It has been a very busy and exciting few weeks chez The Keen Kitchen, hence the tragic lack of posts. Meals have been hurried
slapdash affairs, consisting mostly of brown rice pasta, jarred plain tomato sauce and pesto from the last big batch that I thankfully made a couple weeks ago. Highly un-blogworthy stuff.
Why so busy? Well, I am pleased to announce that we are moving! Just 2 blocks away, our new place is an adorable top floor suite that has oodles of natural light, partly thanks to a skylight in the kitchen (!). This is good news for The Keen Kitchen as I will no longer have to trudge outside every time I want to take pictures of the finished product. It also means I can blog all winter long!
Anyhow, to make amends for the recent lack of recipes, I offer you two solid dip recipes that are my potluck standbys– hummus and salsa. I am making them for my dear friend Nelinda’s upcoming engagement party, and they are, fittingly, recipes that I learned to make while living with her family and have adapted slightly. They are nothing fancy. You won’t find any trendy specialty ingredients in either dip. Instead, they are delicious classics that you can make using cheap stuff from the pantry and are always crowd-pleasers. They are also somewhat forgiving– I always just eyeball the ingredients but I’ll do my best to measure them today so I can pass them on to you!
This recipe yields approximately 2 cups of hummus. I usually double the recipe, as it disappears suspiciously quickly from the fridge. This time around, I tripled the recipe as there will be 45 people at the engagement party! I think a food processor is crucial when making hummus, although I have made it many times in a blender. The hummus will be creamier and smoother if you use a food processor and you won’t cuss as much throughout the process.
1 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, juiced
1 large or 2 smallish cloves garlic
1 heaping tbsp tahini
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. salt
a generous amount of freshly ground pepper
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until very smooth, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides if necessary. If you desire a fluffier or runnier hummus, simply add a little more water or olive oil and adjust the salt. The longer you process, the smoother it’ll be!
Best served at room temperature.
I also tripled this recipe, but I usually just make one can’s worth of salsa for taco night. This salsa is so fresh, easy and yummy, there really is no point in buying the store-bought stuff! This blends up perfectly in any old blender.
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, liquid drained out
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1 large garlic clove
1/2 – 1 jalapeño, seeded or not depending on how hot it is. Test it.
1/4 lime, juiced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 bunch cilantro
freshly ground pepper to taste
Throw everything in the blender. I put the onions, garlic and jalapeño first, then tomatoes, then liquids and seasoning, then cilantro.
Pulse on a low setting, such as “chop” or “mix” until desired consistency. The salsa can be as chunky or blended as you like!
Taste for vinegar and salt, and adjust accordingly. Keep in mind, however, that the flavours will intensify as the salsa sits.
Best served at room temperature.