I’ve been really into making dips lately. Back when we lived in Vancouver, I would stop at the grocery store on our corner every day before I went home and pick up something to cook dinner with. Now that I have to drive to the grocery store, I try to just buy a bunch of stuff for the week. I don’t plan meals out (although that may be the more sensible thing to do, I can’t bear to think that far ahead), I just try to get enough fruit and vegetables to last us the week. What ends up happening is that I have random odds and ends that I have to throw together to make a meal that is semi-interesting. I made this red pepper dip last week with some eggs and potatoes and it made what would be an otherwise boring meal pretty special.
I also rarely made sauces like this in the past since I never had a food processor. I never knew what a great investment my mini, 3 cup capacity food processor was until I got it. There are just some things you can’t make without one, although you could probably make this in a blender. The dip is sweet from the red peppers but balanced with the heat from the chilli, acidity from the lime and freshness of the basil. I’m always shocked at how spicy those bird’s eye chillis can be, so if you’re not a fan of heat, start with half a chilli and add more if it seems ok. I just chucked a whole one in and it was borderline too spicy for my taste!
I also love these oven fries. I have made them countless times with a wide variety of seasoning but I thought paprika would work well with the sauce. The trick to the oven fries is to par-boil them before they go in the oven. That way you can cook them on a really high temperature without overcooking the outside when the inside is still raw or dry them out completely. They are really solid.
If you are not a fan of heat, use the smaller amount of chilli. You can always add the second half if you want more of a kick! You will probably have leftover sauce. Cover and store in the fridge for a few days.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small pot, bring water to a boil.
Cut potatoes into wedges that are 1/2 an inch thick around. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook for about 8 minutes, until the potatoes are just cooked through (but not soft).
Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Toss with salt, pepper, paprika and oil. Place in one even layer on an oven tray that is covered with aluminum foil.
Bake for about 10 minutes (until they start to turn golden brown), flip and cook an additional 8-10 minutes (until they are completely golden brown).
While the potatoes are baking, heat up a small pan with canola oil. Cut your bell peppers in half, removing the seeds and white membranes. Cook skin side down until skin is blistered and black. If you have a gas stove, you can also achieve this over the open flame.
Remove peppers and let them cool down a bit. Toast walnuts in the same pan.
In a food processor, blend peppers, garlic, walnuts, chilli, salt, lime juice and basil until smooth. Adjust seasoning.