December 6th, 2013

Short On Time With A Party Looming? Whip Up Some Quick Dips

Photo credit jules:stonesoup via Flickr

Amuse-bouche! Well, that sounds fun, right? What cook wouldn’t like to whip up a few bite-sized hors d’œuvre tidbits that amuse the mouth?

Um, me. You see, while I love to eat finger foods, as a general rule, I do not make them. Ravioli? No. Dumplings? Nope. Tamales, pierogi, stuffed grape leaves? No, no, no.

Now, I realize some people live for this kind of thing (my fellow Eaters Amy and Sarah are wonderful amuse-bouche makers, as you’ll see later this month). And a plate full of colorful canapés can be so very pretty.

But the fact is, while I love to cook, I’m also lazy. Wee, individual servings of anything means more work for the chef. All that rolling, stacking, square-cutting and tiny-pastry-shell stuffing is just too time-consuming in my book.

So when we were planning for December at WTE and this whole amuse-bouche theme came up, I was a little lukewarm. “But I don’t do individual food items,” I insisted. That’s when Amy pointed out that this theme doesn’t necessarily require the cutting of squares or stuffing of pastry shells. “You can make a dip!” she suggested.

Photo credit: Mi+Yu via Flickr

Now, that’s my kind of hors d’oeurve. You make one big batch all at once, then need do nothing more than dollop it onto crackers or into endive cups. Efficiency is the name of the game for we lazy cooks!

With that in mind, the two tasty dips below — both vegan and dairy-free — will be making an appearance at an upcoming holiday party.

But here’s the crazy thing, fellow Eaters: This whole assignment, which I resisted so strongly, has had a strange effect on me. I’ve decided to take that little holiday party to the next level.

I actually volunteered to make several of those teeny finger foods I have spent years avoiding. It must be Amy and Sarah’s evil — er, I mean, enthusiastic — influence.

So yes, I’ll be going April-style with my one-batch dips this weekend — but I’ll also be cutting squares, rolling pinwheels and stuffing pastry shells. Here’s hoping it’s all amusing enough that work a few more hors d’oeuvre recipes into my regular party repertoire!

 Romesco (Roasted Red Pepper) Dip

Photo credit jules:stonesoup via Flickr

Adapted from Aida Mollenkamp’s pretty food blog.

Makes about 2 cups.

1 15-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers
About 1 cup nuts (I used roasted pecans)
4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar (she uses red, I used sherry)
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves (you can use raw, I used roasted)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Serve with crackers, crostini or vegetables, or spooned into endive cups. Easy!!!

White Bean Dip

Adapted from Go Gingham. I also used her super-easy method for roasting the garlic cloves.

Makes about 2 cups.

3 cloves roasted garlic
Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
A few shakes of Tabasco or similar sauce, and/or Worcestershire sauce

Pulse garlic, thyme and lemon juice in blender or food processor. Add everything else and blend. Adjust salt, pepper and other flavorings to taste. Serve with veggies or crackers.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Dear Diary
4 comments on “Short On Time With A Party Looming? Whip Up Some Quick Dips
  1. Amanda says:

    Both dips sound amazing, April! And I’m with you… not all that interested in making a boatload of tiny appetizers. I generally prefer making dips, too.

  2. April says:

    Thanks, Amanda! I’m easing myself into the “real” appetizers this weekend with some items made from frozen puff pastry — we’ll see how it goes! If it ends up taking too long I’ll probably be back to the dips next time around 🙂

  3. julia says:

    Aw! I’m excited to try it all! xoxo

  4. Molly says:

    I made the Romesco dip for a party last night. I used cashews. It was delicious!