Dips. Dips. Dips.

Food, Photography, Recipes

As promised a recipe or three that I’ve had stored in my mind (and notes on my phone) for a while now. I really should get a recipe book to write down all these things. There’s something about paper and handwriting I like, seeing as all is digital these days. How old do I sound, like my mum. Sorry mum. But it’s true, nothing beats a piece of paper and a pen.

These recipes are perfect for the summer days which we all long for. Great accompaniments to our love of BBQ’s. A pineapple Salsa – inspired by a dish from my favourite Thai restaurant, an aubergine dip – made by my mother, and beetroot hummus – which to tell you the truth was a bit of an experiment. They are quick, require little skill, equipments and ingredients but will jazz up your barbecues a treat.

Pineapple Salsa

This salsa reminds me of one of my favourite dishes from a local thai restaurant. It is a pineapple, chicken and prawn salad served in the pineapple. This was my take on this, so would be perfect with chicken, or prawns or served over a simple salad.

Ingredients

1/2 Ripe & Juicy Pineapple

1 Red Chilli

Small Handful of Mint Leaves

Zest and Juice of 1 Lime

1tbsp caster sugar (or to taste)

Handful of Cashew Nuts, chopped and toasted

Method

1. Simple peel, and chop the pineapple into small chunks. Finely chop the mint leaves. Finely dice the chilli.

2. Add the pineapple, mint, lime and cashew nuts into a bowl. Add chilli to taste depending on how hot you like it and add the sugar to taste. The sugar removes the sharpness. It helps to leave the salsa to marinate for around half an hour or more to let the flavours infuse.

3. Place in your serving dish, and sprinkle with more nuts, chilli and mint.

Beetroot Hummus

This was a bit of an experiment to tell the truth, I love beetroot, and love hummus but was bored of the plain hummus I tend to have quite often. This dip has quite an earthy taste, one which not everyone may like. It is perfect with fish such as mackerel, or simply served with some seedy crisp breads.

Ingredients

380g Tin/Carton of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2tbsp Lemon Juice

1tbsp Horseradish sauce

2 Large beetroots cooked and peeled and roughly chopped

Method

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as you like it. Season to taste, and add more lemon/horseradish dependent on how you like it! Simple!

Aubergine Dip

This was something my mum whipped up with a left over aubergine knocking about in the fridge. Super tasty and perfect served with warm flatbreads as a little appetiser.

Ingredients

1 Aubergine

Tbsp cream cheese or total greek yoghurt

Juice and Zest of a small Lemon

Method

1. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, and drizzle with a little oil, roast in the oven at 200c for about 40 minutes until soft. Turn off the oven and leave to cool.

2. Scoop out the flesh and blend in a processor with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve with some warm flatbreads, and some other chargrilled vegetables.

Coming soon… another summer inspired post!

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Fireworks Night

Baking, Food, Recipes

On the 8th November, we had our local firework display. I hadn’t been to this in a few years as I was always at university, but luckily I was home this weekend. So I asked mum if we could do what we used to always do, and have a dinner party after the display with close friends. On the Friday, I got up and made homemade chilli con carne, two huge pots of it. As always we do too much. I also made some chocolate pastry for a tart I wanted to make which was a recipe from Tom Kerridge’s series ‘Best Ever Dishes’. Click here to view and make the recipe yourself. I used the pastry recipe, and the chocolate filling recipe, but changed up the decoration, as I wanted to keep it to an autumnal theme bearing in mind the occasion. This, for me is the great thing about cooking. You can take a recipe and use it as a base and experiment and change up the decoration to give it your own personal creative flare, make it your own.

Using the spare egg whites, left over from the pastry I decided to make some meringue mushrooms. I had an idea influenced by the Meringue Girls, and also Rachel Khoo’s recipe to make a ‘forest floor’. So I piped out mushrooms and dusted the tops with cocoa powder. I then assembled the bases and tops using a bit of left over ganache, once they were baked. I assembled the tart the next day.

The Saturday afternoon after our trip to London, we prepared some mini roast potatoes with rosemary, homemade guacamole, homemade salsa, and served all this with a salad, green beans, rice and sour cream with some fresh bread from Bread Ahead that we bought at the market earlier in the day. I then assembled my tart, by pouring the ganache in the case, adding the mushrooms, and added some crushed up pastry (trimmings) and some crushed amaretti biscuits to look like soil, and added some tiny mint leaves. Because of the amaretto liquor, this would go great as a dessert or a slice with coffee. It is rich and indulgent. Mum also made her signature lemon meringue pie, which always goes down a treat. After a few bottles of wine, some lovely food and lots of conversation with dear friends, they left and we headed to bed after clearing up.

Below is my tart.

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x