Posts Tagged ‘dips’

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Investment

August 11, 2011

More is needed. In this blog obviously, my neglect is shameful. I have been baking but not with the same regularity, or joy, as previously. The reasons are many and varied but my old foe apathy has set in. However, recently I’ve been in the kitchen a little more and the more I do, the more I enjoy being there. It might feel wrong to force myself to bake when the mojo is missing, but it seems a little more discipline will allow me to rediscover that joy and the rewards it brings.

That bit of effort invested into my kitchen should then provide rewards; both in terms of my enjoyment and the lift to the spirits an hour or so spent zesting oranges, chopping nuts or standing perplexed over an ice-cream maker can bring; but also for those that I share those proceeds with.

My family, my friends, my neighbours, my community.

Recent events have shown that more investment is desperately needed in the relationships with those around us. I’m not talking about financial investment, or here to debate the budgetary cuts – there are those far more knowledgeable than I who are able to provide arguments on that subject. But the investment of time and care. Last weekend a group of neighbours and friends hosted a BBQ for the rest of the Avenue, a truly collaborative event attended by every house, and more, from those who had lived here for decades to those who had yet to move into their new home.

It was a great evening, there was good food, great company, and plenty of laughter. Most importantly connections, relationships and friendships with those around us have been initiated or strengthened. A couple of hours of planning, a few more of preparation and several more enjoying ourselves can only serve to reward us all. Sadly, at the same time as we were extending these friendships and sharing food the riots and looting were starting in north London and we could never have imagined that in just 48 hours it would extend to our city centre a few miles away.

I have no idea how I/we go about extending this feeling of connection to the wider community in order to prevent the chaos of recent days recurring, I’m not naive enough to believe that an offering of dips, muffins or bowls of salad is going to make much difference, but we must try, even if it starts in a small way with those next to us – a little investment in these relationships would be a wise and beneficial one for us all.

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Sharing the Love: Part II

November 12, 2010

As a continuation of a theme, what could be better to share than dips? As one with a savoury rather than sweet tooth, I would rather sit around a dish like the one above than a platter of sweet things, and by their very nature they are to be shared in the true sense – communal snacking. A friendship with a neighbour, cultivated in part through the aforementioned cake sharing, led to an invitation to a bonfire night party last week. The horrid, wet weather prevented any actual firework display but good company and wine made for a lovely evening and this trio of dips were a tasty accompaniment.

I recently spotted a recipe for a black bean dip  courtesy of the LA Times that I wanted to try, and added to this two other dips to use up some of the stocks of chick peas and tahini in the cupboard, the pumpkin and beetroot were a colourful nod to autumn, although the pumpkin was from a tin and the beetroot pre-cooked rather than freshly roasted. All three took no time at all to blitz in a food processor, the most time-consuming part was washing the bowl and blades in between making each dip.

I think my favourite has to be the beetroot and walnut, although I adapted the quantity/ratio as I only had a small pack of beetroot in the fridge. With all of them feel free to add more citrus if needed and if the consistency isn’t quite right for you add more olive oil or water until you’re happy. Serve with something crunchy and ‘scoopy’ (you know what I mean) my preference is for some wholemeal pitta tossed in olive oil and sea salt then toasted.

Spicy Pumpkin Dip

Food Network

1 tin of pumpkin puree (Waitrose stock Libby’s brand)

1 tin chickpeas – drained and rinsed

3 tbsp tahini

1 garlic clove

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp cumin

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Blend the chickpeas and pumpkin in a food processor until smooth, add the remaining ingredients and process. Season with salt and pepper to taste

 

Beetroot and Walnut Dip

Good Food Channel

250g cooked beetroot (not the kind in vinegar!)

100g toasted walnuts

50ml olive oil

25ml water

1 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt to taste

Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped and the beetroot until a paste forms.

Add oil, water and tahini, lemon juice and pulse again.

 

 

Black Bean Hummus

LA Times

1 tin chickpeas – drained and rinsed

1 tin black beans – drained and rinsed (on closer inspection the original recipe said 2 tins, but I used 1 and it was fine although I didn’t use as much water as was suggested)

4 cloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp tahini

juice of a lemon

1 cup of water (240ml) plus more if needed

1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I would start with one – it was fiery with 1 1/2 but maybe that’s where the other tin of black beans would’ve been useful!)

2 1/2 tsp cumin

2 1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

Blend the beans, oil, garlic, tahini and lemon juice to a paste. With the motor still running on low speed, add the water.

Add the spices and blend, taste and adjust seasoning.