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Friday, March 30, 2012

MARCH MADNESS!!!


Even though it's not FOOTBALL, college basketball is my 2nd favorite spectator sport. We are slowly winding down to the Championship Game, but this weekend are the Final 4 games, and we are going to celebrate.

Because it's been unseasonably warm here in the South, I can't imagine serving anything but a grilled meal. Here's what we're dishing up:

Prosciutto Rolls
Spicy Pickle Dip and chips

Greek Grilled Chicken skewers
with Tzatziki sauce, onions, tomatoes
Pita Bread

Smore's Brownies


Prosciutto Rolls


2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
6 oz. soft goat cheese, at room temperature
2–3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
12 slices (not paper-thin) prosciutto, halved crosswise
1⁄2 cup fig preserves
1⁄2 bunch arugula, trimmed
Freshly ground black pepper
Whisk oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in a small bowl and set aside. Mix goat cheese and garlic together in another small bowl and set aside.
Spread a thin layer of the goat cheese mixture on each piece of prosciutto, spread a thin layer of fig preserves over cheese,and top with 1–2 arugula leaves. Drizzle with some of the lemon vinaigrette and season to taste with pepper. Roll prosciutto up around filling and arrange on serving platter, seam side down.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Spicy Pickle Dip




Generous 1 cup of sour cream
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
3/4-1 cup of chopped pickles, preferably a spicy or garlic variety (About 4-5 whole pickles depending on size.)
3 tablespoons of pickle brine from the jar
1-2 teaspoons of crushed red peppers
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 tablespoons of fresh dill, chopped (optional, but highly recommended)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue



Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Chop up the pickles. Mix in remaining ingredients and adjust seasonings. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours for the flavors to marry.

Greek Grilled Chicken Skewers

3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 12" skewers
1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
Salt
Pita
Tomatoes, cucumber, and onions, chopped
Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and thread on eight 12" skewers.
In a shallow pan (large enough for skewers), mix fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and chopped fresh oregano. Season with salt, then add skewers, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Tzatziki Sauce 2 (8 ounce) containers plain yogurt 2 cucumbers - peeled, seeded and diced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 lemon, juiced salt and pepper to taste 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 3 cloves garlic, peeled In a food processor or blender, combine yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Process until well-combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor.
  Smores Brownies


Crust:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine salt
Brownie:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
Topping:
4 cups large marshmallows

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.