Sunday, December 30, 2007

sun-dried tomato dip & herb pita chips

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip and Herbed Pita Chips 004

Christmas Eve is my absolute favorite day of the year. I love Christmastime in general, and Christmas Eve includes a little of all of my favorite holiday activities. Last-minute presents are wrapped while listening to Gene Autry croon classic Christmas tunes, food for the annual Christmas Eve party is prepared, and family and friends attend the children's program at church and then gather at our house for a party.

Christmas Presents 2007 1

Thankfully, even though the house is a remodeling mess and our holiday season was abruptly turned on its head a few days before Christmas, this year was no exception. I got up early to go grocery shopping at my two favorite stores within an hour's drive and then returned home to wrap presents. (I think it's quite possible that I get more enjoyment out of looking at a beautifully wrapped present than most people get out of opening one.) The new kitchen floor, though only halfway through the total installation process, was safe for us to walk on, so I helped Mom set up tables and chairs in there and then prepared the pot of Christmas Eve Clam Chowder and left it to bubble away while I went over to Grandma's house to make the sun-dried tomato dip and herb pita chips.

Letter to Santa 2007

I had a little bit of help putting this appetizer together. The eldest of my blonde-haired trio of cousins did an excellent job de-stemming the thyme leaves, sprinkling them evenly over the chips, and helping me taste test the dip and adjust the seasoning accordingly. (Oh, how it delights me to have an eager helper in the kitchen!) We both agreed that these two recipes are definite keepers, which made me particularly happy because it meant that my quest to find a delicious dip that didn't rely on cream cheese, sour cream, or mayo was successful. ( apologies to everyone who obligingly tried last year's unsuccessful first attempt....) The dip was, literally, finger-licking good and I had to swat people away from the pita chips so there would be some left for the party. I would suggest making a double batch of both if you intend to serve more than 5 or 6 people.

Letter From Santa 2007

Oh, the other thing I love about Christmas Eve is writing my letter to Santa. For a reason totally unknown to me, Mom groaned and rolled her eyes when she saw me composing this year's letter. Oh well; it didn't seem to prevent Santa from writing back....

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Adapted from Canapes by Eric Truille & Victoria Bashford-Snell, via Sher at What Did You Eat?
Yields about 1 1/2 cups

1 14-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained
12 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.* Store in an airtight container and chill before serving.

* I used about 2 rounded teaspoons of kosher salt.

Herb Pita Chips
Adapted from Canapes by Eric Truille & Victoria Bashford-Snell, via Sher at What Did You Eat?
Yield varies based on strip size

2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 pita bread rounds (white, wheat, or both)
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme
Kosher or sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the garlic and oil together. Cut the pita rounds into strips, separate each strip into two pieces, and place on a baking sheet. Brush the strips with the garlic oil and sprinkle with the salt and thyme. Bake until strips are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

No comments:

Post a Comment