This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock rock concert. More of a generational milestone than a show, the event was marked by the hundreds of thousands of people that attended and the peace and love demonstrated during a time of national unrest. Sounds a bit familiar, yes?
To recreate that feeling now, we got all groovy and welcomed Chef James, who embraced everything 1969 by recreating dishes that brought back the taste of the day.
We started with a co-ed (my “old-man” was in tow) cocktail party that featured passed hors d’oeuvres right out of the glossy mags of the day. Stuffed celery, bacon wrapped shrimp, pigs in a blanket and pineapple and ham topped pizza. Here’s a few snack images to start your California dreamin’….
The highlight was the chips and dip placed on each of the tables. I just couldn’t get enough of those homemade crispy chips with globs and globs of oniony dip! Pretty groovy, man……..
Continental breakfast included home baked “Pop Tarts” and granola bars, avocado toasts and peanut butter and banana toasts with a drizzle of maple syrup. I was ready for the dawning of the age of Aquarius….♬ and the golf that followed.
Lunch included plated cheese balls coated in nuts with Saltine crackers and buffets filled with fresh green salads, quiches, ambrosia salad and tomato aspic. The meals just kept taking me higher and higher!
But the real mouth-watering fun was at the “pot” luck supper. Chef served all the foods of the day that one would bring to a communal dinner. We started with a huge pot of cheese fondue and all the dippers you can imagine. As the ladies sat for the meal, everyone broke off a piece of beau monde seasoned Swiss cheese bread (a recipe right off the pages of every 70’s era Junior League cookbook). The dinner buffet offered other memorable favorites including chicken a la king, Salisbury steak, deliciously soggy green beans, mashed potatoes with carrots and peas, and of course a liberal interpretation of the famed Hamburger Helper, pasta with tomato seasoned beef.
Dessert featured banana cream pie with a shortbread crust and grasshopper pie. And then there were the brownies!!?!! With a little help from my friends, supper was digested by dancing to songs from Janice to Richie.
It was quite an event, one that will be remembered for the food, the fun and especially the camaraderie. You don’t have to wait for an anniversary to remember the good ol’ days. Just kick back, invite your pals, encourage them to bring a dish from their childhood and break some communal bread. As Sly would sing, You Can Make It If You Try!
And that’s the why behind this Far Out recipe for homemade chips and onion dip. Instead of tearing open an envelope of onion soup mix, why not take a few minutes and give the real thing a try? Season the warm potatoes with your favorite combination of dry spices and fresh herbs to create the utmost gourmet chip treat.
Oven Baked Seasoned Potato Chips
with Caramelized Onion Dip
Yield about 2 cups dip
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 ½ cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 package (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 large baking potatoes
Vegetable oil spray
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the Balsamic vinegar and cook until the onions are syrupy. Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and chives into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until creamy.
Add the caramelized onions to the processor. Pulse to combine. Transfer your finished chip dip to a serving bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Use a mandoline to cut the potatoes into paper-thin slices. Place the slices onto 2 baking sheets. Coat both sides of the potato slices with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the chips begin to turn golden, about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of each chip. Mix 1 teaspoon coarse salt with ½ teaspoon hot paprika. Sprinkle the chips with this mixture.
A mandoline is a hand-operated machine that uses an adjustable blade to slice and julienne firm vegetables and fruit; it has legs, allowing it to sit safely on your countertop. The best part of the mandoline is the carriage, preventing the vegetable slicer from touching your fingertips! The food processor’s slicing blade attachment is a good substitution for the mandoline.