Corn Dip

Every once in awhile, a recipe catches my eye and I know I want to make it.  This recipe, from the Iowa State Fair Cookbook was one such recipe.  I was looking for an off-the-beaten-track dip for chips and the combination of corn, cream cheese, ranch dressing, and other items (and that it was a refrigerated dip, not a heated one, was the right combination to pique my interest.

This was another recipe in the various recipes that I served to the students who came over to my house last month.  If you have a potluck or tailgating event to attend this summer, this may be the recipe you want to throw together.

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Corn Dip

2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2.25 oz can chopped ripe olives, drained
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
14 oz can chopped green chilies, drained

Beat together cream cheese and ranch dressing mix.  Add additional ingredients.  Chill several hours and serve with tortilla chips.

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Bean Dip

One day I noticed I had a variety of things in the fridge that needed to be used up and I thought mixing them together might prove to make a great dip, so I melted it together over the stove and it had a nice mix of spice and creaminess.

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Bean Dip

1 can refried beans
5 oz cream cheese
5 oz pepper gouda
1/2 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 jar salsa
1/2 c mozzarella cheese

Melt together on the stovetop.  Eat the deliciousness.

Roast Pork Loin with Herbs and Cream Cheese

One of the blogs I read regularly, What’s Gaby Cooking, is doing a monthly cookbook challenge, and for the month of November, chose the cookbook Small Victories.  I made this recipe from the cookbook, when my parents were in town visiting, on their way to see my sister and her family.  It looked like just the recipe to serve with some brussels sprouts, bread, and brownies.

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Roast Pork Loin with Cream Cheese and Herbs

2 garlic cloves
1 c Italian parsley
1/4 c fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3-to 4-lb pork loin
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c white wine, chicken stock, or water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

With the food processor running, drop the garlic in the feed tube, and process until finely chopped.  Add the parsley, basil, and thyme, and pulse until everything is finely chopped.  Add the cream cheese, 1 tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper and pulse until everything is well-combined.  Set the mixture aside.

Put the pork loin, fat-side down, on your work surface with one of the short ends pointing toward you.  Using a sharp chef’s knife, hold it parallel to the board and make a sharp incision along the length of the pork, cutting the meat about 1/2 inch.  Continue to slice into the meat while lifting the top part with your other hand until the pork loin is opened out and totally flat and about 1 inch thick.

Season the newly exposed side of the pork aggressively with salt.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pork, using your hands or a rubber spatula.  Starting from the short side, roll the pork up tightly so that it resembles its old self, this time with the herb mixture spiraled throughout it.  Lay five 12-in pieces of kitchen string about 1 inch apart on your work surface and carefully lift the pork and put it on top of the string, seam-side down.  Tie the pieces of string tightly around the pork loin so that it is even and compact.  Trim off the excess string.

Transfer the pork, fat-side up, to a large baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over it.  Sprinkle the pork with a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Pour the wine around the pork.

Roast the pork until it is browned, is firm to the touch, and registers 145 degrees when you test it in the thickest part with an instant-read thermometer, 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on the thickness of the meat (start testing it at 1 hour).  Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

Let the pork rest for 10 minutes, then cut off and discard the string.  Slice the pork, arrange on a serving platter, and spoon over some of the pan juices.  Serve immediately.