The Weekend Gourmet: #Homegating with Applegate Natural & Organic Meats...Featuring Baked Layered Chicken Enchilada Dip F

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#Homegating with Applegate Natural & Organic Meats...Featuring Baked Layered Chicken Enchilada Dip

This month’s football food menu is a dude-friendly #Homegating menu featuring Applegate's line of natural, organic meat products. I first tried their products this Summer for their fun Weinervention promotion, and I fell in love with the taste of their products. The fact that their meats are natural and organic makes me feel even better about serving them to my family and guests! Applegate recently sent me a package containing their uncured smoky cocktail pork franks, natural uncured mini turkey pepperoni, and natural grilled chicken breast strips. I used all three products to create a no-fuss game day menu. Everything is a snap to assemble – some items can even be made ahead – and they're guaranteed to be a hit at your next #Homegating party!

For the flavorful uncured turkey pepperoni, I made one of my very favorite appetizers from last football season: my spin on Hip Foodie Mom's yummy So Simple Pizza Puffs. Like the name says, they're indeed SO simple to make! You start off by spreading your favorite pizza sauce on a puff pastry square. Then add six pepperoni slices, three rounds of fresh mozzarella, sliced mushrooms and fresh basil down the center. Finally, fold in the sides, secure with toothpicks, and bake until golden brown. These fun pizza bites are always a huge hit when I serve them at parties -- and I really liked that the Applegate turkey pepperoni wasn't as greasy as traditional pork pepperoni!
I used the organic uncured smoky cocktail pork franks to make a football party staple: saucy cocktail sausages. The sauce combination that I used is one of my favorites that a co-worker taught me years ago: ½ cup apricot preserves, ¼ cup spicy brown mustard, and 1 tbs. of your favorite hot sauce. This time, I used Tabasco's Sweet and Spicy hot sauce, but feel free to use what you have on hand. Simply add the sauce ingredients and cocktail sausages to a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes until they're heated through. Then give it a stir and place in a serving platter. You can also put all of the ingredients in a slow cooker on Low 2 hours before kickoff.
I decided to use the convenient pre-cooked grilled chicken breast strips in a fun new dip creation. We love Mexican food, so I knew that my Baked Layered Chicken Enchilada Dip would be a huge hit! This amazing hot dip features a layer of seasoned cream cheese, a layer of the diced chicken tossed in spicy enchilada sauce, and a layer of melted Colby-jack cheese.
Before serving, a chopped avocado confetti made from lime-infused avocado, tomato, and green onion is sprinkled on top. This dip is positively addictive – if you love enchiladas, you’ll go absolutely crazy for this dip!
Baked Layered Chicken Enchilada Dip
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients:
For the cream cheese layer:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tbs. finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • 1 tbs. Tabasco jalapeno hot sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 package Applegate grilled chicken breast strips, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 15-ounce can enchilada sauce
  • 1.5 cups shredded Colby-jack cheese
For the avocado confetti topping:
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinl sliced
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Directions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Combine the cream cheese layer ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. Spread the seasoned cream cheese evenly in the bottom of a 9x9 pan. In a second bowl, combine the chopped chicken breast and enchilada sauce. Spread the chicken mixture evenly on top of the cream cheese.
Step 2: Sprinkle the Colby-jack cheese evenly on top of the chicken mixture. Place the baking dish on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the dip until the cheese is melted and starting to brown and the dip is bubbly -- about 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through baking time for even browning.
Step 3: While the dip is baking, combine all of the avocado confetti ingredients in a bowl. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use. When the dip is cooked, let it sit for 5 minutes. Just before serving, evenly spoon the avocado confetti on top. Serve the hot dip from the baking platter with a big basket of sturdy tortilla chips.
This mildly spicy Tex-Mex dip dip is a treat for the senses. It's gorgeous to look at because of all the colors involved, and it the taste is downright addictive! This dip's a little bit creamy, a little bit spicy, very cheesy…and the tender pieces of chicken breast make it filling as well! What really takes this dip over the top is the avocado confetti sprinkled on top – it’s tart from the lime juice, and the contrast of the cool veggies with the hot dip works really well. 

I served the dip with tortilla chips for dipping, and I also served warm flour tortillas for those who wanted to make a creamy chicken tortilla wrap. Both ways are delicious, so go with whatever you prefer...just make sure to make this dip! It's perfect for #Homegating or any other potlucks and parties you might be going to during the upcoming holiday season.

Disclosure: Applegate provided me with a sampling of their natural, organic meat products to facilitate this feature. All opinions expressed are solely my own.


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