Dips

Tzatziki Sauce

July 26, 2013

Tzatziki SauceTzatziki Sauce

I love making Tzatziki Sauce because it’s so easy to make and homemade is so much better than store bought.  It seems like the store bought stuff is sugary which is horrible.  All you need is a food processor or a blender and a few ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Garlic Clove

1/4 Cup Minced Red Onion

1/4 Cup Diced Cucumber

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Pulse for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You want to keep it just a bit chunky.  Pour the Tzatziki Sauce into a bowl, cover and place into the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.  Remove from the fridge when you are ready to use.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.  Makes about 2 cups.

Kentucky Benedictine

July 17, 2013

Kentucky BenedictineKentucky Benedictine

I love this Southern spread made popular by Louisville’s Benedict’s restaurateur, Jennie Carter Benedict, who opened her restaurant in 1893.  It can be used as a dip or for a sandwich and is perfect for either an afternoon tea or a light meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Cucumber

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

4 Tablespoons Grated Onion or 2 Minced Green Onions

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

Remove the cucumber skin and then grate it into a medium size bowl. Drain the cucumber and onion juice (unless using minced green onions).  Add the cream cheese, grated onion, kosher salt and mayonnaise.  Beat with a hand mixer on medium until all of the ingredients are combined.  Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put into the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.  If you are using for a vegetable dip then thin it out with a bit of sour cream.  Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

Greek Style Eggplant Dip

July 11, 2013

EggplantGreek Style Eggplant Dip

This dip is super healthy and goes perfectly with raw vegetables, crackers or whole grain pita wedges.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Eggplant

3 Thinly Sliced Garlic Cloves

14 Ounces Silken Tofu

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.  Cut slits in the flesh side of the eggplant halves and insert the garlic slices.  Put the eggplant cut-side down on the baking sheet and then prick the eggplant all over with a fork.  Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  You will want the eggplant to be soft and collapsed.  Remove from the oven and then when the eggplant is cool enough to handle scoop out the pulp and put it into a food processor or blender.  Throw away the skin.  Add the tofu, lemon juice and kosher salt.  Puree until nice and smooth.  Serve immediately.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Victoria’s Classic Haroset

March 23, 2013

Victoria’s Classic Haroset (Charoset)

My Classic Haroset is sweet with raisins and cinnamon.  You can vary the nuts by using pecans, hazelnuts or a combination.  Make sure to use Gala, Braeburn or Jonagold apples.  Don’t use Red Delicious because they are too bland. 

INGREDIENTS

3 Large Peeled, Cored  & Sliced Apples

3/4 Cups Toasted Walnuts

1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Cup Kosher Sweet Concord Grape Wine

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Place the walnuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put into the oven for 8 minutes.  Remove the toasted nuts and let cool for 5 minutes.  Combine the apples, walnuts, raisins and ground cinnamon in a food processor.  Pulse until coarsely chopped.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in the wine.  Cover and put into the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.  When you are ready to serve remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature.  Taste and add more cinnamon or wine if you like.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups. 

 

Mediterranean Salsa

February 2, 2013

Mediterranean Salsa

If you need to whip up a quick salsa as either a dip or condiment here is a super easy and quick recipe.  Serve with tortilla chips or use as a topping for tacos or burritos. 

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 Cups Diced Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Pitted & Chopped Black Olives

2 Seeded & Chopped Whole Green Chiles

1 Tablespoon Diced Jalapeno Peppers

3 Chopped Scallions

4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

In a large serving bowl combine all of the ingredients.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Serve with tortilla chips or use as a topping for tacos or burritos.  If you are not fond of cilantro then substitute the cilantro with fresh parsley.  Makes approximately 4 1/2 cups. 

Basic Hummus

January 12, 2013

Basic Hummus

I am just going to come out and say it: I really love hummus.  I have no problem with grabbing some pita bread and calling it dinner.  Sometimes I like to throw spiced lamb or chicken on beds of hummus and often I use hummus as a sandwich condiment. 

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Cooked Chickpeas

1/4 Cup Tahini

1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

3 Pureed Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Water or Chickpea Cooking Liquid

1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

If you are cooking dried chickpeas then use 3/4 cup dried chickpeas.  If you are using canned then use 1 can of drained chickpeas.  Purée the chickpeas in a food processor or a blender.  Stir in the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper.  Mix until smooth.  Add either the water or chickpea cooking liquid and mix well.  Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.  Makes 2 cups.

Za’atar

January 5, 2013

Za’atar

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture of herbs, sesame seeds, sumac and salt.  It is a spice blend that dates back to the 13th century.  Za’atar is used many ways, but most frequently used as a table condiment.  Dip warm flatbread into some olive oil and then dip into the Za’atar.  Trust me it’s delicious.  Za’atar also makes a great dry rub for both meats and vegetables.  Sumac is a bit difficult to find.  Go to a specialty spice store like, Kalustyans, or order online from Amazon.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 Cup Sumac

2 Tablespoons Thyme

2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds

2 Tablespoons Marjoram

2 Tablespoons Oregano

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

In a dry sauté pan, toast the sesame seeds on a high heat for two minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  In a small size bowl combine the sumac, thyme, toasted sesame seeds, marjoram, oregano and kosher salt.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week.  Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

Pineapple Guacamole

December 29, 2012

Pineapple Guacamole

If you’re having a New Year’s Eve party or needing to bring a dish to a party here is a great dip to bring.  It’s easy to make and the pineapple dresses up a basic guacamole.  It’s best to use fresh pineapple for this dip.

INGREDIENTS

3 Diced Avocados

1 Cup Diced Pineapple

1/2 Cup Diced Onion

1/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

2 Minced Jalapeno Peppers

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Chop and dice all of the ingredients that need chopping and dicing.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl mash the avocados with a potato masher.  You will want the avocados to be somewhat chunky.  Add the salt, pepper, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, onions and pineapple.  Stir until just combined.  Serve immediately.  Serves 10

Corn Salsa

August 16, 2012

Corn Salsa

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good salsa?  This salsa can be made as hot or mild as you want it.  Serve it with chips as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to eggs, tacos or grilled meats and fish. 

INGREDIENTS

4 Ripe Plum Tomatoes

1 Ripe Slicing Tomato

3/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Fresh Cooked Corn

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

3 Seeded & Minced Jalapeno Peppers

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put into a medium size bowl.  Chop the onion into fine pieces and add to the tomatoes.  Add the corn, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and salt.  Toss to mix.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or more before serving.  Makes 2 cups. 

 

Artichoke & White Bean Dip

July 24, 2012

Artichoke & White Bean Dip

Quick, easy and healthy!  Use my Artichoke & White Bean Dip as a dip or as a substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches.  The white beans and yogurt make a creamy dip without adding much fat. 

INGREDIENTS

12 Ounces Marinated Artichokes (Drained)

15 Ounces White Beans (Drained)

2/3 Cup Non-Fat Plain Yogurt

1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

4 Garlic Cloves

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Place the artichokes, garlic, white beans, kosher salt and pepper into a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add the yogurt, olive oil, lime juice and red pepper flakes and blend.  Scoop onto a serving plate or bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.  Use in place of mayonnaise or serve with pita chips or vegetable sticks.  Serves 4

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