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david cooks dinner, gather food studio, personal chef, colorado springs

Hummus where the heart is.

When it comes to finger food, it’s hard to beat a good dip. Although no one lays claim to the first dip, it is widely believed it was something "hummus-esque", and chickpea based. Here are some of my favorite dip recipes from around the world that are quick and easy for springtime entertaining. Enjoy with friends for an exotic taste vacation that you can take from your own backyard!

Truffle Hummus

1 (15.5 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 T. truffle mash* or truffle oil

1 tsp. salt

1 T. chopped garlic

1 tsp. sumac, ground

1.5 T. lemon juice, fresh squeezed

1/4 C. olive oil

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate two hours to overnight. Garnish with some whole chickpeas, truffle oil, and more ground sumac.

*Truffle mash can be found in 6 oz. cans at Whole Foods in the cheese department.

Htipiti -Feta, Roasted Red Pepper, and Lemon Dip

Htipiti is a Greek style whipped feta cheese and roasted red pepper dip or spread. At its base this dip typically consists of feta, roasted red peppers, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic and it is all pureed or whipped into a dip.

8 oz feta cheese, broken into rough crumbled pieces

8 oz. roasted red pepper (1 large red bell pepper)

¼ C. olive oil

½ lemon, zested

2 tsp lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane

1 tsp. fresh oregano

Generous pinch chili flakes

Salt and Pepper

Char the bell pepper on all sides and place in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap for 20 minutes to loosen the skin. Remove the char, seeds, and membrane, discard.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.If too thick, add a touch more olive oil or water to thin to desired consistency.

Sikil P'ak - Mayan Pumpkin Seed Dip

Sikil pak has the consistency of an herbed cream cheese you'd spread on a cracker. It doesn't contain any dairy or even any major vegetables -- just a few scoops of pumpkin seeds ground to dust, mixed with jalapeno, tomato, herbs and spices. It's great on tortilla chips, warm tortillas, or cucumber slices!

2 c. pumpkin seeds, toasted

1 tsp. cumin, ground

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped (*seeds removed, optional)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

3 - 4 T. canola oil

3 T. water

3 - 4 T. orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toast the pumpkin seeds on a silicone lined baking sheet for 6-9 minutes, or until toasted. Do Not Let Burn. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the pumpkin seeds in a food processor and blend until there are no chunks and smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.