Friday, December 10, 2010

Nana D's Avocado-Jalapeno Dip


The above stated would/should explain my absence. But, I wanted to make it up to you, since it's not quite New Years Eve yet, and I assume some of you might be attending New Year's parties? Maybe looking for something different & unique & somewhat healthy to take with you?

Origins: While this recipe is not intrinsically "Cajun" as the stereotype goes (ie, it's not red beans or jumbalaya), it was passed on to me by my friend's mother, who's about as Cajun as a woman can get, and she's been making it for her family functions for, well...decades. So, I'd say that makes it worthy of sharing here. Not to mention the fact that it's RIDICULOUSLY delicious. She made a double batch for the family Christmas dinner, and it was GONE by this Sunday.

Difficulty level: None.

I have only made ONE modification to her original recipe, and that's the use of light sour cream rather than regular. So you're getting the real deal here.

So what's this miracle concoction, you ask? Well, we'll title it:

Nana D's Jalapeno Dip

You will need:
1 food processor (preferably an 8 or 10 cup capacity, but you should be okay with a 6-cup)
1 16oz container of light sour cream
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, unleafy bottom stem portion torn off and tossed in the trash
4-5 roasted jalapenos (I'll explain how to roast in a sec)
1 medium-size ripe avocado
1 clove roasted garlic, or 1/2 tsp garlic salt
salt & pepper to taste

1. If you're lucky enough to have a gas stove, you can turn a burner on high, and use tongs to roast your jalapenos over the burner. If you aren't that lucky, you can roast them on the BBQ pit the same way. Or, if you don’t have a gas stove, you can make roasted peppers in your oven or toaster oven. Preheat the oven to 400 and cook until the skin is blistered. You can also use a grill pan on your stove top to roast peppers in the same manner as on a gas flame. Continually turn and flip until the whole pepper has a brown blistered "char" to it, but the flesh still feels soft. Set aside to cool.

2. While that's cooling, cut up your avocado. Since it's going in the food processor, you don't need to get fancy, just remove the skin & pit, and cut into about 4 pieces, then toss into the food processor, followed by the cilantro, garlic, & sour cream.

3. Cut the jalapenos so you can remove the seeds and discard the seeds. Peel the charred skin off the jalapenos and toss the flesh into the processor as well.

NOTE! If you're not sure how much heat you want your dip to have, add only 3 or 4 peppers at first. You can always add the other one(s) after you've given it a good first blend.

4. Blend on medium speed until the contents are well combined and smooth, then taste. If it's too mild, add the other pepper(s) now, and add the salt & pepper to taste. Re-blend 'til smooth.

5. Serve with assorted dipping devices--chips are always popular, but not terribly healthy. We had some pretzel chips that were divine, but always good is an assortment of veggies--this stuff tastes good with ANYTHING, just about, and I mean that.

If you have leftovers, it even makes a fantastic sandwich spread...though I imagine you'll just keep dipping to your heart's content.

And why not? A quarter-cup serving of this divine dip is only 74 calories, plus you're getting calcium from the dairy, heart-healthy fats monounsaturated fats from the avocado, and peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, vitamin B6 in particular. They are also very high in potassium and high in magnesium and iron, and their high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains. And the capsaicin in jalapeno peppers have also been said to shrink prostate tumors (should anyone out there need that particular trait). Cilantro is known to aid in digestion, lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol, is an anti-inflammatory, and is a good source of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phytonutrients and flavonoids.

So eat up! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Nutrition Facts

14 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 74.0
Total Fat 5.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Cholesterol 11.4 mg
Sodium 195.3 mg
Potassium 95.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 2.9 g
Vitamin A 6.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.3 %
Vitamin C 10.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.4 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 4.1 %
Folate 2.8 %
Iron 0.9 %
Magnesium 1.6 %
Manganese 2.5 %
Niacin 1.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.3 %
Phosphorus 1.1 %
Riboflavin 1.1 %
Selenium 0.1 %
Thiamin 0.9 %
Zinc 0.8 %