While visiting friends L. and R. in Washington DC, I struck upon a fabulous little snack that takes 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to make. L. and I served it at an impromptu cocktail hour, complete with dirty Hendrick's martinis (for R.), wine (for moi) and a mocktail with cranberry juice and coconut milk (for the very pregnant L.)
I didn't have time to snap a photo - we were dashing off for dinner at Cashion's Eat Place (in sum: inconsistent. Great steak, sensuous mushroom ragu, and crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside corn cakes v. nasty salad dressing and chocolate cake so dry it was like eating sand. The decor was a somewhat schizophrenic mix of grandma's house circa the 1950s South (a wall full of nostalgic family snapshots) v. exposed pipes and other industrial infrastructure with modern lighting.).
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Yield: 1 cup
L. and I served it with sliced cucumbers and tortilla chips but any sort of veg or cracker would do. You can serve it hot or cold, and if you don't have any cilantro, throw in a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or cumin instead.
1 red pepper
1 clove garlic
6 oz. cream cheese
2 TBSP fresh cilantro
1. To roast the red pepper: cut off top and bottom and slit pepper from top to bottom on one side. Remove ribs and seeds, and flatten pepper on a baking sheet with skin side up. Broil on top oven rack till skin is entirely blackened. Place in a plastic bag for 10 minutes, then peel off skin.
2. In a food processor, mince garlic. Roughly chop red pepper and add to processor. Then add cream cheese and cilantro and process till smooth.
3. Serve cold or heat 30 seconds in microwave.