Monday, September 12, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato Cashew Spread & Roasted Pepper Spread

Oh yum... This was quite a success.  I wanted to create a cashew-based spread and I had some sun-dried tomatoes left so they went in there.  Then, I also wanted to try roasting peppers.  I know everyone roasts red peppers, but I didn't have any so green it was.  Roasted green bell peppers with some spices and viola, delicious!

The cashew spread can go with anything.  I bet it would be really nice on top of a mixed salad.  If you add some more oil or even water to thin it out it would be more of a dip.  Versatile!

The pepper spread would be really good in Fexican Moods, like in taco or burrito.  Of course, this is due to a cumin-chili spice blend, so if you mix in other flavors you could make it more Mediterranean, more Italian, more Indian.... you name it! 

First, the Roasted Pepper spread since the peppers need to roast!

I'm also trying a new camera... hope the pictures look better! I'd love feedback!! Hint hint... ehem... hint...

2 servings

1 bell pepper, top hacked off and cut in half, inner flesh and seeds removed (I'd recommend doubling this if you have the option to, and double your spices to match)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried cilantro leaves, or 1/2 TBS fresh
1/4 tsp salt
dash of red pepper for a kick

1. Roast your peppers:  Set your broiler to high, and squash your pepper on a foiled pan.
2. Broil pretty close to the top, about 12 minutes or so.  You want them to get black and crispy on top.  The blacker, the easier they are to peel off.  You can always hold them over an open gas flame (Hi Rosi! Hi Mom!) as we used to do back in the day... But with the electric stove I needed to go with an oven-option.

3. After they are pretty black on top (I could have let them go a bit longer), remove from the oven and wrap the foil around the peppers to create a steaming environment.  Let them sit in those packets about 5 minutes or so.

4. Peel off the blackened bits (outer skin).  It should peel off pretty easily, depending on how roasted they are.
Hope that helps illustrate what I mean...
Leftover roasted skin tops...

5. Toss into a processor and whir quickly.  The more peppers you have the better.
With one it was a quick chop and it all smooshed up against the sides, but it was chopped alright!

6. Add the spices and a pinch of salt if you want.
Above: spices...
Below: spices in with the pepper...

7. Whiz quickly (again, the more you have the better).
And viola!  You have a lovely roasted pepper goo!

2 servings

1/2 cup cashews (raw or roasted, I used raw)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato halves (the ready-to-eat kind so you don't have to soak.  Or soak if you need to)
1 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil... or canola....)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional but awesome)

...I'd also recommend doubling this recipe to get the best use of your processor...

1. Chop the cashews in a processor until pretty granular.
2.  Add the sun-dried maters...

Process again until well blended throughout.  You can't over-process this recipe!

3. Add your oil and liquid smoke, if using, and process again!
4. Marvel at your creation!
5. Marvel at it from a different angle!
6. Dish it out and enjoy!

I served mine with steamed potatoes and roasted broccoli.  It was all incredible!  Here's a quick collage of the potatoes and broccoli steaming/roasting:

It was really, really, really good.

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