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‘3 Pretzels’ Category

  1. Tuscan Chickpeas Spread

    April 6, 2014 by admin

    Tuscan Chickpea Spread

    Tuscan Chickpea Spread

     

    I bought a bunch of chick peas at Costco for eventual hummus/curry making, and I haven’t done either, mostly because I didn’t want to smell like garlic and onions. It’s spring, and I’d like to smell good for a while. What to do with an eight pack of chick peas then? That put me on the search to find a dip that wasn’t hummus. Not that I’m against hummus. I love it–but–hummus is EVERYWHERE.

    I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks: “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof“. I really like her earthy, delicious, sometimes decadent recipes. This one is on the healthy side. I give it 3 out of 5 pretzels because while it’s good and will appeal to your healthy side, if there’s a bubbly cheesy dip next to it, I can almost guarantee that you’ll have leftovers of this one. That said, if you like chickpeas (and I do) you’ll like this spread. And you’ll feel all sophisticated spooning it onto crusty bread and sipping your glass of wine.

    If you’re throwing a party, consider this instead of hummus, just to shake things up.

    Tuscan Chickpeas Spread
    Author: 
    Recipe type: Spread
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 4-6
     
    An earthy sophisticated spread for your inner-vegetarian or hipster. Recipe is easily halved if you only want a small batch.
    Ingredients
    • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, preferably Goya
    • ½ cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
    • 3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for serving
    • 2 ripe medium-size tomatoes, seeded and small-diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Grilled country bread for serving
    Instructions
    1. Pour the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain well. Place the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the chicken stock and pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely pureed.
    2. In a medium (10-inch) saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tomato is softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chickpeas, stirring to combine with the tomatoes and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
    3. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and taste for seasonings.
    4. Pile in a serving bowl, drizzle with extra olive oil, and serve with shards of grilled country bread.
    5. Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/tuscan-mashed-chickpeas-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

    THE PROCESS

    Here are your ingredients. Owl salt shaker, optional.

    Here are your ingredients. Owl salt shaker, optional.

     

    Chick peas in your food processor. (I also used this to cut the tomatoes because I'm lazy.)

    Chick peas in your food processor. (I also used this to cut the tomatoes because I’m lazy.)

     

    Pulse coarsely. If you pulverize them, you'll enter Hummusland.

    Pulse coarsely. If you pulverize them, you’ll enter Hummusland.

     

    Cook your chopped tomatoes and then add garlic. The sizzle is lovely.

    Cook your chopped tomatoes and then add garlic. The sizzle is lovely.

     

    Add your coarse chickpeas and cook. It's starting to look pretty gorgeous.

    Add your coarse chickpeas and cook. It’s starting to look pretty gorgeous.

     

    Take it off the heat, add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and then set up your photo shoot. Enjoy!

    Take it off the heat, add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and then set up your photo shoot. Enjoy!

     

    If you have a lot leftover, maybe add your chickpea spread into a pita bread and slather on chutney. Mmmm. Instant sandwich.

     

     

     


  2. Spring Vegetable and Goat Cheese Dip

    March 20, 2014 by admin

    Spring Dip 8

    Oh, I have missed my sweet dip blog. Here’s a recipe that I found on Epicurious, originally published in Bon Appetit. It takes a little bit of effort, since you have to pre-cook the asparagus and make (essentially) a béchamel sauce. We really enjoyed it though and the hint of lemon with the asparagus and sweet peas does promise that spring is coming. I served it with Ritz crackers, but it’d be great with pita chips or bruschetta. You need a sturdy dipper for this, since it’s pretty hearty. Hubs added the leftovers into his omelet the next morning. Enjoy!

    RECIPE:

    For the full recipe, please go here: Spring Vegetable and Goat Cheese Dip Recipe

    THE PROCESS:

    This one was a little bit of work, but I found puttering in the kitchen and making this while listening to my Pandora Jazz Standards station to be really relaxing. I sort of thought of myself as some kind of sorceress summoning spring.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Spring Dip Ingredients

     

    You’ll need pantry staples like flour, butter, frozen peas, lemon, and milk. Shopping list stuff: Leeks, can of artichoke hearts in water, goat cheese, white cheddar, asparagus, and if you feel fancy get some fresh herbs of mint and chives. I did not feel fancy. I felt lazy, so I skipped the herbs. I’m sure they’d add a lot. Pre-cook your asparagus. You can blanch it or roast it in the oven. I roasted it and ate half of it as a snack and set aside the other half.

    Sautee your sliced leeks and then add flour and milk. This is the part where I started feeling like a sorceress.

    Milk, flour, and onions pre-alchemy.

    Milk, flour, and onions pre-alchemy.

    You bring it to a simmer and then wait for that sauce to get nice and thick.

     

    Action shot!

    Action shot!

    Take it off the stove and add you cheddar that you’ve already shredded, stir that. Then add in all your delicious veggies, lemon zest, etc. Save a little goat cheese (or extra goat cheese) to sprinkle on top. I forgot to do this and I regret it.

    Spring Dip 4

     

    Spring Dip 5

    I want to put my face in this.

     

    Stir everything. Or actually, you FOLD it in, but whatever. FOLDING is just a stuck-up way of stirring. Then put it in your favorite dip pot. My favorite dip pot is a pottery bowl my lovely Aunt got for me in Empire.

    Spring Dip 6

     

    Then you bake it and wait for it to get some nice color on it. Now, I think I like the way it looks better before I baked it. I think if I made this again, I’d top it with some panko crumbs that I mixed with olive oil and a little salt to give it a nice color and crunch.

    Spring Dip 7

     

    It’ll boil and bubble like it’s in a cauldron, so you’ll want to wait a good five to ten minutes before digging in. I think the recipe says cook it for twenty minutes, but I tend to cook my dips for about thirty minutes. It just seems to be the magic number.

    Serve up some wine and crackers and toast spring:

    Spring Dip 8

     

    Here’s how the food stylists made it look. This is from the original recipe. To get THIS look, you’d probably need shellac and shortening. OR, maybe, don’t pre-bake your asparagus as long as I did, and add those dollops of goat cheese to the top.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 7.06.21 AM

     

    Good luck, enjoy, and let me know if there are any dips you want me to try.


  3. White Bean Dip (#18)

    December 28, 2011 by admin

     

    I had some requests for specific recipes. One was from a healthy eater who’d like a non-dairy, vegetarian dip. This one goes a step further: it’s VEGAN. At least I think it’s vegan. It’s pretty vegan. This is a smooth dip with a little bite. You can adjust the garlic and lemon to your taste. I made the mistake of being really heavy on the garlic and olive oil the first time I made it, so I suggest start with less. You can always add more.

     

    THE RECIPE

     

    2 cloves garlic

    1 can (15 oz) white beans, such as Northern or Cannelini, drained and rinsed

    2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

    1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    ½ teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning

    salt to taste

     

    1. In a food processor, blend garlic until chopped.

     

    2. Add white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano or Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

     

    3. Serve.

    Basically, just put ingredients in food processor and blend until your heart's happy.

     

    THE VERDICT

     

    This is a really simple dip, with the added benefit of not having a ton of ingredients. And they’re ingredients that are easy to get year round. It’s a nice change from hummus, for sure. I’ve also added rosemary to this and that creates a really nice hint of winter. That sounds poetic. It’s just good. I give this a 3 Pretzel rating. It’s a good little dip. It’s actually better if you let it rest overnight. It’s a subtle dip. It doesn’t scream at you, and you probably won’t eat it obsessively, but it will make you feel good while eating it. Low fat, high fiber, all that good jazz. And it keeps great.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Crudites

    Bagel Chips

    Root Chips

    Or try making a sandwich with rye bread or pumpernickel, smear with lots of dip, add sprouts, tomato, cucumber and shredded carrots. So good!


  4. Blue Cheese Walnut Spread (#14)

    October 25, 2011 by admin

     

    For this week’s recipe, I’m going a little outside my boundaries and posting a spread instead of a dip. Still, you can DIP your knife in and spread it on a cracker, so it almost works.

    THE RECIPE

     

     

     

    Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread from Everyday Food Magazine 

    4 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature

    ½ cup walnuts, chopped

    salt and pepper

    4 ounces (1 cup) cold crumbled blue cheese

    In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese with a wooden spoon until softened. Mix in walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in blue cheese, breaking up as little as possible.

     

    THE PROCESS

    This is super easy, and a good ‘last minute’ appetizer, since you can just grab the ingredients at the grocery store, mix and serve.

    Cream the cream cheese. (Why does that sound gross?)

     

    Add the walnuts and salt and pepper.

     

     

    Fold in the blue cheese and serve.

    THE VERDICT

    3 pretzels! But don’t dunk in pretzels because they’ll break. This is a spread, not a dip.

    This dip/spread  is good. It’s not great, but when I served it, everyone liked it. Of course, you need to like blue (bleu) cheese. Kealoha wanted more blue cheesiness, which is easy to accommodate. High ranks on ease of this spread. Basically three ingredients and you’re good to go.

    We had steak for lunch with this. I wonder what the spread would taste like spooned onto a grilled hamburger or juicy steak? Mmmm.

     

    THE DUNKABLES

    Crackers (wheat tasted really good)

    Slices of pear (great combo)

     

     

     

     

     

     


  5. Dip #10–Roasted Salsa

    September 9, 2011 by admin

    I should’ve posted this earlier, but it still works now. Great for the end of summer vegetables. This recipe comes from “Everyday Food”.

     

     The Recipe

     

    2 large tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds)

    1 medium white onion, halved

    3 jalepenos

    3 garlic cloves

    3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

     

    The Process

     

    1. Heat broiler with rack in top position. Place tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and unpeeled garlic cloves, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

    2. Broil until vegetables are blistered and slightly softened, rotating sheet and flipping vegetables frequently, 6 to 8 minutes. Garlic can be removed if it’s browning too quickly.

     

     

     

    3. D1scard garlic skins. In a food processor, pulse garlic and vegetables until coarsely pureed. Add lime juice, season with coarse salt and pepper, and pulse to combine.

     

     

    4. Transfer salsa to a bowl and stir in the chopped cilantro. Refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
    Kealoha and I are pansies when it comes to spicy salsa. I chop the onions first so that they’ll be really small, then add in the rest. I also think you should hold off on using all the jalepeno. I added all and then had to cook another batch because it was way too spicy. You can take out the seeds first, or just go down to one jalepeno and add more if you need it.

     

    The Verdict

     

     

    I served this at my Dip Party. While it wasn’t a stunner in the sense that everyone ooh’ed and ahh’ed over it (like they did over the Buffalo Wing Chicken Dip), they kept coming back to it.

    The salsa has this wonderful smokey flavor that sets it apart from any other salsa you’ve had. It’s really what sets it apart. It will need some cooling time, because hot salsa is more like a soup.

    It’s a great salsa. Full stop. Still, I give it 3 out of 5 pretzels because a salsa is still a salsa, even if it’s a smoky salsa.

    The lowdown: fun, quick, pretty easy to do. Makes a ton. And the food processor does most of the chopping for you.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Tortilla chips

    Fried plantains

    Use as a topping on black bean cakes or tamales

     

     

    *Anyone reading this blog? If you are and enjoy it, please let me know! If you’ve tried any of the dips I’ve posted, let me know that too. And…if you have a dip you’d like to see posted, send it to me at tanya@tanyaeby.com. I’d love to give your dip a pretzel rating.


  6. Dip #2–Farmhouse Cheddar and Tomato Fondue

    July 14, 2011 by admin

    I’m a fan of fondues. I just have to say that up front. There’s just something about that 1970s wholesomeness. It makes me imagine shag carpeting and rooms paneled in wood from wall to ceiling so that you feel like you’re in an oak womb. The sound of corduroy rubbing together. Disco balls. Bad mustaches. Key parties. Unprotected sex while sniffing massive doses of cocaine.

    Uh

    Er

    Okay…so maybe the 70s weren’t exactly wholesome. I don’t know if this dip is wholesome either, but it’s good and comforting.

    THE RECIPE

    This comes from the book “delicious dips”  by Diane Morgan.

     

    Makes 2 ½ cups

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    6 cloves roasted garlic

    2 tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded

    and cut into ¼-inch dice

    1 ½ tablespoons flour

    3 cups shredded white farmhouse

    Cheddar Cheese

    ½ cup dry white wine

     

     THE PROCESS*

    *Stuff in quotes is from the original recipe. The other stuff is my own comments.

    “In a have 4 quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and tomatoes and sauté, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.”

    I don’t have time to roast garlic. (You wrap it in foil and roast it in a 350 oven for like an hour) so I use raw garlic, but less of it. Yeah, it’s probably better with roasted garlic…but that’s a winter time thing. So far so good.

     

    The house is starting to smell pretty amazing. Did you know that tomatoes and cheese both have that hard-to-define quality/taste in it called umami? They do. And it’s why this dip is comfort food galore.

     

    “While the tomatoes are cooking, combine the flour and cheese in a bowl and toss to coat the cheese. Add the wine to the tomato mixtures, stir once, and then add the cheese. Heat and stir until the cheese is completely melted. ”

    I toss in the wine, and pour a glass for myself. You know, this dip would probably also be equally good with beer, and I don’t even like beer. But beer gives it that good-old-pub feeling.

    Anyway. I throw the cheese in. You’re supposed to do it a handful at a time, but that’s just too high maintenance. I throw all the cheese in except for one handful which goes in my mouth. (We didn’t know what “Farmhouse” cheese was so we bought Irish cheddar, thinking that Ireland must have farms.)

    Then I stir. It occurs to me just how fast this dip comes together once you have the ingredients prepped. It’s fast. Super fast. I should make a note of that.

    THE VERDICT

    “Transfer to a fondue pot set over an alcohol or sterno flame to keep it warm. Serve immediately.”

    My fondue pot is somewhere in the basement, plus it’s just me and Kealoha eating it, so I save the fondue pot for another time. We dig right in.

    It’s creamy, cheesey, gooey, warm, hint of garlic, wine and salt. Oh, it’s a balance of yummy heart-attack flavors. Yay! It’s melted cheese, for God’s sake. And it is all I expected it to be.

    This dip is perfect for a winter party. I’m not sure I recommend it for summertime. It just really calls for a crackling fire and bad holiday sweaters. It’s rich so you don’t want to eat a ton of it. This is best for a party with a lot of other options. It is addictive.

    I’m giving it 3 out of 5 pretzels, simply because you can’t eat a ton of it even if you want to.

    THE DUNKABLES

    Pretzels would be ideal. We use bread and bagel chips. If you’re going old-school fondue then cube the bread and have little forks to impale your food with. You could dip veggies in here too. Probably meat too. Shoot, slather it on a sandwich and add some bacon and you’ll probably go straight to heaven. Literally. It will kill you with its goodness.