Jerk Pork Chilli- a low fat, high fibre nutritional powerhouse

 

Jerk pork chilli

 

How has your New Year’s diet been going so far? If you’re anything like me, a successful healthy-eating regimen requires variety and flavour. My jerk pork chilli is inexpensive to make, low in fat, and high in fibre and protein. Best of all, it combines zesty Caribbean flavours in a new and inspired way.

As with most of my recipes, this one is easily modified. Use any vegetables or bean varieties you may have on hand, substitute pork for chicken or beef, or leave the meat out all together for a great vegetarian alternative. This recipe makes a lot of chilli, which can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or the freezer for 3 months.

If you’ve never made your own jerk seasoning before, and tend to go for the stuff in a jar, you will be absolutely amazed at the difference in quality and flavour. The benefit of making your own jerk sauce is obviously that it can be adjusted to fit any level of spiciness you may desire. The fresh citrus adds a burst of brightness and freshens up otherwise heavy flavours.

This recipe can be used with either dry or canned kidney beans. Unlike most canned vegetables, which lose much of their vitamins and minerals during the canning process, beans retain their nutritional value well. As beans need to be cooked for a long time regardless, it makes little difference if they are canned or dry. If using dry beans in this chilli, make sure they soak overnight and prepare yourself for a much longer cooking process.  Canned beans need to be properly rinsed, and cook faster than their dried counterparts.

The addition of agave nectar in this recipe adds a hint of sweetness. Agave nectar is the sweet syrup from the Agave cactus, the base of tequila. It is a natural sweetener, and is commonly used in vegan cooking as it is an animal-free product.

Pork is one of the most misrepresented meats out there. It is much lower in fat than most would expect, and is a versatile meat that compliments a variety of flavours. Canadian pork is arguably the best pork produced in the world, due to stringent feeding and farming laws. Kidney beans are an excellent source of cholesterol-reducing fibre, and prevent blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them a great choice for people with diabetes and insulin resistance issues. They are also high in iron and manganese, making them a nutritional powerhouse.  The addition of vegetables only helps increase the level of antioxidants, vitamins and fat-busting fibre found in this dish.

 

 

Jerk Pork Chilli

You will need:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 pork tenderloin, cut into small pieces

10 cups beans, any variety; soaked overnight and rinsed or canned and rinsed

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

6 stalks celery, diced

1 red onion

2 bay leaves

3 litres chicken or vegetable stock, plus 2 litres water

*optional- 1 can crushed tomatoes (substitute for 1 litre water)

Jerk seasoning (see below)

6 tbsp agave nectar

Method:

  1. In a large pot, olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork bits with a pinch of salt, cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetables, and cook gently for another minute or two, sweating but not browning.
  3. Add 4 tbsp of the jerk sauce, ensuring everything in the pot is evenly coated.
  4. Add the beans, and immediately add the stock and water.
  5. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, removing scum that forms at the top.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook covered for 20 minutes.
  7. Uncover, add the agave nectar, and continue simmering for 40-50 minutes. Add water if the liquid levels become low.
  8. After 50 minutes, taste for seasoning and texture. Continue cooking until beans are soft and liquid has thickened. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.

 

Jerk Sauce

You will need:

12 stems thyme, leaves removed

1 ½ tbsp ground all spice

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp white wine

1-2 scotch bonnet peppers, finely minced (optional- will greatly increase the spice level!)

1 orange, zest and juice

1 tsp vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 1 month.
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Lightening up in the new year- Portobello mushroom caps with roasted peppers and tomatoes and a vegetable medley

Portobello cap, topped a medley of vegetables and freshly made sauce

Hey everybody! I’m back for another amazing year of culinary tips and tricks. I apologize for my absence over the holiday season, Christmas and New Years had me swamped but I’m back with a bevy of new recipes for all my hungry foodies!

Now that the fun and festivities of the end of the year are over, it’s time to start a new year with a new, lighter menu. Eating healthier options is far from boring; using wholesome ingredients like vegetables and grains, and lightening up on the use of butter, cream, and cheeses, will make your waistline and your dinner guests happy.

My stuffed Portobello mushroom caps are a completely vegetarian meal, but I promise you won’t miss the meat! Although I use cheese in my recipe, it is easily omitted for an even healthier dinner. The mushrooms are filled and roasted with a medley of vegetables, and topped with a zesty tomato sauce, roasted red peppers and tomatoes for a stack of healthy goodness. It is filling enough to be a meal on its own, or can be served alongside a chicken breast or a grain such as couscous.

This recipe is super simple, and the sauce can be made ahead of time. Likewise, the peppers and tomato slices can be roasted ahead of time as well. The assembly of the mushroom takes a matter of minutes once everything is ready to go, and roasts in a 400F oven for about 25 minutes.

This healthy meal is hearty enough to serve on a cold day, and packs a heap of vitamins and fibre to help fight off any winter cold and flu. Enjoy lightening up in 2012 with this fantastic recipe.

Portobello mushroom caps topped with a medley of vegetables and home-made tomato sauce

You will need:

2-4 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed and reserved

1 red or green pepper, cut in half with seeds and ribs removed, roasted

1 tomato, sliced into 2cm thick slices, roasted

2 stalks celery, diced finely

½ red onion, diced finely and divided into two halves

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 stems of thyme, leaves removed and chopped finely

2 tbsp red wine

2  cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tbsp bread crumbs

1 cup tomato sauce (recipe follows)

½ cup shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Roast peppers for 20 minutes until skin has blistered. Place peppers into a stainless steel bowl with plastic wrap sealed tightly on top, to remove the skin from the pepper.
  2. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast for 5-10 minutes. Set both the tomato and pepper aside.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 400F, for the mushrooms.
  4. To make the vegetable medley, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Add garlic, thyme, celery and onion, with a pinch of salt. Cook down for about a minute.
  5. Add the chopped mushroom stems, cherry tomatoes and red wine, and continue to cook for another two minutes, until the wine has completely absorbed into the vegetables. Add the vegetable stock. Reduce heat to medium low and cook the vegetables for another 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
  6. Place the mushroom caps onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and spoon the vegetable mixture evenly into each cap. Top with a small amount of sauce, the roasted pepper and tomato slices, and another bit of sauce. Top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and cheese, and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, broil for 5 minutes at 500F to brown the cheese, and remove from the oven immediately.
  7. Serve over a bed of rice or couscous, or on its own for a hearty vegetarian meal.

Quick and easy tomato sauce

You will need:

3 tomatoes, diced finely

¼ red onion, diced finely

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp red wine

¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock

3 stems thyme, leaves removed and chopped finely

1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely

Method:

  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and herbs and sauté for a minute until softened. Add the tomato and red wine, continue to cook for another five minutes at least.
  2. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Using an emersion blender, quickly pulse to thicken the sauce and fix the texture. Allow the sauce to remain somewhat chunky, as this will create a rustic feel.
  3. Allow sauce to continue reducing on low heat for another 10 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Mini crab cakes- perfect holiday hors d’oeuvres!

Mini crab cakes, with curry ginger aioli

During party season, we often find ourselves entertaining friends and family. That being said, we usually try to find quick, easy-to-make, attractive hors d’oeuvres to feed our hungry guests.
My mini crab cakes pack all the flavourful punch of a full size crab cake, with an elegant twist of coming in bite-size form. They are fairly easy to make (although they do take a while due to all the steps involved), and they freeze well so they can be made in batches ahead of time. If you choose to freeze your crab cakes, just follow all the steps in making them, but don’t fry them until you are ready to serve. Make sure they are well wrapped before freezing, and bring them to room temperature when you need them.
When shaping your mini crab cakes, you may find it difficult to find a mould small enough. This can be solved by using a shot glass- simply lay out a bit of your crab mixture, shape it with the opening of a shot glass, and then set the made crab cake aside and continue with the rest. This way, you can ensure a uniform batch of crab cakes.
Traditionally, crab cakes are fried all the way through until finished. Although frying is necessary in order to crisp up the bread coating and sear the cakes, I prefer to finish them in the oven. While this is optional, I find it results in a less greasy, nicer crab cake.
Drizzling a flavourful and pretty aioli over the cakes adds a finishing touch to an already great product, and can also be made ahead of time. An aioli is basically just a flavoured mayonnaise. Although I’ve provided the recipe for aioli made from scratch, you can save yourself some work by mixing together ¼ cup of Mayonnaise with 2 tbsp olive oil and whichever flavour additions you like for a quick and authentic tasting aioli. If you are ambitious, or have always wanted to try making your own mayonnaise, give it a try- it’s much easier than one would think! If you would like to make more than one flavour of aioli, start with the basic mayo recipe (egg yolks, white wine vinegar and olive oil; below), and halve it before adding the flavours. For a perfect drizzle, pour the aioli (or aiolis) into squeeze bottles, and squeeze over the cakes just before service.

Crab mixture, in the bowl with all the ingredients- ready for shaping

crab cakes shaped and ready for frying

Mini Crab cakes

You will need:
6 large shallots, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
½ jalapeno, finely diced
3 lbs lump crab meat, drained and picked over
2 cups heavy cream
1 egg
3 fresh bay leaves
½ bunch fresh thyme
1 birdseye chilli
2 star anise seeds
2 cups breadcrumbs
¼ cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil, for frying

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat cream, bay leaves, star anise, thyme, and the chilli. Allow flavours to infuse, about 5-10 minutes, then pour into a bowl and allow to fully cool.
3. In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add shallots and celery, cooking until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the diced red pepper and jalapeno, continue to cook for about another minute. Set aside to cool.
4. In a large bowl, mix the clean, dry crab meat with the red pepper, shallot and celery mixture, cream mixture, and egg. Mix well.
5. Add the flour, and a small handful of the bread crumbs. Combine crab mixture thoroughly. If the mixture does not hold together, add a bit more flour and another handful of bread crumbs.
6. Divide the crab mixture into small portions, and form into small rounds. Dip each side into remaining breadcrumbs.
7. In a large pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Heat the crab cakes, 4-5 at a time, 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place seared crab cakes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
8. Place baking sheet in oven at 350F, about 10 minutes or until crab cakes are heated through.

The finished product- mini crab cakes, drizzled with a curry ginger aioli

Curry Ginger Aioli

You will need:

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
½ tbsp curry powder, plus 1 tsp turmeric powder
6 egg yolks
½ cup olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Method:

1. Whisk egg yolks until light.
2. Add vinegar, and continue to whisk.
3. Pour olive oil in a slow stream into the egg yolk mixture, whisk until lighter in colour and thickened.
4. Stir in prepared ginger and seasonings.

Horseradish aioli

 You will need:


8 egg yolks
½ cup olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp prepared horseradish
Method:
1. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks until light, about 1 minute. Add white wine vinegar, and continue to whisk. While whisking continuously, pour olive oil in a very slow stream until mixture starts to come together and thicken. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Stir in horseradish.

Casual finger food ideas- Mini pizzas

Mini white pizzas with beschamel sauce, asiago and mozzarella

Mini pizzas are the perfect finger food for any casual gathering. Because of their small size, they are a much cuter and more delicate way to serve pizza, adding a level of sophistication while maintaining a laid-back feel. Most importantly, they are generally liked by children and adults, which make them perfect for a kid’s birthday party where adults will be present as well.
The nice thing about making your own pizza is that you are able to use whichever toppings you like. I usually like to have an assortment of pizzas, with either a red or a white sauce and different toppings. They can also be an excellent vegetarian option, so keep in mind that you may want to make some without meat.
Although tomato sauce, either home-made or from a jar, is the classic pizza topper, BBQ sauce or beschamel are also delicious. Try making an all-white pizza, with beschamel and a variety of cheeses such as mozzarella, asiago and chevre. Topped with chicken and herbs, they not only look beautiful but taste great too!
Keep in mind that, as these pizzas are fairly tiny, you will want to keep all your toppings small as well. Any meat or veg added to the pizza should be well chopped, to ensure that no big chunks take over the entire morsel. If using bacon, first render it until crispy and then crumble it. Likewise, when saucing the pizza, you really only need a teaspoon to distribute the sauce on the little crusts.
When putting the pizzas together, make sure your dough is properly docked. Docking is the act of poking holes into a raw crust, and is done to enable steam to escape while the crusts are baking, so that they don’t puff up. Once you have rolled out your dough and cut it to size, poke it evenly with a fork, making sure that the holes go all the way through.
These pizzas can be made well in advance, and stored in the freezer until ready to use. Shortly before serving, just pop them into a hot oven at 475F and cook for about 10 minutes.

Mini pizzas, before they hit the oven

Basic pizza dough

You will need:
2 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast
1 ½ cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp sugar

Method:
1. Stir the yeast into the flour.
2. Stir the remaining ingredients into the flour mixture. Knead with a dough hook on a standing mixer, or by hand, for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and slightly stretchy.
3. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to sit in a warm place to rise for about half an hour.
4. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into four portions. The dough can be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out thinly.
6. If making mini pizzas, use a round cookie cutter to cut evenly sized dough rounds.
7. Poke the dough with a fork, to ensure crust does not puff up in the oven.

Mini white pizzas with chicken and mushrooms

Mini white pizzas

You will need:
1-2 cups beschamel sauce (recipe below)
4 cups mozzarella cheese
2 cups asiago cheese
40 mini pizza crusts, docked
*options: add pieces of chicken, mushroom, or a small amount of goat cheese, and garnish with a small leaf of flat parsley.

Method:
1. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a small amount of beschamel and place in the center of each pizza crust. Smooth it over the entire surface.
2. Place a small amount of mozzarella and asiago on top of the sauced pizza dough, and add any other toppings you may be using. Try to limit your topping amounts, as the space on the tiny crusts is limited.
3. Bake at 475F for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Beschamel:
You will need:
1 cup Half and Half
¼ onion
4 stems of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour

Method:
1. In a medium sized saucepan with a heavy bottom, heat Half and Half with the onion and herbs over medium heat. Once the milk has been warmed, immediately remove from heat and remove the onion and herbs with a slotted spoon.
2. In another saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat the butter until melted, and whisk in the flour to make a blonde roux. This should only take a few minutes.
3. Whisk the flavoured milk into the roux, making sure there are no lumps. Cook on low until thickened.

Mini pizzas with red sauce, bacon and mushroom

You will need:
40 mini pizza crusts
1 cup pizza sauce
4 cups mozzarella cheese
½ cup crumbled bacon
4 whole mushrooms, sliced thinly

Method:
1. Using a teaspoon, place a small amount of sauce in the middle of each pizza, and smooth over the entire surface.
2. Cover with cheese, 1 slice of mushroom, and a small amount of bacon.
3. Bake at 475F for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

 

Banana Bread French Toast: reinvented comfort food for breakfast, brunch, or any time!

Banana bread french toast, with cinnamon and maple syrup

Comfort foods are often the best thing to serve, no matter
how simple or how elegant your meal may be. They bring memories of childhood,
inspire feelings of warmth and happiness, and are great start to a new and
inspired creation.

My banana bread French toast is the perfect example of a
comfort food’s reinvention. Banana bread is something we know from childhood;
its warmth and flavour are locked in our gastronomic memories.

The best part of this recipe is it is actually two-fold.
This banana bread is moist and flavourful, and excellent on its own or with a
bit of butter. But, when sliced and dipped in an egg mixture, fried gently and
topped with cinnamon and maple syrup, it is the perfect addition to any
breakfast or brunch. Serve it with eggs, or on its own.

Although banana bread lasts up to a week, it is best eaten
fresh. So, after a few days, use the leftovers to make a delicious
brunch-worthy French toast. This is a simple recipe, but I guarantee it will be
a huge hit in your household.

Banana bread

You will need:

6 bananas

1 cup butter

¾  cup brown sugar

2 whole eggs

2 tsp baking soda

2 cups All Purpose Flour

½ cup walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Puree bananas. Set aside.
  3. Sift baking soda and flour into a bowl.
  4. Beat butter and sugar until light in colour,
    scraping down sides of the bowl.
  5. Add eggs, incorporating well into butter and
    sugar mixture.
  6. Stir half the flour into the butter mixture.
  7. Add banana, stirring well, and then add the
    walnuts.
  8. Add the remaining flour. Stir just until
    incorporated.
  9. Lightly grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans, and line
    with parchment (this makes removal from the pan easier)
  10. Place a few walnuts evenly on top of loaf for
    presentation.
  11. Bake for
    60-75 minutes, or until done. To check doneness, insert knife into loaf. If
    knife comes out clean, the banana bread is done.
  12. Allow to cool before removing from pans.

Banana Bread French Toast

You will need:

1 loaf banana bread, sliced into even slices and crusts
removed

1 egg, beaten

3 tbsp milk

½ tbsp butter

Method:

  1. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add butter.
  2. Beat egg with milk in a bowl.
  3. Dip slices of bread, one at a time, in the egg
    mixture, shaking off excess egg. Set each slice aside until all have been
    coated in egg.
  4. Place bread down in pan, a few slices at a time
    (making sure not to overcrowd the pan), and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side,
    until golden brown.
  5. Sprinkle some cinnamon on a plate, followed by a
    few stacks of French toast. Top with maple syrup.

Healthy, hearty butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup, garnished with goat cheese coulis

When the weather gets colder, home-made soups are a great
way to stay warm. Served on its own, or as a starter before a meal, soup is
simple and delicious.

As the fall season is now in full force, butternut squash
has made its triumphant return to markets everywhere. This winter fruit, which
is considered a type of pumpkin, is full of fibre, vitamins A, E and C, potassium
and magnesium. It is also a source of protein.

Butternut squash can be served in a variety of ways, but one
of my favourite uses for it is in soup. It is simple, elegant, and filling
enough to be served on its own. I prefer to roast my squash ahead of time, as
it allows the flavours to develop and makes the soup easier to work with.
Simply cut the squash in half length-wise, and remove the seeds. After it has
been roasted in a hot oven for about 45 minutes, the meat is easily removed
from the skin. To add flavour to this pureed soup, I add carrots, celery and
onion along with fresh thyme.

To make this squash, begin by sweating the vegetables and
thyme in a large pot. Add the roasted squash, and some chicken stock, and bring
to a boil. After these steps, all that’s left to do is puree the soup with
either an emersion blender or in a food processor. The nice thing about the emersion
blender is that this can be done right in the pot; but, if you only have a food
processor to use, remember that hot liquid expands so it will need to be
blended in batches and the pureed soup will need to be returned to a new pot on
the stove. Simply simmer the pureed soup for a few minutes to reduce and
thicken, and develop its flavours further. At this point, I like to finish my
soup with spices. Cinnamon works really well in this soup, and adds a depth of
flavour. Cumin is another spice that works well with the flavour of the squash.

To garnish my soup, I made a creamy goat cheese coulis. This
versatile and elegant coulis has a similar consistency to yogurt, and has a
mild goat cheese flavour. It is a great garnish for soup, but also drizzled on
top of salad, or as a finisher on top of bruschetta. Simply spoon a small drop
into the center of the soup bowl to add colour and creaminess.

Butternut squash soup

You will need:

1 butternut squash, cut in half with seeds removed

1 cup water

½ cup maple syrup

1 tbsp butter

4 cups chicken stock

2 stalks celery, chopped finely

1 large carrot, or 2 small carrots, chopped finely

¼ onion, diced finely

The leaves of 4 stems of fresh thyme, chopped finely

1 tsp cinnamon, freshly grated

1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a roasting pan that will comfortably hold
    both halves of the squash, place squash skin-side down with a bit of water in
    the bottom of the pan.
  3. Roast squash for 30 minutes. At this point, add
    butter and maple syrup to the cavities of the halved squash, and return to the
    oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. Squash should be soft and tender when done.
  4. Allow squash to cool, and then remove from skin.
  5. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over
    medium-high heat. Sautee chopped vegetables and thyme with a bit of salt, until
    softened. Add squash and chicken stock. Mix well, and bring to a boil.
  6. Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce heat
    to low immediately. Puree until smooth. Add cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. Allow to continue to cook for at least 5 to 10
    minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  8. Pour into bowls and garnish with goatcheese coulis.

Goatcheese coulis

You will need:

½ cup goatcheese, softened at room temperature

½  cup Half and Half

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine both ingredients.
  2. Whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Use as a garnish for soups, salads, or
    open-faced sandwiches.

*Note: this coulis can be made in a large
batch, and kept in a container for weeks.  Simply whisk it before using.

Perfect dips for any occasion

Smooth hummus, garnished with parsley and olives

The nice thing about dips is their versatility. They go well
with all kinds of breads and crackers, and are great for serving to groups. Whether
it’s a casual get-together, or a more formal party, dips are an elegant and
easy snack to provide to your guests.

Hummus has gained a lot of popularity in the past decade,
and with good reason. It is full of flavour, and the protein-rich chickpeas
make it an excellent vegetarian option. The smooth Tahini,  made from sesame seeds, adds a richness to
the flavour and texture, and olive oil and lemon juice loosen the mix to a
perfectly dippable state. Colour and spice can be added easily, with the
addition of hot peppers. I recommend chopped red chilis, or chopped jalapenos.
The amount of garlic added can be adjusted to taste, as well. This middle-eastern
snack is a staple in many countries, and is generally served with pita bread.
However, it goes very well with many different kinds of breads, so feel free to
side it with an assortment of crackers and crusty breads along with pitas. I
prefer quartering pitas, and toasting them off to make crunchy pita chips.

Tapenade, made with an assortment of olives

Tapenade is another simple, elegant bread topper. This Italian
dip is made traditionally with olives, capers and anchovies. A bit of fresh
lemon juice adds brightness to the flavour. Although it can be made with only
one type of olive, I prefer using several varieties to add colour and texture. The
addition of sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers adds a great twist to this
traditional recipe, so feel free to get creative. Tapenade is not just for
serving with bread. This recipe goes very well as a topper for chicken or white
fish, such as halibut.

An obvious benefit of making either of these dips is the
ability to increase or reduce the recipe as needed. They store well in the
fridge, and can be made in large batches and kept for up to a week. A nice tray
with some dip, cheese and bread is a great snack any time, and is easy enough
to make for yourself on a quiet weeknight.

 

Hummus

You will need:

2 cloves garlic

2 cans chickpeas, drained

4 tbsp tahini

Juice of half a lemon

½ cup olive oil

For garnish:

½ cup chopped parsley

1 tbsp olive oil

1-4 olives, as desired

Method:

  1. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, lemon
    juice, garlic and half of the olive oil. Pulse until smooth.
  2. Add the tahini, and remaining olive oil in a
    slow, steady stream. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
  3. Spoon mixture into a serving bowl, and garnish
    with a drizzle of olive oil, parsley and olives.

 

Tapenade

You will need:

½ lb mixed olives, pits removed

1-2 anchovy fillets

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 large, fresh basil leaves, sliced.

2 tbsp capers

Juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

Parsley for garnish

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse lightly for about a minute, until a coarse
    paste is formed.
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl, and garnish with
    chopped parsley.