Last minute party Hummus

 

Pomegranate Pistachio Hummus- A stack of Dishes

Pomegranate Molasses and Pistachio Hummus

Now that the summer is unofficially here I have begun to think about weekend entertaining. To make my life easier I have created a few variations on hummus. The idea is to have some easy fall back or go-to that is not the same ol’ same ol’. Let there be NO humdrum hummus!!

If you’re like me we have at least one or two impromptu cocktail hour get togethers. Keeping stock on some sprightly rose is fairly easy, but the snacks! I grapple with trying to come up with something different. Last summer I easily ate my weight in delicious cheese. Now there ain’t nothing wrong with that- and trust me, it will happen again and again- but it also can feel like a cop out sometimes.

White Bean Hummus with Dill Oil and Black Salt-A Stack of Dishes

White Bean Hummus with Dill Oil and Black Salt

And I will be honest- all that goodness did not do my waistline any favors either. (no complaints, it was deelish!!) The reality though is I would rather spend my time on the tennis court or relaxing on the beach. Futzing in the kitchen is ok on a gray or rainy day, but I pretty much want to open the fridge and pull out some magic.

So here you go my friends- You can make your hummus from scratch, or keep a master tub of plain hummus in the fridge- you know, next to the rose…. [Read more…]

How to Make Oven Crispy Root Chips

Crispy root chips- A Stack of Dishes

Let’s be honest, it’s not like I’m making a batch of snacks all the time. If you have company coming though, these crispy root chips are not tough to make and will make your guests feel oh so spoiled.

What I’m really imagining though is a cold Winter’s day where you decide to have a few pals over to sip and chat. It’s helpful that the oven will warm the house, and there is nothing like coming into a home where something good is cooking. I used parsnips and turnips here, but any ol’ roots kicking around your kitchen would work. Got a carrot or two in the drawer? How about a sweet potato, rutabaga and the golden child, regular potatoes! They don’t have to be the freshest either, so you would get a Home-Ec gold star from me from using all those latent bits in your veggie bin.

Sliced Turnips and Parsnips for crispy root chips- A Stack of Dishes

At first I thought I would slice the turnips with my favorite knife, but I then decided for best even cooking I should use my mandolin. So completely worth it. Whip whip whip and they are done. I was happy to cook and eat some turnips too. Who really eats those these days? I happen to love them roasted, but I can’t say they are anywhere near the top of my veggie hits list. Why is that? Perhaps I should do a turnip series, that could be fun…. parsnips are pretty miraculous too. The sophisticated cousin of the carrot. So refined, pale and delicate. They need to get their due also. [Read more…]

Delicate Smoked Fish Dip with Charred Leeks and Capers

Making smoked fish dip-A Stack of Dishes

Looking for a smokey dip that doesn’t include bacon? I can’t say it’s an equal exchange, because really- what is?, but this smoked fish dip has great flavor in a light and delicate base, which makes it easy to indulge in.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of smoked fish, and not just salmon. I grew up by the sea, and many of my school chums had families that fished those local waters (many of the others farmed the fields we drove past every day). Though I grew up on Long Island, it was far enough eastward to not have those glorious Jewish delis with their smoked sable and whitefish. Instead there was a guy, who is the son of a guy, who had been smoking his over-catch in his garage for decades.

 

Mixing the Smoked Fish Dip- A Stack of Dishes

The fishes that are best for capturing and infusing the flavor have the most fat, which is why salmon is such a favorite. My preferred fish is Bluefish. It was a bit of a bastard fish as a kid. Fresh it is grey in color, super oily, and it has a pretty decent fishy smell when cooked. Quite the opposite from say something like flounder or sole, which is virginal white, delicate and light- the princesses in the fish world. Bluefish, when smoked, is just so moist and buttery in texture. It can easily be mashed onto a cracker, no little annoying bones like trout, and a fraction of the cost of salmon.

Slicing leeks to be charred- A Stack of Dishes

The natural oiliness in the fish is not only the healthiest of fats you can eat, but it also means that when incorporating this fish into your recipes it becomes the flavor carrier. Most dips and spreads at a gathering are super fat bombs. One or two tablespoons can knock your diet socks right off- and who has just a tablespoon or two? I love them, I really do, and I’m not saying they shouldn’t be enjoyed, it’s just so super wonderful when you can enjoy something rich tasting and not have your liver end up in crisis. [Read more…]