Thursday, December 1, 2011

ON FOOD ~ Thanksgiving Fiesta

Image courtesy Omar Omar via Flickr

So...Lynn says inquiring minds would like to know what I ended up making for our Thanksgiving appetizer. If you recall, I solicited recipes from all of you, and many of you were kind enough to leave suggestions for me. Some of them sounded great but didn't meet the criteria of make-ahead, easy, portable and vegetarian. Others were ideas already familiar to my family - I was looking for something different. In the end, I turned to one of our recipe books (yes - I do have some of these in the house) in a 5 minute window I had between Sammy's nap and leaving for the grocery store. I didn't find anything all that inventive but it was the best I could do...

Fiesta Corn Surprise 

This was billed as a big hit with Jeanne's family who was surprised something so easy could taste so good. It appears to be intended as a side dish since the post script stated leftovers make a great dip or sandwich filling. I decided to just use it as a dip from the beginning.

  • 1 16 oz. can salt-free corn kernels, undrained

  • 1 3 oz. package reduced fat softened cream cheese

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chili peppers

  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions

  • Drain the corn, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid.

  • Combine the reserved liquid and the cream cheese in a medium saucepan, stirring until smooth.

  • Add the corn, red peppers, chili peppers and scallions.

  • Warm over medium heat.

  • That's it. The hardest part was finding that damn can of chili peppers at the grocery store. With a hungry kid and a store packed with Thanksgiving shoppers, I called in the reserves and had Andy pick them up on his way home (found with the taco stuff apparently).

    I also decided that Andy could actually make the dip instead of me, since I made sinful brownies and festive spinach salad. I also didn't want to risk using a saucepan over flame. Bad things happen when I use a stove top.

    Andy whipped this creation up lickety split and upon an initial taste, proclaimed it pretty blah. WHAT?! Too late to change the dish. Into the fridge it went with the hope that an overnight sitting would make it better. I was doubtful, since the original dish is obviously intended to be served warm and immediately.

    The next day, when we arrived at my parents' with our baby, cat and all of their trappings, I pulled out the Fiesta Corn Surprise and popped it into the microwave for a few minutes to heat it up. It was a thin soupy consistency and didn't look all that impressive. But when I set it in front of the hungry family with a bag of Stacy's pita chips, everyone agreed it was quite good.

    Even Andy felt it was better the second time around. I think that next time, I would either use less liquid or more cream cheese to thicken things up and absolutely serve re-heated after an overnight in the fridge as we did here. This recipe says it serves four (as a side dish). As a dip, it served six hungry adults that afternoon. We would have eaten a ton more if there had been more to eat. I think we were all being polite, instead of scarfing down the whole thing alone.

    One quarter of the recipe above results in 123 Calories, 6 Grams of Fat, 16 Milligrams of Cholesterol and 427 Milligrams of Sodium. So, eating far less than 1/4 of the dip yourself would be even less!


    Kaye said...

    Sounds delish! I chuckled when I read lickety split. I haven't heard that term in ages. Right up there with "put the kibosh on".

    Lynn said...

    Thanks, Molly, I was dying to know of your kitchen adventures. It sounds like your efforts contributed a fine addition to the family feast. And now you know where the chile peppers are! (Or Andy does, anyway.) Your festive spinach salad, by the way, is still a favorite around here.

    Sandy Nawrot said...

    I tend to avoid recipes that use the word "surprise" in the title. Or anything with corn in it (flashbacks from England where they put freaking corn on their sandwiches). Ha! But this actually sounds pretty good.

    Lin said...

    I love anything that is EASY...and the husband can make. SCORE!

    Can't believe you had to drag the cat too. Isn't life more exhausting when you are a mom? ;)

    Little Ms Blogger said...

    I could see where that might become better overnight because it probably took the chili peppers time overnight to work its magic with the other ingredients.

    Anonymous said...

    Love easy recipes like this one and that it tasted good too is a bonus :)
    We don't travel with our cat. It is so not worth the stress for her. I always feel bad leaving her behind though. (well, at least I did before we had a baby. a dog and baby are about all I can handle)

    Margot said...

    I wonder how "surprise" made it's way into the title of the dish. I'm with Sandy on that word in connection with a food item. However I like all the ingredients in the dip. I'll bet it was colorful to look at. I'm going to try it. The only thing I might do differently is add some garlic or onion powder to it. Thanks for sharing what dish you ended up making.