Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dip Baby, Dip!

     Our family loves dips. Dips with chips, dips with veggies, even fruit dips. Over the years we have made a plethora of different dips, but our main go to for weekend noshing or impromptu parties are a quartet of dips that all originate from the same base ingredients.  This makes preparing a variety of dips a breeze when entertaining.

Base Dip:

I prepare a total of 4 cups of base when I'm going to make all 3 dips for a small gathering.  This makes a lot of dip, so reduce (or scale up) as needed.  Each type of dip requires 1 cup of base.

2 cups Mayonnaise
2 cups Sour Cream
1 tsp seasoned salt
Add all ingredients to bowl and mix well.

     The dip that I make the most often in our house is a very simple Avocado dip that we love with pita chips or crackers. It was inspired during our time in Australia when Avocados were a weekly part of our diet.

Avocado Dip

1 cup dip base
1 ripe avocado
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove pressed garlic, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Additional salt to taste (optional)
Dash pepper (optional)

Cut avocado in half.  Remove large pit.  Scoop flesh of avocado out of peel and place in bowl.  Add lemon juice and garlic.  Mash avocado to desired consistency using a fork or potato masher.  If this step is difficult, your avocado may not have been completely ripe.  I prefer my dip to be relatively lump free, but some may prefer a dip that has chunks of avocado remaining.

Stir prepared dip base into avocado.  Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if desired.  I also add a dash of black pepper.

     My daughter's creation is a Fried Onion dip that was born out of her love for fried onions that we used to purchase at the Ikea food shop. French's fried onions work equally well. It is a point of pride for her that it was born out of her own creativity.  

Fried Onion Dip

1 cup dip base
1/2 cup fried onions
Additional salt or pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients until blended.  Best if left to sit for in the fridge for an hour or more to let the onions soften.

     The dip that we love to pair with raw vegetables is a Dill Dip that my mother used to make in mass quantities for the large family gatherings that were so common in my childhood. I often prepare this for birthday parties and holidays when I'm feeling nostalgic.

Dill Dip

Note - the original recipe calls for Beau Monde Seasoning.  I substitute seasoned salt as I rarely have this seasoning in my pantry.  I did find a nifty recipe to make your own and may try it in the near future.

1 cup dip base
1/2 tablespoon parsley (dry)
1/2 tablespoon dill (dry)
1 clove garlic, pressed (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
Onion salt - to taste

Mix above ingredients until well blended.  Best if refrigerated overnight before serving.

     The final dip is inspired by our love for Indian food.  This creamy curry dip is fantastic for a variety of breads, vegetables and is even great for chicken tenders.

Creamy Curry Dip

1 cup dip base
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Dash Cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Best if refrigerated overnight before serving.

      There is nothing more satisfying for me than a casual gathering, whether it be our family gathered around the table on a Saturday afternoon or a great big party.  We have spent many an hour socializing while enjoying these delightfully simple dips. The lovely thing about this quad of dips is that they share the same base making them easy to prepare. 

I feel the whoop coming on...