Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Char of Atlantica using her patented carafe for
serving red wine with supper.   Ron of Tovarisch
is on Char’s right.
“You really outdid yourself!” Char said, watching me lay out 3 dips, a spreader for each, and a menagerie of crackers.
Momma taught me you just don’t ever show up for dinner empty-handed, even when you’re told it’s okay to.  “She just likes an excuse to cook,” Wayne replied, shrugging his shoulders.
It’s true.  When Juan and Char of Atlantica, our Long Cay Bahamas anchorage neighbors, flagged us down as we were leaving, and encouraged us to stay, we did.  After a week or more without a social life, we even more eagerly accepted their invitation to dinner, joining Ron and LeeAnn from Tavarish.
After I tried out a new beer bread recipe to replenish our sandwhich bread (even if we wanted to buy bread, there was no place to buy it from*), I decided to make a couple dips for appetizers.  One was Wayne’s favorite dip, hummus and sun dried tomatoes (click here for that recipe).  Another was a pesto-based dip.  The last was a chutney-based dip, inspired by Colleen of Goldilock’s yummy mango-chutney chicken salad.  They were all experiments, designed to go well with a fish and beans and rice supper, and good sandwich spread leftovers if they didn’t get finished.

Desi, Ron & LeeAnn of Tovarisch’s Jack Russell
terrier sports her best “No one ever feeds me!” look.

*Tried a couple beer bread recipes now.  Not my favorite breads it seems, but they are quick and easy.
All the dips went over well.  Here’s a rough version of Mango-Chutney and the Pesto Dips.  Adjust each to your own tastebuds, as they as well as the intensity of the ingredients flavors can vary widely.

Mango-Chutney Pecan Dip

Makes about 1 ½ c.
2 T mango chutney
¼ c Neufatchel cream cheese
1 c plain non-fat Greek yogurt (regular plain yogurt, sour cream or more Neufatchel would work, but with less “tanginess”)
¼ t ground nutmeg
¼ c lemon juice (lime juice or unsweetened pineapple juice would work well, too)
¼ c roughly chopped pecans
  • Blend in a mini-food processor all but the pecans, adjusting to your taste.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Stir in the pecans.   If you have a nice looking pecan half, garnish the dip with it.

Try (I would if I’d had them) adding
½ t freshly grated orange zest
½ t fresh and finely chopped, peeled ginger
¼ c crushed pineapple for a more dessert-y dip

Jose gives LeeAnne and Desi a test-drive on their hammock,
attached between their job and mail masts.

Pesto Dip

Makes about 1 ½ c.
1 ½ T pesto
1 T chopped garlic
1 ½ T finely chopped shallot or red onion (optional)
1 T Herbs du Provence
¼ c lemon juice
 ¼ t black pepper, freshly ground
1/3 c cream cheese
1 c nonfat Greek yogurt
salt to taste
½ T extra virgin olive oil
  • Blend all ingredients except ½ the shallots or red onions in a mini-food processor
  • Transfer to a serving bowls
  • Stir in the remaining shallots or onions or use them to garnish the dip.

LeeAnne and Desi approve!
Add finely grated Parmsean cheese, reducing or eliminating the salt
Add ½ t freshly grated lemon rind
Add 1 t capers (haven’t tried this yet, but will)