Saturday, 12 January 2013

Hot Cheese Dip

Occasionally a favourite piece of kitchen equipment will inspire a dish, my little cast iron three footed pan is one such piece of equipment. It has a 400ml capacity. I can't recall when or where I bought it, I know I haven't ever seen another. I use it for two specific things, frying mustard and cumin seeds along with fresh ginger, chili and lots of thin slices of garlic along with turmeric powder to add to my dahl at the last minute. The other use is to make and serve my Hot Cheese Dip. This is a great dish to start off a meal, with lots of crusty fresh bread to dunk in and it delivers.

You will need:

100g of a good melting cheese, I like to use Emmental.
6 small cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
100ml of single cream
Salt and pepper and a large pinch of cayenne.

Begin by grating the cheese, chop up the tomatoes and thinly slice the garlic, mix all the ingredients apart from the cream, place the mixture in an oven proof dish, a Spanish terracotta tapas dish is ideal. pour on the cream and bake in a hot oven 200 C for 12 to 15 minutes, a little colour on the top is welcome but keep an eye on it, all ovens are different. It needs to cook long enough to take off the rawness of the garlic so you may need to cook it at a lower temperature for a little longer.

Serve with chunks of bread to dunk.

This is the most basic of recipes, more of an idea which if you take it on you will find ways of inventing many different variations. There are so many ways you can alter the finished dish, adding spring onions, sauteed mushrooms and if you eat meat, chopped up pieces of crisp bacon, then there's always the possibility of using other cheeses. 

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