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When you’re a kid, having rippled potato chips and a creamy dip can be a dining delight. And many youngsters who might ordinarily shy away from meat or veggies are willing, even eager, to eat them if they become finger food for dipping into sauces.

As an adult, dips elevate many simple appetizers and other foods. At Super Bowl time, blue cheese dip is almost expected if you serve chicken wings and may be the much-needed contrast of cool to the heat of the wings. Because the dip is dairy, it goes a long way to soothing the burn, just as when you drink milk, rather than water, if you down a too-hot jalapeno pepper.

Ranch dressing is a possible lighter substitution. My youngest sister uses her favorite ranch dressing on most meats, from beef to ham.

Here’s is a recipe from The Associated Press that can be a refreshing accompaniment on your Super Bowl or other party menu:

Wings need good dip

By J.M. HIRSCH

Associated Press

Because apparently fatty foods demand fatty accompaniments, blue cheese dip has long been the de facto condiment of the must-have food of Super Bowl parties — chicken wings.

Fat-on-fat usually isn’t a great pairing, but in this case it works. The tangy bite of the blue cheese cuts through the fat of the chicken, while the creaminess mellows the heat of the sauce.

It’s easy and fast to make an awesome blue cheese dressing that honors your wings.

In this recipe, the combination of sour cream, mayonnaise and thick Greek-style yogurt offers the perfect blend of creaminess and acidity, a great base for crumbled blue cheese.

When selecting blue cheese, note that more veining (the “blue” in the blue cheese) doesn’t necessarily equate to more flavor. For the best flavor and crumble, go with a Gorgonzola or Roquefort.

Using low- or no-fat sour cream, yogurt and mayonnaise would be an easy way to lighten up this admittedly indulgent recipe. Or, if you’d rather push it way over the top, crumbled cooked bacon would be a delicious addition.

 BLOW-YOUR-MIND BLUE CHEESE DIP 

Start to finish: 1 hour (10 minutes active)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced3 shallots, minced

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1-1/2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

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2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1-3/4 cups crumbled blue cheese (such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort)

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Pinch paprika 

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, combine the oil, garlic, shallots and mustard powder. Sauté until the shallots are lightly browned and very tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, yogurt and mayonnaise. Stir in the blue cheese. Transfer to a serving bowl, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, sprinkle with parsley and paprika.

Makes 10 servings.

 Nutrition facts per serving: 207 calories; 153 calories from fat; 17 g. fat (9 g. saturated; 0 g. trans fats); 44 mg. cholesterol; 5 g. carbohydrate; 7 g. protein; 0 g. fiber; 369. mg sodium.

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