Friday, February 3, 2012

'Tis a Day for Dips!

Superbowl Sunday is just a couple days away, and with that in mind, I realized I haven't posted any recipes here in a bit.  So I thought I'd share with you the two recipes I'll be making and bringing to my mom's house this weekend.

It is said that Superbowl Sunday is a day for dips.  Dips, spreads, and of course, platters of hoagies and sandwiches and chicken wings and other decadent fatty favorites.  In our house, we usually do our normal family get-together spread of cheese, crackers, pepperoni, and Herlocher's; chips and dips; and my mom's famous wings.  My mom is from Buffalo, so her wings are legit.  But to round out the spread, I thought I'd bring a couple of other family favorites -- Bread Dip and Taco Dip.  I already have the ingredients at home, I was going to make them for an in-home date night with my husband last weekend but I ended up getting sick.  (I had this awesome idea -- Dips n' Darts night.  I was so excited about it.  Stupid flu ruined all my plans.  Oh well, another night!)

Without further ado, here are some super simple recipes to add to your Superbowl spread this weekend....

Bread Dip

This gluttonous favorite made its entry into my family when my father was involved in politics when I was a kid, and my mom had all kinds of gatherings and parties at our house while we were upstairs sleeping.  It was always a huge hit, and once I was old enough to appreciate it, well, there's hardly an occasion I can find not to make it.  I usually make it every New Year's Eve and eat almost the whole thing by myself.  Whenever I take a day off work to just schlep around and not do anything, I make this for myself for lunch.  I craved it when I was pregnant and made it weekly for a while.  So, it's sure to be a hit with you too.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 round loaf sourdough, rye, or pumpernickel bread
  • 1 brick cream cheese, softened (this is not a time for fat-free stuff)
  • 1/2 cup hot salsa (make sure it's HOT!)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Additional dippers like extra bread, Wheat Thins, or tortilla chips

Cut the top off the bread and hollow out the inside to make a bread bowl.  Tear the insides into large bite-size pieces and lay on a cookie sheet.  If you've got an additional loaf of bread for dipping, cut it into similar-sized bite-size pieces.  Toast in the oven for 10 minutes on 350.

While the bread is toasting, mix together the cream cheese, salsa, and sour cream with beaters.  When it's well-mixed, add the cheddar cheese and mix well.  Let your gorgeous daughter help too, if you want.  (BTW -- she loves bread dip.  Loves it cold AND hot.  Mama so proud!)

Then pour the dip mix into the bread bowl, put the lid back on, and double-wrap in aluminum foil.  By this time your bread pieces should be finished toasting.  Toss them into a bowl and crank the oven to 450.  Then put the bread dip in and bake for 90 minutes.

Yes, 90 minutes.  I know, I know.  I'm sorry.  It looks so good and you want to eat it RIGHTNOW right?  I know.  Ninety minutes is a really long time but trust me -- it is worth it.

When it's done (by now you will be smelling it in the air and your stomach will be growling and you'll probably be watching the timer -- What?!  Only 35 seconds have passed?!  I could have sworn it's been at LEAST 7 minutes since the last time I looked!), unwrap it and take the lid off and stir it up a bit.  Serve it on a platter with the dippers around it, and enjoy.

Oh, and try not to burn your tongue.  It'll be tough.

Taco Dip

Now for a nice, refreshing cold dip.  This is my mom's taco dip, but I've modified it slightly.  Her original recipe didn't have any sour cream in it, so you could leave that out if you'd like.  But I find that adding the sour cream gives it a nice body and consistency.  But I've found you need to use fresh sour cream -- a new container -- and a thicker sour cream.  I always use Daisy.  It's not organic, but it is all-natural, and hell, it's just the best sour cream out there.  It's thick, and creamy, and delicious.  It never gets too runny or watery.  They don't sell it at Whole Foods so I have to make a special trip to my (gasp!) Acme to stock up.  Yes, it's just that good.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8oz taco sauce, any heat level
  • 16oz sour cream (use Daisy!!)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced green peppers
  • Finely shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the cream cheese, taco sauce, and sour cream.  You may not use the entire container of sour cream -- just mix in however much you want, so you get the dip consistency you want.  I normally use most, if not all, of the 16oz container.  Spread into the bottom of a large baking dish, 13x9 size should be fine.  Refrigerate for a couple hours so it can set.

Chop all your veggies, and -- this is important -- if you've washed them (and I sure hope you have), make sure you dry them well, especially the lettuce.  And seed your tomatoes!  Otherwise all that liquid will drip down to your dip base and make it a watery mess.  It will still taste delicious, but please, people.  Let's not sacrifice the creamy consistency.

Layer your veggies on in the following order -- lettuce, green peppers, and tomatoes.

Then top with your finely shredded cheddar cheese, and stick back in the refrigerator to set for a little bit or just to keep it cold till you're ready to serve it.  Serve with strong tortilla chips -- this is not a dip for flimsy, easily-breakable, wimpy tortilla chips.

You know, I've always wanted to make little individual dip cups with Tostitos Scoops.  Scoop a little bit of dip into each and top with the toppings and lay them all out on a platter.  I'm not sure how it would turn out, but if anyone tries that, get back to me and let me know how it works.  And take pictures!

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