Bronco Bites: Double Dipping The Chargers


Crab dip

Tomorrow afternoon when you are settling in to watch the Broncos take it to the Chargers, it’s always good to have a menu plan for the occasion. I have a little something to suggest for this occasion. Just like the Broncos double-dipped into the San Diego personnel when they brought in Shaun Phillips and Louis Vasquez, not to mention Quentin Jammer, you can do your own dipping with one or more of the following creations.


Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

This dish will take about 15 minutes to put together and it yields 8 servings.


  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice

  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 3 Tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 (16-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus a bit more for garnish

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish

  • Salt

Pita Toasts, for serving


Put the pomegranate juice, into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until juice is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool and thicken.

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Put the walnuts and breadcrumbs into a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the reduced pomegranate juice, lemon juice, red peppers, cayenne pepper and cumin and process until smooth. With the processor on add the olive oil in a thin stream. Season with salt, to taste. Sprinkle with cumin and olive oil and serve.

Serve with pita toasts.

Now that may not entice your palate and that’s quite alright. I have a few more ideas and surely one of them will whet your appetite. This next one might be a little fancy schmancy for most football crowds, but it would make a nice impression at Thanksgiving. It will take over an hour and also serves 8.


Maple Pecan Baked Brie


  • 1 (16-oz) wheel of Brie

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 cup toasted and chopped pecans

  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Crackers, to serve


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shave off the top rind of the Brie (it is easiest to do this after it has been in the freezer for about 20 minutes). If the Brie came in a wooden box, return it to the original container. If not, create a makeshift “box” out of a few layers of aluminum foil, leaving the top of the Brie exposed.

Place the cheese on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until warm and gooey, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. Carefully transfer to a serving platter; you do not want the rind to puncture, if possible.

While the Brie is cooling, make the praline sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, and pecans. Cook, stirring constantly, until all of the ingredients are well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in coarsely ground black pepper and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until it has thickened up just a bit. Dollop the warm sauce over the baked cheese. (There may be extra praline sauce.) Serve with assorted crackers.

Note: The praline sauce can be made the day before. To reheat, microwave in increments of 20 seconds, or heat in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until warm.

I know there are some Bronco fans out there who will like this next offering. It’s quick and easy and makes about 2 cups, so you can dole it out into several individual bowls for serving.


Hummus Dip


  • 2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 12 to 15 grinds black pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons Spanish paprika

Pita chips or raw vegetables, for serving


In a blender combine all the ingredients. Blend on low speed until smooth. You’ll have to stop the blender often to push down the ingredients. Puree, then add lemon juice to taste, along with more oil or salt, if desired. If the mixture is too dry and you’re having trouble blending it, add a few more tablespoons of olive oil to help things along.

Scrape the hummus onto a plate. Sprinkle the paprika over the top, drizzle lightly with olive oil, scatter some parsley on top, and serve. You can make the hummus up to a couple of hours before you serve it. Cover the top with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature. Serve with pita chips or raw vegetables. (This will keep, refrigerated, for about a week.)


There you have it. Three choices: Happy, hearty and healthy. You don’t have to punt on 4th Down, so go for one of these concoctions for tomorrow’s game.


Until next week. Good eats and…


Go Broncos!

– Kaptain Kirk

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