Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creamy, Cheesy Chip Dip

Sorry for the lack of postings! I've been under the weather. But now I'm feeling fine and am back to blogging!

This is one of my favorite dips to make for friends and family. It's so easy and tastes like something you'd order in a restaurant. It's not healthy for you--but come on, it's got to be better than that fake cheese microwaved with salsa, right?

Begin by opening a package of softened cream cheese.

It's really important that the cream cheese is room temperature. Otherwise you're going to have a heck of a time blending everything together! If you're strapped for time, a mixer and some beaters or a few seconds in the microwave will help you out.

Empty a small container of sour cream into the bowl. Don't throw away the container!

Use the container to measure out your salsa. I add an equal amount, so just fill the sour cream container to the top with the salsa of your choice.

Top everything off with a cup and a half of shredded cheese. I used a Mexican cheese blend but whatever you like (or have on hand) is fine.

I like to add some fire-roasted chiles, too, for some depth of flavor.

I accidentally bought whole chiles, rather than the already-diced kind, so I had to do my own dicing.

There were three chiles in my can--I used a chile and a half. I tossed the other chile and a half into a plastic bag and into the freezer, to use another time.

Don't forget to add salt and pepper! I used a little smoked salt, but regular salt is just fine.

Stir everything together (which should be an easy task, if your cream cheese was soft enough!)

The first few times I made this, I spooned it into a big, oven-safe bowl. But then I realized that we're just two adults here, and that's a heck of a lot of dip. So now I use small, oven-safe ramekins so we can heat them up in individual portions. I get about six ramekins full of dip.

Cover your oven-safe dish with foil and pop in the oven. If you're using a ramekin, it'll take about 30 minutes to heat through. If you're heating everything up at once, it'll be more like 50-55 minutes. You could even heat this up in a bread bowl or a crock pot (set on low!) if you were having, say, a Superbowl party ;) Serve with toast points, pieces of sourdough bread, crackers, or chips.

Recipe: Creamy, Cheesy Chip Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. salsa
1 1 /2 c. shredded cheese
2 oz. (half a can) diced fire-roasted chiles
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients. Pour into oven-safe dish. Cover with tinfoil. Bake 50-55 minutes until completely heated through. Serve.

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