September 2016 – Hummus, Mexican Bean Dip, Pizza

This time, host Jen Scarci makes a hummus plate, a mexican bean dip, pizza and sangria. Everything perfect for a get together with friends.

Book Club Sangria
One thing I enjoy just as much as spending time in my
Cucina is reading. So when it’s my turn to host book club, you better believe we are going to have a yummy menu and a seasonal cocktail. This Sangria makes a nice refreshing cocktail.

2 chilled bottles of dry red wine
1 cup brandy
1 cup orange Juice
¼ cup fine sugar
2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
3 limes, sliced
2 apples cored and cut into thick pieces

Pour the liquid ingredients into a large pitcher. Add sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Chill. Add fruit. You can add club soda to your glasses before adding the Sangria or maybe not!

Grilled Pizza
This is a very basic recipe for grilled pizza. There are so many different toppings, sauces and cheeses to create your own unique pizza. My favorite is the traditional pepperoni pizza! Remember, the dough is going to cook very quickly, so be at the grill ready to turn it over and add the toppings on.

1 frozen pizza dough
1 16 oz. jar of pizza sauce or homemade pizza sauce
Package of presliced Pepperoni or 1 stick of Margarita Pepperoni cut into ¼ slices.
4 Cups Mozzarella Cheese*

Thaw pizza dough according to package directions. Flour work surface and roll dough into a 12”circle. Brush top of dough with olive oil. Place olive oil side down on baking sheet or pizza peel. Brush olive oil on topside of dough. Preheat grill on medium high. Grill the dough over medium high heat until bubbly on top, crisp and grill marked on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip dough over. Quickly spread sauce, cheeses and pepperoni over crust, place lid down until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Remove from grill and place on cutting board to serve.

*Instead of using all mozzarella cheese you can mix asiago and parmesan cheese with the mozzarella. These aged cheeses with their crumbly texture gives an nice robust flavor to your pizza.

Mexican Dip
I have been making this recipe since 1985! It is always a big hit and is well loved in our family.

1 can refried beans
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 – 8oz bottle of taco sauce
1 – 8oz container of sour cream
1 can green chilies, chopped
1 can black olives, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 – 8oz bag shredded Mexican cheese mix or cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the refried beans and taco seasoning together in a bowl and spread into a 9×13 baking dish. Mix taco sauce and sour cream together. Spread over the top of the refried beans. Layer in order the rest of the above ingredients with the cheese being the top layer. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

No Guilt Hummus Dip
Believe it or not, one of the earliest recipes for a dish similar to Hummus was recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo as early as the 13th century. I personally haven’t attempted making Hummus in my Cucina…yet…but no pancake goes unturned where making a new dish is concerned and Hummus will not be an exception!

1 container of store bought Hummus
2 cups chopped cucumber
½ cup purple onion
2 cups sundried tomatoes soaked in oil, chopped and drained
2 cups pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
2 cups Feta cheese

Spread Hummus on a dish. Layer the next 5 ingredients with the Feta cheese being the top layer. Serve immediately with pita chips, pita bread or your favorite crackers.

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