Monthly Archives: January 2014

Easy Super Bowl Party Snacks

Are you going to a Super Bowl party this weekend? Are you only going so that you can grub, drink and secretly be entertained by the puppy bowl (which will feature Key Board Cat and a sideline of cheer-leading penguins)? Were you asked to bring something and are stuck and in need of a quick last minute ideas?

Look no further, here are a few delicious, simple and cheap side dishes that will wow your super bowl buddies even more than those Seahawk or Bronco dudes.

BAKED BRIE, HONEY AND ALMOND DIP
I don’t know what it is about brie, but people love this creamy and salty hunk of funky cheese. You can bring brie with a side of rocks to a party, and people will still love you.
Baked Brie
Ingredients:
1-2 large wedges of brie
Honey – I prefer  pure Vermont honey
raw sliced almonds – half cup
pomegranate, diced strawberries or diced apples  – as garnish

loaf of French bread

Instructions:
-Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
-Cut bread into thick Round slices (for dipping). Spread a dab of butter atop of each slice and place on a baking tray.
-In a bake-friendly dish, add almonds and drizzle with olive oil.
-Bake bread and almonds together for 8-10 minutes, until almond turn a light golden brown, and bread crisps. Remove from oven.
-Remove rind from brie wedge (optional), and cut it into four slices.
-In another bake-friendly dipping dish, add a layer of brie, pressing it down to cover the whole bottom of this dish. Next, drizzle honey an top of the brie, followed by a dash of almonds. Repeat until all ingredients are used.
-Add brie dipping dish into oven for 20 minutes or until desired gooeyness.
-Garnish with small pieces of fruit. Use bread as dipping devise.
-Lastly, show off and do Da Dip dance.

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BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP
In the spirit of football season, you need wings or something that taste like wings. Save money and simply go with a spicy buffalo chicken dip!
Ingredients:
2 cans (10 oz) of shredded chicken
2 packages of cream cheese
1 bag of shredded cheese
3/4 cups of Frank’s hot sauce
1 cup of Ranch dressing 

Instructions:
-Add all of these ingredients into a crockpot and cook for 3 hours or until dip is soft and dip-able.

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PESTO PIZZA PIE
This is a simple recipe that can be baked before heading to your Super Bowl headquarters. Using pre-made pie crusts work, but won’t be as delicious!

Pesto PizzaIngredients:
Raw pizza dough ( I get pre-rolled and seasoned dough from Trader Joe’s)
flour
1-2 cups of pesto
mozzarella cheese log
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Half of a small onion, thinly sliced

Instructions:
-Pull or cut mozzarella into small pieces and set aside.
-Cut tomatoes in fours and set aside
-On a clean and flat surface, dust the flour, then add pizza dough. Roll out with a rolling pin (or with a clean baking spray bottle). Roll out to size of whatever baking dish/pan you wish to use. We use a squared cookie baking tray.
-As you are rolling out the dough, keep dusting with flour so dough is not sticky.
-Once at desired and even size, add pesto. Top with cheese, tomatoes and onions. The onions will crisp and add a nice crunch, once baked.
-Bake pie for 25-30 minutes.
-Donzo! Slice it, eat it, and share with your vegetarian friends.

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CHICKEN LIVER PATE
Want to really impress your friends? Make this simple and tasty pate. I mean, who brings pate’s to Super Bowl parties??? YOU DO!
Chicken Liver Pate

Ingredients:
unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 pound chicken livers
Salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp capers
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup cream
crackers or French bread

Instructions:
-Soak chicken liver in milk for an hour in order to remove some of the “livery” innards flavor
-Trim any fat or connective tissue from the livers and discard.
-Heat butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat
– Add shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Then, add the liver until browned. Add a dash of salt.
-Once livers have browned, add the capers, thyme, garlic, and anchovy paste, and sauté for a few more minute.
-Take the pan off the heat and add the brandy. (Be careful with the small flames that this combination creates) Turn the heat to high and boil down the brandy to the consistency of syrup, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool.
-Put the cooled mixture into a food processor and slowly starting combining. Add a dab of butter and the cream until it is completely puréed.
– Pack the pâté into ramekins or a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before eating.
-Serve spread on crackers or baguette slices.
-TOUCHDOWN

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TOMATILLO SAUCE
Salsa’s green-headed step-child never gets any play. This is surely one of the most underrated salsa’s ever, and super easy to make. Skip pico de gallo or salsa dips. Go Green

Ingredients:
1 1/2 – 2 pounds of tomatillos (with husks)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 of a medium onion, minced
1 -2 jalapeños (depending on how spicy you want it), seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 of a fresh lime (juice)
2 tablespoon minced cilantro
sea salt

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse to remove sticky residue.
-Cut tomatillos in half and place them face-down on roasting pan. Add garlic cloves, onion and jalepeno to the pan and place in the oven.
-Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until they release a goodly amount of liquid and the tops of the tomatillos begin to burn. Remove pan from the oven.
– Add all roasted ingredients and juices to a blender with the cilantro and lime juice. Blend well until it turns into a watery sauce.
-Let cool and serve with almost anything.

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Wine’ Not? : From E-40 to Nicki Minaj, Hip-Hop knows It’s Grapes

Though they seem quite contrived sometimes, it’s pretty cool to live in an era when cross-cultural  co-branding campaigns…and really random entrepreneurship efforts are all the rage. Growing up as a hip-hop head, and being the burgeoning  wine connoisseur that I am, I get a special kick out of the random collaborations that bring together hip-hop and wine these days. The following examples incorporate graffiti writers, old hip-hop legends and the colorful weave-rocking, split personality rapping scantily clad queen of the radio herself. Check it!

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While other women in hip hop like Lil Kim have entered alcohol endorsement deals before, Nicki Minaj is the first to take it to the next level by actually becoming a co-owner. Minaj’s new business partner, Myx CMO Mona Scott-Young, praises Nicki as a “game-changer,” making her the perfect candidate to usher in “the women’s phase” of rapper-owned Moscato,

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Bronx Graffiti Legend Cope 2 joins forces with the Upper West Side’s own 627 Wine and Spirits for this limited edition bottle “La Caldera 67”. Oscar Garcia, the sommelier and buyer at the store that organized the collaboration said, “I remember seeing the tags fly by on the trains. I wanted to recreate that memory…There are a lot of graffiti artists living in New York but this is an artist with longevity.”

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True Wine Connoisseurs hosted by Sadat X (of Brand Nubian fame…u remember the high pitched voice from “Slow Down” and “Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down” yeah, that dude). Though still making music, Sadat takes a minute, or a few, to school us about wine legs in his New York Hip-Hop bravado heavy web series. The show often features other notable Hip-Hop personalities. This episode features Dres from Black Sheep!!!

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Bay Area legend E-40, best known “Captain Save a Hoe.”  launched NorCal wine label, Earl Stevens Selections, which includes a mango-infused, 18%-ABV fortified wine called Mangoscato, a straight moscato, and a Cabernet and Zinfandel blend named after E-40′s 2012 hit “Function.” When he said he was ” More Hipper than a Hippopotamus, maybe he was right!

Drink and listen responsibly!!


2014’s First Meal: Pig’s Feet Fiesta

Yeah, we know BigBite is a tad late presenting our first meal that’ll bring us a prosperous year, but in all actuality, we are giving yall a head start for next year.  Eating pork on New Year’s is considered good luck because pigs root forward when searching for food and don’t look back, signifying progress.  On the other foot, BigBite wishes you the best of luck if you ate chicken.  Chickens are considered foul because they scratch backwards representing setbacks.  Matter of fact, if you don’t want your luck to fly away next year, stay clear of anything with wings – except Wing King.  If you did eat fowl, we hope it was delicious and we’ll remind you at the end of December of how not to start off twenty fifteen.

Let’s just root forward and talk about this foot party. For those not in the know, pig’s feet are exactly what you think they are. The hoof of a pig, and they look like this:

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YUM!

These trotters may look unappealing, but once your brain gets past the appearance, pig’s feet are simply delightful!  Full of these bony pig knuckle thingies, eating them are also a lot of fun.  The oh-so-tender fatty meat drips off, and you’ll love hearing the “clang” sound when you spit the bones back into the bowl.  It’s kind of hard to describe the texture of the meat, but if one could eat heaven, I imagine it would feel exactly like a foot in my mouth.  In the states, one can generally find pigs feet on a southern food menu, and raw ones in almost any grocery store.  BigBite recommends you visit a butcher (we got our “organic” hoofs from Giunta’s in Reading Terminal.)   The unenlightened foodie may shy away, regarding them as pig scraps, offal, or “slave food”,  however many European and Asian cultures (pig foot pho anyone?) have their own take on the hog’s paws and regard them as a delicacy.  We could go on and on like Gump’s friend, Bubba, about the different ways to cook pigs feet: pickled, BBQ, fried, pied, jellied, etc., etc., but  today we are going to present a simple way to stew them in a slow cooker.

Pigs Feet Fiesta

Ingredients:
5lbs of pigs feet have the butcher slice the feet down the middle lengthwise, twice width wise, and discard the gnarly toes.
2 chopped onions
Chopped peppers (we used red, yellow, and 2 habaneros)
2 chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of Minced garlic (maybe more)
A handful of chopped cilantro
Apple cider vinegar
Olive oil
2 tbs of ground black pepper (maybe more)
Salt to taste

1.  Clean feet under running water scraping off any hair and sty slop
2. In a large pot of water, boil dem feets.  The blood and bone marrow will produce a foamy scum at the top of the water.

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Skim off the scum and rinse feet in water, refill pot, and repeat.  Now the feet are ready for the slow cooker!

3. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with the fiesta:  onions, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers. Sprinkle black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
4. Place the feet on top of the fiesta, fill the slow cooker halfway with apple cider vinegar, and the rest with enough water to cover the feet.
5. Cook on high for about 5 hrs or until the the succulent-ness drips off the bone.
6.  Add salt to taste.

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A Crock Pot Party!

There you have the party in your mouth aka Pigs Feet Fiesta  AYE YI YI YI YI YI YI YI YI YIIIIIIII!  Top off with more vinegar and hot sauce.

Enjoy your feet with other traditional good luck foods like black eye peas, greens (collard, kale, or mustard) and cornbread.

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Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold = A Good Year


His Milkshake Brings the Butter to the Art??

Jim Victor, renowned sculptor, Conshohocken native and teacher at Fleisher Art Memorial, is at it again, one upping himself with epic feats of food sculpture. Taking cues from the number one American song in 1954, “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, Victor created his newest sculpture for the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show (Jan 4 – 11). The sculpture, sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, features a family enjoying a tasty milkshake while watching an enraptured couple of dancing cows… the entire scene is HAND CRAFTED OUT OF BUTTER!!!…and nearly 1,000 pounds of it!

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When asked about the sculpture PA Agriculture secretary  George Greig“For 60 years, milkshakes have been part of the Farm Show tradition of celebrating Pennsylvania agriculture. What may seem like just a great drink in a plastic cup is a lot more – it’s a representation of the state’s 7,200 dairy farm families who grow Pennsylvania by driving the economy, creating jobs and supplying quality products to consumers.” BAM! Basically he said its a good look to eat more local butter. Done and done.

For more information on Jim Victor, and more amazing chocolate and butter sculptures like the butter babe below, check out http://www.jimvictor.com/.

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