Lazy Cooking: 3 quick dips and a crisp Rosé

I consider myself to be a pretty good host. I always make an effort to cook a hearty meal for my guests – even if I do use shortcuts in my recipes; I set the table with proper linen and crockery (unless there are kids around), and even keep a diary of what dishes I’ve cooked for whom, so I don’t repeat that menu for those people again.

That probably makes me sound uptight, I prefer to call it organised.

So how is it that I have got to the age of 43 without ever having made a dip?

Time to rectify that.

I went for three classics, which are the perfect starters, or snacks to accompany a crisp glass of Rosé. In this case in fact, the wine came before the dips: I was given two bottles of Mirabeau en Provence Rosé and wanted an excuse to serve this very Summery wine to my guests, on one of the coldest days of the year.

Mirabeau en Provence wine

Here are the recipes. Each is incredibly quick and easy to make and serve eight hungry people, if you’re eating them as hors d’oeuvres.

Quacamole (recipe taken from the Tefal Cuisine Companion cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic glove (I used a half a teaspoon of Very Lazy chopped garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & pepper to season
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Method:

Whizz everything up in a food blender. I used my Tefal Cuisine Companion which I’ve written about in my previous Lazy Cooking posts.

Lazy cooking - 3 quick dips and a crisp rose. Here's the recipe for quacamole

Smoked Salmon paté (my own recipe, following a few disasters with cream that wouldn’t whip!)

Ingredients:

  • 200g smoked salmon trimmings
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 40ml single cream
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Sprig of dill – finely chopped
  • A few chives – finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to season

Method:

Mix the mascarpone, cream, lemon, herbs and seasoning together in a bowl until you have a smooth paste. Whizz the smoked salmon up in a blender on the pulse setting so that it isn’t too smooth and there are still a few chunkier bits. Add the smoked salmon to the creamy mixture.

Lazy cooking - 3 quick dips and a crisp rose. Here's the recipe for smoked salmon pate

Tapenade (taken from the BBC Food website)

Ingredients:

  • 1 crushed garlic clove (I used a half a teaspoon of Very Lazy chopped garlic)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 250g/9oz pitted black olives
  • Small bunch fresh parsley
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to season

Method:

Whizz everything up in a food blender.

Lazy cooking - 3 quick dips and a crisp rose. Here's the recipe for tapenade

I served the dips with blinis, crackers and celery sticks and let my guests help themselves. I made a paella for our main course, which went down a treat. I’ll write the recipe up for that another time.

The wine was crisp and elegant. I have a very limited vocabulary when it comes to wine. All you need to know is that we polished off two bottles between four of us (one of whom was driving) and I’ll be adding this Rosé to my shopping list. So far I’ve found it in Waitrose and online through Ocado. You can read more about Mirabeau, which is made by the Cronk family who moved to Provence from London, here.

Lazy cooking - 3 quick dips and a crisp rose

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My thanks to the Cronks for sending me your lovely wine.

If you try any of these recipes, I’d love to know how you get on. Please post your comments below.

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Lazy Cooking- 3 quick dips and a crisp Rosé
Lazy Cooking- 3 quick dips and a crisp Rosé