Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simple Food.....Simply Delicious

In my last blog, I mentioned that just because food is simple, it doesn't mean it can't be delicious, so I have decided to give you a few recipes that turn the simplest ingredients into something fabulous.

Besides the obvious that apples, oranges, bananas, veggie sticks, etc are delicious just as the way they are. I believe the easiest way to transform some of your favourite fruit and vegetables, is to turn them into dips and salsas. I am about to tell you how to make a variety of delicious dishes that will make any dinner party guest think you had slaved in the kitchen all day. Not into having dinner parties, these also are great dishes to have even if your having a few friends over for a couple of beers to watch the game.

So the first thing you want to do is chop up very small 1 cup of shallots and 1 cup of garlic, these two ingredients are vital to all the dishes. Actually these are two very vital ingredients to any cook in any kitchen.

The first dish is guacamole, depending on how many guests your having will determine the quantity, for 4 people I would use 4 avocados. If you have never eaten a fresh avocado, there is a big pit in the center. Take a pairing knife and slice around the avocado down to the pit, remove the pit and take each half and slice it multiple time horizontally and vertically, careful not to cut through the skin. Use a spoon and scoop out the avocado using the skin as a guide. Place the avocado in a bowl add 1 tbsp each fresh chopped garlic and shallots. Find a large ripe tomato, cut into quarters and remove the seeds, the dice up small also dice small half of a red pepper and add both to the bowl. Add 1 bunch of chopped cilantro, the juice of 1 lemon a lime will do and salt and pepper,gently fold ingredients together, thats it you have guacamole. If you would rather have a smooth guacamole just mash the avocado with a fork before you add the other ingredients.

The next dish or dishes is a fruit salsa, if you mastered the guacamole this one should be easy. Basically take the same ingredients as the previous recipe minus the avocado and replace with your favourite fruit. I like to use fresh mango, but you could use whatever you wanted another option would be pineapple, give it a quick grill on the barby for a bit more flavour before dicing up. Then add a tbsp or two of white wine vinegar for a little zip and if if you prefer to have it a bit sweeter add a small squeeze of honey.

The last two dishes are hummus and bruschetta, two of my favorite things to eat. Hummus is probably one of the easiest things to make. Start with a blender, open a small can of chickpeas and drain off the juice, put into a blender add  four cloves of garlic and about a teaspoon of tahini paste, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pulse in the blender then add a few drizzles of  sesame oil and few drizzles of olive oil give it another pulse in the blender, you want a smooth spreadable consistency, if you don't have that consistency add a bit more olive oil, you can add a bit more sesame oil or tahini paste you love that sesame flavour. I like to finish it off with some freshly chopped cilantro or parsley. Voila, hummus!

Bruschetta, fresh and delicious.Start with 8 large tomatoes, quarter them and cut out the seeds and discard. Julienne the tomato quarters and small dice, very finely chop 1 shallot and few cloves of garlic and chiffonade about 6 large leaves of basil, gently fold ingredients together. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, and a drizzle of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar season with salt and pepper to taste.

There you have it 5 very simple yet delicious dishes, to serve at any type of get together, just serve with tortilla chips fresh baguette, or toast them up in the oven, or warm pita or naan chips. Your guests will think you slaved away in the kitchen all day, but they don't need to know the real truth.

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