, if not supremely delicious, at least edible. Next time I make tomatillo salsa though, I will do so with recipe in hand.

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Super Bowl Grub: Top 10 Dips

Bravo to the NFL marketers! The Super Bowl has turned into something that is as much about food, commercials and friends as it is about football. Standard at almost every Super Bowl party is a dip of some kind. Here at ES we have covered dips, been covered in dips and we even have a theory as to why dips are so universal. Today we’ll just stick to sharing our Top 10 dips as you prep for the thundering herds.

10. Poblano and Garlic Scape Dip
Highlight: Roasted poblano lends a heat gentle enough for all crowds.

9. Tequila Mango Salsa
Highlight: One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

8. Texas Caviar
Highlight: Creamy mustard meets sweet-tart apple cider vinegar, which encircles black eyed peas and fresh corn.

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Gridiron Grub: Playoff Time


The playoffs are here and the Super Bowl is not far behind, which means it’s increasingly difficult to avoid football no matter how hard you try. Whether it’s a game blaring at the bar Saturday night, co-workers talking about how the weather will affect the Philly game or friends inviting you over for a Super Bowl party; the NFL is about to launch a full-scale assault on America.

We are well aware that many ES readers may not be football fanatics. If you are one of those people who doesn’t watch or can barely stand football, I apologize. You probably have read these Gridiron Grub posts only if the dish sounded/looked good, which is fine because, well, it’s free. But my point is — whether you love sports or hate them, January is the time to start seriously upping your appetizer repertoire. Because nothing saves a bad football game like a good dip

So Feed Us Back: What’s your #1 killer go-to gameday recipe? Share a link or a recipe below.

And of course, we’ll show you ours. Here are our favorite party recipes bound to please foodies and footballers alike:

Bacon and Bean Nachos
Chipotle Guacamole

Cuban Mixto Sandwich

Fancy Jalapeno Poppers

Fish Tacos and Chips

French Onion Soup Sandwich

Peach Bourbon Wontons

Southside Park Slope Sandwich

Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach, Cream Cheese and Ricotta

Sugar Cane Shrimp

Sweet Potato Pizza

Tequila Mango Salsa

Texas Caviar Dip

Tofu Buffalo Wings

Zucchini and Chickpea Spring Rolls

Tahini: Round One

feta and tahini dip

The bottle of tahini in my cupboard expires August 2012. However, I’m not sure it will last that long. One, because I plan on using it, but two, can something like that be open for almost a year and still be okay to eat?

Anyway, my boyfriend and I recently went on a cleaning binge and although we didn’t tackle our food storage situation, I thought I would help out by using what we had in house and not buying cream cheese or sour cream as a base for my pending dip. And believe me, it is KILLING me not to have cream cheese in the house, especially with all of the pumpernickel loaves I’ve been buying lately.

Pumpernickel, I’ve been noticing, certainly has a wider meaning than I realized. I’ve found some fairly plain, some with caraway seeds (my favorite) and I just bought a loaf at the Columbia Heights far mar that has broad sections of poppy seeds on the top, and was nicknamed ‘Black Russian.” Now I’m on a mission to discover all the different intricacies in pumpernickel, a very underutilized bread.

In the meantime, here’s a dip that is fantastic with pumpernickel crutons.

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