Happy Hour: Crostini with Brie and Dates, Black Bean Dip, and Chorizo and Cheese Puff Pastry

9 Nov

Oh, Friday happy hour. It is seriously my favorite meal of the week. Last week I decided to try and mimic an ingredient from a happy hour that I went to last week with some of my girlfriends. We went to this bar, Craft and Commerce, where they had excellent drinks. We thought excellent drinks would also mean excellent food and decided to eat something that none of us had ordered before (my girlfriends had visited this place a few times before, so that knocked out some options. It was my first time). We went with bacon-wrapped dates. I mean, it’s bacon. Who doesn’t love anything with bacon?

But, much to my surprise, I didn’t love this. The dates were mushy and yucky. We ended up ordering a punch bowl to continue the drinking and just picked at the bacon.

Alas, I was determined to try dates again. They seem like such a trendy thing these days. Before that night, I had never had them before so I went on a recipe search for something with dates and complementary appetizers to go along.

This past Friday happy hour menu was:

Crostini with brie, dates, and walnuts

Black bean and goat cheese dip

Chorizo and cheese puff pastry

(If you click on each thing, you’ll find the recipe that I adapated each of these from)

I know these happy hour posts are long, but it’s because I like to show the three appetizers that I make together, so please bear with it.

From least favorite to most favorite…

Black Bean and Goat Cheese Dip:

The ingredient list for this was:
– Half a yellow onion, chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced1
– Dash or two of cumin
– One cup of home-made black beans (PLEASE make your beans at home — it is soooo easy and ridiculously better)
– 1/2 cup chicken stock
– 1 poblano pepper, roasted and chopped
– Green onion
– Cilantro
– 4 oz. goat cheese

1. Make your own black beans! I took about a cup of black beans, boiling water, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and a bay leaf and put them in a crock pot. Leave it on high for about 4 hours and black beans are ready!
2. On your stovetop, roast the poblano pepper until the skin is blackened.

3. In a pan, cook garlic and onion. When the smell makes you hungry, add in a pinch of cumin, salt, and pepper. Then, add in your black beans and mash them. I used a potato masher to help achieve the texture I wanted.

4. Next, add the chicken stock.

5. Once it is the texture and taste that you like, it is time to prepare the dip. Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees. In a 8×8 pan, layer your bean dip, goat cheese, chopped poblano pepper, green onion, and cilantro. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese is gooey and its ready to scoop up and eat!

Then, make this next appetizer:

Crostini with Brie, Dates, and Walnuts

Ingredient List:
– 1 baguette (I prefer sourdough, but for this, I used french)
– 1 round of brie cheese, cut into slices
– Dates, pitted and diced
– Walnuts – about a handful and toasted quickly
– Honey
– Balsamic vinegar
– Olive oil
– Salt


1. You can buy pitted dates at your grocery store. I had to look around to find these since I have never purchased them before, but they were around the bulk items, dried fruit, etc. Take a few dates (depending on how much of this mixture you want) and chop them.

2. In a pan, QUICKLY toast the walnuts. This only takes about a minute and you need to stir the walnuts frequently so they don’t burn. Don’t try and do other tasks. You’ll burn them. Trust me, I have.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the honey and balsamic vinegar. I might add a touch of salt and pepper here also, depending on your taste. Then, add the dates and and walnut mixture and stir together. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

4. Then, cut your baguette bread into thin slices. Brush them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and roast in the oven until golden and crisy.

5. Top each slice of bread with a slice of brie and the brie-walnut mixture and enjoy!

And, last, but certainly not least….

Chorizo and Cheese Puff Pastry

Ingredient List:
– Soy chorizo
– 2 tbsp onion
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– Mix of cheese (I used monterey jack)
– Puff pastry (I used one sheet of a frozen one I bought)

Remember how I bought 10 packages of soy chorizo? Well, the boyfriend finally got tired of chorizo con huevo. (Crazy, right? I still looove this) He asked for me to do something “different” with it. I have made a chorizo fundido (cheese dip) before so I decided to do something else with chorizo and cheese. And because I recently did that brie puff pastry for happy hour that I already want to make again and have to restrain myself from, I wanted to use puff pastry again.

This recipe begins exactly the same as chorizo con huevo.

1. I started off with some oil, onion, and garlic in a pan and cooked for 2-3 minutes. Then, added the soyrizo and cooked that until nice and crispy – just the way the boyfriend likes it.

2. For the dough, please bear in mind I have a teeny tiny kitchen. That means I have limited cookware so sometimes you just gotta work with what you have! I spread out the puff pastry dough, used a coffee cup to form out little circles, and then reformed and “rolled” the leftover dough (with a cup) to make as many circles as I could. Ingenuity, right?

3. In each circle, I put a little bit of chorizo and a little bit of monterey jack cheese. Folded those babies up in triangles, sealed the edges, and then baked them in the oven until golden crispy. I wish I had an egg white for this because I think that would have made my chorizo puffs have that glorious golden color – but nonetheless, they turned out scrumptious.

4. Lastly, for a little dipping sauce, I mixed together sour cream, chopped canned chipotles, and a little of the sauce it comes in. A little spicy and a little refreshing at the same time. My crazy boyfriend asked for Frank’s hot sauce with melted butter to dip his in. That’s gross. Do the chipotle sour cream thing instead.

And all together now…

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5
The gf was right. The black bean dip was good but it was missing something. The crostini with brie and dates was amazing. It had a touch of sweetness that enhanced the the flavor of the brie. And the chorizo and cheese puff pastry was also amazing. Smokey, melty cheesy goodness inside of a light flaky crust.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: