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by Yee-Fan Sun |
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- Onion soup mix: It
may not be the most high-brow eat in the world, but mixed up with a
tub of sour cream, it makes the classic quick-n-easy dip and always
gets scarfed down. Dress it up a little by stirring in some chopped
scallions or parsley for color.
- Olives: Good,
unpitted (they're generally more flavorful) olives are one of those
things I almost always make certain to have in the cupboards (or in
the fridge, once the jar is opened). To serve, just transfer olives
to a bowl and garnish with a simple wedge of lemon or a bay leaf.
For a little more effort, throw pitted olives in a food processor
along with a clove of garlic, some capers (if you have them) and a
little olive oil. The result is tapenade,
a traditional French spread (actually, the classic recipe also
includes anchovies, but I generally omit those to keep the dip
vegetarian-friendly). Tapenade is delish slathered onto bread and
crackers, or scooped up with raw veggies. If you have sundried
tomatoes handy, you can also throw those into the mix to make a
sundried tomato version of the dip.
- Nuts: For nibbling plain, or with just a little extra effort,
spicing and toasting. Try the Best
Nuts Ever for a savory treat, or Cinnamon
Roasted Almonds for something sweet.
- Popping corn:
Popcorn is terrifically addictive, cheap, and the perfect munchie to
whip up for a last-minute movie, TV or game night. Butter and salt
may be the classic seasonings, but for a fun change from the same
old same old, try throwing a little spice into the mix -- a good
dash of cayenne pepper, a sprinkle of Cajun spice mix, Chinese
five-spice powder or chili powder perhaps.
- Canned beans:
Chickpeas, white beans and black beans can all be turned into tasty
dips with the aid of a food processor or blender. Chickpeas, lemon
juice, tahini, garlic and olive oil are the classic combination for hummus;
make a Mediterranean variation by using white beans, leaving out the
tahini and adding a little rosemary and thyme. Black beans,
meanwhile, can be zizzed up with some lime juice, garlic, oil and
hot sauce (cilantro is a nice extra touch if you have it) for a
Southwest-inspired spread, or turned into refried
beans and used as a topping/filling for nachos, quesadillas,
or tortilla rollups.
Keep the pantry reasonably
stocked and you'll find that the next time you find yourself with a bevy
of buddies dropping by for an impromptu hang-out session at your digs,
there'll be no need to panic about the food. There are all sorts of
yummy edibles that can be concocted at last-minute's notice without
running out to the market at all.
out these related articles:
easy party foods | impromptu
dinner party tips | easy breezy
bruschetta | vegetarian dips | easy
munchables | film fare
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