Cook's Corner: Dips make the party

Published 2:21 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

By Staff
I noticed poll questions up at some of the cooking Web sites I visited this week. Basically what they were asking is if people go to Super Bowl parties for the game or for the food.
I guess the answer to that would depend on if you are male or female. I like football, but it's not at the top of my priority list of things to do on the weekend. I'd rather get together for some great conversation, and of course, food.
This week I've decided to help folks who have gatherings for the Super Bowl. I realize we are still a few weeks away from the big event, but it's never too early to start planning and to begin making a shopping list for goodies.
This week, I'll pass along a few dip recipes for you. For some reason, it's not really a party without a few dips around. (No offense guys!)
I have certainly tried this first recipe. It's a pretty good way to serve those buffalo-style wings without all the mess and a pile of bones after. It's great with celery. I've even served it with those little Chicken-in-a-Biskit crackers for a little extra zing. Pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
Three-fourths cup red hot pepper sauce
1 and one-half cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.
I have also prepared this next dip recipe for a couple of occasions and have gotten pretty good reviews on it. Again, it's a recipe that you can prepare that is almost as good as the original dish without all the fuss.
I have used canned tomatoes in this recipe with pretty good success. The only thing about using canned tomatoes is that you have to drain them really well. Otherwise, the dip will be a little soupy. This dip can be served with just about any type of cracker and will be delicious. I have toasted white and wheat breads and cut it into triangles and placed around the bowl for serving. That's ok if you know the bread will be eaten within an hour of putting it out. After that, the bread begins to soften and may not be suitable for dipping.
1 pound bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tomato – peeled, seeded and diced
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Crumble bacon into the sour cream and mayonnaise mixture. Mix in tomatoes just before serving.
I've only made this recipe once, but it turned out beautifully. It makes a really good presentation, but you do have to serve it warm. When it starts to cool down, it gets kind of gummy.
Pizza Dip
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
One-half tsp. dried oregano
One-half tsp. dried parsley
One-fourth tsp. dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
2 tbsp. chopped green bell pepper
2 ounces pepperoni sausage, chopped
2 tbsp. sliced black olives
In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, oregano, parsley, and basil. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate, or a shallow microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle one-half cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the pizza sauce over all. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with green pepper, pepperoni and olive slices. Cover, and microwave for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
My plan is to give you more recipes suitable for a party or get-together next week.
This next recipe is one I concocted out of necessity. It began from a simple spread idea but quickly evolved into this dip recipe. What happened was that when I prepared it in the original version is that people were scooping off the crab and cocktail sauce and leaving an ugly, disgusting looking hunk of cream cheese on the dish that nobody would touch.
Not wanting to waste anything, and not wanting to have to carry three different items to assemble once I'd reached the party destination, I came up with this recipe.
Cold Crab Dip/Spread
1 (7 oz.) can flaked crab meat
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese
One-fourth cup cocktail sauce, or to taste.
Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Stir in crab meat and cocktail sauce. Adjust sauce to your taste. (I have used up to a half of a cup in this recipe.)
Spoon into decorative bowl or dish and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with Captain's wafers or saltine crackers with additional cocktail sauce available.
Here's a recipe for a salsa that is somewhat interesting. It calls for 12 ounces of beer. If you don't have that or don't want to use it, you can substitute six ounces of apple cider and six ounces of gingerale for the beef.
Drunk Salsa
4 fresh tomatoes
10 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle Mexican beer
1/2 cup water, or as needed
1 clove garlic
1 slice onion
salt to taste
Place the tomatoes and jalapenos into a saucepan, and pour the beer over them. Add enough water so that the tomatoes and jalapenos are covered. Simmer over medium heat until soft. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Transfer the tomatoes and jalapenos to a blender, and add the garlic and onion. Pulse until well blended. Add some of the cooking liquid to help with blending if necessary. Taste, and season with salt.
If you have any ideas you can email your tips, ideas and recipes to me at, or you can give me a call at 867-4876.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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