Classic Game Day Dippers

Monday, February 1, 2010

Whether you're hosting a party yourself or going over to your friend or family's house, dips are a perfect food for Super Bowl. Most are pretty simple using a few ingredients, are super easy to prepare and best of all, can be done in advance. Also important to keep in mind is if you're traveling to a party and want to bring a treat, dips travel very easily too.

I've listed here my five favorite dips for game day. You can make them as fancy or casual as you like. And for sure, they will please. Enjoy.

Mishy's 7 Layer Dip serves 8-10

2 cans refried beans
2 Tbsp prepared salsa (recommended Pace)
1 recipe easy guacamole or your favorite store-bought guacamole
sour cream
1.5 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (recommended Cracker Barrel)
4-5 scallions, chopped small
4-5 Roma tomatoes, chopped small
1/4 cup sliced black Spanish olives (drained if using canned)

Place the refried beans in a nonstick pan. Add the salsa and mix in. Cook the beans until warmed through and salsa is incorporated. Spread the beans in one even layer in a clear baking dish. Let to cool a few minutes. Once cool to the touch, spread the guacamole in an even layer on top of the beans. Spread an even layer of sour cream on top of the guacamole. Top the sour cream with an even layer of the cheddar cheese. Make sure to really layer it on thickly, covering as much of the white sour cream as possible. Top the cheese with the scallions in one layer, then repeat with the tomatoes and finally ending with the olives.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with sturdy tortilla chips and bring to room temperature about 10 minutes before serving.

Tips: You can certainly use pre-grated cheese but I like Cracker Barrel for this so I have to grate my own. You can also use any cheese blend you like (Monteray, Pepper Jack, Mexican blend) but I like the contrast between the white sour cream and the yellow cheddar. Feel free to make your own combination!

Sometimes I add an extra layer of seasoned ground beef to this dip. If I do that I place it between the refried beans and the guacamole. If serving for a large party I like to do this exact recipe as vegetarians can also enjoy it.

You can also use chopped white onion instead of scallion or omit the onions all together. For some green if onion isn't your thing, try some fresh cilantro or even finely shredded lettuce for color and crunch.

Dip can be made a few hours in advance. More than that and the guacamole will start to turn brown around the edges.

I like using a clear lasagna dish for this dip so you can see all the colorful layers. If you don't have one, then just go ahead and use whatever you've got!

Onion Dip From Scratch by Alton Brown

2 Tbsp olive oil
2.5 cups diced onion
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1.5 cups sour cream
3/4 cup mayo
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

In a saute pan over medium heat add oil, heat and add onions and salt. Cook the onions until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients, and then add the cooled onions. Refrigerate then stir again before serving.

My Notes: I like serving onion dip with a veggie platter but you can also do a good potato chip. I like Kettle brand Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper for this dip.

Don't be tempted to cook the onions on a high heat to get them done faster; they will burn. It's necessary to slowly caramelize the onions to achieve maximum flavor.

Salsa Fresca with Fried Plantains (aka Tostones)
8 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped very small
1 small sweet onion (Vidallia) finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp olive or canola oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 green plantains
canola or peanut oil for frying
Make the salsa first. Combine the tomatoes, onions, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and oil in a bowl. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Give a good toss, cover and let stand in refrigerator at least 2 hours so flavors can meld together. Before serving, check for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
To prepare the plantains, heat about 4 tablespoons in a large frying pan until very hot. Meanwhile, peel the plantains and cut into 1.5 inch thick slices. Place the slices in the pan, cut side up, careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown on one side. Flip and fry the other side. Remove to a cutting board. Add another batch. While those cook, take one browned piece and using the flat part of your chef's knife or a heavy pan, smash the plantain with one strong smack creating a flat disk. Repeat this process with all the pieces. Return these flat disks back to the oil to finish browning. You're looking for an overall golden brown color.
Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel. Season liberally with salt immediately while still hot. Serve with salsa fresca.
Tip: you can also serve these tostones with guacamole.
Salsa can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in an air-tight container. Just give it a stir before serving. Tostones can be made in advance and heated in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes. But they are best served freshly fried. And of course you can just use tortilla chips.
Party Guacamole serves 16
8-10 ripe Haas avocados
4 limes
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
4-5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped small
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Mexican organo (or 1/2 tsp dried)
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
grated queso fresco (optional)
Cut the avocados in half and spoon out the flesh into a large bowl. Reserve two pits to the side. Add the juice of the limes immediately on the avocado to prevent oxidation. Taking a fork, gently mash the avocado against the sides of the bowl. Add the onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and place in serving bowl with the two reserved pits (they will help the guacamole not brown). Top with grated queso fresco and serve with tortilla chips.
Notes: Obviously you can adjust this recipe to your tastes. If you like more tomatoes then go ahead and add them. If you want to control the spice then maybe omit the jalapeno pepper. Dont' like onions? Leave them out!
Guacamole must be made right before serving as the avocados will eventually turn brown.
And remember, when working with peppers, the heat lives in the seeds and ribs of the pepper -- if you want it spicier then go ahead and leave the seeds intact. And taste the pepper before using it. Depending on the season, they will be extremely hot or acutally quite mild .
Hot Crab Dip by Paula Deen
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat picked over for shells
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
3/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup green onions, minced (optional)
5-6 roasted garlic cloves or 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp Worcesteshire sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a casserole and gently stir until thoroughly mixed. Baked in oven for 40 minutes. Serve hot with crackers or toast points.
My Notes: This is a really simple and tasty hot crab dip that is obviously all about the crab. It's so simple so I like to serve it with simple crackers like basic saltines.
You can combine the ingredients and prepare in a casserole dish ahead of time (a full day), then just bake off before guests arrive.

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