Recipe of the Month: Cowboy Chic Black Bean Dip

What is your go-to for game day? If your spread includes jarred salsa and a tub of pre-made dip, served with a side frozen wings and a store-bought pizza, know that it does not have to be that way. You can have a tasty, homemade dish in just minutes.

With a few hearty pantry staples and a handful of fresh flavors, Cowboy Chic Black Bean Dip can transform you from second-string to the Most Valuable Player. A real crowd-pleaser, Cowboy Chic Black Bean Dip is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available in Fall 2018.

Cowboy Chic Black Bean Dip    

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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 2/3 cup bottled picante sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1 can black beans (drained and washed)
  • 1/4 cup Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons Tabasco-if desired

Instructions

  • Heat oil in skillet.  Add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender.
  • Add tomato, picante sauce, chili powder, cumin, and black beans to skillet.  Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.
  • Partially mash mixture with a potato masher.  Add cheese, cilantro, and lime juice.  Stir until cheese melts.
  • Serve warm with tortilla chips.

After you make Cowboy Chic Black Bean Dip, share a photo on social media using #JLOCookbook.

Cooking for a Crowd

Cooking for 20 can be tricky, but every month Junior League of Omaha Board of Directors take on the challenge of providing dinner for a monthly Board meeting. When it came time for New Member Chair Bethany Banister and Communications Chair Melissa Carlberg to take their turn, they were confident the Junior League’s Toast to Omaha cookbook would be the perfect resource – and would build excitement for the upcoming release of the League’s new cookbook, to be released in conjunction with our 100th anniversary in 2019.

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“We thought soup would be a crowd-pleaser, and also figured it’d be fairly easy to transport and keep warm,” says Melissa. “Bethany and I got together, picked out some recipes that looked delicious and started planning a couple weeks before the meeting.”

Melissa made the following soup recipes:

  • Curried Pumpkin Soup, page 49
  • Upsteam Brewing Company’s Smoked Gouda Beer Soup, page 59
  • Italian Vegetable soup, page 55

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For a side, Bethany chose Ron’s Wheatfield Cornbread, page 182, and for dessert, gave Very Rich Everything Bars, page 214, a try.

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“The cornbread was super easy,” says Bethany. “I do have a suggestion for the dessert, though. Use creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy for both the base and the fudge topping. I also used salted nuts, even though the recipe called for unsalted. It seemed to cut down the richness a little!”

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Final consensus? Everything was a hit! The sausage soup was nearly gone and the beer cheese soup reheated wonderfully.  

“The Italian vegetable soup was a fairly quick, easy recipe and you can even save some time by eliminating the chopping and buying frozen spinach and carrots,” says Melissa. “I’d definitely make it again. In fact, I’d make them all again. I especially liked the Upstream beer cheese soup. I used a cheddar to supplement the Gouda, simply because it was a bit more economical for a double batch.”

Both Bethany and Melissa agree that the dinner was a success; board members all tasted several Toast to Omaha recipes for the first time and everyone seemed excited to make them again! Hopefully, it got members thinking about what they can submit for the next Junior League of Omaha cookbook!

The Cookbook Committee is currently planning for the upcoming edition, A Century of Serving, and looks forward to hosting tasting parties beginning this summer to choose the entries for the anniversary cookbook. Be on the lookout for recipes you’d be interested in submitting – and if you’d like one of the special edition Junior League of Omaha aprons, orders will be available soon at jlomaha.org.

Connecting with food…Pasta with Lemon-Parmesan Cream Sauce

Pasta with Lemon-Parmesan Cream Sauce

6 Tablespoons butter

6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

1 cup whipping cream

¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

¾ pound thin pasta or linguine

½ cup parsley, finely shopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add lemon juice and zest. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in whipping cream and cheese. Bring to simmer and remove from heat. Sauce may be prepared 1 hour ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to bite. Drain well. Add pasta and parsley to sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

 

“I recommend reducing the lemon, it was a little overpowering.”

Connection Contributor - Meghan Hope

 

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This a recipe from the Junior League of Omaha’s Toast to Omaha cookbook, first released in 2006. It includes more than 350 recipes from Omaha’s restaurants and at-home chefs along with pictures, menus and memorabilia.

Connecting with Food…

download

The following is a recipe from the Junior League of Omaha’s Toast to Omaha cookbook, first released in 2006. It includes more than 350 recipes from Omaha’s restaurants and at-home chefs along with pictures, menus and memorabilia.

MANDARIN SPINACH SALAD

Dressing

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad

1 (16 oz.) package spinach leaves

1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges drained

½ cup olives, sliced

½ cup red onion, sliced

¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup almonds, sliced and toasted

Instructions

For the dressing, in a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk until blended.

In a large serving bowl, combine spinach, oranges, olives and onion. Pour dressing over salad and toss evenly to coat. Top with feta cheese and almonds

Add some crunch with your favorite walnuts, candied pecans or almond slivers.

Serves: 4

Picture submitted by Lisa Tonjes Moritz

I made this salad for the first time on Thanksgiving but I think I have had it before at a Junior League meeting. It was a nice light and refreshing side to all the heavy sides during the holidays. The recipe says that it serves 4 but that would have to be a large entree serving. 16 ounces is a lot of spinach. I used a relatively large bowl and it was filled with half of the recipe.

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Barn Bash and Chili Cookoff

For many League Members, the Barn Bash has become a favorite fall tradition. Active member Lexie Frahm and her husband Shane graciously hosted the “friendraiser” at their home in Gretna for the second year.

One of the highlights of the event is a chili cook-off, which was done anonymously for the first time. In the end, Active member Alysia Radicia took home the coveted prize, the $150 pot created by cook-off entry fees and more importantly, bragging rights until next year’s event.

Attendees also enjoyed s’mores by the bonfire, a competitive game of bingo as well as a night of socialization and fun.

We asked Alysia to share her secrets; you can find that below!

Alysia Radicia (1)

Personally, I love food. And I especially love food when it is paired with friends, bingo, and fall weather – so the Barn Bash is my jam. Last year I participated in the cook-off but made a chili that was far too spicy for the audience. The buffalo chicken chili is still one of my favorites but I knew if I was going to win this year I needed an option that would have greater appeal to the judges. Wanting a chili that is delicious but still interesting was a challenge. I was chatting with one of my coworkers and he shared this recipe with me. He and his family are Filipino and have loved this recipe for many years. With strict instructions he directed me to the Asian Market on 78th and Dodge to purchase the Longaniza Sausage. This is the make or break ingredient of the chili. To help any future cooks, here’s a plan of its exact location in Asian Market. I only include this because I initially picked up the wrong sausage and was wildly disappointed. I would hate for anyone else to do the same. Also, I’m a designer and can’t help myself sometimes. With all the being said, all other ingredients are easy to find and come together to create the 2014 Barn Bash Chili Cook-Off Winner. If there are any questions any aspiring cooks have please let me know – I would be more than happy to share all my mistakes with you to help you out in the future.

 

Homemade Chili Con Carne with Hot Pork Longaniza Sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)

1 medium onion, chopped finely

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small can pimiento, diced

1 package of Hot Pork Longaniza Sausage, sliced diagonally

1/2 pound ground beef

1 (14 -ounce) can cooked red beans

1 (14-ounce) can stewed diced tomatoes

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 bay leaves

2 stalks cilantro, chopped (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

olive oil for drizzling (optional)

cilantro leaf for garnish (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a saucepot. Add cumin in the hot oil. Add onions, garlic, and diced pimiento; saute until tender for 5 minutes.
  1. Cook sausage with 3⁄4 cup water in separate pan over low heat for 20-25 minutes. Let sausage cool and slice, set aside.
  1. Add ground beef and stir together in sauce pot cook for 5 minutes.
  1. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, and cilantro. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
  1. Season with salt, sugar, and pepper; cook for another 5 minutes. Place sausage on top of chili. Drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with a cilantro leaf.

Serves around 6. Prep Time 45-60 minutes.