As the cold weather persists, a lot of us are getting our thinking caps on when it comes to preparing a suitably warming feast. Of course, it’s not always as easy as it seems, especially when you’re living in a household of pretty specific tastes, with fussy tummies and little ones who can’t quite see the advantages of the humble brussel sprout.
There are ways around those complications though. One is opting for finger foods and light bites, which also have the added bonus of incorporating one of the culinary world’s greatest inventions – dips! Sauces and condiments of every kind grace even the most barren of pantries, but after a while you’ll likely want to push the boat out a little.
Sweet chilli delights
From hummus to beetroot and almond dip, there’s no shortage of ways to experiment. A good sweet chilli dip can get the mouth-watering without setting it ablaze and can be enjoyed with a selection of snacks such as nachos or prawn crackers. Sweet chilli flavours are also great when accompanying a larger meal – think rice, breads and potatoes.
Savour the flavour of caramelised onion
When the kids dig their heels in at your pursuit of sophistication, put together a quick, simple and tasty caramelised onion dip to encourage them away from ketchup. The little ones will delight in knowing that a caramelised onion dip is a good accompaniment to crisps, although if you want to steer them away from the snack table you can also use the same dip to accompany chicken nuggets and oven chips. The more rustic flavours befit the season well here, like McCain Simply Gorgeous or some spicy wedges.
One to please the cheese lovers
Let’s not throw cheese out of the window, either. It’s a versatile foodstuff that’s worth its weight in gold when it comes to inventive dips. A hot corn and cheese dip makes a fantastic addition to a plate of steaming sautéed potatoes, while tacos, nachos and fajitas make for a supremely tasty dish when a spicy beef queso dip gets involved.
Don’t forget the sweet treats
If you’re missing the sunshine, let some Spanish love into the kitchen with some quick and easy churros. There are some great recipes online that also make for particularly good chocolate dips, flavoured with a hint of vanilla and maple syrup for extra richness. That same chocolatey goodness can also be used to dip other treats in, including cakes or, for the health conscious, bananas.
Dips can be gluten free, too
Even the most selective of palates can’t say no to some simple snacks around the table. For those of us with friends who need gluten-free options in their diet, many brands are proving that you don’t have to have to give up flavour in either the crackers or the dips.
What’s your favourite dip?
*This is a collaborative post.