Category Archives: Dips

“Peg’s” Spinach & Ranch Dip

hiddenvalley.com

While I am sure I have had this dip many times in the past, our recent trip to Charleston reminded me how downright good it is. I though it so good, in fact, that I told Peg she just had to give me the recipe because I’m always looking for a good cold dip.

To which she replied, “Um sure, Ashley – it’s on the back of the packet.” And then she and the rest of the Davies pointed and laughed as they are wont to do. And that is why I love them.

My embarrassment aside, this dip is solid, and I actually prefer it with veggies for dippers than chips, which is miraculous on its own.Also, you can definitely use light sour cream in this without any adverse effect. I know. My inner fat girl cries out with shame at this suggestion.

And don’t skip the water chesnuts – they are what gives this stuff its cracktastic crunch.

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
8 oz water chestnuts, rinsed, drained and chopped
16 oz sour cream (you can go light here)
1 packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips Mix
salt, black pepper and hot sauce to taste
French bread, cut into pieces
fresh veggies

  1. Mix first four ingredients (and s&p and hot sauce) together and chill for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight).
  2. Dip the other stuff in it. Pretty straightforward.
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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Dips, Veggies

Les Carlos Shrimp & Crawfish Dip

This is another holiday dish that I will definitely be putting into the year-round rotation.

sweetenedandcondensed.com

I first had this dip at a Christmas party 8 years ago, and I searched for the recipe for 5 years before someone pointed out to me that it had been right under my nose – namely in Heart & Soul – the whole time.

While this does take a little while to prep and cook, it is totally worth your time. And not just because it is delicious, but also because each step of the cooking process leaves the house smelling better than the last. Butter, creole seasoning, fresh herbs and seafood? I’m on board.

Two words of caution: Make sure to thaw and rinse your seafood well to get rid of any unnecessary fishiness, and make sure you use 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning and not 2 tablespoons at each of the saute steps. Not that anyone has ever ruined 2 pounds of perfectly good seafood by doing that, but I’d like to prevent it if at all possible…

1 lb crawfish tails
1 lb shrimp, raw and roughly chopped
1.5 sticks of butter (.75 cups)
6 tsp creole seasoning
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tbsp fresh basil (3 dried)
3 tbsp fresh thyme (1.5 dried)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
hot sauce

  1. Melt half a stick of butter in a large skillet. Add 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add crawfish and saute for 5 minutes. Pour crawfish and butter into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt half a stick of butter in a the skillet, add 2 tsp creole seasoning, and saute shrimp in butter for 3 minutes. Add shrimp to bowl with crawfish.
  3. Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet with 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add onion, green and red peppers, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.
  4. Add fresh herbs, tomato paste and flour to veggie mixture in the skillet and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
  5. Process half of crawfish/shrimp mixture in blender (do not puree).
  6. Add crawfish/shrimp mixture (both processed and not-processed halves) to skillet and mix thoroughly.
  7. Stir in green onions and add hot sauce to taste.
  8. Serve with Thin Garlic Crostinis and get out of the way.

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Filed under Appetizers, Cajun food, Christmas, Dips, Seafood, Special Occasion

Sweet Chili Sauce

Earlier in the year I posted a great Thai Shrimp recipe that uses sweet chili sauce.  I noted that I should start making my own but never got around to doing so.  Ripley also posted a fried green tomato recipe that uses sweet chili sauce and noted that the Chef’s fav is Mae Ploy.  With good premade ones already out there, it is hard to get motivated to make your own.  However, it is simple with few ingredients and keeps well in the fridge.  Making it at home means no preservatives and additives.  – ts

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar, adjust according to your desired sweetness
6-8 small red chili peppers, chopped finely
1/2 tsp red chili paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 (2 inch each) orange peel, julienned finely

Thickener:
1 – 2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

  1. Combine ingredients for thickener in a small bowl and mix well then set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, chili, garlic, orange peel, chili paste. Heat over medium heat . Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Simmer until all ingredients has softened.
  4. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture and cook until it thickens. NOTE: Add cornstarch mixture slowly so as to avoid becoming too thick. If you accidentally add too much cornstarch mixture and the sauce becomes too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little bit more water and cooking it a little bit longer.
  5. Remove from heat and cool before serving or refrigerating.

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Filed under Asian food, Dips, Marinades, Sauces, Toppings

Vidalia Onion Dip

Easiest party food you will ever make.  Trust me it is delicious, and people will ask for the recipe.   I guess you could get fancy and use gruyere instead of cheddar. –ts

1 cup mayo
1 cup chopped vidalia onions
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or cheese of your liking)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine all and bake in buttered casserole bowl (you could use PAM but butter is always better)
  3. Bake at 350′ for 20 minutes

Serve with fritos, triscuits or any other cracker

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Dips, Party food

Horseradish Cream Sauce

servedfreshmedia.com

Last week The Chef brought home a small cow’s worth of beef tenderloin, so it was a banner week at Blair Blvd. My favorite part of this windfall, though, was the dipping sauce he brought home to with it.

Horseradish sauce is ubiquitous on French Dips and carving stations, but I’d bet my beef that you’ve never had any like this.

You’ve got all the usual suspects here: the horseradish, the mayo and the salt, but this sauce blows past the original with a surprise ingredient: fresh whipped cream. Cream is obviously awesome in any form, but I don’t get a lot of it because I always go salty over sweet, and you don’t top a steak with whipped cream… or do you?

If you have this sauce on hand, the answer is “yes, you do.” The lightness of the cream and the bite of the horseradish make this dip cracktastically addictive, so wheel it out the next time you tender your loin.

3/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped stiff
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayo
1/2 tsp kosher salt

  1. Add all ingredients except whipped cream to a bowl and mix.
  2. Slowly fold in whipped cream.

Chill and serve. We obviously went down the meat road with this, but I’d wager it’s money on everything from raw veggies to potato chips, so get experimental.

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Filed under Dips, Sauces, Toppings

Pitts’ Baked Fontina Cheese

fourscoops.blogspot.com

This recipe comes to us from Mr. Justin Pitts, Esq. of Malibu, California, so you know this shiz be fancy.

I have yet to try this, but I think we all recognize that bubbly cheese=fatty goodness about 98% of the time.

(The other 2% of the time is made up of randomly scarring incidents such as the time I saw a cheese-and-mayonnaise sandwich that was left out on the picnic table for 2 days in kindergarten. This girl Amanda used to trade me her Kraft-single-and-mayo sammys for my boring turkey ones because my mom wouldn’t make them for me. Dot said they provided no nutritional value… which is ironic, because she also used to let me eat whole sticks of butter. But I only parent a small dog who eats olives and pickles on the regular, so what do I know.)

Anyway, bubbly cheese + fresh herbs + a cast iron skillet should be enough to melt any Southerner’s heart, so we’re glad to see Pitts hasn’t let SoCal fancify all the good sense out of him. Now let’s get melty:

1.5 lbs Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, rind cut off, 1-in dice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 baguette, sliced and toasted

  1. Put the cheese cubes in a 12 Inch cast iron skillet. Drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle the garlic and herbs all around and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Put under broiler 5 inches from the heat for about 6-7 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown.
  4. Dip the bread in it and devour.

 

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Filed under Appetizers, Dips, French food

Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

Wow we have really been neglecting our nummy site!  To be honest, it is so hot down here in NOLA, new recipes have not been a priority.  However, I am going to start making a much better effort!  

Everyone loves a good spinach dip bread bowl and below is a mini version recipe so you don’t have to worry about germs or sharing with others.   It is incredibly tasty and easy.  I served these at a party recently along with Lacy’s (Grandmother Irene Tucker’s) Award-Winning Tomato Cups.  You don’t really need to follow the directions for the spinach dip step by step and feel free to use your own spinach dip recipe.  Season to your liking and enjoy! – ts

10 oz roll of refrigerated french bread loaf
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 onion diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup light sour cream
fresh shredded parmesan cheese
2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
salt and pepper
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
dashes Worcestershire sauce
dashes hot sauce

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 10 muffin cups with non stick cooking spray.  Unroll package of french bread loaf and slice into 10 equal size slices, about 1 inch thick.  Press each slice into about a 3 inch round, I did this by pressing in between my hands.  Press into the bottom and up sides of the muffin cup.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions and 1/2 the garlic until soft.  Then add and stir spinach until wilted, about 3 minutes then add rest of garlic, cook and stir for another couple of minutes then turn heat off.

3.  Place cream cheese, sour cream, cooked onion spinach and garlic, Parmesan Cheese, and all seasonings into a medium bowl.  Mix until well combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dip into each of the centers of bread bowls.  Top evenly with shredded cheese and bake for 15-17 minutes until just turning brown on edges.  Remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from oven.

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Comfort food, Dips, Party food, Snacks