Uforic Food Cafe Torquay

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Day 13: Lisa’s luscious trio of dips – mmm delish!

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Dips are just about my favourite thing to eat. I know it probably sounds a bit weird, but I love a good platter filled with deli meats and cheeses (oh how I adore cheese), olives (kalamata, green – I dig them all) and, of course, dips and dipping things!!

I often do this as a casual starter – rather than making a more formal dish. I love how everyone stands around the table, drink in hand, nibbling on this and that and chatting away. It’s stress free and rather than being off, slaving in the kitchen, I can mix with my friends. There’s nothing worse than an absent host.

Now I hear you thinking that doing a platter isn’t really cooking – it’s just assembling stuff. Ok, I see your point. However, I think you can relieve that guilt if you make the dips yourself, rather than simply taking off a lid and spending a little time removing that tricky foil covering – which according to previous experience can be a real struggle sometimes.

Anyhow – here is the recipe for my three favourite dips in the whole world – hommus, tzatziki and guacamole. I love them so much I even eat them on toast! However, for entertaining, try my pita chips.

Lisa’s Luscious Trio of Dips

 Tzatziki

  • 2 cups of plain Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled, halved and de-seeded
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • The juice of half to 1 lemon (depending on how juicy it is) 
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

Coarsely grate the cucumber and squeeze out excess moisture with your hands. Combine yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt (which really brings out the flavours).

I love my tzatziki to be quite garlicy – but if you don’t, just pop one clove in, instead of two. This dip is also fantastic on marinated meats. Sometimes I just sprinkle some lamb chops with a little oregano, lemon and salt and pepper, grill it medium-rare – and then top it with the tzatziki. Ok, I’m making myself hungry! 

Hommus

  •  1 can of chickpeas – drained of brine and rinsed
  • 1 tsp of tahini (you can get this in the health food aisle at the supermarket)
  • Around 1/4 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method:

Place all ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and blitz until the chickpeas start to break down. Start the processor again, and slowly drizzle the olive oil in until you get the right consistency for dipping. You may not need all the oil, or you may need a little more. Don’t forget to scrape the sides of the mixer, to ensure an evenly smooth texture – and don’t forget to taste it before you serve. It may need a little more lemon, or another sprinkle of salt and pepper.

I never used to put tahini in my hommus – but apparently it’s quite traditional. It really adds a depth of flavour – so well worth hunting it down.

Guacamole

A lot of people pop everything into the food processor, but I like my guacamole chunky. It tastes so fresh and wonderful.

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • half a red chilli
  • 2 tbs of chopped, fresh coriander
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method:

Remove the flesh of the avocado from the skin. Place it in a bowl and use a fork to mash it into chunky pieces. Add all other ingredients and stir through. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.

As you can see, all of these are pretty easy and they really take no time at all. They taste so much better than anything you can buy.

Suggested dipping things include simple stuff like carrot and celery sticks, or you can use pita bread to make chips. Just cut the pita bread into triangles – lay them on a baking sheet – drizzle with a little olive oil (go easy otherwise you’ll drown them and make them soggy) – sprinkle with dried oregano (and some chilli flakes, if you like a bit of punch) – and salt and pepper. Bake in a hot oven (about 220 degrees) – for a few minutes, until they have crispened.

Saturday is a day for relaxing, entertaining and enjoyment. Whip these up – share them with friends, or have your own personal feast – sit outside, have a barbecue, or take them on a picnic – but whatever you decide to do – enjoy!

Tomorrow, being Sunday, I have the most lovely roast lamb recipe. It has been posted on here before – back when no one was reading! LOL – it’s greek-style lamb – and it’s perfect served with a delicious dollop of tzatziki on top!

Be Inspired~

Lisa

 

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