Friday, August 5, 2011

Roasted Corn Dip Stuffed Cucumbers

There's a special kind of pressure when someone says, "bring your favorite snack," because I'm probably not coming to your house with a jar of sweet pickles and some slices of muenster.   So last weekend, when this came up, I looked at the fridge and all I saw was cucumbers.  

But cucumbers are fun party food vehicles.  They're crudite you can stuff.  Dip and dipping thing in one. 

When I started thinking about posting this, I was surprised that I hadn't posted appetizers/party snacks/whatever before, but I guess I started this blog right after the last big party I had and even though for months Sous Chef Brian and I have been repeating, "Let's have a brunch event," it still hasn't happened.  Appetizers and party snacks are my favorite foods.  When it's too hot to cook, cheese, crackers, raw veg and some mustard and jam on a cutting board is dinner, and it's generally awesome.   Sometimes when I'm not inspired to pack lunch and there are no leftovers, that's what I pack.  I like small plates.  I like snacks.  I'd much rather hang by the hors d'ouvres at the cocktail hour than sit down to the real dinner.   This was actually one of the first conversations I had with the guy who said, "bring your favorite snack."

The first thing I did was hollow out some cucumbers.

The melon baller works hard to earn its drawer-space.

I turned the cucumber slices upside down to drain while I made dip.

Grilled corn.  This was before the stuffed poblanos, so the photos I used for the corn roasting then were actually from this. 

Cream cheese.


Jarred jalepenos, again.


Into the mini food chopper with cayenne.

And cumin.

And cotija.

And cilantro.

Whirr then stuff.

People out there talk about making piping bags for dips/fillings like this.  I can't think of a time I've done that and not had something go wrong, whether I cut the tip hole too big and it gets everywhere, or the bag busts and it gets everywhere, or I just waste a lot of filling because now it's all stuck to the bag rather than in a bowl... so I avoid piping bags.   

Back to the melon baller, since it's my smallest "spoon."

You can see that it's not super-smooth here.  Crumbly cheese plus roasted corn means it's not going to be the texture of sour cream.  Accept that or make adjustments to your recipe.

Top with corn and cilantro, because you're fancy. 

These were sweet/smoky and a little spicy - someone who likes spicy would not describe them that way, but my sister-in-law would not be able to eat them because they're "too spicy," so adjust as necessary for your audience.  Or use cucumbers as a vehicle for some other dip.  

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