Info (7 of 9)|
Dips Info (7 of 9)
More information on DIPS fol
(This is part 7 of 9)
* VEGETABLES *
************** The crudite craze of the 1970's
awakened Americans to the hidden potential of vegetables. No longer
overcooked, soggy, and tasteless, vegetables are now enjoyed raw--crisp
flavorful, and in their most nutritious form--or lightly steamed, dipped in
a variety of yummy accompaniments.
Firm varieties, such as carrot sticks, celery stalks, or flowerets of
cauliflower and broccoli, will stand up to even the densest of dips.
Some of the smaller veggies, such as cherry tomatoes or Brussels sprouts
may require utensils (such as toothpicks or mini skewers) to spear the
dipper, lest you risk its lost at sea in the dip bowl.
Always remember to wash the vegetables firs, dry them thoroughly and
chill. To chill, wrap the veggies in damp paper towels, place in an
unsealed plastic bag and set in the refrigerator overnight.
Following are the prepping instruction for some favorite veggie dippers.
ASPARAGUS: Break off the tough woody end at the base of each spear.
ARTICHOKE: Cut the stem flush with the base and clip the sharp point at
the tip of each leaf with scissors. Steam for 45 minutes or until fork
tender. After cooling, cut in half vertically and remove the fuzzy choke
a grapefruit spoon works best). Serve halves cut side down so that the
leaves can be pulled off easily.
BOK CHOY: Separate leaves, discarding any yellow or very dark green
BROCCOLI: Cut off the stalk and remove the leaves. Cut into flowerets.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Remove the tough outer leaves and trim the bottoms, as
you would for cooking. Let soak a few minutes in cold water to crisp.
Serve whole or halved, depending on size.
CARROTS: Peel or scrub (remember that the greatest vitamin content is in
the skin), trim ends and cut in half horizontally then cut vertically into
strips. Carrots can also be cut horizontally into circles or small chunks.
CABBAGE: Remove outer leaves and stalk then cut into strips thick enough
to hold together, retaining a piece of the core with each wedge.
CAULIFLOWER: Remove the outer leaves and stalk and cut into flowerets.
CELERY: Trim off the leaves and cut into strips or wedges.
CELERY ROOT: Trim the top and cut the root, which is shaped something
like a turnip, into strips or wedges, then peel.
CHICORY OR BELGIAN ENDIVE: Not to be confused with the curly or leafy
green variety. Has a slightly bitter flavor. Cut into thin strips or
dipping size wedges.
CHILI PEPPERS: Including jalapeno peppers. Cut in half lengthwise and
carefully remove the seeds. Rinse under cold water and cut into strips.
Remember that this stuff has quite a kick--wear rubber gloves when prepping
and be sure to forewarn your guests.
CORN: Serve individual ears of pickled baby corn. (It's ok to eat the
cobs.) CUCUMBER: Trim ends and peel, if desired then cut in half
horizontally. Cut into thin strips. Or cut the cucumber horizontally into
FENNEL: Trim off and discard the wispy fernlike leaves at the top and
ends. Cut into thin dipping size strips. Has a pleasant aniselike flavor.
GREEN ONIONS OR SCALLIONS: Peel off the outer layer and cut the tip off
the root end. Trim the green ends.
JICAMA: Remove ends, peel, and slice thinly.
MUSHROOMS: Trim off the stump end and wipe clean with a damp paper towel
or a mushroom brush. Do not soak in water. Use whole or halved depending
on the size.
PEPPERS: Seed and slice green, red, yellow, or purple bell peppers into
strips. Can also be cut into wider scooplike wedges. The combination of
two or three of the varieties makes an attractive mix.
RADISHES: Trim off the root and stem ends. Sculpt to your heart's
content if you're so inclined, after soaking the radishes in ice water to
crisp for a couple of hours.
SNOW PEAS: Simply trim off both ends and remove the strings.
SQUASH: Yellow or green varieties of Zucchini. Trim off top and bottom
and cut into dipping size strips, circles, or wedges.
STRING BEANS: Use either green beans or wax beans, or both to add color.
Snap off the ends of the beans and remove the strings.
TOMATOES: Use whole cherry tomatoes or wedges of plum or round tomatoes.
TURNIPS: Cut off the top and root ends of a young turnip, peel or scrub,
and cut into thin slices (like a carrot).
From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini