Thursday, February 21, 2008

warm nacho dip

i don't know what to call this sauce. i feel like a derivative of "cheese" is implying that the sauce is trying to imitate cheese or dairy. if i call it "creamy" that also seems to imply it is dairy-like. i wouldn't call it "rich" but that's the next best word that came to mind. however, i think for something good for nachos, it's really not as rich as a fat-laden dairy-based food. in fact, i think it goes down quite nicely.

that said, this *is* my own version of a nutritional yeast-based sauce that some may say is trying to do a cheese imitation. however, i assure you, it is not. nutritional yeast is usually an acquired taste, and if you go into it thinking it's going to be vegan cheese, you're going to be disappointed. but if you take it for what it is, a warm nacho-esque dip or sauce that happens to be vegan and have a hint of tomato, i think you'll like it.

here it's shown with a soft warm pretzel (and boy was it yummy comfort food!), but it'd be great for tortilla chips (either to dip, or poured over the chips with refried beans and some peppers and olives), or even with rice or pasta.

1 cup water
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Generous dash of garlic powder
Generous dash white pepper
Small pinch mustard powder (less is more, you can add more later)
2 tablespoons margarine
equal amt salsa, diced tomatoes, picante sauce, enchilada sauce, etc



in a small saucepan, whisk the flour and water. turn the heat up to medium, add the nooch yeast and spices, and whisk until the sauce bubbles and thickens (depending on your tomatoy-addition, you may want to let it get pretty thick so it doesn't thin out too much). stir in margarine until melted. remove from heat and sample a smidge of it. if it's "lacking" something, it's probably mustard powder or garlic powder, so go ahead and do what you like with it. add your choice of salsa or tomatoes (or whatever you're into). i always use mild, and in this picture it was picante sauce. if you like chunky tomatoes and/or spicy hotness, have at it. (or divvy it up and make half mild and half hot if you have a diverse crowd.)

this makes a generous amount of dip. when all is said and done, it's probably about 2 or 2 1/2 cups. i am pondering making a double batch of this and putting it out in a mini crockpot for our next party. i'll let you know how it goes.

by the way, yes that *is* a halloween plate in the photo, and yes it *is* february. don't judge.