Summer parties are all about celebrating and it is important that we enjoy scoops and dips that are delicious and good for you. I like to use crudités, fresh fruits, pita breads and baked chips.
Bell peppers, celery, cucumbers radishes, broccoli, asparagus, carrots and snow peas are some of the most popular crudités. Bell peppers – red, yellow, orange should be cut in half lengthwise. Remove the cores, seeds and ribs; slice into 3/4-inch wide strips. Celery – trim tops and bottoms. Cut ribs in half lengthwise, then into 3-inch long strips. Cucumbers – trim ends then cut into 1/4-inch rounds. Radishes – trim root ends and leave on about 1-inch of the green tops for a nice presentation. Broccoli, asparagus, carrots and snow peas can all be blanched for a couple of minutes or left raw.
BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALSA
Prep time: 10 minutes. Chilling time: 2 hours. Makes: 6 cups.
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 (11 oz) can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup chopped, peeled tomatoes
1 cup coarsely cut red sweet bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado Tortilla chips for dipping
Combine all ingredients, except avocado and chips. Cover and chill for at least two hours. Just before serving, peel, deseed and chop avocado; add to mixture. Serve with chips.
Note: Store leftover salsa in airtight container in refrigerator. Hint: Also delicious served with pork or chicken.
BLOOD ORANGE AND AVOCADO SALSA
Prep time: 35 mins. Marinating time: 1 hour. Makes: ~4 cups.
Juice from one lime
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 blood oranges, peeled with seeds and white pith removed, save juice
1 large avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 cup finely cut red onion
1 jalapeño chili, seeds and ribs removed, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a large bowl, whisk together limejuice, salt, and pepper until salt dissolves. Add the avocado, red onion, jalapeño, green onion, and cilantro to the bowl, being careful not to mash the avocados. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the ingredients together, being careful to not mash the avocados. Add reserved orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until salsa is moist but not soupy. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and set aside for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve at room temperature with baked tortilla chips.
Note: Heat or roll the lime. By doing this you will get more juice. Hint: Can be prepared several hours before using.
CURRIED SPICED CAULIFLOWER DIP
Prep time: 15 mins. Cooking time: 15 mins. Makes: ~4 cups.
1 small head cauliflower broken into small florets
2 tsp coarse sea salt, divided
2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp cane sugar
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp dry mustard or 1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and 1 tsp salt. Partially cover pan and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain then finely mash. Put in a serving bowl.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, curry, mustard, 1 tsp salt and cook another minute. Remove from heat. Add yogurt, sour cream, nutmeg, ground pepper and cilantro. Add all to mashed cauliflower. Mix well.
Capt. Jan Robinson holds certificates from the Culinary Institute of America, The Ritz Cooking School, and the Cordon Bleu. Her Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Or visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com email CapJan@aol.com or call 1-800-338-6072 and mention All at Sea to receive a discount.