7th Honorable Mention – 2015 Recipe Contest

Chef Richie here, at your service…to share more culinary nuggets of wisdom and make the world a better place through sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, risotto and the Mediterranean diet in general.

OK lovers…if it isn’t already, THIS should be National Sun Dried Tomato Month. With the powerful lycopene punch that Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes will plant right on your kisser, your heart will open a whole new world of romantic culinary possibilities.

Every February I’m reminded of the Quail in Rose Petal Sauce that’s in the book, Like Water for Chocolate, which is not a cookbook and IS a little racy so readers beware. I made this dish (the sauce is basically a rose petal-chestnut beurre blanc) for service one Valentine’s night in one of my San Francisco restaurant kitchens and it was a smashing success. If you’re adventurous try it.

Back to reality, but with no less Valentine’s Day pizzazz, this month’s 2015 recipe contest honorable mention winner is from…drumroll…home chef, Kevin Gronne.

Congratulations Chef! You’ll receive a deluxe gift box of Bella Sun Luci products so you can get going on your recipe entry for next year’s contest and add special touches to your repertoire. Keep up the good work and maybe your next recipe will put you in next year’s contest’s money!

This Spicy Jalapeno Dip is rich and luxurious like a down comforter on a winter night. Four cheeses AND butter for creamy goodness/being bad…check. Jalapenos and sriracha for heat…check. Bacon…check (you had me at bacon). And, bringing it all together…getting to the heart of the matter with a marriage of flavors…Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes. POW! RIGHT IN THE KISSER!

I used to eat at a restaurant whose slogan was, “This is a bad place for a diet”. Well, this dish is not one that I would normally mention honorably, but, Chef Richie Says, it’s Valentine’s month and we all know it’s the time of year to let loose a little. If you want to feel better about it, eat it with some vegetables. Or don’t.

Congratulations Chef Gronne! I’m looking forward to your 2016 Recipe Contest entries and…everybody…Get cooking, happy cooking and buon appetito!

Chef Richie Hirshen

Corporate Chef

Mooney Farms and Bella Sun Luci

Chico, CA

Spicy Jalapeno Dip

  • 8 large jalapeno’s, chopped and seeded
  • 10 slices of bacon, diced and semi crispy
  • 2- 8oz packages of softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/4 lb of Fontina cheese slices
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha (for some heat)
  • 1 cup of mayo
  • 1/4 cup Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes, diced

Topping:1/2 stick of sweet butter melted
1 cup Asiago cheese grated
1 cup of crushed salted crackers

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all of the dip ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Combine the topping ingredients and spread all over the top of the dip. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Chef Richie

About Chef Richie

As corporate chef for Bella Sun Luci, Richard "Chef Richie" Hirshen, whose culinary career spans more than 30 years, plays an instrumental role in product development, recipe creation, and cooking demonstrations.

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