This is a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe from Everyday Veg. This simple recipe produces a rich, creamy, spicy dip with a complex flavour. This could well be making a permanent addition to my dip repertoire.
The mushrooms should be chopped to a medium-fine texture at first. Not duxelles fine, but not coarse either. They should still retain some texture after cooking.
250g mushrooms, chopped
1/2 birds eye chilli, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tbsp curry powder or paste
1 tbsp peanut butter
200ml coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped coriander
Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry until the liquid has reduced down to very little.
Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a minute.
Stir in the curry powder, peanut butter and then add the coconut milk.
Stir to mix thoroughly.
Lower the heat and simmer slowly for 15-20 minutes until it has reduced to a soft but not soupy consistency.
Add the soy sauce and lime juice.
Serve with the coriander sprinkled over.
This recipe, a kind of half-way house between nibbles and a dip, comes a roundabout route from The Pink Adobe Cookbook via one of the legendary food threads on alt.tv.highlander. I have served it up at most of the fangirl weekends I’ve hosted. It was a firm favourite and was known as ‘that chickpea thing’.
When making it in bulk, I’ve cooked the chickpeas from dry, but it works just as well with tinned chickpeas as long as you heat them up a little so that they absorb more of the flavours as they sit in the marinade. I think the original had a lot more olive oil, so feel free to add more in if you want to. You need to let this sit for at least six hours before serving. Overnight is even better.
You need to serve it with some crisps that can scoop up the chickpeas. Tortilla chips are great but those mini popadoms are even better.
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 120g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked
70ml red wine
1 garlic clove, crushed
20ml olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
If using tinned chickpeas, put them in a suitable bowl and microwave them for about a minute just to warm them through.
Add all the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Cover and leave to stand at least six hours before serving.
To serve, spoon out the chickpeas with a bit of the marinade mixture to keep them moist.
Serve with mini popadoms or tortilla chips.
Serves 2 with other dips.
This is a little gem of a dip. It’s quickly made from store-cupboard ingredients, but it has a lovely savoury flavour. It’s great if you want something lighter than the usual creamy dips and if you want something just that bit different.
400g tin of artichoke hearts, drained
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
Put the ingredients in a blender, keeping some of the spring onions back as a garnish.
Blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve, sprinkled with the remaining spring onions
Serves 2, with other dips
There is an apocryphal story about Peter Mandelson, one of Labour’s original spin-doctors, who when going around his constituency of Hartlepool, called into a fish and chip shop. He ordered fish and chips and then pointed to a pot of green stuff on the counter – “And I’ll have some of that guacamole,” he said. The ‘guacamole’ was mushy peas.
That story is almost certainly untrue, but you can make guacamole with peas instead of avocados. It doesn’t taste the same (obviously) but it’s sweet and spicy, cheaper than using avocados, has fewer calories and you can rustle this up in minutes if you have unexpected guests round. It also does well as a side dish to chilli and rice or as a filling in quesadillas.
Mandelson Dip anyone?
200g frozen peas
1/2 red onion
1/2 red chilli
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp fresh coriander
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
sweet chilli sauce (optional)
Cook the frozen peas in boiling water until just tender (about 5 minutes).
Drain the peas and add to a food processor with the onion, chilli, garlic, coriander, lime juice and olive oil.
Blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
Put in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Add more oil if the mixture is too dry.
Serve drizzled with the sweet chilli sauce.
Serves 2 with other dips
I love hummus. I think that over the average year I must eat my bodyweight in it. I think I certainly do that by volume anyway. That puts me in line with a staggering 41% of Brits who have a pot of hummus in their fridge. So I’m a confirmed hummus addict.
But every so often I want to ring the changes a bit. And when I do, I often find myself making baba ganoush. It has the same flavourings as hummus (garlic, lemon and tahini) but is based around roasted aubergines rather than chickpeas. This makes it lighter and looser in texture with a slight smokey edge from the aubergines. It’s a definite dip rather than a spread. Most recipes I’ve seen use chopped parsley as a garnish. I prefer smoked paprika to enhance the smokey taste of the aubergines.
It’s a lovely dip to have with toasted pitta bread. It’s simple to make and I urge you to give it a try.
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp tahini paste
2-3 tbsp olive oil
smoked paprika for sprinkling
Roast the aubergines in an oven preheated to 200C for 30-40 minutes, until the skin is crackling and they feel soft to touch.
When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, split them open and scoop out the flesh into a food processor.
Add the lemon juice, garlic cloves, tahini paste and season with salt and pepper.
Blitz in the processor and add the olive oil. Depending on the water content of the aubergines you may need two or three tablespoon to achieve the right consistency.
When it is nicely smooth, spoon into a serving dish.
Serve with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and something tasty to scoop it up with!
As it’s coming up to Xmas. How about some recipes for dips to have with nibbles?
Guacamole was never on my list of favourite dips until I had some in Las Vegas. It was made in front of us at the bar and the fresh creamy taste was far better than the sloppy, greasy stuff I bought in tubs at the supermarket. This is a great dip to have in your repetoir. It’s simple to make but tastes very impressive and after trying the home made, you’ll never go back to the shop bought kind.
2 ripe avocados
1 red onion, chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
handful coriander, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
Put the avocados in a bowl and mash lightly with a fork.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients and season generously with salt.
Serve with crisps or tortilla chips