…I want to make sure you are prepared. Here are some easy recipes to get you started.
Giada’s Meatballs a la Pizzaiola
8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese
2 large shallots, chopped
1/4 cup (5 to 6) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80% lean)
1 pound ground pork
Olive oil, for frying
Vegetable oil, for frying
Marinara sauce, warmed, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dice the smoked mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef and pork and, using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until combined. Form into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs. Insert 1 cube smoked mozzarella into the center of each meatball and form the meat around it, enclosing the cheese.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour equal parts olive oil and vegetable oil to fill the pan halfway. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees F. In batches, fry the meatballs until dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Place the fried meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put in the oven and bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve immediately with marinara sauce, if desired.
Place a 6-quart saucepan, with a steamer basket and 1 inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Use kitchen shears or a knife to separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings in the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay out the wings on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator to dry, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the paper towels on the pan and replace with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven, about 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook 20 to 30 more minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.
While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl with the garlic. Pour this along with the hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine. Remove the wings from the oven, transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.
Velveeta Quesa Dip
1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (10 oz.) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
Mix ingredients in microwaveable bowl.
Microwave on HIGH 5 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted, stirring after 3 min.
Serve with assorted cut-up fresh vegetables, WHEAT THINS Crackers or tortilla chips.
Home Run Hoagies Recipe
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
12 hoagie buns, split
24 slices thinly sliced deli chicken (about 2-1/2 pounds)
12 slices cheddar cheese, halved
12 lettuce leaves
8 medium tomatoes, sliced
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and salad dressing. Spread on cut side of buns. On bun bottoms, layer chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Replace bun tops. Yield: 12 servings.
Pop Fly Popcorn Recipe
10 to 12 cups popped popcorn
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup slivered almonds
1-1/3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, combine popcorn and nuts; set aside. In a large saucepan, bring sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat; add vanilla, cream of tartar and baking soda. Drizzle over popcorn mixture; stir to coat. Immediately spread onto two greased baking sheets; let dry for about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Cap and Ball Cookies Recipe
2 cups vanilla or white chips
1 tablespoon shortening
16 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
1 tube red decorating frosting
1 package (12 ounces) chocolate and marshmallow cookies
12 chocolate wafer cookies
12 red M&M’s
In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip sandwich cookies into mixture and allow excess to drip off; place on waxed paper to harden.
Meanwhile, spread red frosting over half of the bottom of each marshmallow cookie; press off-center onto a chocolate wafer, creating a cap. (See the how-to-photo above.)
Pipe a line of frosting where the cookies meet. Pipe stitching lines down sides of marshmallow cookies. Attach an M&M on top with a dab of frosting.
On dipped sandwich cookies, pipe stick marks to create baseballs. Yield: 12 caps and 16 baseballs, 14 servings, 2 per serving.
Basic Corn Dog Recipe
1 cup milk
2 medium eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cups corn meal
2/3 cup flour
1 to 1-1/2 pounds hot dogs
flour for dusting (about 1/2 cup)
Hot Fat for Deep Frying
In a large bowl combine the milk, eggs, oil, sugar and salt. Mix it very well. Sprinkle in the baking powder, corn meal and flour. Stir it all up to make a slightly thick batter.
Take your hot dogs and dry them off on paper towels. Dust the hot dogs with flour, coating them completely. The cornmeal batter won’t stick to the hot dogs unless they are coated in flour. The batter just slides right off of the wieners naturally slick outsides. Shove popsicle sticks into the flour coated hot dogs. Set the hot dogs aside.
While all of this is going on, it’s a good idea to get your hot fat to heating up. You want the temperature to be about 375F. Allow the fat to preheat so it is almost smoking by the time you are ready to add the corn dogs.
Now, to coat the floured hot dogs with batter you have two choices. You can swirl the hot dogs in the bowl of batter until they are coated, and then drop them into the hot fat. If this is a little difficult I know of an easier way. Scoop some of your corn meal batter into a narrow jar or cup which is as tall as your hot dogs are long. Fill the jar or cup about 3/4 of the way full. Dip your hot dog into the batter while you hold onto the stick. Swirl the hot dog to coat it evenly. Be careful or the batter will overflow. Raise the wiener above the cup and let any excess batter drip off. Quickly place the battered dog into the hot fat. The fat will bubble up and cook the outside of the batter, making the corn dogs the exact same shape as the ones you buy at the store.
Only fry a few corn dogs at a time. If the corn dogs crowd each other they don’t fry very well. I only fry 2 or 3 at a time. Turn the corn dogs when the bottom side is well browned. Use tongs to remove the cooked corn dogs from the fat. Allow them to drain on paper towels. Repeat the process, coating and frying a few at a time, until all of the corn dogs are cooked. Refill the narrow jar or cup with batter from your bowl as necessary. Continue until all the hot dogs are coated or until you no longer have enough batter to coat the hot dogs efficiently.
If you don’t want to waste any unused batter, it can be dropped by small spoonfuls into the hot fat, and fried until brown. Serve these alongside the corn dogs.
If desired, you can make small corn dogs by cutting hot dogs into thirds, or quarters. Poke a toothpick up into the end of the hot dogs. Coat and fry them as described above. These are nice for fancy days, and for kids parties. Provide plenty of ketchup and mustard for dipping.
This recipe makes about 12 to 14 corn dogs.