Sparkly cocktail well and truly in hand, it was time to think about that most basic of cocktail party comestible – the dip.
Working with Golnaz and Mehran, we settled on four classics: wicked good onion dip (a personal fave of Ms G), blue cheese and yogurt dip with shallots and chives (Mehran is kind of partial to this – so I thought the balance a good thing), poppy seed and yogurt fruit dip (except I subbed celery seed for the poppy), and nippy pimiento cheese.
As you can see from the links, I’ve already published all these recipes, but here, ALL IN ONE POST (WooHoo!) are these top four dips, with, mebbe, a few, tiny tweaks I made just for the occasion – wicked good clam dip is, indeed, wicked good, but can be a hard sell for folk who eat more with their ears than with their tongues, so we opted to err on the side of caution considering the number of folk expected at the party and the number of tasty little things we had already planned.
First, Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip
•1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
•1 tsp minced garlic
•2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
•7 oz. Greek-style yogurt
•1/2 cup mayonnaise
•4 oz sharp Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled – I used almost a quarted pound of Stilton, then added some Wisconsin Blue to make up the difference
•5 dashes Tabasco sauce – I used 1 tsp Earl’s
•1 tsp kosher salt (I used coarse sea salt)
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•3 tbsp minced fresh chives
Combine everything but the chives in your food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until the mixture is smooth, but still chunky. Add the chives and pulse a few more times until well combined.
Cover and chill for at least two hours to let the flavors blend.
Second, Celery Seed & Yogurt Fruit Dip
•1 cup mayonnaise
•14 oz Greek yogurt
•1/4 cup half and half
•4 tsp celery seed
•2 tbsp honey
Stir together and serve with fresh fruit. LOVELY. Rich likes to have this over fresh berries as a mid-morning munchie that is a bit healthier than a cookie or muffin.
Third, Pimiento Cheese
•1 cup Door County Garlic Jack Cheese
•1 Cup good American Process Cheese
-not that stuff pre-wrapped in squares – check out your options in the deli case, you will be surprised about the difference in flavor
-or, use 2 cups Cheddar total
•1 (4 oz) jar diced pimiento, with juice
•1/2 cup mayonnaise
•1/2 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1 tsp Earl’s – or Tabasco
Shred the cheese, then, using a metal spoon (the pimiento will stain plastic and wood), stir together with the remaining ingredients until creamy.
Pack into a covered container and stash in the fridge – this is tasty on burgers – but also a handy spread for sammiches and crackers; and just think about it on top of a baked potato!
Step away from the jarred stuff and make your own, you will not be sorry.
Fourth, Wicked Good Onion Dip
•2-1/2 cups (24 oz) sour cream
•2 tsp Earl’s
•1/2 cup dried onion
•2 tbsp dried chives
•1 tbsp 21 Seasoning Salute
•3/4 tsp seasoned salt
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tbsp minced roasted garlic
•1/4 cup skim milk
Combine all the ingredients together and let rest in the fridge for at least two hours or, better, overnight. If the dip seems a bit thick after resting, thin it out with a bit more milk.
So. Much. Better. than that stuff you make with the dried soup packet, but not much more effort, so why not amaze your friends and confound your enemies by offering up a bowl o’ this bit of goodness.