8 November 2016

5.02 Dips & Chips - Party Food - Intermediate

Okay, so moving on from tortillas into actual food territory, this week's recipe is actually 3 recipes (or rather 4, I suppose).

Today it's all about dips. While I completely understand that most people will buy premade dips and salsas, hopefully there's those random few (like me) who enjoy making their own.

It's worth noting that all of these dips can be used as fillings/sauces in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or on nachos. No need to restrict yourself!


This is basically where pre-made salsas stemmed from. A bit of tomato, chilli, etc., basically all much of a muchness, right? Wrong!

While most pre-made salsas are suspiciously sweet or overpoweringly spicy, the traditional Pico de Gallo is a fresh, zingy concoction that's almost more of a salad than a dip or sauce.

3 tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 jalapeno chillies, diced
1/2 cup coriander, chopped
Juice of 1 lime

The above ingredients are just a suggestion. If you prefer to change quantities or leave out something entirely - I'm looking at you, coriander! - then by all means go right ahead.


1. Place the onion into a bowl along with the lime juice and a generous pinch of salt. Mix together and leave for 5-10 minutes so that the acidity mellows the heat of the onion slightly.

2. Add in all the other ingredients and mix until combined.

3. Serve. (Hardly even cooking, and only slightly more difficult than opening a jar.)


I really struggled to name this salsa because I didn't want to confuse anyone who may mix it up with a normal salsa verde, but it got a bit too abstract ("verdamole", anyone?) so I thought I'd play it safe.

Basically, where as the Pico de Gallo is noticeably bright red, I wanted something predominantly green to put alongside it. Hence, one or two of the ingredients are decidedly not traditional to this type of cuisine.

1 cup tomatillos, diced
1 avocado, diced
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup coriander, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime

For those of you who are not familiar with them, tomatillos are kind of like green tomatoes. But don't confuse them with green tomatoes, because that's not actually what they are, despite the fact some people call them that. They're more closely related to gooseberries. Either way, they are quite tart and tangy and usually found in tins.

Your avocado should be ripe, but still slightly firm. It won't be easy dicing up a too-soft avocado without it getting a bit mashed, and crunchy avocadoes aren't very nice, so just make sure you get something in between.

Spring onions are milder (and greener) than the regular kind, which is why they work better in this recipe than, say, a regular white onion.

I know, I know... MORE coriander. I've mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with it, but when it comes to Mexican/Latin/whatever food it definitely has a place.

The sugar is there to balance out the acidity of the lime juice and tomatillos. You can leave it out if you want, but only if you're a bitter person (hehehe).


1. Place the sugar into a bowl along with the lime juice and a generous pinch of salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

2. Add the spring onions, stir and leave to mellow for 5-10 minutes.

3. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

4. Serve! (Still easy... so far!)


Unlike the previous dips/salsas, this one actually requires a bit of work, because it's a double-layered dip meant to be served hot. That's right, some actual cooking involved!

I will also point out that both layers are great dips on their own if you can't be bothered making both.


1 cup kidney beans
1 cup cannellini beans
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander

I used kidney beans and cannellini beans because they are the most widely available here in Australia. If you can get hold of pinto and/or black beans, they might be more traditional.


1. Heat some oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with a generous pinch of salt and fry until it begins to brown.

2. Add the garlic and fry until softened (approx. 1-2 mins).

3. Add the cumin and coriander and fry for 30-60 seconds.

4. Add the beans and continue to fry for 5 minutes or so until they begin to soften and break down.

5. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.

6. Spoon into serving bowls. (TIP: Leave at least 1/3 empty for the top layer.)


200g manchego cheese, grated
200g fetta cheese, crumbled
150ml tequila
1/3 cup plain white flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter
Pickled jalapeno chillies, chopped (approx. 1/4 cup)

I find that a mix of melty and creamy cheeses get a good result, which is why I settled on manchego and fetta. By all means, choose your own combination.

I approached this the same way as I'd approach a fondue, then swapped out white wine for tequila. Because why not?

In relation to the jalapenos, I used half green and half red for aesthetic appeal.


1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat.

2. Add the flour and stir until absorbed and the mixture turns a light nut-brown colour.

3. Reduce the heat to low and add in the tequila, mixing to form a paste. (Be careful here as your pan may catch fire and, for once, that's NOT what I want!)

4. Add the manchego and stir until it begins to melt, then add the fetta.

5. Mix until everything melts together.

6. Turn off the heat and mix in the jalapenos.

7. Spoon over the top of the bean dip. (TIP: You'll want to serve this hot to prevent the cheese from solidifying too much. Not like BLISTERINGLY HOT, just hot enough to keep the cheese molten enough to scoop.)

Serve with corn chips. (Either make your own or just buy them.)

A video of all 3 recipes is available at https://youtu.be/xm6TAFxWVB8.

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