March Madness Entertaining

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March 14, 2013 by caitlinvaclark

I’m in party planning mode today, which is (shocker…) one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. I get so excited about the menu planning, the grocery shopping, the initial food-prep stages. And I love doing as much as I can in advance because inevitably there will be the mad dash to get everything done: clean your house, make sure drinks are chilled, and realize you haven’t taken a shower yet and people should be arriving in a matter of minutes.

We are having a small gathering on Saturday evening for an ACC Tournament/Poker Night. I added the poker part of the evening to entice our friends who aren’t as college-basketball obsessed as we are. That, and for Christmas I bought Chris one of those fancy poker sets with the silver briefcase full of chips that makes you look like a total card shark. Of course, of the two of us, I’m actually the one who usually has the golden gambling touch. OR am I just bluffing, trying to run a play, and throw off on our opponents? Guess you’ll just have to wait and see…

But really I am getting excited to eat and drink and cheer on my Duke Blue Devils this weekend! My menu is shaping up:

  • BBQ Flatbreads
  • Enchilada Suiza Dip
  • Bobby Flay inspired Mini Burgers & Fries
  • Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting (for St. Pat’s of course!)

One of the crucial things about easy entertaining is to cook what you know. Don’t try something new without a test run. A few weeks back I had an overwhelming urge for Mexican food and, as we all know, that’s a hard craving to satisfy here in London. So I decided to try out an idea I had for Enchilada Suiza Dip. About 5 minutes and one margarita into staring at a Mexican menu, I get overwhelmed. I can never decide what combination # I want! Hard taco, soft taco, tamale? 2 hard tacos and a burrito? Cheese quesadilla and a chili relleno? More often than not, when the waitress comes, I fall back on my usual order of the oh-so-creamy, cheesy, salty, and spicy Enchilada Suiza. When a restaurant stuffs their enchiladas with chicken and spinach, it’s pure perfection. So this dip is a nod to one of my go-to orders at a Mexican restaurant.

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Start by sautéing onions, then adding taco seasoning and garlic.

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Add 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken the chicken broth slightly, then add spinach and mix over heat until it just begins to wilt. Then remove from heat and let cook for 5 minutes.

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Next add the onion mixture to the sour cream, jalapeños, and cheese. Now we’re in business! Side note – if you like things super spicy (I do not), feel free to add more jalapeños or some roasted poblanos.

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Top with some extra cheese and bake to ooey gooey goodness! Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and watch it disappear.

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Don’t mind if I help myself!

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Enchilada Suiza Dip

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1 cup onions, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp taco seasoning

1 Tbs flour

½ cup chicken broth

2 oz spinach, chopped

7 oz. cooked chicken, shredded or chopped

½ cup jarred jalapenos, chopped

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and taco seasoing.

Add flour and toast for 1 minutes. Then add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Once slightly thick add the spinach and cook for 1 minutes, until it just wilts. Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, add the onion mixture to the sour cream, chicken, jalapenos, and ¾ cup of shredded cheddar.

Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips.

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