Friday, May 22, 2015

Condiment Series | Caribbean Coconut Dip | Dip

Day 17

The Caribbean Coconut Dip is an inspiration from the famous Pina Colada, which happens to be one of my favourite cocktails ! A lovely sweet summer flavour, I had actually never imagined it as a dip !!


This is again a simple dip with the native produce of the caribbean - Pineapple and Coconut.
 Incidentally Pina Colada is the national drink of Puerto Rico and legend has many a tale to tell. It is said that in the early 19th century a pirate named Roberto Cofresi, to boost the morale of his crew offered them a drink which contained coconut, pineapple and white rum !! With his death, the pina colada was lost, until later in 1954, Ricardo Gracia, a Caribe Hilton employee claimed to have invented it.



Anyway coming back to this dip, it has a tangy sweetness and can be put together very quickly. Serve with a savoury dish and the sweetness to the dip comes as a refreshing surprise. (One generally doesn't expect a sweet dip).

My father and KJ could lap it up in case we ran out of desserts at home :-D


Caribbean Coconut Dip



Ingredients

1 cup of Hung curd

1/3 cup of Dessicated Coconut

2 Slices of Canned Pineapple

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsps of the canned pineapple syrup


For garnish

1 tbsp Walnuts coarsely chopped

1 slice of canned pineapple finely chopped



Directions

In a blender, blend together the hung curd, dessicated coconut and the pineapple. 

Add the syrup and the salt.


Transfer in the serving dish. 

Garnish with walnuts and chopped pineapple.

Serving suggestions: With Chicken Nuggets, Cutlets, Kebabs.



Happy Dipping !!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Condiment Series | Sundried Tomato Pesto | Dip

Day 16


Mostly when we hear of Pesto we only think of the traditional basil pesto, but remember Pesto is anything that is pounded !! 
If you like sundried tomatoes you'll love this pesto. The flavours are so rich and so intense.

Basil and Tomato is another marriage made in heaven ! The earthy sweetness of basil and the tangy tomatoes is pure bliss and as Italian as it can get :-) 

I love sun dried tomatoes and when in a hurry or when the sun is not strong enough, I oven dry them. You do get readymade sun dried tomatoes, but here in India they are super expensive compared to making your own. And then of course, nothing beats the pleasure of making from scratch your own batch of these flavourful chewy sun dried tomatoes.

I will share the recipe of sundried tomatoes in my next series (very soon...)

For now it is the sun dried tomato pesto. 
Again use this as a dip / relish for your chips or use it in pasta or spread it on a toast...you have many options.




Sundried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients

10 whole sundried tomatoes or a cup full
4 cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup blanched Almonds
a handful of fresh Basil
2 tsps Sugar
1 small dry red chilli 
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste



Directions

Combine everything in the food processor and blitz ! I like to keep this pesto a little coarse. You can make it more pasty if you like.  If it's a little too tangy for you, you can increase the sugar.

Transfer in a bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Serve as you like !!




Note:

If you have sundried tomatoes soaked in oil, the same oil can be used to make the pesto. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Condiment Series | Thousand Island Dip | Dip

Day 15



Thousand Island Dip is one I've been seeing my mother buy for salads ever since I was a little kid. Actually not just her, I've bought it so many times for an indulgent salad dressing or a chip dip and today I wonder why ? Why was it always store bought. It is just so so simple to make and an exact replica of the store bought ones. Though of course the recipe can differ from brand to brand.....person to person.



This recipe goes amazingly well with Fries /Potato Wedges / Chips / Onion Rings etc.
I served these with my homemade baked potato and sweet potato wedges. Other serving suggestions could be mixing it with chicken or boiled eggs or even vegetables and it makes a smooth sandwich spread. It's quick and fuss free.

So remember the homemade mayo we made the other day, take that a step forward by converting some of it into the infamous Thousand Island Dip !!



Thousand Island Dip

Ingredients

1/2 cup Mayonnaise (get the recipe here)
2 tbsp Tomato Ketchup (I used the hot'n'sweet maggie sauce)
2 tbsp Sweet Pickle Relish* (get the recipe here)
2 tsp Finely Diced Onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp white Vinegar
a pinch of salt
2-3 dashes of Tabasco. (optional)

Direction

1. Add all the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. whisk it well till everything is well blended. Refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavours to mature.

2. Serve.

Note:
* Now again, remember the relish we made on day 3. Take that and chop it very finely. It is the exact same thing

PS - Did I mention Burgers ? Homemade Burgers? Go have them now with this dip !! 



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Condiment Series | Egyptian Beetroot Dip | Dip

Day 14



Egyptian Beetroot Dip  - why is this called so, even I don't know !! 

The recipe shows influences from the middle east and we know for a fact, that the flavours in the cuisines from Egypt and the Middle East are overlapping. This is probably egyptian and not lebanese, because of the use of spices. Egyptians are known to use spices heavily in their food. Usually one finds variants of the similar lebanese dishes in Egypt but with additions of more fragrances and aromas in the form of spices.




This dip is my 'show-off' dip' :D. It is a perfect party enhancer. Make this, serve with crackers or soup -sticks along with the drinks and your party begins....What I like about such dips is that they are delicious, light, guilt free and look absolutely exotic !! Look at that colour.... 




Egyptian Beetroot Dip

Ingredients

2 large Beetroots
4 cloves of Garlic
1/3 cup of plain yoghurt
1 heaped tsp of Cumin seeds
1 tsp of Coriander seeds
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Toasted Pistachios, roughly chopped for garnish


Direction

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C. Wrap the beetroots in foil and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
2. When the last 10 minutes are left throw in the garlic and let it roast as well. Let the beetroot cool down, then peel the skin off.

3. While the beetroot is roasting, take a small frying pan and dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds, till aroma rises. Remove from the flame and grind to a fine powder.

4. Roughly chop the beetroots, put in the food processor and add all the other ingredients besides the olive oil and pistachios. 

5. Blitz in the processor till well blended and a smooth paste is formed. Transfer in the serving dish, dribble some olive oil and pistachios for garnish.

6. Serve with crackers or any other finger food of your choice.




Monday, May 18, 2015

Condiment Series | Ranch Dip | Dip

Day 13



Ranch Dip, inspired by the infamous Ranch Salad Dressing !!
Typically Ranch dip is a mix of buttermilk with mayonnaise and a herb mix. I altered this recipe a bit. I reduced the quantity of mayonnaise and added hung curd and buttermilk !! It tastes awesome and is a healthier version of the classic !!


Like I said yesterday Mayonnaise is the mother dip.... add different things and get new dips ;-) !!

Here goes the recipe:

The Ranch Dip

Ingredients

For the Ranch Mix


2 tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp salt

For The Dip

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Hung curd
1/3 cup Buttermilk


Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together until blended. 

If you want a more finely-ground seasoning mix, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency (I did this).

Whisk together the mayonnaise, hung curd and buttermilk. Add salt and pepper and now 1 tbsp of the ranch herb mix. Whisk till well blended together.

Let it chill in the refrigerator for about an hour and serve. 
You can store the remaining herb mix in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Happy Dipping !!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Condiment Series | Homemade Mayonnaise | Dip

Day 12



It is called the mother of all dips. Yes today I share the recipe of homemade Mayonnaise !
Homemade mayo is the best thing that can happen to anyone who loves mayonnaise. Since this is homemade with natural ingredients and preservative-free, keep in mind that the shelf life may not be as long as the store bought mayonnaise which is surely full of stabilizers and preservatives.

This should not worry you though, because it is the simplest thing to make. It takes precisely seven minutes to make this much quantity. 
You need to be careful while adding the oil as the slower you pour it better it emulsifies. To see mayo being made is almost magical !!

Here I've made this recipe with my regular cooking oil, you could however use olive oil if you like and also use mustard oil. If using mustard oil, remember to omit the mustard that is added separately in this recipe.

Mayonnaise can be eaten as it is .....use it with burgers, fries, soup sticks or add different herbs and other ingredients to change its flavour. No wonder it is called the mother of all dips as it beautifully adapts to various different flavours and tastes great on its own too.

Also if you want to omit mustard altogether you can do that as well. That will give you a pure white mayo unlike this creamy looking dip.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Ingredients


2 egg yolks (free range and very fresh eggs)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Frenchie's Mustard)
1 tsp salt
3 cloves of garlic crushed (optional. I added)
a pinch or 2 of sugar
black pepper 

500ml / 2 cups of oil (it can be olive oil, or your regular cooking oil)


Directions

1. In the food processor briefly blend the eggs, vinegar, lemon, garlic, sugar and mustard.
2. With the processor still running, slowly add the oil in a slow thin stream until it has all emulsified.
3. Check the taste and add the salt and pepper.

Store in a jar and refrigerate. 

Notes:
- This is a basic mayonnaise recipe. You can add different herbs and spices and change the flavour as you like.
- Store in refrigerator only. 
- You could replace red wine vinegar with regular white vinegar as well.




Saturday, May 16, 2015

Condiment Series | The Italian Pesto | Dip\Sauce

Day 11


Pesto  - The Fragrant Italian Sauce !! 

Pesto is one of the earliest sauces / dips I started making. It is my absolute personal favourite and my 'go to' sauce everytime I'm in a fix, so when in doubt, use pesto !!
The woody fragrance of pine nuts blending with the sweetness of basil is a marriage made in heaven.


It is a light fresh sauce perfect for summer that can not only be used in pastas, but also salads. It also makes for an interesting dip / topping.
Bless the Italian Nonnas to have invented this !!




'Pesto' is a generic term used for anything that is made by pounding and originally was made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan, though today there are various versions of pesto, made with many different ingredients.



While traditionally Pesto does contain Parmesan, I do not add it in my version of the recipe. Since I use so much of Pesto, I always try to do away with cheese wherever I can, though I'd suggest you should add to the recipe, especially if you are making this for the first time.

Pesto




Ingredients

100g Basil leaves 

1/2 cup Pine nuts

5 cloves of garlic.


1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional. add it if you are making it for the first time.)



4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste





Directions

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients besides the olive oil. Process on low till all ingredients blend in well. 

2. Increase the processor speed to high and dribble oil in a thin stream. 

3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor jar and transfer the pesto in a jar. Use immediately or refrigerate.



felice martellante !