Huzzah for autumn! Bring on the wool and tweed. Welcome to anything infused with pumpkin. Oh, the pheasant, the duck, the other random game birds. But most importantly, welcome the fall cocktail party with its earthy drinks mixed with sage.
And, I have two of the quickest dips for that impromptu party. They can both be served with crusty French bread or crackers and each take about 10 minutes to prepare if you have a food processor. They both come from the Cook’s Encyclopedia series that I so love… Vegetarian Cooking and 30-Minute Cooking, respectively.
Potted Stilton with Herbs
The recipe calls for the cheese to be served in individual bowls, but I’ve found putting the dip in one bowl and making sure it’s at room temperature before serving works just fine. Serves 8
- 8 oz Stilton or other blue cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 T port (dark rum will do if you’re not into dessert wines)
- 1 T chopped fresh parsley
- 1 T snipped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
- ½ C finely chopped walnuts
- Salt and pepper
Put the Stilton, cream cheese, and port in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and then season with salt and pepper.
Spoon into bowl and level the top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm. When ready to serve, bring out of fridge and sprinkle with chives.
That’s it. Could it get any easier? I usually serve it with a cheese spreader as it’s not really a dipping dip, but rather a spreading dip.
Smoked Mackerel and Apple Dip
- 12 oz smoked mackerel, skinned and boned
- 1 soft eating apple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
- ⅔ C fromage frais (I’ve swapped out cream cheese or Neufchâtel when I’m too lazy to hunt down fromage frais.)
- Pinch of curry powder (I use sweet rather than hot.)
- Salt and pepper
As a note, smoked mackerel is really easy to skin… just pull. Before you continue, just take your fingers and kind of mush the mackerel. You’ll be able to find any errant bones. Now, on to the recipe.
Place the smoked mackerel in a food processor with the apple, cheese, and seasonings.
Blend for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth. Check the seasonings and transfer to a small serving dish.
Done. See? Completely easy. If you want to go all out, this recipe tastes pretty great with curry toasts or chips. (You know, Pringles used to make an absolutely addictive curry-flavored chip. My heart has not been whole since they stopped making them.)
Anyway, 20 minutes and you have two dips with happy autumnal flavors. Now, kick back and enjoy those cocktails.