Tag Archives: snack

White Bean Garlic Dip

I recently discovered a love for cannellini beans. They created an ‘aha!’ moment in my brain: you don’t necessarily need heavy whipping cream to make things creamy. “Thank you!!” cried my bottom. “Thank you,” cried my thighs. “Thank you!” cried my left ventricle. Seriously–puree some of these babies, and you could fool your own grandma with this creamy asparagus soup or this cilantro lime bean soup.

Anyway, when I saw this simple dip recipe that uses cannellini beans as its main ingredient, I grinned and put it on the menu. Me and those beans, we got an understandin,’ see. It’s a winner, and the fact that my old friend ‘garlic’ was also a main feature only strengthened my resolve to make it.

By the way, if you’re into the whole food blogging scene you should really take a few minutes to browse through Tracy’s blog, Sugarcrafter. She’s got great stuff on there, from this winning dip to Margarita Bars to Jambalaya to everything you could think of making with Nutella, her recent obsession.

Nutella . . . yes, it was also my obsession in Paris 7 years ago, and it led to some really, really embarassing pictures that I absolutely can’t share.

Okay, fine. I’ll share.

Phew–am I ever glad to be out of my late teens/early twenties! They taught me the meaning of ‘bacne,’ a horrible word which I shall never ever again repeat crossmyhearthopetodie, pokeyourmotherintheeye. I also realized in very recent years that plastering my hair against my head in a shrinkwrapped version of the bun was not an extremely attractive way to fix my hair. One day I’ll share a picture-based history of my hairdos and by the end you’ll be scratching your scalp and pulling our your eyebrows–it’s bad. And it will cause you physical and emotional pain to walk through it with me.

Alright, enough about my misspent hair-youth, and on to the main feature!


(Serves 4)

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cups olive oil
1 TBS lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Drain and rinse the can of beans to get rid of that nasty thick viscous liquid . . .

Aah, much better. Though please ignore the dirty dishes in the background. I don’t know who they belong to . . . but they’re definitely not mine. Nope. I don’t recognize a single one of those perps.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Those of you without a food processor (present company included) toss it all in a blender.

Yeah, I didn’t bother to mince the garlic. And I used 6 cloves instead of 2–you would do well to do the same. I regularly triple the garlic in recipes–it’s Who I Am.

Blend or process until combined.

I liked the fact that my blender left some chunks–I like a dip with texture.

Serve it with crostini (or any kind of tiny toast), pita chips, flatbread, crackers, or just scoop it out with your finger. I know I did.

This dip is seriously delicious. Garlicky, lemony, not too spicy but definitely with heaps of flavor. And did anyone see how easy that was to make? Tracy, you’re a genius.

I loved encountering random unprocessed beans, such as this little guy:

I should also point out that I had garlic breath all night long . . . and I woke up with more garlic breath. I breathed it all over my husband when I gave him a morning kiss, and then I recklessly breathed it all over the morning commuters on the El. So don’t make this for your own wedding or anything–unless you have a garlic-loving groom.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Click here for printer-friendly version: White Bean Garlic Dip

The Biltong adventure

I am so excited.

You know how there are extreme sports? The ones where you’re risking your life making jumps down a rocky, snowy hill and such?

Well I’m about to initiate myself into what I call extreme cooking. Dangerous, adrenaline-inducing, hazardous, risky–and I’m taking you on my journey, like it or not.

Look what came in the mail for me!

Biltong seasoning.

It came from a store called “The African Hut,” and their customer service rep has a lovely South African accent. Which is just as it should be, since this seasoning is going to be an intrinsic part of a South African treat.

My brother-in-law Mike is from South Africa, and his dad has been making biltong for years. I tasted it while on a road trip with Mike and Heidi, and promptly helped devour a whole bagful of it.

Think beef jerky, but a little different. Smaller pieces, incredible flavor. And homemade.

Are you scared yet?

Yes. I will be purchasing raw meat, slicing it up, seasoning it, and drying it out.

As long as I don’t give myself food poisoning, everything will be fine and dandy. And since I regularly submit myself to the risk of salmonella due to my unfettered love of cookie dough, cake dough, and any kind of dough (amen), my body is used to the danger.

As soon as I make a successful batch, I’ll post the instructions for y’all . . . probably followed by a million disclaimers. Such as 1) Prepare this at your own risk 2) Some government agency probably says something about the risks of cured meat 3) Please don’t get sick 4) Please don’t make this or consume it if you have a funny feeling in your big toe 5) It’s not my fault 6) Nothing is my fault.

The plan is to use the Biltong seasoning, and also to try and create my own seasoning. Because I understand that not everyone wants to drop $50 to buy a seasoning to make a potentially risky meat snack that they may not even like. I’ll include a thorough comparison of the two results.

Hold onto your hats, folks. And if you stop by our apartment unannounced, please be prepared for a potentially frightening vision–little strips of animal flesh hanging up everywhere.