Cooking Cove: Super easy dips for the big game

Cooking Cove: Super easy dips for the big game

Caviar Dip

By Barbara Beltrami

Lots of crunchy chips accompanied by bowls of chunky or velvety dips are as necessary for the big game this coming Sunday as the buffalo wings, the salsa and guacamole and maybe even the football itself.

Who can sit there with an adrenaline rush watching the big game without one hand wrapped around a beer and the other hand in perpetual motion between those chips and dips? And the good news is that whipping up a bunch of those dips is only marginally more difficult than opening that bag of chips and emptying it into a bowl (actually probably easier given how hard it is to pry those bags open).

With basic ingredients like sour cream, mayonnaise and cream cheese, the addition of savory and intense seasonings and ingredients is limited only by your imagination and what you have on hand. If you want to take the edible dippers beyond chips, try crackers, veggie crudités, toast strips, fried calamari, fried chicken nuggets or clams, cooked crabmeat or shrimp or chucks of interesting bread such as pumpernickel, rye or multigrain.

Just to jump start you, here are a few usual and unusual dips that will have the resident referees tooting their whistles and the resident cheerleaders shaking their pom-poms.

Veggie-Herb Dip

Veggie-Herb Dip

YIELD: Makes approximately 3 to 3½ cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups sour cream

¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives

½ cup finely chopped radishes

1⁄3 cup finely chopped peeled and seeded cucumber

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. With a rubber spatula, scrape the contents into an appropriate serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with chips, broccoli and cauliflower florets, baby carrots or chicken nuggets, fried calamari or cooked shrimp.

Caviar Dip

Caviar Dip

YIELD: Makes approximately 1½ cups

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup freshly whipped heavy cream

3 to 4 tablespoons caviar

3 tablespoons minced red onion

1 to 2 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped

Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. If mixture is too salty, add more whipped cream. With a clean paper towel wipe upper part of inside of bowl and rim. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with cucumber, toasted pita bread, cooked shrimp or crabmeat or water crackers.

Asian Dip

Asian Dip

YIELD: Makes approximately 1½ cups

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sour cream

½ cup finely chopped scallions

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped canned water chestnuts

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl combine all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with fresh mushrooms, fresh broccoli, rice crackers, cooked crabmeat, lobster or shrimp.

Retro Clam Dip

Retro Clam Dip

YIELD: Makes approximately 3½ cups.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups shucked and cooked fresh clams, finely chopped

6 ounces soft cream cheese

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1⁄₈ teaspoon mustard

1½ tablespoons minced onions

½ cup traditional cocktail sauce (made with ketchup, horseradish and lemon juice)

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except cocktail sauce. With rubber spatula turn mixture into appropriate serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Before serving cover top of dip with cocktail sauce. Serve with crackers.

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