Sunday, January 8, 2012

Perfect summer dinner in the Hippo House

This is the time of the year when we hippos prefer to soak in water and stay away from sources of heat as far as we can.  So tonight Ms Hippo decided to serve a dinner with the minimum amount of cooking involved.  The Mediterranean meal as shown in the picture was what she came up with in the end, including toasted Turkish bread, cut veggies (celery, carrot, and cucumber wedges) and three dips.

It is Mediterranean because the three dips are of  Levantine, Italian, and  Levantine/Arabic origins (from the top to the bottom, respectively).  The baba ghanoush (at the top of the picture) was probably the best Ms Hippo had ever made, and the trick was to use quite a bit of mint from the garden (a baby eggplant was also essential).  The pesto (in the middle) was actually a basil, Parmesan and cashew dip, though she only added about half of the basil as the recipe says.  The hummus (at the bottom) could have been improved by removing a table spoon or so tahini.

There was almost no heating involved for making this meal except for using oven to grill the eggplant and toast the bread.  Even so Ms Hippo sweated a lot because she made all the dips with a mortar and pestle, which weighs about 10kg in total!  If you think all the pounding and grinding helps in shaping arm muscles, wait until you have to pick up the 10kg monster to give it a wash before making another dip!

But all the hard work paid off: Mr Hippo was very happily fed and we devoured every bit of food on that wooden serving tray!

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