Menu Swap Thursday, I missed Monday :Chocolate

First, I would like to mention that in honor of chocolate, Eby ( my boyfriend’s name, I am tired of typing BF and think Manda has the right idea) and I will be making bourbon chocolate truffles.

Now to the menu.  Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is temporarily taking over the Gluten Free Menu Swap as Natalie is feeling very under the weather with her pregnancy.  So, even though it is Thursday, go over to GFG and check out the other menus for inspiration and see what is growing still in Cheryl’s (to be envious) Southern Bell garden. This is what I have been cooking and plan to cook for the rest of the week:

Monday: Braised pork (the last piece from our pork share from the depths of the freezer) with potatoes in a tomato, rosemary, garlic sage broth and polenta with sage, shallots and pancetta, oh and broccoli.

Tuesday: Got back late – cocktail hour at my friends!  Mrs Leepers Cheeseburger Mac – gluten free and tasted just like my hamburger helper college days.  For emergencies, I would by this again!  But don’t tell anybody.  We did at least use grass fed beef.

Wednesday: Roasted 1/2 Tarragon Chicken on a bed of leeks with marjoram risotto.  The chicken was raised by my brother and was free range, organic and very good! Local leeks too.  I will try to post this creation when I get a chance.

Thursday: Grilled eggplant cannelloni stuffed with sausage and cheese sitting on a bed of fresh marinara – side of pasta is pending.

Friday:  Indian!  Oh I love me some Indian cooking.  Dosas with coconut chutney and saag paneer and the other dishes are yet to be determined.  Perhaps aloo pakora with a cilantro mint chutney and some raita.

i’m out

Appetizer of the week: Tuscan white bean truffle dip

This one is great as it requires no heat and no stove, just a food processor of some sort.  I always have most of the ingredients for this one on hand which makes it easy to throw together for an impromptu appetizer.  We have been asked over to dinner this eve with some friends that are grilling a leg of lamb and I thought this appetizer would go well with it.  It is sort of like Italian hummus, but high scale.

tuscan white bean truffle dip

As usual, I rarely measure anything when I make it, so I will try to be as accurate as possible.  I also use what I have on hand, so if you don’t have an ingredient or two, sub something else that is equally as tasty.  The two key ingredients are the white beans and the truffle oil.  If you don’t have any truffle oil, just take truffle out of the name of your dip.

1 can of Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained.  (or any white bean of your choice)
1/4 cup of grated or finely shredded parmeasan
1 sun dried tomato or two, depending on size – the ones packed in olive oil would be fine.  I dry my own every fall when I am tired of canning.  Then I forget to use them until I think of this app.
1 clove garlic
1-2 TBS fresh chopped chives
1-2  TBS fresh oregano, use the flower buds if you have them
dash of salt (the parm keeps it salty)
two big dashes of smoked paprika – if you don’t have smoked, use regular, but if you have both, used smoked.
lots of cracked pepper
1 TBS + of truffle oil – from one of those tiny bottles – if you have a big bottle (5 oz or  more), it is probably not as strong, so use more of it and cut back on the olive oil.  Use enough so that you can smell the truffles in the dip.  Use more if your budget allows it and cut back on olive oil.
1/4 cup Olive oil – give or take

In a small food processor, mix everything but the beans and olive oil.  Mix until everything is finely chopped.  Add the beans and some olive oil and mix until you get a nice smooth consistency.  Add more olive oil as necessary to keep the mix moving and about the thickness of hummus.

Refrigerate for a little while to let the flavors blend.  Bring the dip to room temperature before serving so that the earthy, smokey, herbiness of the ingredients comes out.  Serve with strong crackers (Glutino’s aren’t much for dipping, but are my favorites) or GF crostini.  Garnish with some fresh parsley for accent. Drizzle with more olive or truffle oil for pizazz.

Dip and enjoy!

tuscan white bean truffle dip with glutino crackers

i’m out