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Posts Tagged ‘Dips’

I have seen both Martha Stewart and Jamie Oliver make white crudite platters.  And they looked soooo beautiful.  Even Jamie’s, who’s food usually looks delicious, but well, not like Martha’s, to say the least.  So, I wanted to do that.  Either they have whiter vegetables than me, or they were photographed through some magic whitening lens because this is not white.    So, this is my shades of beige crudite platter.

The vegetables are endives, steamed potatoes, radish, and carrots.  The white (ish) carrots and radishes were procured by my amazing husband, who went to Berkeley Bowl and searched for the best white vegetables he could possible find, just for me.  Totally made my day that he came back with awesome stuff and not boring old cauliflower.   The potatoes were inspired by a friend of mine, who served steamed potatoes and siracha aioli at her housewarming, and it was so delicious.  But since siracha aioli is not white, I did not make it.  Instead, I made roasted garlic aioli.

Roasted Garlic Aioli
Recipe from the this website, reprinted from the Mustards: Napa Valley Cookbook by Ciny Pawlcyn.

Ingredients
1 large head garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 egg yolks
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Cut a thin slice off the very top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of all the cloves. Set the garlic head in a shallow baking dish. Pour the oil slowly over and into the head. Season with the salt and pepper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1-3/4 hours, until the garlic is very soft and tender. Don’t rush it; older garlic may take longer. Drain and reserve the oil, and set the garlic aside.

When cool, squeeze the pulp out of the roasted garlic into a food processor or blender and add the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, water, salt, and cayenne pepper. Purée until smooth. With the motor running, add the reserved roasting oil and the additional 1-1/2 cups oil in a slow, steady stream and continue processing until emulsified.

Makes about 2 cups

This was my first time making my own mayo, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how delicious it tasted.  I used half the mayo at the party.  The other half went into a potato salad with fingerling potatoes, scallions, and arugula, which was amazing, and a bit on some burgers.

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I made this ages ago for a party but have had a busy few weeks and no time to post.  Better late than never, I guess!

I was inspired by an Epicurious recipe for a corn and tomato bruschetta, though I changed it up quite a bit to make it more like a salsa.  It really worked.  It was light and summery and fresh.  Epicurious suggests serving it over burgers or quesadillas.  I think it would be nice over grilled fish as well.

Grilled Tomato and Corn Salsa
Loosely adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

2 large ear of yellow corn, husked
1 small red onion (about 6 ounces), peeled, halved through root end
Olive oil (for grilling)
1 1/2 pounds medium tomatoes (such as cluster or vine-ripened; something firm and not watery, about 5)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika*
pinch of cayenne, optional

Directions

Prepare grill (medium heat).  Brush corn and onion with oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place corn, onion halves, and tomatoes on grill. Cook until corn is charred, onion is just tender, and tomato skins are blistered and loose, turning often, about 12 minutes for tomatoes and 15 minutes for corn and onion. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet and cool.

The recipe then recommends coring the tomatoes, halving, and squeezing out the juices and seeds before giving them a coarse chop.  This made a huge mess, and frankly, I’m not convinced it was worth it. I think a better approach would be to core the tomatoes and dice.  Then grab them loosely and give them a little shake over a sink to get out the excess liquid.  I can’t vouch for this approach since I didn’t try it, but suffice it to say, I don’t think having a bit of extra tomato innards in the salsa is a bad thing, so if it makes things easier, give it a try.   Whatever you do, put the tomatoes into a bowl.

Cut the corn kernels from cob and toss in with the tomatoes.  Dice the onion and add that too.   Mix in garlic, lime juice, paprika, and a splash of olive oil.  Toss in a pinch of cayenne if you want a bit of heat.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The dish can be made a few hours in advance and the leftovers held up alright overnight in the fridge.

I served it up with tortilla chips and a big bowl of my super delicious guacamole.

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These ugly looking things are celery root.  I’ve never cooked with celery root, and not even sure if I’ve ever eaten it.  Nevertheless, this recipe for celery root soup has intrigued me ever since I saw it in Food and Wine last year.

I’m not  a huge fan of celery, mostly because it’s just stringy and weird.  When I cut the root open and discovered it smelled exactly like celery, I got a little nervous.  I wound up doctoring the recipe a bit to try to balance out the celery flavor.  Lucky for me, this soup was indeed good.  While celery root smells like celery, it tastes a little earthier and, even better, no weird strings.  I will definitely cook with it again.  The version below is my version.

The original recipe in Food and Wine suggested pairing it with clementine toasts.  I had picked up a bunch of satsuma mandarins at the farmers’ market, so I thought I’d try pulling it off.  The relish was really, really good.  Sort of like a marmalade-chutney type of spread.  However, segmenting satsumas is something I will never, ever do again.  Lots of work to produce about a teaspoon of segment from one mandarin.  Argh.  I used about seven of them, when the recipe recommended two, and made a giant mess in my kitchen.  So, while delicious, I recommend trying this with normal sized oranges.

Everything here is local, except for the mustard seeds.  The bread comes from Acme bakery, the wine from St. Supery in Napa, all produce comes from the farmers’ market, and the dairy from Clover Stornetta in Petaluma.

Celery Root Soup
Inspired by Food and Wine, original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2-3 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt, pepper, and parsley to serve

Directions
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes.  

Add the garlic and the white wine, scraping up any bits that have accumulated on the bottom.  Add the celery root, broth and water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the celery root is tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.  Return to the saucepan and stir in the cream.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Mandarin Relish Toasts
Inspired by Food and Wine, original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients
2-8 firm clementines, mandarins, or oranges
1 medium shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
Toasted slices of bread

Directions
Remove the peel and white pith from the oranges.  Working over a skillet, cut between the membranes to release the sections and squeeze the juice from the membranes into the skillet.  It’s hard for me to estimate how many you’ll need.  It depends on the orange, your citrus segmenting skills, and how many toasts you want.  The relish is really good, so I recommend making a decent amount and aiming to have about 1/2 cup of segments plus juice in your pan.  

Add the shallot, vinegar and mustard seeds.  Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until most of the juice has evaporated and the fruit has started to break down, about 2 minutes.

Let the relish cool to room temperature.  Season with salt. Spread the relish over the toasts and serve with the soup.

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Make melon salsa.

I made this a while back, when we were still getting boxes from our CSA.  I like melons, but I don’t love them.  I probably would order the healthy side of fruit option with a sandwich instead of fries a lot more often if it wasn’t usually just a big pile of cantelope and honeydew chunks, with a half a strawberry thrown in so that they can actually argue that it is indeed a fruit salad.

This however was a wonderful way to use up the very gorgeous melon we got from Eatwell.   I’m not sure exactly what kind of melon it was, as the outside skin was a gorgeous shade of yellow, but the inside tasted like cantelope. 

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I think this recipe would work with any basic cantelope or honeydew type of melon, though I think watermelon would be too watery.

I found this recipe on the always amazing blog, Smitten Kitchen, who in turn based hers on a variation in Gourmet.  I changed things up a bit using what I had in the fridge, and brought it to a barbeque with some tortilla chips.  It was a huge hit.

Cantaloupe Salsa
Adapted from Gourmet and Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 3 cups of salsa

2 cups finely diced cantaloupe or other melon (about a half a melon, maybe a little less)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1-2 sweet gypsy peppers (depending on the size), diced.  If you can’t find gypsy peppers, I would use one small red bell pepper, chopped very finely.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (2-inch-long) fresh hot red or green chile, minced (use the seeds if you want extra heat)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together and eat as soon as possible.  After about 2-3 hours it will start turning watery and not attractive, so you can’t really make this too far ahead.

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Unfortunately, that day threw me another lemon…or melon..and my digital camera is no more.  So, if any food bloggers out there have recommendations for a good one, please let me know!

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