Cook's Corner: Get ready for football with party dip recipes

Published 1:19 am Wednesday, January 23, 2008

By Staff
The Super Bowl is coming, and so are the parties and get-togethers that surround the event.
I'm usually not much of a professional football fan, but I must admit I'm happy about the New England Patriots being in the big game this year. I can remember liking the Patriots for a long, long time. Even when I was laughed at for liking them, I still liked them. I'm not sure why I like the Patriots. I just like the name. For the same reason, I'm a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At any rate, I plan to take a little time on Feb. 3 to watch at least some of the game. Actually, I'll probably be watching the commercials as much as the game because of all of the interest in those little spots between plays.
If you plan to watch the game and the commercials, you may want to have your party foods planned out well in advance so preparation is done before the game begins. That way, folks can serve themselves during the game and you can rest easily until clean up time arrives.
Adam, the sports editor here at The Brewton Standard, gave me an idea of something he'd like to see on the buffet table at the Super Bowl party. This next recipe is for a vegetable pizza.
Adam said he doesn't care for mushrooms, but otherwise this recipe passes his inspection and is deemed to be acceptable on the table.
Veggie Ranch Pizza
1 unbaked pizza crust
1 1/2 cups Ranch-style salad dressing
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pizza crust on a pizza pan or baking sheet, and spread dressing evenly over the top. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese, followed by carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, onion, red pepper, and mushrooms. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender, and cheese is melted and lightly browned.
If you're more into dips and spreads, these next two recipes may be something interesting for your table.
I may have given you this recipe in the past, but the timing is perfect for it again. This is one of my favorites and it's very tasty.
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.
If frying up a whole pound of bacon doesn't sound fun to you, you can substitute a jar of real bacon bits for the cooked bacon. You can also use the pre-cooked bacon in this recipe for a quick, no-mess alternative.
If you can't find a good tomato this time of year, you can substitute a can of diced tomatoes, but be sure to drain them well or the dip will be a little soupy. Line a dish with fresh lettuce leaves (green leaf lettuce works best) to dress up the dish. I usually serve this with pita chips or you can use toasted bread points for dipping.
This next recipe is also a good one to feed a crowd. Since it uses chicken, it is a hearty dip that pleases a lot of people. You can control the heat by adjusting the amount of hot sauce you use.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored crackers
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.
If you prefer to cook your own chicken for this recipe, there is an alternative. Boil or bake four chicken breasts then debone and shred to put in the dip.
I hope that you enjoy these recipes, whether you use them for a Super Bowl party or other gathering. I've gotten a lot of good reviews from those who have enjoyed these two dips. I hope that you do too.
Check back here next week for more recipes fit for a party. I've found some sweet dips that will round out a good Super Bowl buffet table.
If you have any ideas you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you. You can give me a call at 867-4876, drop by the office or send me an email at I promise to give you credit for your submissions.
Until next week, Happy cooking and Go Pats!