Seasons by the Sea: Recipes 12:13:12

Noshes Naughty, and Nice

Layered Mexican Dip
    I associate this recipe with summertime, but when my friend Anita brought it to a Thanksgiving leftovers bash, the guests descended upon it like locusts. You can make it as rich and creamy or virtuous as you like. I make this in a glass Pyrex pie dish, it’s not ugly because you are going to wrap it in a pretty napkin and then place it in a shallow basket!

1 can refried beans (I use the vegetarian kind)
2-3 very ripe avocadoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 8-oz. carton nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheese, a mixture of Monterey jack and cheddar is good
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp. pickled jalapeno slices, optional
3 Tbsp. chopped scallions, white and green parts

    Mash up refried beans with one teaspoon of taco seasoning mix. Spread into glass pie plate.
    Mash avocados. Add garlic and lime juice and as much salt as desired.
    Combine yogurt or sour cream with another teaspoon of taco seasoning mix.
    Layer the guacamole over refried beans. Top this with sour cream or yogurt mixture, spread in a thin layer.
    Top with shredded cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, and scallions.
    Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly.
    Wrap pretty napkin or dishtowel around dish, place in shallow basket. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sausage Balls
    This is one of the naughty recipes. These are good because they freeze well after baking so you can just pull them out of the freezer and reheat when needed.

1 lb. ground breakfast sausage
3 cups Bisquick
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

    Mix all ingredients well in a bowl, you will have to do this with your hands and it will be crumbly.
    Form into one-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
    Bake at 375 for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
    You can serve these with a dip but they are pretty rich and savory on their own.

Cold Deviled Shrimp
    This is one of my favorite recipes for parties any time of the year. Have a slotted spoon for scooping out, and small plates, toothpicks, and napkins nearby.

2 lbs. medium shrimp
1 lemon, sliced very thin, seeds removed
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted black olives
2 Tbsp. finely diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bay leaf, crumbled
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt

    Bring one quart water to a boil. Add cleaned shrimp and boil three minutes. Drain. Place in bowl. Add lemon slices, black olives, and red pepper. Toss.
    In another bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and rest of spices.
    Stir into shrimp mixture. Cover dish and refrigerate two hours before serving, stirring occasionally.

French Blonde
    This is a very pretty, fragrant cocktail. Multiply according to your needs, place in pretty pitcher, and have a bottle of seltzer nearby for those who don’t like such a strong drink.
    Makes two.

1 oz. elderflower liqueur
2 oz. gin
4 oz. white Lillet
4 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
Dash of lemon bitters

    Shake, strain, and serve in martini glasses. I prefer it on the rocks.