Category Archives: Dips

Meat Sauce with a Caribbean twist

You will need:

400g minced beef/pork

1 large onion, diced

2 cups tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup sweetcorn

2 tablespoons curry powder

150ml coconut milk

Place your diced onions in a pan or wok with a tablespoon of olive oil , 2 tablespoons of water and the curry powder. Cook until the onions have turned translucent and soft, adding more water as they cook if necessary so as not to let them burn.

Add the meat and toss until it turns brown. Ideally the meat should be defrosted.

Add the tomatoes, sugar and sweetcorn and stir well. Leave to simmer on a low heat for about 40 minutes so that it reduces and thickens.

Finally add the coconut milk and cook for a further ten minutes. You may serve this as a pasta sauce or as a dip with savoury crackers or bread.

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Rucola and Stilton Dip

You will need:

  • 2 tubs of cream cheese
  • about 50 g of stilton (more or less, depending on how strong you’d like the flavour to be)
  • 2 handfuls of rocket / rucola with the thicker stems removed

I prefer to remove the stems from the rucola to avoid having a bitter taste; you will find that the rucola actually takes the edge off the strong taste of the stilton, so despite both the ingredients having strong flavours you will end up with a more subtle end result.

You can serve this with plain crackers or nachos or else on toasted bread like this:

Or perhaps use the mixture to fill ravioli… mmmm…

Chilli con Carne

We made this Chilli con Carne to go with Nachos when we had some friends over, however you can make a meal out of it by eating it with rice, or in a wrap or fajita.   You will need:

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

400g minced beef

1 can chopped tomatoes

1/2 can red kidney beans

1 level teaspoon each of: ground cumin, paprika. oregano, chilli powder, sugar

pinch of rock salt

splash of red wine

2 small chilli peppers

Put the onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, chilli powder and chilli peppers in a pan with a teaspoon of oil. Fry until the onions soften.

When the onions start to stick to the pan, add the splash of red wine and continue cooking until it is almost dry again.

Next, add the minced meat. Fry this, stirring continuously. The meat will form clumps which will then break up again once it is cooked.


The last step is to add the tomatoes, kidney beans, sugar and salt. Cover the pan and leave it simmer on a low heat. 30 minutes will do, but the longer you leave it, the better it will taste! Stir occasionally and make sure the mixture doesn’t dry out. If it does start to dry, add a little water or stock, or take it off the heat and serve. If you need to serve and it is still too moist, uncover and turn the heat up a little for a few minutes.

Raita

Raita is originally more ‘complicated’ than our much-simplified version. I find this dish delicious as a side, accompanying your choice of protein. However, it is also especially useful when served with a spicy dish as a means of cooling down the palate. So it’s very important to serve this dish if you’re making something very spicy and are not sure of your guests’ tastes or how many scovels they can (or are willing to) tolerate.

You will need a tub of Greek or plain yoghurt, a cucumber and half an onion.

Clean the cucumber by peeling, chopping into quarters and removing the seeds from its center.

Chop your onion quite finely as shown below.

Now place the yoghurt in a bowl and add small quantities of cucumber and onion at a time until the proportions suit your tastes. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

Place in a bowl on the table during your meal and serve spoonfuls into your plate to cool down curries and chilies.

Fig and Balsamic Dip

This dip is a delicious and simple diversion from the norm. It involves dried figs, balsamic glaze and cream cheese. It’s THAT simple.

Slice your figs finely as the mixture will be quite chunky otherwise. I wasn’t successful in using a blender – I presume that a heavy duty one would be better for something like this. However I loved the final chunky effect so I would stick to mixing it by hand.

Mix into the cream cheese and add about a tablespoon of balsamic glaze.

Spicy cheese egg dip

Another dip for you to try out. This also goes great with sandwiches.

You will need:

  • 2 hard boiled eggs – best to let them cool down before you use them
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons hot mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients at once. You may need to add more mustard according to taste. Serve with crudites, crackers or bread.

Please note that due to it’s ingredients this dip does not keep for more than 1-2 days in the fridge.

How to make hummus

You will need:

1 can Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) – drain but do not throw the water out

2 tablespoons Lemon/lime juice

3 table spoons Olive oil

1.5 tablespoons Tahini

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Blend everything. There, you’re done 🙂

Taste it – if it is too dry add some water from the garbanzo beans can. Add salt or pepper to taste. Before serving place a thin layer of olive oil (with a light sprinkle of sesame oil if you fancy) on the surface to make it more moist. If you’ll be storing it in the fridge for a while, keep it covered in cling film to avoid it drying up.

Serve cold with pita bread or crudites.