Friday, May 31, 2013

Three dips: Olive oil bread dip, Horseradish chive chip-dip, and Three-pepper vegetable dip

A simple dip can turn chips, bread or vegetables into something a little more special. Vegetables with a dip makes them appealing as a snack or an appetizer. Bread and butter is great, but an olive oil dip makes it something to linger over.

And chips and dip? Well, that's a natural pair.

These dips can all be made ahead of time, so you can have them waiting in the refrigerator for company or for snacking.

Dip Some Bread

This olive oil dip is perfect for bread sticks or for crusty French bread, or for dinner rolls. Got leftovers? It also makes a great salad dressing.

The Garlic Gold Nuggets are dry, crunchy garlic bits that I found in the spice aisle. They can be used as a topping on salads or baked potatoes or vegetables. They added a nice garlic flavor to the dip without making it overly garlicky. A small pinch of garlic powder would be an acceptable substitute.

Olive Oil Bread Dip

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Gold Nuggets
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/4 teaspoon dry rosemary
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Several grinds cracked pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil

Put the Garlic Gold Nuggets, oregano, rosemary, salt, sugar, and pepper into a small shallow bowl. Add the lemon juice and sherry vinegar. Stir to combine and let sit for 10 minutes for the herbs to hydrate.

Top with the olive oil. Taste for seasoning, and add salt, if needed. If it's too tart, you can add a touch more sugar, or add more olive oil, as desired.

Horseradish-Chive Chip Dip

This dip is great with chips, and it's also perfect with vegetables. If you have leftovers, this makes a great salad dressing - just thin it out a bit with some buttermilk or milk to a pourable consistency.

If your horseradish is very fresh and strong, you might want to start with 1/2 teaspoon and and more after you taste it. Horseradish loses its potency over time, so if you've had that jar of prepared horseradish for a while, you'll need more in the dip. Or just buy a fresh jar next time you're at the store.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 teaspoon dry chives
1-2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Several grinds black pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate until needed.

You can serve this immediately, but I think it's better after an hour or so.

Three-Pepper Vegetable Dip

If you can't find piquilla peppers, fire roasted red peppers are a good substitution. This isn't a spicy dip, but if you want a little heat, a pinch (or more) of chipotle powder or cayenne would work well in this dip.

1/2 cup piquillo peppers
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 hard-boiled egg (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.