Posted by Craig Lennox on 24. Aug 2009
Something I really enjoy making and eating are dips, or sauces in which a variety of food items can be dipped.
They're incredibly easy to throw together in a blender, and even easier to toss in your mouth and enjoy.
For me, it's great to bust open a homemade dip and some "dippers" (the items you place into the dip) while watching a DVD or lazily drinking beer.
The best thing about them?
They can be made in about ten minutes, eaten in less and are healthy, which means that you can indulge without worrying about eating too much and piling on the pounds.
The biggest expense for making dips is purchasing a blender. I picked up a hand blender with attachments for about 300 RMB and have gotten more than my money's worth over the past three years.
A trip to Carrefour, GOME or Wal-Mart should do the trick.
The following dips will last for around 3 or 4 days if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but I prefer making and eating them fresh.
Exact ingredients to use as dippers all depends on what you like to eat.
My favorites include cucumber, carrot, celery, bread and occasionally, red or yellow bell peppers. (Others prefer chips and other Western-style snack foods.)
If you choose to go the vegetable route like myself, simply wash and slice into long fingers, place them on a plate and wait.
The cheap, ubiquitous flat bread 饼 is also great for dipping, while French stick bread also works if sliced properly.
Without further ado, let's get started.
SPICY HUMMUS DIP
- One 14 oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed (approx. 12 RMB)
- 6 cloves roasted garlic
- 2 tablespoons (T.) lemon juice (approx. 16 RMB/150ml bottle)
- 2 T. sesame paste (approx. 8 RMB/jar)
- olive oil (approx. 30 RMB/500ml bottle)
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
Place a splash of oil in a skillet and gently brown your garlic cloves. Remove from the pan. Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and sesame paste into a blender and whiz into a smooth paste. Drizzle some olive oil into the blender and whiz again. Place into a serving bowl and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle paprika over the hummus and garnish with herbs.
OLIVE TAPENADE DIP
- one 14oz can of black olives (approx. 12 RMB)
- 1/4 can drained tuna (approx. 8 RMB/can)
- 3 T. capers (approx. 11 RMB/ 250ml jar)
- 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
For a taste of Provence, look no further than this olive-based dip. Toss all ingredients into blender and blend. The longer you whiz, the smoother the tapénade will be: It's ultimately your choice as to whether you like it slightly-chunky or smooth and creamy. Season with freshly-ground salt and black pepper and place in a serving bowl ready to eat.
- 420g tub sour cream (about 30 RMB/tub)
- 8 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 cucumber (grated)
- 2-4 T. lemon juice
This classic Greek appetizer varies greatly depending on tastes. Increase or decrease the lemon juice, garlic and/or cucumber to calm or intensify the flavors to suit your own palate. Blend to a pulp, place into a serving bowl and enjoy.
Get blending and dipping and let me know how you get on.
Tzatziki photo courtesy of Flickr user st_gleam.
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