Browsing articles in "Appetizers"
Jul 20, 2011

Recipe for: Hummus without Tahini?!

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Dave Lieberman (adapted slightly)
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
2 cups

Is it possible to make hummus without one of its’ main ingredients…tahini? YES! It is possible and just as delicious. I’d love to take credit for this dish, but it’s a recipe from Dave Lieberman with some minor changes along the way. We made this hummus for my birthday/beer tasting party this past weekend for the very first time. We decided we probably should  feed our guests since there would be a lot of beer consumption, so we decided to made some good snacks including hummus from scratch. By the end of the night, the hummus was devoured! Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take step-by-step photos since things were a little crazy that day, but this recipe is SO easy that you probably don’t need it!

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed, plus more for garnish
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 to 15 grinds black pepper
1/3 cup water

Paprika, for garnish
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

5 pita breads cut into triangles
1 bag of pita chips
1 cup of feta cheese
1 large cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved and seasoned with olive oil, salt + pepper

1. Blend all the ingredients.
In a blender, add the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, sesame oil, cumin and water. Blend until the texture is smooth. Blending the ingredients together took some time. You’ll need to continuously pulse and push down the mixture to get everything nicely combined. You’ll definitely need to drizzle a few more tablespoons of olive oil and a touch of water too. This will help move the process along.

2. Place in a bowl & serve. Scoop the hummus into a nice serving bowl. Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with chopped parsley. Along with the hummus, serve with pita bread and pita chips, cucumber slices, grape tomatoes and feta. But you can certainly serve it with any of your favorite condiments! Enjoy!

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Jun 14, 2011

Recipe for: Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Crostini

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: less than 10 min MAKES: serves 4 friends

Crostini. What in the world is that? Well, it actually means “little toasts” in Italian. It’s basically a piece of bread that has been toasted or grilled, and dressed with a topping of your choice. For my crostini recipe, I went with an Italian classic. It’s a traditional tomato, mozzarella and basil topping with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. It’s a little deconstructed where friends will pick up a piece of toasted bread and add the topping themselves, making it a little interactive. I honestly just love the simplicity of this dish because the ingredients speak for themselves. Sometimes you don’t need to do a lot to a dish to make it good. Just choose the freshest ingredients and season them well. Your friends will devour this in minutes. Trust me.

3 roma tomatoes
handful of basil
1 large ball of mozzarella
salt + pepper to taste
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1/2 a french baguette

1. Prepare the toppings for the crostini. Remove the basil leaves from the stem. Slice the mozzarella and tomatoes. When the tomatoes are sliced, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.

2. Assemble the toppings on a plate. I had a small rectangular plate to assemble the toppings, which was the perfect size. But any plate would do. Alternate a slice of tomato, mozzarella and basil. Repeating until both rows are filled.

3. Season the toppings. At this point, you’ll want to season the topping. Drizzle olive oil over the tomato, mozzarella and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a good balsamic vinegar.

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Jun 7, 2011

Recipe for: Sweet Potato Chips

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: less than 5 min to prep, 15 min to fry  MAKES: serves 3 hungry people

This recipe holds a special place in my heart because my mom made sweet potato chips when I was younger. Ever since, I’ve been a fan. If you’ve never been introduced to a sweet potato, let me enlighten you. I’m not an expert, but it is a root vegetable with an orange flesh. It’s very versatile. The taste is sweet and consistency is soft when cooked. I’ve had sweet potatoes prepared as fries, chips and hash. You can bake, fry, microwave and the most popular, make it into a casserole for Thanksgiving. The sky’s the limit. Similar to all my recipes I showcase on Pretty Tasty Things, this calls for a minimal amount of ingredients and again, it’s oh-so-simple to make. These chips are very addicting, you can never eat just one.

2 sweet potatoes
vegetable oil, for frying
salt + pepper to taste

1. Prep the sweet potatoes. Take 2 large sweet potatoes, rinse and pat dry. Remove the outer skin with a peeler. After you peel the potatoes, heat a large pan and add about 2 inches worth of vegetable oil on medium-high.

2. Slice the potatoes. Using a mandoline slicer, set the slicer to 1/8 inch thick. This is ideal for potato-thin chips. You get a nice pile for a basket of chips.

3. Fry the slices. Test with one slice first to make sure the oil is hot enough. If the slice sizzles, it’s ready. Taking a slotted mesh spoon, gently drop a handful of slices into the oil. Stir carefully. Keep an eye on them because they fry fairly quickly. Each batch takes about 2-4 minutes depending on how hot the oil is.

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