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Dips that score the extra point

Almost any food tastes fantastic when you're watching your favorite team, but dips with blitz are an exciting way to increase cheers from the sidelines.

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 12, 2001

Football means food. Whether you gather on the blacktop at Raymond James Stadium before Bucs games or with friends in front of a TV, you're bound to eat as if it's your last meal.

Our idea of a super bowl is one filled with flavorful dips that cling to chip or veggie stick like Warren Sapp hangs on to an opposing quarterback. Dips are easy to make, easy to transport and can fill a number of diet requirements. Reduce fat by using low-fat or non-fat mayonnaise or cream cheese; dip with veggies instead of chips. Use beans for a vegetarian nosh; add additional herbs and eschew the salt.

Make sure that dips with mayonnaise and other dairy products are kept cold. Often, a football party requires that the food sit out for a while. A bowl of ice under the bowl of dip will prevent spoilage.

Even hot dips are appropriate for tailgating thanks to insulated carriers by manufacturers such as Corning.

This year, same as last, we celebrate football for giving us the opportunity to run the recipe for Beer Dip. Don't get fancy with the beer: the cheaper the better, we think. Make it the night before for perfect melding of cheese, beer and herbs.

Blue Cheese Supreme

1 8-ounce carton sour cream

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic

1/2 to 1 teaspoon onion salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Mix sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, garlic and salt until well blended. Add oil and mix again. Crumble blue cheese and add to buttermilk mixture. Stir to mix well. Chill.

Serve with vegetable strips or chicken wings. Makes 3 cups.

Note: When this dressing is first made, it is very stiff. However, after it chills for several hours it thins out.


Beer Dip

1 package Hidden Valley dip mix (original flavor)

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

6 ounces beer

6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese


Mix first four ingredients and chill. Use any kind of pretzels for dipping.


Spicy Spinach Dip

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, chopped fine

3 green onions sliced 1/4 inch thick

6 tablespoons hot sauce

1 package Knorr Vegetable Soup and Recipe Mix

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

Thaw spinach and squeeze out liquid. Place in mixing bowl. Then drain and chop water chestnuts and place in mixing bowl. Slice green onions, place in mixing bowl. Add hot sauce, soup mix, sour cream and mayonnaise to mixing bowl. Stir until well blended. Chill a minimum of two hours. Stir again before serving. Serve as a dip with crackers.

Makes 4 cups.


Tucson Black and White Bean Salsa

3 tablespoons corn oil

11/4 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed

1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained

1 15-ounce can Great Northern white beans, drained

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped red onion

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 large garlic cloves, pressed

1 large jalapeno chili, seeded, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon chili powder

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add corn and saute until brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil and all remaining ingredients. Season generously with salt and pepper. (Can be made two days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Great with tortillas, pita or bagel chips. Makes about 6 cups.

Source: Bon Appetit magazine.

Vidalia's Favorite Onion Dip

3 cups chopped Vidalia onions

3 cups shredded Swiss cheese

21/2 cups mayonnaise

Garlic salt, to taste

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased 11/2 quart baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly brown. Serve with corn chips.


Crab and Shrimp Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 green onion, chopped

1 6-ounce can crab meat, drained

1 4.5-ounce can small shrimp, drained

Blend together the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add the green onion, crab and shrimp. Place in a covered container and chill overnight.

Makes 11/2 cups.


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