Friday, February 20, 2009
HORS D'OEUVRES: White Bean Dip and Pita Crisps
Back in November, I told you about my plan to put my Williams-Sonoma Hors d'Oeuvres cookbook to use. Remember? I wanted to try a new recipe each week while I watch American Idol. Well, thus far I've tried a few recipes and I'm going to share one today! The White Bean Dip.
First a little about the cookbook. It's divided into a few categories: Basic Recipes, Key Techniques, Dips & Spreads, Cold Hors d'Oeuvres and Hot Hors d'Oeuvres. It is very instructional and has wonderful step-by-step pictures! I love it. Each section has a "master" recipe. The book suggest you start with that one, then try different options after you have mastered the recipe. For example, the White Bean Dip recipe is a master recipe...and after you master it they suggest you try the other bean dip variations like Pinto Bean Dip, Hummus, Fava Bean Dip, Black Bean Dip, Cannellini Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Dip and Edamame Dip. Cool, right!
The recipe is ultra long and refers to other sections of the book, so I'll summarize it for you.
White Bean Dip
1 cup ( 7 oz.) dried white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini beans, I used Great Northern)
4 shallots (3-4 oz)
5 3/4 cups (46 fl. oz / 1.4 l) low-sodium chicken stock or water ( I used a combination of stock and water)
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch fresh chives
4-6 sprigs chervil
2 or 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
3 TB extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 TB fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ( I use Morton Kosher brand)
2 or 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Pita Crisps or crudites such as fluted cucumber slices, green or yellow beans blanched for 3-4 minutes or red bell pepper (capsicum) sticks.
- I used pita crisps, cucumber slices, green beans and red bell pepper sticks.
Basically the recipe asks you to do the following
* Rinse and soak the beans overnight
* Finely dice the shallots
* Cook the beans with stock, diced shallots and bay leaf for about 45-55 minutes
* Snip the chives and mince the herbs
* Set aside 2/3 cup of whole beans, to add to pureed beans at the end
* Coarsely puree the bean mixture in a food processor
* Finely puree the bean mixture with 1/2 c cup of reserved stock. Add olive oil and lemon juice through feed tube in food processor.
* Add the whole beans and remaining seasonings.
* Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 5 hours
* Bring the bean mixture to room temperature, let sit out at least 2 hours
* Prepare tomato - remove seed sacs and dice
* Adjust the seasonings
* Serve and enjoy!
Here's the recipe for Pita Crisps
3 pita bread rounds (I use whole wheat)
1-2 TB extra virgin olive oil
Paprika for dusting
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds or fennel seeds for sprinkling - optional (I used sesame)
1. Preheat the oven and slice the pita bread rounds
Preheat the oven to 325*F. Stack the pita bread rounds. Using a serrated knife, cut the stack in half. Then cut each half in half again, so the pitas are quartered. Finally, cut each stacked quarter into thirds, to create 12 triangles from each pita (36 triangles total). Starting at the point of each triangle, carefully open it until it lies flat and slice through the seam to separate the two layers, to create 24 triangles from each pita, or 72 triangles total.
2. Make the pita crisps
Arrange the triangles in a single layer and close together on rimmed baking sheets. Brush each triangle lightly with some of the olive oil, then dust with paprika. Sprinkle with seeds, if desired. Bake the triangles until they are dry, crisp and golden brown, 10-15 minutes. let cool completely on the baking sheets.
Becky's notes: I love both of these recipes! The bean dip was definitely something I had to plan ahead to make, considering you had to soak overnight and then let chill for a long time. It was my first experience really making a dip from dried beans and I loved it. The herbs and lemon juice really made the dip fresh. The food processor is a new favorite tool that really makes things so wonderful. The dip was very smooth and the whole beans that you add to the end provided great texture. The pita crisps are my new favorite savory snack. I've started buying pita bread on my regular grocery store trips and I make the crisps weekly. If you really want the full recipe email me or buy the book. They really are detailed and you need the entire book to get the full effect. In case you are wondering, yes I did invite friends over and watch American Idol as we ate these! I think our friends liked the dip!
Next Master Recipe: Chicken Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce