Here's an idea for a dip that moves beyond the usual sour cream and onion or even seafood and cream cheese based offerings. It will be a nice alternative for any vegans in the crowd, but make plenty as your non-vegan guests are sure to scoop it up as well. Great for pairing with apple or pear wedges and pita chips, either from the store or homemade, as well as carrot, celery and other vegetable dippers.
Curried Peanut Butter Dip
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 small) finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (if using ground ginger, may want to increase to almost 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon garlic powder OR 2 finely minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
vegetable broth, apple juice, or water as needed
1. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in the oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent and tender.
2. Add the curry powder and pepper flakes and continue cooking just until you can smell the curry--probably about 30 seconds or so.
3. Stir in the peanut butter and brown sugar. Combine all ingredients well and add broth or apple juice as needed to achieve desired consistency. (OR, "deglaze" the pan you sauteed the onions in with a tablespoon or two of water and use this for added liquid.) Continue heating just until mixture is well warmed.
Serve either warm or chilled--will probably need more liquid if served cold.