Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

A big dipper?


Did you know you can’t get extra mayonnaise in McDonald’s?

You can’t. I was there last week on one of our monthly visits (someone has to buy the Happy Meals) and I took a notion of having mayonnaise as a dip for my chips. “We don’t do mayo, sorry,” the girl at the counter told me. I think I reacted by saying, “Seriously?” But whatever about my surprise I didn’t get a square of my preferred dip.

I’ve made my own mayo on a couple of occasions but it’s like eating a fried breakfast: Mayo tastes better if you don’t see it being made. It takes an inordinate amount of oil.

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I made it once with duck egg yolks too, but like last week’s squid escapade, that didn’t work either.

There’s a lot to be said for dips, I think. Whether it’s for chips, sliced peppers, bread sticks or even just the ubiquitous crisp, extra creaminess or spiciness is a much-welcomed addition to your dipper of choice.

I mentioned crema in my squid rant last week, which resulted in a number of people asking me what the heck (they didn’t use the word ‘heck’ either, but you get the picture) I was talking about.

Crema, I should have qualified, is a Mexican sauce which I also like to use as a dip from time to time at home.

It’s dead easy to make and when you’re eating fajitas or tacos or even just dipping slices of bell peppers, it makes all the difference.
Spice up your dipping life with a few of these suggestions.

CREMA INGREDIENTS
• heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche
• heaped teaspoon of mayonnaise
• squirt of lime juice
• pinch of sea salt
• dash of chipotle sauce

THE PLAN
• Stick all the ingredients in a bowl or ramekin and mix. It’s that simple.

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BLUE CHEESE DIP INGREDIENTS
• two tablespoons of creme fraiche or sour cream
• one/two tablespoons or crumbled blue cheese (I use Roquefort)
• one tablespoon of mayo
• dash of milk to loosen
• pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper
• squirt of lemon juice to taste

THE PLAN
• Stick all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk. The more you whisk the smoother it’ll become. It’s that simple.
As well as a great dip, this also works well as a dressing for salad. Loosen accordingly with more milk or water.

BARBECUE DIP INGREDIENTS
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, grated
• dash of vegetable oil
• 1 red chilli, chopped (seeds and all)
• tsp of Tabasco
• 2 tbsp of dark muscovado sugar
• 2 tbsps of dark soy
• 250ml of tomato sauce
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

THE PLAN
This is the only one you have to go a little cooking with, but it’s only a little. Sweat the onions and garlic in the oil until softening… then add the chilli and sweat some more. Add the sugar, stir through and suck up the aromas.

Add the red sauce, the soy, the Tabasco and season well. Bring it to a bubble and let it pop and simmer for a few minutes.
Taste to make sure it’s sweet enough and it not, add another pinch of sugar.

This also works great as a basting for sausages or chicken wings but in terms of dip, it’s sublime.
Thank me later.

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