Throw the Ultimate Dodgers Opening Party With Smart & Final’s Chef Jamie Gwen

For more info on Chef Jamie Gwen, visit her website. Follow Chef Gwen on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @ChefJamieGwen.
Thank you to Smart & Final.

BASEBALL DIAMOND PARTY TRAY

With all the sweet food and candy at a party, it's always good to include a few healthy options, so make a fruit and cheese platter in the shape of a baseball diamond.

You’ll need a large board or tile to assemble the platter. Lay out green grapes to make the grass and use pineapple for the dirt area. Cut the pineapple lengthways to keep the semi circular shape, then cut some extra rectangular sticks of pineapple to arrange around straight edges of the diamond. Add veggies, meats, cheeses, crackers, cookies, or nuts and use small round ramekins for the bases. Fill the ramekins with dips, jam, mustards, etc.

DIY DOYER DOGS

It’s like bringing the Ballpark home! Inspired by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ specialty dog served at the park, this hot dog has it all!

8 hot dogs
8 First Street hot dog buns
2 cups prepared chili, heated
1 cup Beer Cheese (recipe follows)
2 cups Pico de Gallo
1 cup First Street sour cream

Sliced pickled jalapenos or raw sliced jalapenos, if you like it hot!

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut a slit about ½-inch deep across each hot dog, to form a pocket to gather the toppings. Place the hot dogs on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until heated through. Place the hot dog buns on the same baking sheet and bake 2 minutes more.

Place the hot dogs in the buns and top with chili, beer cheese, Pico de Gallo, sour cream and jalapeños.

CHEF JAMIE’S BEER CHEESE

This recipe makes the perfect fondue for dipping bread or pretzels or apples, and it doubles as the ultimate hot dog topping.

2 tablespoons First Street unsalted butter
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic minced
8 ounces beer, Lager or Ale
4 cups First Street shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon First Street all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons First Street Half & Half

Melt the butter in a saucepot. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often until tender and beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the beer and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. In a mixing bowl, toss the shredded cheese with the flour. Slowly whisk the cheese into the beer mixture, stirring until smooth. Add the Half & Half and season with salt and pepper.

GARLIC PARMESAN FRIES with ROASTED GARLIC AIOLI

Use Russet or Kennebec potatoes, if you want to make these fries from scratch…or, buy the frozen kind and season with abandon!

4 large unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/4 cup First Street olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grated First Street Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Place the cut potatoes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat well. Spread the seasoned potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer, (do not wash the bowl yet!), and bake for 25 minutes, tossing the fries halfway through baking. Remove the fries from the oven and place them back in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Return the fries to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes more.

Top serve, sprinkle the fries with the remaining Parmesan cheese and the parsley.

ROASTED GARLIC AIOLI

Aioli is a classic preparation, a mayonnaise base with roasted garlic infused into each creamy, heavenly bite. You can make mayonnaise from scratch or use this cheat method for instant gratification.

1 cup prepared First Street mayonnaise
6 roasted garlic cloves (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons First Street olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Combine the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth.

TO ROAST GARLIC, cut the top third off of a bulb of garlic and drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast at 325°F for 1 hour or until the garlic cloves are caramelized and tender. For individually peeled garlic cloves, drizzle a handful of cloves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the seasoned cloves in an aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, shaking the packet a couple of times during cooking, or until the cloves are tender and golden.

BBQ BEEF HAND PIES with HORSERADISH CREAM

1 pound lean First Street ground beef
1 cup bottled First Street BBQ sauce of your choice
1/2 cup First Street shredded Cheddar & Jack cheese blend
1 box refrigerated piecrust

Cook the ground beef in a skillet until browned and cooked through. Drain any accumulated juices. Add the BBQ Sauce and stir to coat well.

Unroll both sheets of refrigerated piecrust dough. Cut each of the round pie crusts into quarters. Spoon 1/4-cup of the BBQ’d beef into the center of half of the dough pieces. Top with a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Place a second quarter of piecrust dough over the top and pinch the seams to seal. Repeat to make 4 Hand Pies. Cut 3 small slits on the top of each hand pie to allow the steam to escape.

Bake at 425ºF for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

HORSERADISH CREAM

1 cup First Street mayonnaise
1 cup First Street sour cream
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, lemon zest and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

LASORDA MEATBALL MADNESS

As a tribute to the legendary Tommy Lasorda, serve a big Family Style dinner of Spaghetti and Meatballs in Red Sauce for your Dodgers Viewing Party!

POWDERED SUGAR DOUGHNUT HOLE & STRAWBERRY SKEWERS

One 16-ounce package powdered sugar doughnut holes
2 large containers fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried
10 wooden skewers
Melted dark chocolate

Alternate doughnut holes and strawberries on the skewers. Drizzle with chocolate and serve.

DODGERS BATTING HELMET CHURRO SUNDAES

Your favorite First Street ice cream flavors

First Street whipped cream
Chocolate sauce
Caramel sauce
Blue sprinkles
Frozen Churros, baked and cut into 4-inch pieces

Set up a Sundae Bar and let party goers assemble their own sundaes!

HOMEMADE CRACKER JACKS

2 cups salted red skinned peanuts
15 cups popcorn (approximately 1/2 cup unpopped kernels)
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 sticks First Street salted butter
1 teaspoon First Street vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 200º F.

Place the popcorn and peanuts in large mixing bowl.

Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil slowly for 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda.

Pour the mixture over the popcorn & peanuts and stir until well coated. Spread evenly on two large baking sheets and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

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