As a companion piece to my soon to be award winning column about homemade potato chips, I thought it would be cool to run the buffet table so to speak and follow up with an expose about homemade dips.
As you know, chips and dips are an integral part of entertaining. They are a few of the mainstays when presenting a hors d’oeuvres spread for your guests.
Hors d’oeuvres were invented in the late nineteenth century by a Hungarian dishwasher, Anton Hors and his partner, noted French pastry chef Jacques D’oeuvres while collaborating at the famous Chez Wax bistro in Nicosia, France.
Good menu planning always involves an inviting an inviting hors d’oeuvres table, and it may consist of dips, spreads, cured olive boats, nuts, canapés, even hunks of celery stuffed with Cheeze Wiz. The important thing is good balance. I have even been known in the past to offer up pickled beets and anchovy eggs.
But dips are probably the center of attention. You dip chips, crackers or toast points. Just don’t double dip.
I consider myself an expert in the culinary world of dips because every time I am invited to a party I am asked to bring the dip. Sometimes two or three of them.
My mainstays that are revered in the neighborhood are the following;
Classic Whoop-Ass Black Bean Dip
1 Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
2 Tbs. Fresh Lime Juice
½ Fresh Habanero Pepper, Minced
1 Clove Garlic, Smashed
¼ Cup Pico de Gallo
Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Combine beans, juice, pepper and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add pico de gallo and stir in.
Sprinkle with cilantro.
Spinach dip is usually present, sometimes served in a bread bowl, but for a smoother, creamier approach use yogurt instead of sour cream in your favorite recipe.
Finally, mushrooms are not just fungi anymore. Done up correctly, these can be the hit of the party. This recipe is actually a mushroom dip served in its own pastry shell. No need for dipping! I love shortcuts.
2 Oz. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1 Cup Chardonnay
2 Scallions, Minced
1 Clove Garlic, Smashed and Minced
1 Cup Portobello Mushrooms, Chopped
Fresh Parsley, Chopped
¼ Cup Goat Cheese, Crumbled
Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Phyllo Dough Tart Shells
Soak the dried mushrooms in wine for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid.
Sauté scallions and garlic for 1 min in olive oil. Add Porcini and Portobello mushrooms and cook until wilted. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved wine and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in crumbled cheese and mix well. Season and spoon mixture in to phyllo shells. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown and sprinkle with parsley.
Happy entertaining everybody.