‘Dip’ into summer entertaining

By AMANDA SEXTON FERGUSON,

This is part one of two in the series, Dip into summer.

Summer vacation is winding down, with schools starting back in just three weeks.  But there is still fun to be had.

My favorite summer pastime is grilling out with friends and family, preferably near a body of water.  There is nothing more deliciously summer as the smell of smoke from a grill mixed with blooming honeysuckle, chlorine, and sunscreen.

I come from a family of entertainers.  We love to host get-togethers of any kind, and finding the perfect dish to serve guests is my favorite part of planning a party.  You can never go wrong with a good dip, whether it is served with fresh vegetables, pita triangles, sliced baguette, or good old-fashioned potato chips.

So since we are dipping into the heart of summer, allow me to share some favorite dips from my recipe collection and some from the women in my family, my sister, Deana, and my unofficial other sister, Catherine Haynes.

Regardless of the occasion, I always serve my mother’s White Glove Soufflé, which is just a fancy name for onion dip.  This soufflé is completely addicting, and something my guests request at any get-together I host in my home.

White Glove Soufflé

4 blocks cream cheese, room temperature

3 cups shredded parmesan cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

12 ounces frozen chopped onions, thawed and pressed to remove excess water.

Mix ingredients.  Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish (I usually serve in a chaffing dish).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on the top.  Serve with Wheat Thins.

My sister, Deana, is always trying new recipes, and she loves to use the family as guinea pigs on the tasting front.  None of complain about this obvious hardship, and I don’t think I have ever had anything she has prepared that wasn’t fantastic.

She provided me with some of her favorite dip recipes, most of which I have tried and can attest to their scrumptiousness.

Jalapeño Popper Dip

6-8 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy

2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft

1 cup of mayonnaise

4-6 jalapeno's, chopped and deseeded. (The seeds will make it fiery hot.)

1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup diced green onion

Topping:

1 cup of crushed crackers ( I used Ritz)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir well.

Transfer to an oven proof dish. The size of the dish depends on how thick the dip is. The thicker the dip the longer it may need to warm up.

Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle all over the top of the dip.

Hot Crab and Shrimp Dip

2 blocks of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/4 cup sliced green onions

6 ounces crab meat

6 ounces shrimp, chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise and horseradish. Add in the Worcestershire, Tabasco and all of the seasonings and blend well. Add the green onion, crab meat, shrimp, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Spread in a shallow baking dish or a pie plate works well that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle the other cup of cheese on top. Bake in at 375 degrees for about 25 -30 minutes or until not and bubbly or just starting to brown on top. Let this stand for about 10 minutes before serving to set up and to cool slightly. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips or Frito Scoops are really good with this!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 block cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing

1/2 cup Frank's® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Frank's® RedHot® Buffalo Wing Sauce

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese

2 (12.5 ounce) cans chicken in water, drained

Assorted fresh vegetables or crackers

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir the cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with a fork or whisk until it's smooth. Stir in the dressing, pepper sauce and blue cheese. Stir in the chicken.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbly. Stir before serving. Serve with the vegetables and crackers for dipping.

Cowboy Cavier Dip

1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14.5 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 (7 ounce) can white shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed

4 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced

3 ripe but firm avocados, diced

4 green onions, sliced thin (or half of a purple onion, diced)

1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped finely

Juice of 1-2 limes

Ground pepper and salt to taste

Drain and rinse the black eyed peas, black beans, and corn. Add to a large bowl. Dice the tomatoes, making sure the seeds and insides are removed and excess liquid is drained. 

Add the diced tomatoes and cilantro to the bowl. Slice the green onions finely and add to the bowl.

Dice the avocado and squeeze a little of the lime juice over the avocados so they don't brown as quickly. Squeeze the rest of the lime juice into the bowl.

Add the Italian dressing and stir to coat all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chill in the refrigerator until cold and flavors have marinated together. This is best served the same day as prepared. Serve with tortilla chips.

Obituaries

Willie B. Carter, 84, passed away at her residence in Pearl on July 3, 2019.