Colorful Events

No matter where you are, color coordinated foods will be a hit. Sometimes you have to explain it to some people, shrug. Seeing that I’m here in the U.S. RWB (Red White Blue) is the color scheme for our country holidays, so I tied in some chips & dip for this memorial day.

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Often people will go with a blueberry dessert (torte or truffle), because it’s easy (RWB colors in a bowl). If you’re doing this with a group of people I suggest that you print (or write) a little tag (flag1) to help people along with the colors. Often when we see green, we think of something minty. Someone may think that the green sour cream & onion dip is mint. I used green in the pics for the RWG flag colors. I was going to use yellow, but was running out of cups-sorry.
I dyed a BBQ sauce for chicken blue once, it looked weird, but of course was only (a lot of) blue food coloring. Suffice to say, it wasn’t as big a hit as was intended, & I had a bunch of blue BBQ chicken to take home as left overs.

Here, in this, I have two options or variances really. RWB corn chips, as well as RWB French onion dips. I’ll give you a great secret in the dip “recipe”. Coloring sour cream is the easiest route, as it takes on the color quite easily. Be sure to mix it “up from the bottom” using a spatula, for the best coverage. You only need about three drops of food coloring. The more you add, the darker it will be. Additionally, for your large group event, keep the dips close to the chips, so people don’t think it’s a cute dessert topping. Though that would be a bit funny, it may not be popular. I, print off flags for events of more than five people, but I’ve done a few events for hundreds & thousands of people. “What’s (this) in the dip?” It helps those who don’t want an ingredient, know before trying some.

onion postP

The recipe is easy. 1 container (16oz) sour cream
1 package French onion soup
Mix.

For taste. . . You want 32 ounces of sour cream to one package of soup mix (24oz is fine), &. . . you want to mix this the day before the event. At least a day, two or three is better; you want the onions to re-hydrate, & all of the seasoning to wake up. You really will be able to taste a difference. Stir “up from the bottom” so that it blends well. Also, vent your dip while it’s “aging” in the fridge. Onions produce gas. A loose fitting lid or plastic wrap is fine. BUT. . . if you have a few (like one) pungent foods in the fridge, close the container of dip tightly, because the sour cream will pick that up quicker than a, well, let’s just say very quickly.

1 Tbsp dehydrated onions
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt ties in the flavors

Resist the urge to sprinkle parsley this! I know how hard it is to find garlic that doesn’t have parsley in it!

32 ounces of sour cream.

Did you notice there isn’t any of that nasty stuff in there? That’s right, no (yuck) mayo. If you like the stuff, certainly “cut” your recipe with it. No, I don’t like mayonnaise. Not in my recipes, not on my sandwich nada. If you have to use the stuff, you have to. It extends things pretty well (just stop over using it), does add a bit of “flavor” (so does lard), and a few other things.

You will notice in the picture, salsa. Makes 3 cups
2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), cored & stems removed Roma tomatoes are fine*
1/2 onion *
2 jalapeño peppers*
1/2 cup chopped cilantro – chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste (2 pinches each is fine)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (crumble in your fingers first)
1 pinch of ground cumin
Juice of half a lime

*diced or minced depends on how much you want on each chip per scoop

In my home made version, I like to use:
1 can of tomatoes (28oz)
1 can of sauce (15oz)
3 Roma tomatoes
2 jalapeño peppers
1 sweet bell pepper
1 large onion
3 Tbsp powdered garlic
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp black pepper
2 Tbsp sugar to taste
1/2 stalk of celery
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 bunch of cilantro – chiffonade
2 oz vinegar-as it cools stir in
olive oil-for cooking
everything minced as best it can be

for the small batch

As I’ve said here, I like to cook my onions, jalapeño & tomatoes together. I learned this traditional way way back, & it does make the difference. Do this with the fresh tomatoes.
Don’t fry the onions, but a bit more than sweating them. Turn off the burner, leave them alone. Open the canned stuff, chiffonade the cilantro, measure out the other spices, but let these three have a moment together, you’ll thank me.

Once everything is ready, measured & cut. Crank the friggin’ burner under the pan. Unless you happen to have an actual saute’ burner, than go with about medium high. Now pour the ingredients in & turn it to below simmer. You want the oil & pan heated. Put your dry ingredients on the top, stir or whisk. Heating the salsa will convince the ingredients to open up for you. You can do this cold, but you will like the warm method once you try it.

Taste. Everything should be tasted as it’s made. If someone tells you otherwise, they have no idea how to cook. Veggies grow differently year after year, certainly produced items change, you have to taste to get the picture so you can make the story. Make your adjustments from your tasting. Do you like it to taste more like tomatoes, or more like jalapeños? Less salt, more sugar? If it’s missing something, do you like to add garlic, maybe some onion powder?

chips postP
Remember hand made fresh doesn’t have the preservatives as does the store stuff, so it isn’t going to last as long. Seal & stick in the coldest part of the fridge.

Go get `em on these holidays, company picnics, & family “get togethers”. Remember, turning the flame up high doesn’t cook things faster, it burns the outsides though.

1 food flags are just little cards or labels near or on the food to help guests identify them. It can be ingredients, cooking methods (no aluminum) & things like that. Printed is more clear.

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