You know those days when you had no idea you were having people for dinner and then that phone call comes mid-afternoon? Well, this is the quickly assembled first course that can turn a plain roast chicken, or anything else you think you can stretch for four people without much effort, into a dinner party. And actually, whenever you have to cook without time for planning, I think a roast chicken is nearly always the main course you need: It's much easier to come up with frills for before and after and alongside than to construct a fancy dinner party dish last minute. This can be in dollops on crostini (and you can buy baby toasts ready-made for the purpose in an Italian deli) or eaten as a dip and it even serves as a rather intriguing, gorgeously hued sauce for plain grilled meats.
- 12-ounce jar flame roasted red peppers
- 14-ounce can chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese (recommended: Philadelphia)
- 2 tablespoons garlic oil
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
Drain the peppers and chickpeas and put them into a food processor.
Add the paprika, cream cheese, oil and lime juice.
Whiz to a hummus-like puree, and then add salt and perhaps more lime juice, to taste.