Tuesday, August 7, 2012

spicy roasted red pepper dip with baked corn tortillas

this week we celebrate peppers at food network's summerfest.  i decided to focus on two of my favorites...red bell peppers and jalapeños.  what could be better than combining them to create a quick, easy and delicious dip which is perfect for summer entertaining?

we often have spontaneous get-togethers at our house.  the summer weather in napa can be so unpredictable....chilly and foggy one day, 90 degrees the next.  so we tend to wake up and check the weather each morning then, on those hot days, phone friends and invite them over for a swim date.  (or, sometimes they invite themselves...good friends can do this).  i have a collection of recipes perfect for impromptu events...this one is near the top of the list.

the spicy roasted red pepper dip can be made year round...when fresh, local peppers are out of season, good quality jarred ones are a perfect substitute.  and the baked corn tortillas can be made in less than 15 minutes...how cool is that?

i am not a fan of the baked tortilla chips that are found at the market.  they are too thin for me...and don't have much taste.  while i love hot chips freshly made at mexican restaurants, they are not a healthy option, so this is a once-in-a-while treat for me.  my solution is to buy excellent quality corn tortillas and then bake them myself.  delicious!

the dip can be made in advance making the day of your party even easier.  the chips are a snap!  here's to easy-breezy, fun and relaxing parties this summer...and year round.

spicy roasted red pepper dip
3 red bell peppers
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped jalapeño pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise (i use vegenaise) or plain greek yogurt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

preheat oven broiler.  place bell peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and broil until skin is blackened. (check the peppers frequently during this process)  remove from oven and, using tongs, turn the peppers and return to oven and repeat this  process.  continue turning and roasting until all sides are blackened.  remove from oven and place the peppers in a tightly closed paper bag or in a saran wrap covered bowl.  allow to sit until completely cool.  remove peppers from bag or bowl and place on a cutting board.  the peel should be very easy to pull off at this point.

toast walnuts in a small pan over medium heat until they begin to brown.  remove from heat and allow to cool.

add peppers and next 5 ingredients to bowl of a food processor.  pulse until combined.  add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  pulse again until the dip is fairly smooth but with a bit of texture.  taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.  serve with tortilla chips (recipe below) and crudités.  i also love this as a topping for roasted chicken, fish or as a sandwich spread.

baked corn tortilla chips
preheat oven to 400 degrees.  stack 6 corn tortillas on top of each other.  using a sharp knife, cut stack into quarters.  spread chips on to two rimmed baking sheets.  do not let the edges of the tortillas touch each other.  bake 10 minutes or until chips are just beginning to brown.(check every couple of minutes to ensure they do not burn).  remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  they will continue to crisp up as they cool.  ** note, i like mine plain, but you can spray lightly with cooking spray prior to baking and then sprinkle with salt and/or your favorite seasonings.**

now it is your turn to participate in summerfest. simply leave your peppers tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below, and then go visit food network and do the same same. be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from the other participating bloggers:

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Stuffed Peppers With Quinoa Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Sauce
Cooking With Elise: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
What's Gaby Cooking: Oven-Roasted Peppers With Herbed Breadcrumbs
And Love It Too: Roasted Red Pepper Paleo Hummus
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Flank Steak With Gazpacho Sauce
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Seared Pepper Tacos With Pintos and Avocado Crema
Delicious Lean: Peppery Kung Pao
Daily*Dishin: Shrimp and Chorizo With Red Pepper Chermoula Sauce
Thursday Night Dinner: Black Bean and Sweet Pepper Salad
Cooking Channel: 5 Stuffed Pepper Favorites
HGTV Gardens: Garden to Table: Peppers
Sweet Life Bake: Rajas de Poblano con Elote y Crema
Dishin & Dishes: Bacon, Onion and Green Chile "Jam"
Healthy Eats: Peppers for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
FN Dish: Meat and Peppers

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Jeanette said...

I love the walnuts in this roasted red pepper dip. I've used walnuts in sauces and it definitely adds some nice body.

Jan Burke said...

Walnuts! You've given me a new perspective about one of my favorite ingredients to add to vegetable stir-fry. I never thought about using in a dip and can't wait to try this.

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks jeanette. i love adding nuts to sauces, dip and spreads too. adds great taste, texture and some healthy protein.

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

jan...walnuts in stir-fry! yum...cashews too...

Alex Staff said...

Olé! Did you know that aside from adding “Oomph” to certain dishes, a dip made of jalapeño peppers also offers a myriad of health benefits? Studies show that jalapeño peppers possess the ability to help relieve migraine and sinus headaches. They can also help prevent cardiovascular diseases by reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body. The wonders of jalapeño peppers don’t stop there. There are also studies that claim jalapeño peppers can help fight against cancer. :)