Fried Beer-Battered Pickles

(This is my friend Mike’s first post on He Cooks, She Cooks. Let him know how much you enjoyed it.)

Fried pickles are one of my favorite deep fried foods. They’re kind of a mess, but pretty easy to make. They’re crispy on the outside, a little soft on the inside, and have a nice, mild pickle flavor. And they go great with a good pale ale or bitter brew. They are great plain, or with a spicy dipping sauce.

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Curry Cauliflower Dip and Pita Chips

Before I left my parents’ house over spring break, I made sure to copy down a recipe from a great book they had about dips. The recipe, called Dip Into India, was for a curry-cauliflower dip. I wrote down each ingredient and step of the recipe, and then as usual, I changed it as soon as I got in the kitchen.

The main change was the spice. The book calls for curry powder, but I wanted to use individual spices so I could better control the flavors, and so each taste would be more pronounced. I toasted and ground whole cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek, cardamom and other spices.

My other addition was lemon juice, which I am surprised the recipe didn’t call for in the first place.

I liked the dip a lot. It’s great with pita chips, which were a process to make all from scratch, but at least I didn’t feel ripped off by the prices they charge for tiny bags of pita chips in the grocery store.

The cauliflower dip actually makes a good hot or cold side dish, too. When I was out of chips, I finished it off with a fork. Continue reading “Curry Cauliflower Dip and Pita Chips”

Arepas (Venezuelan Corn Cakes)

Senior year of high school I went to my best friend Annabelle’s house every Friday night for Shabbat dinner. I’m not Jewish, but I went for the food and the company. Annabelle’s family is from Venezuela so both are always enjoyable.

One of my favorite foods we’d have were arepas, which are fried cornmeal patties. Sometimes they had cheese inside, otherwise I topped them with it myself. Annabelle’s house always had a good selection of cheeses and dips. Burrata, queso fresco, crema, salsa…

I don’t get to visit Annabelle too often these days, but I have

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learned to make arepas. They’re very simple: precooked cornmeal (like PAN), water and salt. Mix all that together, form into patties, fill or don’t fill, then fry them in a little oil.

You might not know any Venezuelan Jews, but you’ll appreciate these nonetheless.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Columbia, Missouri loves its hummus. For good reason, it’s on nearly every menu downtown (the Artisan, Coffee Zone, Main Squeeze, Sycamore, Café Berlin, Forge and Vine, Felini, International Café…)

The stuff is delicious, and nearly anything can be dipped in it. Chips, pita, vegetables, index fingers…

This roasted red pepper version is a little different than others you’ll find around town. And making it is easier than finding parking on Ninth Street or Broadway.

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