Category Archives: appetizers | dips

Trojan Carnitas and Avocado Salsa

This is a delicious and massive recipe I got from my roommate in Troy. It was a new style of cooking for me and cooking it by the book taught me a lot. Serves six hungry college students. You could also make the salsa by itself for a great dip for chips etc. -Connor

3-4 pound boneless pork butt, shoulder or loin
2 cups water
1.5 cups orange juice
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated orange peel (optional)
3 tbsp whole peppercorns (optional)
1/4 cup brandy or wine (preferably marsala)

Cheddar or mexican cheese blend
Regular tomato salsa

Cut the pork into thirds. Put pork, water, orange juice, garlic, salt, orange peel, and peppercorns into a large pot. Bring to boil, then turn down heat somewhat and simmer, covered, for about an hour and a half. stir occasionally and add more water if needed to keep the pork mostly submerged.

Between these two stages is a good time to start the salsa. (see below)

Uncover and boil pork until water is reduced by half. Stir in the alcohol and boil until liquid evaporates. Stir often while meat browns and crisps. Tear meat into strips with tongs (this can be done during the final stage of cooking or, if you’re a chicken, after the meat has cooled a bit)

3 ripe avocados, peeled and coarsley chopped
6 oz fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, coarsely chopped
2 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 tbsp fresh cilantro (optional)
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
salt to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processer or blender. process until a chunky puree forms.

Serve the meat and salsa over warmed tortillas with grated cheddar or a mexican blend of cheese.


The Best Guacamole

Adapted from Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook, page 25

1 ripe avocado
2 T sour cream
1/2 small red onion, minced
pinch of salt
1 t fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 t ground cumin
Peel avocado, put it in a medium sized bowl and mash with a fork. Beat in sour cream until fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Taste — add more lemon juice or garlic to taste.

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 lb garlic scapes, coarsely chopped
2-3T fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil

Put everything into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Garlic scapes are tough, it may take awhile! Serve on bread or crackers, or as a dip.

You can freeze for a winter treat — place in container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.

Garlic Scape Pesto 1

Indian Yogurt Soup

We serve this as a dip or side with  Onion Bhajias.

2 c plain yogurt
5 T besan (chickpea) flour
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t turmeric
salt to taste

2 fresh green chili peppers, chopped fine

4 T olive oil
1/4 dried red chili flakes
1 t cumin seeds
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 piece fresh ginger 1-2 inches long, grated

1 or 2 T chopped fresh cilantro
Mix yogurt, flour, chili powder, turmeric and salt in a saucepan. Add the chili peppers and cook gently for 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the remaining spices, garlic and ginger, cooking until the red pepper flakes darken. Add cilantro at the end, then pour the spices over the yogurt mixture. Cover the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes off the heat, or until ready to serve. Then mix well and gently reheat before serving (about 5 minutes).

From Indian by Shehzad Husain & Rafi Fernandez, page 14.

Salsa Verde

Great late summer treat – serve cold as a dip for your favorite tortilla chips.

1 pound tomatillos (10-12 medium sized ones)
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped fine (leave seeds out to reduce heat)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t salt

Dehusk and place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor or blender. Process until not quite smooth, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until just combined, with a course texture.


Adapted from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes page 480

Onion Bhajias

Indian Yogurt Soup makes a nice dipping sauce for this classic Indian snack food. You can substitute other vegetables for the onions.

2 c besan (chickpea) flour
1/2 t chili powder
1 t turmeric
1 t baking powder
1/4 t asafoetida
salt to taste
1/2 t each: fennel seeds, cumin seeds, onion seeds coarsely crushed

2 large onions finely sliced
2 green chili peppers, finely chopped
2 c fresh cilantro, chopped

cold water to mix
vegetable oil for deep-frying
Mix flour and spices in a large bowl. Add the onion and green peppers and toss together well. Very gradually mix in enough cold water to make a thick batter.

Heat oil for deep-frying in a wok or deep pot. Drop spoonfuls of the onion batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and cooked through. Don’t fry too many at once, leave room to turn. Drain well and serve hot.

From Indian by Shehzad Husain & Rafi Fernandez, page 14.

Wicked Garlic Dip

This was a hit at a University of Maine at Augusta graduation party in May of 2004

3 medium potatoes
3-6 cloves of garlic, peeled (depends on how wicked you want it)
1/3 c mayonnaise
1/2 t salt
Peel potatos and boil in salt water until very soft. Drain. Transfer to a food processor or blender right away (without cooling) and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until very smooth.

Cover tightly and chill before serving with raw vegetables, crackers or pita bread.

Moosewood page 102