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Tell Your Turkey to Hit the Road – to Greece…

Today’s International Inspiration for using up Thanksgiving leftovers will take us to Greece. This next recipe was inspired by a trip to a local taverna – by local I mean Northern NJ, where I live, not local as in Mykonos. This is my take on skordalia, a Greek potato and garlic dip. I have omitted the almonds because I try to keep my recipes as allergy free/friendly as possible. This dip can be served as an appetizer or a side with toasted pita, crackers, or crudité. You know, because you probably have some of those left over as well.

Greek Potato and Garlic Dip with Crudite

Ingredients

Baking Potatoes – 2 large

Garlic – 1 head (roasted)

Olive Oil – about ¼ cup (or as needed)

Lemon Zest and Juice – 1 lemon

Dill – 2-3 tbs. chopped

Salt – to taste

Crudite – any veggies you like cut into small pieces: celery, carrots, cucumbers, etc.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and chop potatoes into large pieces.
  3. Boil in salted water until cooked through.
  4. Cut the top of the head of garlic off to expose cloves. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in oven until softened – about 30 minutes.
  5. In a food processor puree potatoes, 2-3 cloves of roasted garlic, lemon zest, at least 1 tsp. salt, about 1 tsp. of lemon juice, and half the dill. Drizzle in olive oil until you get the consistency you like.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. Spoon into large serving bowl and garnish with remaining dill.
  8. Serve with crudité.


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Veganomics – Hummus – Recipe

realishhummus

Okay, let’s just say that I LOVE hummus. It’s delicious, affordable, versatile, and crowd-pleasing. My husband and I have often made a meal of it with sliced veggies and pita bread or crackers.   I personally use dried beans almost exclusively, but in this case I often make an exception. The recipe below is very straightforward and easy to remember so that’s the one I’m providing. It’s basically one of everything: 1 can of beans, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp. tahini, 1 lemon. Olive oil and salt as needed. It’s extremely easy to double the recipe.   I wouldn’t make more than 2 cans worth (or ½ lb. dried) at a time as the food processor might not be able to accommodate more ingredients. You can also use this recipe if you have a mini-food-processor. The one of everything version is perfect. The only issue is that you can’t drizzle the olive oil while the processor is going. You have to add a little olive oil at a time and start and stop until you get the consistency you like.

Hummus

1 can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
or ¼ lb. of dried garbanzo beans (soaked, and cooked)
1 clove of garlic (or more to taste)
1 tsp. tahini
1-2 lemons – juice and zest (optional)
Olive oil as needed
Salt to taste

Wash and dry lemons and zest them. Crush and peel garlic clove. Add drained beans, tahini, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice (to taste) to the food processor. I like lemony hummus so I use a lot of lemon. Start processor and drizzle in olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Adjust seasonings.  Serve with veggies, pita bread, crackers, chips. Hummus also makes a great sandwich or wrap. Spread bread with hummus and pile on whatever veggies you like.

Note: Tahini can have a seemingly high price tag when compared with the other ingredients. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way. It keeps in the fridge indefinitely, and even if you made hummus once a week, your supply would last from 6 months to 1 year. Also, you can skip it. It’s not mandatory but I think it adds a nice flavor. That being said, if I didn’t have tahini on hand, I would still make hummus.


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Veganomics – Black Beans and Rice – Recipe

RealishRice&Beans

Black Beans and Rice

½ lb. of dried black beans (soaked and cooked)
or 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 chili, diced (I like serrano, but jalapeno would definitely work)
1 clove garlic, diced
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
½ can water
Cooked Rice (start with 2 cups, uncooked and then cook any way you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 handful of cilantro, rinsed and chopped

Saute onion and pepper until softened, then add chili and garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomato sauce and then ½ can of water. Simmer for a few minutes and then add beans and rice. Stir until combined and heated through. Season as you go with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve. Serves 4 as a generous main course and 6 – 8 as a side.

Note: You don’t have to combine the rice and beans in one pot. You can keep them separate and serve them that way. I just really like it this way.

Leftover Tip

This also makes an awesome burrito filling with some salsa or guacamole.


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Gringa Mix

It only seems right that my first recipe on RealishFood.com should be for a relish of sorts. I’m going to give you the key to making any Latin style dip a winner every time. For as long as I can remember, I have loved Latin food. Having lived my entire life in both the NYC Metro Area and California was probably a major contributor to this outcome. I grew up in a very diverse town, with a large immigrant population that included Columbians, Peruvians, Cubans, Equadorians, Puerto Ricans, etc. You get the picture. In school, I heard just as many people speaking Spanish as English. Then I moved to San Francisco, where I became well versed in Mexican Cuisine – you know the kind that was actually cooked by Mexicans as it is cooked in Mexico, not as cooked by a teenage line cook in a chain restaurant according to the corporate manual written by gringos. I almost always have rice and beans in the fridge for a quick meal. I have plantains on hand as I write this. I also use cilantro more than all other fresh herbs combined. That wouldn’t seem like a big deal, except that I’m a Gringa. I take no offense to that label. I embrace it.

Below, I’m going to give you my recipe for Gringa Mix and a few salsas and dips that you can build from it. Make a big batch and you can knock out three dips in not much more time than it would normally take to make one.

I want to caution you that the measurements I provide are approximate. I’m not a big fan of measuring. What I want you to learn is the technique and the flavor profile. In this case the flavor profile is basically chiles, citrus, cilantro. Then you can adjust as you go. Add garlic if you like. Cut the chiles if you can’t take the heat. If you don’t like pineapple, use mango. Jump in and give it a try.

Warning: If you accomplish this method, you will be responsible for making dips for all future parties to which you are invited. Or you could just send your friends to RealishFood.com and they can learn for themselves.

Gringa Mix

Red onion – 1 quarter medium sized

Cilantro – ¼ to ½ bunch

Serrano or chili of your choice – diced

Lime – 1 or 2 or more depending on how juicy they are

By hand: Finely dice first 4 ingredients. Add lime juice to taste. Combine in a bowl.   Use as a base for salsas, pico de gallo, quacamole, etc.

Food processor method: Peel and quarter onion. Remove stems and halve chiles and remove seeds and ribs for a milder heat.   Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until all ingredients are combined.

Use as a base for salsa, pico de gallo, quacamole, etc.

These are approximate measurements. You should adjust ingredients according to taste.

This recipe is good for 1 – 2 avocados, ¼ pineapple, 2 or 3 small tomatoes, or 1-14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes.

Start with this...

Start with this…

Turn it into this...

Turn it into this..

Tomato Salsa

1 -14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes

Gringa Mix – to taste

Salt – to taste

Strain tomatoes and reserve the juice. Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add salt to taste. Add reserved liquid as needed. Adjust ingredients to taste.

Tomato Pico de Gallo

2-3 small tomatoes – diced

Gringa Mix – to taste

Salt – to taste

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Adjust ingredients to taste.

Add tomatoes to get this.

Add tomatoes to get this.

Pineapple Pico de Gallo

¼ pineapple diced

Gringa Mix – to taste

Salt – to taste

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Adjust ingredients to taste.

AlternatePineapple Salsa – toss all ingredients in a food processor or blender for a smoother consistency.

Add chopped pineapple to get this.

Add chopped pineapple to get this.

Guacamole

1-2 ripe avocadoes

Gringa Mix – to taste

Salt – to taste

Hot sauce – to taste

Mash up avocado. Add ingredients and stir to combine. Adjust ingredients to taste

Add mashed avocado to get this.

Add mashed avocado to get this.

Use these to enjoy your dips.

Use these to enjoy your dips.