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1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
Hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon rosemary

In food processor combine beans and garlic. Process and add rosemary and olive oil. Squeeze in lemon juice and a dash of hot pepper sauce. Process until smooth. Scoop into dish and serve with toasted pitas


2 ounces fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup water chestnuts (or peeled Jicama), finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

Mix all ingredients well. Chill and serve with vegetables


1 pound blue cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
8 tablespoons softened sweet butter
1/4 cup Port
Fresh black pepper
2 cups chopped toasted walnuts

In a food processor combine and process until smooth the blue cheese, cream cheese, butter and Port. Adjust seasoning and texture with more or less butter or Port. Season with pepper.

Transfer to the refrigerator (you can do 2 weeks before serving). 1 hour before serving, bring mixture to room temperature, fold in the nuts and transfer to smaller ramekins.

Serve with crackers, celery, fennel or jicama

Yield: 3 cups


2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely minced onion
3 tablespoons carrot, finely diced
3 tablespoons scallions, green part only, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons red pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Small round peasant style bread
Bagel chips

In an electric mixer beat all ingredients together until smooth. Slice off top of peasant bread and hollow out the center. Use bread as a "bowl" for dip. Serve with bagel chips

Yield: 2 1/4 cups


3 eggplants
1 head garlic
Olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup parsley, minced

Wash and dry eggplants. Peel garlic and set aside. If the cloves are very large, cut in half. Make multiple 1/2-inch slits in the eggplant and stud with garlic. Push towards the center of the eggplant so the garlic is not sticking out. When done, coat eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place in the center of the cooking grate until the eggplants have collapsed and are soft. You will need to turn occasionally. This will take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplants. When very soft, cut in half and scrape flesh and garlic from skin. Mash with a fork and mix in enough olive oil to make creamy. Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Serve with pita wedges or flatbread.


Recipe Courtesy of Curtis Aikens

1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Optional: 1 jalapeno, chopped
Celery sticks or grilled chicken fingers as an accompaniment

In a small saucepan over low heat combine vegetable broth, peanut butter, shallots, Worcestershire, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper and optional jalapeno. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve with celery sticks, grilled chicken fingers

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups


Recipe Courtesy of  Michelle Urvater

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, preferably white
1 stick softened sweet butter
2 teaspoonfuls or so of Dijon mustard (or to taste)
Cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup or so of dry sherry
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
Garnish: finely sliced chives

Grate the cheddar cheese while very chilled, but then let the grated cheese get back to room temperature. In the bowl of a food processor, whirl the cheese, butter, mustard, sherry and cayenne pepper until smooth and creamy

Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. (You can do 2 weeks before serving.) Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving; fold in the nuts and repack into four 1 cup ramekins of crocks. Dust with chives for garnish

Serve with crackers, or a crunchy vegetable like celery or fennel or jicama.

Yield: 3 to 4 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Maura Enright, Proprietor
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