Mouthwatering recipes to get any special occasion off to a memorable start.
Dips and salsas are the most sociable of recipes that are great catalysts for getting a party off to a good start because they encourage guests to congregate by scooping and munching.
Most of these recipes can be prepared ahead of time, and they will appeal to a wide variety of tastes and will satisfy many different dietary preferences, from the strict vegans to wide-ranging omnivores. The authors provide a wonderful rainbow of textures and flavors, from salty and sweet to spicy and sour.
All the recipes are made with fresh ingredients. Here is just a small sampling of the delightful dips: Canary Island Red Pepper Mojo, Greek-Style Eggplant Dip, Easy Tahini Dip, Guacamole, Pepper-Spiked Plantain Dip, Creamy Roquefort Dip, Egg and Olive Spread, Caramelized Red Onion Dip, Green Olive Tapenade, Walnut Hummus.
And a few of the sublime salsas: Roasted Corn Salsa, Pineapple Mango Salsa, Pepper Confetti Salsa, Navy Bean Salsa, Bloody Mary Salsa, Fresh Salsa Verde, Apple and Dried Cranberry Salsa, Classic Mango Salsa, Warm Banana Salsa, Jicama Salsa, Spicy Nectarine Salsa. (-synopsis)
This is the perfect book is you have a lot of company or parties at your house because there are tons of great dip and salsa recipes. The book is divided into several sections including Vegetable Dips and Spreads, Dairy Dips and Spreads, Fish, Seafood, and Meat Dips, Savory Salsas, Fruit Salsas, Bean Dips, Desserts, and Chips, Crostini, and Flatbread. I think it was a great idea to include recipes for the dippers as well as the actual dips.
At the end of each section there are several pages of color photos showcasing the recipes from the previous sections. The photos are mouthwatering although I wish there were more of them. What I really like about this book is that many of the recipes are easy to make with ingredients found in most houses.
There were plenty of recipes I couldn’t wait to try. The savory recipes I’m most excited about are Roasted Red Pepper Tzatziki, Dill Cucumber Dip, Dill Spiked Crab Scoop, Tomato Balsamic Jam, and Hot and Smoky Bean Dip. The sweet recipes I’m looking forward to trying are Tropical Fruit Salsa, Apple Salsa, Blueberry and Yogurt Dip, and Chocolate Mousse Spread.
The first salsa I made was the roasted corn salsa. Not only did it taste fresh and delicious, it’s so bright and colorful. The second recipe I tried was the Black Bean and Salsa Dip. This was a great dip for tortilla chips, crackers, or even vegetables. It’s made in the crock-pot with black beans, cream cheese, salsa, peppers, and other deliciousness. This is one you are going to want to try!
Black Bean and Salsa Dip, page 145, beans/salsas
This tasty Cuban-inspired dip can be made from ingredients you’re likely to have on hand. Serve with tortilla chips, tostadas, crisp crackers or crudités.
- Small (maximum 31⁄2 quart) slow cooker
2 cups cooked black beans (see Tips) 500 mL
8 oz cream cheese, cubed 250 g
1⁄2 cup tomato salsa 125 mL
1⁄4 cup sour cream 60 mL
2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground 10 mL
1 tsp chili powder 5 mL
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns 5 mL
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped, optional (see Tips)
1 roasted red bell pepper, finely chopped, optional
Finely chopped green onion, optional
Finely chopped cilantro leaves, optional
In slow cooker stoneware, combine beans, cream cheese, salsa, sour cream, cumin, chili powder, peppercorns, jalapeño pepper and roasted pepper, if using. Cover and cook on High for 1 hour. Stir again and cook on High for an additional 30 minutes, until mixture is hot and bubbly. Serve immediately or set temperature at Low until ready to serve. Garnish with green onion and/or cilantro, if desired.
For this quantity of beans, soak, cook and drain 1 cup (250 mL) dried black beans or drain and rinse 1 can (14 to 19 oz/398 to 540 mL) black beans.
For a smoother dip, purée the beans in a food processor or mash with a potato masher before adding to stoneware.
If you use a five-alarm salsa in this dip, you may find it too spicy with the addition of jalapeño pepper.
If you don’t have time to roast your own pepper, use a bottled roasted red pepper.
Makes about 3 cups (750 mL)