Showing posts with label dip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dip. Show all posts

01 July 2012

A Simple Chèvre, Chive and Green Onion Dip

In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I braved the high-summer crowds to spend the Fourth of July holiday on Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula. With its harbor towns and fishing villages, farmlands and cherry orchards, Door County was and still is the perfect place for that uniquely American holiday.

We browsed the antique stores and quilt shops, buying fudge for dessert and carved shorebirds for our collection. In the evenings we'd drive up into the hills behind the quaint village of Ephraim, where the air was filled with woodsmoke and birdsong.

One night we saw a group of people on a picnic, with tables set up in the sunken foundations of an old farmhouse. I was certain these were the descendants of the original homesteaders, returning to the daily seat to mark Independence Day.

My ancestors were not among the Scandinavians and Belgians who settled Door County; they were among the Irish and French Canadians who settled 17 miles across the Bay of Green Bay. But they too marked the Fourth of July with gatherings at the home of my grandmother in Frenchtown, which with its old barn, garden and ample yard, felt rural, even though it was a block from the neighborhood's commercial center.

Fourth of July at Grandma Annie's will always conjure memories of berry pies, fresh vegetables, grilled chicken and potato chips (all washed down with Coca Cola).

Potato chips are a family weakness. We love them. We love them plain and we love them with dip. So as you must know by now, I love experimenting with dip.

For this holiday's dip, I took a look in my refrigerator and another look in my garden. This is what I came up with:

Chèvre, Chive and Green Onion Dip


  • 1 four-ounce log of chevre, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • dash honey-dijon or grainy mustard (optional)
  • dash sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Blend the first three ingredients in a small bowl and allow to soften at room temperature. I used multiple blade herb scissors to chop the chives and the green portion of the onions. Have a bowl of chips at the ready so you can taste test as you go along. The mustard is purely a matter of taste. So are the seasonings. Allow the flavors to marry before serving.

The dip should be rustic - that is, coarse, not smooth. Serve it with fresh green pepper strips, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, bagel chips and of course, potato chips.


28 January 2009

Onion Chip Dip with Creme Fraîche and Boursin

I love potato chips and dip. It is one treat I refuse to give up, so I consume it in small quantities. I prefer to make my own dips, and enjoy experimenting.

This passion has its roots in the Saturday nights of my childhood when my mother and her younger sister would open a bag of chips and dip them into a blend of cream cheese, onions and ketchup while sipping Coca Cola. I still love this basic dip. (My mother loves chips and dip so much, we used to call her The Big Dipper.)

Onions and cream cheese are obviously essential. Fresh onions are best, but minced work, too.

In 2005, my husband and I discovered Brett's Olive-Flavored potato chips on a trip to France. We never found them in the U.S.

For that matter, we have never found them again in France. We've searched high and low. But along the way, we've sampled tomato-and-garlic, rotisserie chicken, and red-pepper chips.

Within the past decade, flavored chips have popped up in the U.S., too and we enjoy sampling them. But nothing beats old-fashioned - and plain - potato chops. We always opt for reduced fat.

This dip, which I first made on a visit to France, is excellent with any type of chip:

Chip Dip with Creme Fraîche and Boursin (serves two)
  • 1 cup creme fraiche (or half cream cheese and sour creme)
  • 1/3 cup boursin with garlic and herbs (or Alouette or similar brand)
  • 1 scant tablespoon mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon (at least) chopped sweet onions
  • dash pepper

Simply blend ingredients and allow flavors to marry for several hours in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

This is my favorite chip dip ever. Creme fraîche is not always easy to find locally, but I do stumble across it from time to time at larger supermarkets. You can make your own, too.

I have also made a simple dip by blending aioli with creme fraîche. A trip to a French grocery store is never complete until we've checked the potato chip offerings.




26 January 2009

Cheddar-Cheese-Beer Dip Just in Time for the Super Bowl

Cheese and beer are two mainstays of the Wisconsin diet.

So it's no wonder that local grocery stores sell cheddar-and-beer dip for pretzels or potato chips this time of year. I succumbed to the lure of this deli delicacy at two different supermarkets. It was a hit.

I'd tasted it before at holiday potlucks, but since we rarely have beer in the house (my husband prefers scotch), I'd never actually made it.

So it was time to learn. Luckily, I had two cans of beer left from last summer's beer bread trials (more on this in the future).

Cheddar Cheese-Beer Dip

1 eight-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup beer
1 teaspoon minced onions
dash garlic salt
dash paprika

Blend first three ingredients in bowl. Add onions and garlic salt (I have made this with one minced garlic clove) and blend again. Sprinkle top with paprika.

There are numerous variations to this. A teaspoon of mayo or ketchup adds an extra zing. A pinch of seasoning salt does, too. There's another version made with ranch dressing mix.

Since the holidays ended, we've gone back to our more conservative eating habits. On cold nights (there don't seem to be any other kind this time of year), we've been having popcorn, sometimes sprinkled with a bit of that garlic salt and even cheddar cheese.

01 March 2007

Garlicky Artichoke Dip

Garlic and Artichoke Dip

It was on one of my parents’ Italian nights that I was first introduced to garlic. I was thoroughly turned off. Of course, I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time.

My mother recalls she wasn’t too fond of it, either. It was something she and her contemporaries associated with ethnic neighborhoods in large cities. I am sure its pungent odor offended their small-town sensibilities.

In fact, my parents were born into a world where garlic was looked upon as inferior (sound familiar?). But as the world grew smaller, garlic’s benefits were discovered and extolled.

The older I get, the more I like garlic. And the more garlic I eat. I find there is very little that I do not add garlic to these days. I do not believe it has aphrodisiacal qualities. Well, maybe I do, but that’s another story.

What I do know is that when consumed in any form it is delicious. And it is a mainstay of my favorite type of food, which is Mediterranean.

A nice garlicky artichoke dip was in order, I thought, on a recent stormy night.

And so I made one. A very healthy one, too. As is my habit, I made it from items already on hand. It's too nasty out there to run to the grocery store.

Warm Artichoke Dip with Garlic and Red Peppers
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts
  • 2 small cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (can be from a jar)
Drain the artichokes and pulverize them in a blender. Set aside. Place the minced garlic in a small sauce pan and sauté until golden brown. Add artichokes, cheeses and dressing. Add the red peppers last. Transfer dip to small baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Don't bake too long, or the cheese will separate.


Garlic at the farm market




17 August 2006

Olive Dip for Chips

The food stores and supermarchés in France are filled with products that are downright impossible to find in the United States, certainly not in small towns like mine.

Many products — like oils, honeys, mustards, aoili, jams, sauces and spreads — are available from a variety of online sources.

I have had no luck, however, finding olive-flavored potato chips, which we fell in love with on our last visit to France. Chips made with olive oil, yes, but none that taste of olives and potatoes and sea salt, a distinctly Mediterranean flavor.

A few months back, my husband said, “Why don’t you try making an olive dip?”

And so I did.

Olive Dip for Chips and Crackers


  • 1 eight-ounce container cream cheese,* softened
  • 1/3 cup chopped green olives and pimentos
  • ¼ cup chopped black olives
  • 2 teaspoons liquid from green olives
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • sea salt to taste


Allow cream cheese to soften until it is at room temperature. Blend ingredients in order of listing above. Chill at least 6 hours to allow the flavors to marry. Allow dip to warm to room temperature before serving. Best served with something bland like potato chips, but also good with many crackers and raw vegetables.