Southern Christmas party recipes

Reprinted with permission from Taste of the South and Hoffman Media.

Barbecue Crostini with Black-Eyed-Pea Relish
Yield: 2 dozen crostini

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups finely chopped fresh turnip greens
1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15.8-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1⁄2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 French baguette, cut into 24 (1⁄2-inch) slices
1⁄3 cup butter, melted
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 pound prepared shredded pork barbecue meat, heated
1⁄2 cup prepared barbecue sauce

1. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add turnip greens; cook until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove turnip greens to a bowl.

2. To skillet, add vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seed, salt, black pepper, and red pepper over medium heat. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring until brown sugar is dissolved. Add turnip greens, black-eyed peas, and bell pepper, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Brush both sides of each baguette slice with melted butter. Place on a baking sheet.

4. Bake until golden around edges, approximately 10 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over all baguette slices.

6. In a medium bowl, combine pork barbecue and barbecue sauce. Layer prepared baguette slices with pork and top with black-eyed-pea relish.

Chipotle Hummus
Yield: about 4 cups

2 (16-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
1⁄2 cup tahini paste
1⁄2 cup fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
Garnish: fresh cilantro

1. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine chickpeas, tahini paste, lime juice, olive oil, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, paprika, salt, and cumin. Process until smooth.

2. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve with pita chips.

Pomegranate Cosmocktail
Yield: 1 drink

4 ounces pomegranate juice, chilled
1 ounce sparkling apple cider, chilled
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Garnish: lime wedge

1. In a chilled martini glass, combine pomegranate juice, sparkling apple cider, and lime juice, stirring gently to combine. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.

red velvet sandwich cookies
Yield: 20 sandwich cookies

1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
11⁄2 cups sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Red gel food coloring
1 recipe Cream-Cheese Filling (recipe follows)

1. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla, beating until well blended.   
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add flour mixture 1⁄2 cup at a time to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Add desired amount of red gel food coloring, stirring well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Using your hands, roll dough into 11⁄2-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets; flatten slightly with a spatula.
6. Bake until slightly soft, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. Spread Cream-Cheese Filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side toward filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.

cream-cheese filling
Yield: approximately 11⁄2 cups

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, beating well.

GDA Cooking -  December 3, 2010