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I have practically had to sit on my hands to stop myself writing about this before now. Now, naturally I know Roquefort does not come from Mexico, but because it melds deliciously with avocado I couldn't resist; I hope you won't be able to, either. And although I have called this incredible dip roquamole, I think it may be better made with a less illustrious bleu. Saint Agur out of a wedge-shaped package is the cheese I keep in the fridge so that I am ever-ready to make this.
You don't need to serve blue corn tortilla chips with this; you don't have to serve any kind of tortilla chip with this, though both do add to the luscious eat-me quality here. But I'm also very keen on a huge platter of dippable bits: radishes, carrot batons, sugar snaps, you name it.
For me, this can be a dip with drinks, a quick treat for lunch, or a greedy solitary dinner. The only meal I've yet to eat it at is breakfast. I think it's just a question of time …
1 cup crumbled Roquefort or Saint
2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
Agur blue cheese
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup sour cream
large bag of blue corn tortilla chips
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup sliced pickled green jalapeños from a jar
1. Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl.
2. Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.
3. Roughly chop the sliced jalapeños and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced scallions.
4. Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with paprika, and surround with tortilla chips. Dive in.
Chocolate Mint Cookies
This is my version of after-dinner mints: Dispense with dessert and bring out a plate of minty-breathed chocolate cookies with coffee and tisanes instead.
These don't take long to make up and bake, and I can't tell you how lovely it is to be able to open the door to people with the smell of their baking oozing welcomingly out in the evening air.
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) soft butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, sifted
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/4 teaspoon peppermint flavoring
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cream the sugar and butter (I use a freestanding mixer for ease), then beat in the egg and vanilla.
3. Mix the flour, cocoa, and baking powder in a bowl, and gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chips.
4. Using a rounded tablespoon measure, spoon out scoops of cookie dough and place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment or Silpat, leaving a little space in between each one.
5. Bake for 12 minutes and then let them sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack, with some newspaper on the surface underneath.
6. Put the glaze ingredients into a saucepan and heat until combined together. Let cool completely before using.
7. Using a teaspoon, zigzag the glaze over each cooling cookie.
Excerpted from NIGELLA EXPRESS by NIGELLA LAWSON. Copyright (c) 2007 NIGELLA LAWSON. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold.