Monday, July 27, 2015

Vegetable Medley Tempura with Celery Dip

Veggie Ingredients:
1-2 cups peanut oil (or canola oil)
1 whole head Celery (with wide bottom), washed
1 large red onion, sliced in 1/2 inch rings
4 jalapeno peppers, sliced lengthwise
4 large portobello mushroom, wiped clean and sliced in half
1 sweet corn on cob, sliced into 1 inch rings

Tempura Batter:
2 cups flour ( I use my own blend of gluten free)
2 TBS baking powder
2 TBS sesame oil
1 cup cold seltzer
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt

Celery Veggie Dip:
2 garlic cloves
2 cups celery
1 cup bell pepper  ( I like half red and half yellow)
1/2 cup red onion
1 cup parsley
1/2 jalapeno
8 ozs cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup cottage cheese
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp coarse pepper

1.  Heat 1 cup oil in large cast iron skillet on medium/high heat.  Additional oil will be added as veggies cook.
2.  Make sure all veggies are washed and wiped dry before dipping into batter.  Start with celery.  Trim off tops with knife about 4 inches down.  Cut off bottom of celery head, approx. 4 inches from the bottom.  Cut remaining celery ribs into 3 - 4 inch pieces.  Prep remaining veggies.
3. In large mixing bowl add ingredients of batter, whisk. Dip veggies into batter, completely covering.  Add to hot oil and saute for approx. 1-2 mins, depending of the thickness of veggie.  Flip and saute the other side until brown.  Place on paper towel to drain excess oil.  Repeat process for remaining veggies, reserving celery leaves for last.
4.  Dip: In medium size bowl add garlic, celery, peppers, onions, parsley and 1/2 of a jalapeno (or less, according to likeness).  Pulse in medium size food processor to chop, but not puree.  Add cream cheese and pulse a few times to incorporate.  Add contents to small bowl.  Fold in cottage cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
5.  Trim out inside of celery stalk to create a bowl.  Add dip to the inside.  Serve in center of platter with tempura around it.  Place the celery tempura leaves on top

Serves 4-6

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