Appetizer of the week: Tuscan white bean truffle dip

This one is great as it requires no heat and no stove, just a food processor of some sort.  I always have most of the ingredients for this one on hand which makes it easy to throw together for an impromptu appetizer.  We have been asked over to dinner this eve with some friends that are grilling a leg of lamb and I thought this appetizer would go well with it.  It is sort of like Italian hummus, but high scale.

tuscan white bean truffle dip

As usual, I rarely measure anything when I make it, so I will try to be as accurate as possible.  I also use what I have on hand, so if you don’t have an ingredient or two, sub something else that is equally as tasty.  The two key ingredients are the white beans and the truffle oil.  If you don’t have any truffle oil, just take truffle out of the name of your dip.

1 can of Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained.  (or any white bean of your choice)
1/4 cup of grated or finely shredded parmeasan
1 sun dried tomato or two, depending on size – the ones packed in olive oil would be fine.  I dry my own every fall when I am tired of canning.  Then I forget to use them until I think of this app.
1 clove garlic
1-2 TBS fresh chopped chives
1-2  TBS fresh oregano, use the flower buds if you have them
dash of salt (the parm keeps it salty)
two big dashes of smoked paprika – if you don’t have smoked, use regular, but if you have both, used smoked.
lots of cracked pepper
1 TBS + of truffle oil – from one of those tiny bottles – if you have a big bottle (5 oz or  more), it is probably not as strong, so use more of it and cut back on the olive oil.  Use enough so that you can smell the truffles in the dip.  Use more if your budget allows it and cut back on olive oil.
1/4 cup Olive oil – give or take

In a small food processor, mix everything but the beans and olive oil.  Mix until everything is finely chopped.  Add the beans and some olive oil and mix until you get a nice smooth consistency.  Add more olive oil as necessary to keep the mix moving and about the thickness of hummus.

Refrigerate for a little while to let the flavors blend.  Bring the dip to room temperature before serving so that the earthy, smokey, herbiness of the ingredients comes out.  Serve with strong crackers (Glutino’s aren’t much for dipping, but are my favorites) or GF crostini.  Garnish with some fresh parsley for accent. Drizzle with more olive or truffle oil for pizazz.

Dip and enjoy!

tuscan white bean truffle dip with glutino crackers

i’m out

Menu of the week March 24th: almonds!

Ginger Lemon Girl is again hosting this week’s menu swap. Swing over to her site and check out all the menus!

Sunday: Ethopian

Doro Wot from Saveur and red lentil stew on rice as my Injera bread did not work.

Monday: Classic French American

Grass fed steaks on the grill with bearnaise sauce (from scratch), tator tots (who doesn’t love a tator tot?), grilled asparagus and homemade easy Caesar salad dressing with romaine and croutons

Tuesday: Malaysian

Scallops Laska (a spicy tangy coconut broth with rice noodles and seafood) hum, still need a side dish for this one, perhaps…you guessed it: fried spring rolls!

Wednesday: Mexican coast

Fish tacos with tilapia, garlic, lots of red chile and lime topped with cabbage slaw, salsa, sour cream and some rice and beans on the side.

Thursday: Northern Italy

Orrechiette Carbonara with leeks and pancetta (instead of bacon) from April’s Bon Appetit and an arugula salad. I will be making some homemade wheat free, spelt (yes I know it has gluten) orrechiette for this one.

Friday: Spanish  Portuguese Caldo Verde

Potato soup with kale and chorizo

Saturday: Lunch: Irish

Walk to our local pub for a hard cider (Strongbow) and their Moriarty’s mug (GF potato soup with bacon and broth), time to visit the local restaurants more (now that we are not moving) and focus on walking to them, good for them, good for us.

Dinner: Lebanese picnic

Stuffed Grape Leaves with rice, pine nuts and grass fed ground beef and a feta, greek olive, tomato (tenativly as my guilt of buying a winter tomato may set in) cucumber salad with fresh herbs from the basement greenhouse. Ooh, maybe some homemade hummus too! Yummus!

Baked goods of the week: Ginger Scones (spelt based), ginger snaps (spelt based) and lemon bars with an almond based crust. I know you were wondering how I was going to work almonds in this week……

For things that are spelt based, I have been thinking about starting an additional spelty blog to post those recipes so that non spelt eaters aren’t bothered by it. What do you all think? Separate or list them here? How many of you Celiacs out there also eat spelt?

i’m out

Menu of the week or at least mid week

It’s about time I started doing this, so here is my first shot at it:

Monday: Turkish pide with meat and mozzarella (kind of like a folded up pizza with pita dough). We were in Chicago last weekend and my BF ordered this at a wonderful Turkish restaurant called Cousins. It looked soooo good and he raved about it so much that I attempted to copy it with a spelt crust. I made a great Turkish chopped salad with tomato, onion, parsley, mint, feta and olives (key ingredient is sumac for tang) and made some tzatziki or yogurt dipping sauce which I completely forgot to serve. End result: terrific, just add twice as much mozzarella next time.

Tues: Went out for drinks (margaritas) with the girls and ate chips and salsa with bean dip for dinner at La Senorita’s (a MI chain with no cross contamination of tortilla chips). Later that eve: Sourdough spelt loaf: I made this as I am in the mood for fondue and since I am GF, I must plan ahead for cravings and need a loaf of crusty deliciousness on hand. We have a new foodsaver vacuum sealer and this bread will be it’s first victim.

Wednesday : Cajun red snapper with bacon cheddar grits and roasted red pepper coulis – I made this with out the shrimp so that my boyfriend would eat it. Pretty good – I used corn meal instead of polenta and won’t make that mushy mistake again, ever.

Thursday: Cheesy potato soup with ham and pimentos. Pimentos you say…well I haven’t had this in years (perhaps 20), but my mom always added pimentos to her potato soup and I am in the mood for it today. We will be butchering our pig pancetta (ok we pack the cut up meat, we are spared the ending of her life) this weekend and I don’t really like ham, but this summer there was a nice smoked picnic ham with bone on super duper sale, so we bought it. Really, neither of us like ham that much, so I don’t know what possessed us. At any rate, with a 1/2 a pig on the way, I thought it would be ridiculous to have that in the freezer, so I thawed it, roasted it, took the meat off the bones and then cooked the bones and scraps down to make a nice broth.

Lunch today: Black bean soup with ham cooked in ham broth with roasted green chiles, the last not so ripe garden tomato and onions and garlic with lots of cumin and red chili. It smells great and needs about one more hour to cook, guess I missed the lunch mark on that one.

Friday: Hum, need some greens for this one. Ah, Creamed spinach – I need to test my recipe for this again prior to the big Thanksgiving day, the high holy day for cooks everywhere. I think I will pare it with some chicken marsala Elise style as we have some pancetta in the fridge. Ok, that is two creamed dishes, that won’t work. Scratch creamed spinach, substitute wilted swiss chard (still in the garden) sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes.

Saturday: Will be up North traveling (likely this will include some of my brother’s free range chicken)

Sunday: Will be up North traveling and packing up a whole pig (splitting it with my bro and sis in law).

I know this will gross many of you out, but I was thinking of making some lard with the pork fat. I would only use it in tamales, but it would be great to have some, minus the cholesterol and fat. Do pigs have omega 3’s?

Time to stir my black beans (local from a friend that raises dry beans). A Pancetta blog next of my last visit to feed her garden tomatoes. Next menu posting I will try to just post the menu, no story line attached. I have to work up to this you know.

i’m out