Northwest NEWS

September 14, 1998

Home & Garden

DINING IN: 'Take me out to the ballgame'

   Louisville Slugger Spread
   1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
   1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
   1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
   1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
   1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
   Tortilla chips (nacho flavored), potato chips (ridged), and pretzels.
   In food processor blend cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mustard, Worcestershire and pepper sauces until well-blended and smooth. Shape mixture into a baseball bat, about 10 inches long. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips, potato chops and pretzels. Serves 10-12.
   Spicy Baseball Popcorn
   1 Tbsp. butter of margarine
   1 c. marshmallows
   2 c. popped corn
   1/2 tsp. paprika
   1/2 tsp. garlic salt
   1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
   In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter or margarine. Add marshmallows; stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add popcorn, paprika, garlic salt and cayenne pepper; stir until well coated. Set aside mixture to cool slightly. When mixture is cool enough to handle, roll mixture into a ball. Serve with Louisville Slugger Spread (above). Serves two.
   bean White Bean Spread
   1c. dried white beans, preferably Great Northern (see note).
   6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved length wise
   1 medium onion, halved
   1 bay leaf
   1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   3-4 sage leaves, torn in pieces, or 1 tsp. rubbed sage
   1 tsp. olive oil
   Salt and freshly ground pepper
   Slices of crusty toasted peasant bread or cut-up raw vegetables
   Place the beans in a medium bowl. Add enough cold water to cover them to a depth of 2 inches; soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. (In warm weather, do this in the refrigerator). Drain the beans and place them in a small Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Add the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Pour in 2-1/2 c. cold water, cover the pot and place it over medium high heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat and simmer the beans until they are tender but their skins still have some bite, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
   With a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a food processor, draining them well, Include all the garlic and half the cooked onion. Puree the beans. Add the lemon juice, sage, and olive oil, pulsing to blend. The spread should have the texture of fluffy, light mashed potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
   To serve, spread the pureed beans on the toasted bread or use as a dip, accompanied by the raw vegetables. The spread will keep, tightly covered, 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
   Note: If using canned beans, rinse and drain them very well. Then add them to a blender or food processor with the lemon juice and olive oil. Since they have not been cooked with the onion, garlic and bay leaf, add a small garlic clove to the beans before you puree them.
   Bread Sticks
   Hot Sticks:
   1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
   Parmesan Cheese Sticks:
   2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
   1/8 tsp. garlic powder
   Spicy Mustard Sticks:
   1 tsp. Dijon mustard
   1/8 tsp. dried basil
   In a small bowl, add any of the combinations listed to 3 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine. Brush top surface of original or sourdough breadsticks with butter mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.
   Spicy Steak and Onion Heroes
   1 pound flank steak
   1 Tbsp. olive oil
   1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
   1 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
   1/2 tsp. sugar
   1/4 tsp. salt
   4 hero rolls
   Lettuce leaves
   1 large tomato, sliced
   Preheat broiler. Place flank steak on rack in broiler pan; broil 3 inches from heat source, until desired doneness is reached, turning once. Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat; cook onion slices about 5 minutes. Stir in pepper sauce, sugar and salt; cook 5 minutes longer until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Cut flank steak into thin slices and cut rolls crosswise in half. Top bottom halves of rolls with lettuce leaves, tomato slices, flank steak and onions; top remaining roll halves. Makes 4 servings.
   Ham Sandwiches with Pineapple Salsa
   2 pounds ham slices
   8 Provolone cheese slices
   8 crusty sourdough rolls
   2 c. fresh pineapple, chopped and drained
   1 small red onion, chopped
   1 green bell pepper, chopped
   1 red bell pepper, chopped
   2 Tbsp. honey mustard
   1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
   Salt and pepper to taste
   Pineapple Salsa: Combine pineapple, onion, peppers, honey mustard and vinegar together and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and chill for 2 to 6 hours. Makes 3 cups.
   Sandwiches: Stack 2 or 3 slices of ham on rolls and top with a slice of Provolone cheese and 2 Tbsps. of salsa.