Wednesday, 10 September 2014

150 Best Dips and Salsas: Plus Recipes for Chips, Flatbreads and More

150 Best Dips and Salsas
Plus Recipes for Chips, Flatbreads and More
by Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman
Paperback, 192 pages

I am a condiment junkie. I live for sauces, dips, spreads, pickles; all the accessories that make the meal (or appetizer, or snack...)

And I love that there is a book dedicated to dips and salsas. Clearly they were thinking of me when they wrote it. 

I also love that they give you interesting ideas and recipes to use as the vehicles for said dips and salsas. Arepas, blini, vegetable crisps... There are enough different kinds of recipes in this book that you can entertain anyone at any time of year. Vegan to meaty, summer to winter, worldly to local. New concept to old fashioned.

What more could you ask for?

From the publishers:

 Mouthwatering recipes to get any special occasion off to a memorable start.

Dips and salsas are the most sociable of recipes that are great catalysts for getting a party off to a good start because they encourage guests to congregate by scooping and munching.

Most of these recipes can be prepared ahead of time, and they will appeal to a wide variety of tastes and will satisfy many different dietary preferences, from the strict vegans to wide-ranging omnivores. The authors provide a wonderful rainbow of textures and flavors, from salty and sweet to spicy and sour.

All the recipes are made with fresh ingredients. Here is just a small sampling of the delightful dips:

    Canary Island Red Pepper Mojo, Greek-Style Eggplant Dip, Easy Tahini Dip, Guacamole, Pepper-Spiked Plantain Dip, Creamy Roquefort Dip, Egg and Olive Spread, Caramelized Red Onion Dip, Green Olive Tapenade, Walnut Hummus.

And a few of the sublime salsas:

    Roasted Corn Salsa, Pineapple Mango Salsa, Pepper Confetti Salsa, Navy Bean Salsa, Bloody Mary Salsa, Fresh Salsa Verde, Apple and Dried Cranberry Salsa, Classic Mango Salsa, Warm Banana Salsa, Jicama Salsa, Spicy Nectarine Salsa.

The authors also provide a wealth of serving ideas and compatible companions to their dips and salsas from dippers such Green Plantain Chips and rice crackers, to cucumber slices and crostini and more. 

Sumptuous Spinach and Artichoke Dip, page 42, vegetarian
Spinach and artichoke dip has become a classic. Serve with toast points, crostini, tostadas or tortilla chips, or sliced baguette.

•    Small (maximum 31⁄2 quart) slow cooker

1 cup    shredded mozzarella cheese    250 mL
8 oz    cream cheese, cubed    250 g
1⁄4 cup    freshly grated Parmesan cheese     60 mL
1    clove garlic, minced    1
1⁄4 tsp    freshly ground black pepper    1 mL
1    can (14 oz/398 mL) artichokes, drained     1
    and finely chopped
1 lb    fresh spinach, stems removed, or     500 g
    1 package (10 oz/300 g) spinach
    leaves, thawed if frozen (see Tips)

In slow cooker stoneware, combine cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, pepper, artichokes and spinach. Cover and cook on High for 2 hours, until hot and bubbly. Stir well and serve.

If you are using fresh spinach leaves in this recipe, take care to wash them thoroughly, as they can be quite gritty. To wash spinach: Fill a clean sink with lukewarm water. Remove the tough stems and submerge the tender leaves in the water, swishing to remove the grit. Rinse thoroughly in a colander under cold running water, checking carefully to ensure that no sand remains. If you are using frozen spinach in this recipe, thaw and squeeze the excess moisture out before adding to the slow cooker.
If you prefer a smoother dip, place spinach and artichokes in a food processor, in separate batches, and pulse until desired degree of fineness is achieved. Then combine with remaining ingredients in slow cooker stoneware.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Vegetarian Friendly

Courtesy of 150 Best Dips & Salsas by Judith Finlayson & Jordan Wagman 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission.

Tuna Tapenade, page 78, seafood
Known as Provençal caviar, tapenade is a flavorful mixture of capers, olives and anchovies, among other ingredients. Here, the addition of tuna lightens up the result. Serve this with carrot or celery sticks, sliced cucumber, crackers or Basic Crostini (page 176). It also makes a delicious filling for hard-cooked eggs.

           Food processor

1          can (6 oz/170 g) tuna, preferably        1
            Italian, packed in olive oil, drained
            (see Tip)
4          anchovy fillets 4
2 tbsp  drained capers 30 mL
1 tbsp  freshly squeezed lemon juice  15 mL
1          clove garlic, coarsely chopped            1
10        pitted black olives       10
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil    60 mL

In food processor fitted with metal blade, pulse tuna, anchovies, capers, lemon juice, garlic and olives until ingredients are combined but still chunky, about 10 times. Add olive oil and pulse until blended, about 5 times. Spoon into a bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 3 days.

Italian (or Spanish) tuna packed in olive oil is more moist and flavorful than the paler versions packed in water.

Makes about 3⁄4 cup (175 mL)

Courtesy of 150 Best Dips & Salsas by Judith Finlayson & Jordan Wagman 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission.

Champagne and Raspberry Dip, page 153, desserts
Each bite is like a delightful sip of a Kir Royale. Serve this dip next to a bowl of fresh strawberries for dipping and a glass of Champagne for an excellent brunch or dessert offering.

•    Blender

1⁄2 cup    Champagne or Prosecco    125 mL
    (see Tips)
1 tbsp    granulated sugar (see Tips)    15 mL
1⁄2 cup    golden or red raspberries    125 mL
1 tsp    apricot jam    5 mL
1    fresh basil leaf     1
1⁄2 cup    whipped cream    125 mL

1.    In a saucepan, bring Champagne and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and boil gently until reduced by three-quarters, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add raspberries, jam and basil leaf. Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender and purée until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
2.    Fold whipped cream, one-third at a time, into raspberry mixture and serve immediately.

If Champagne or Prosecco are not available or to your liking, feel free to substitute your favorite white wine.
If you are a vegetarian, use unbleached organic sugar to ensure it has not been filtered through bone char.

Vegetarian Friendly

Makes about 11⁄2 cups (375 mL)

Courtesy of 150 Best Dips & Salsas by Judith Finlayson & Jordan Wagman 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission.