Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Muffuletta Dip

I saw this recipe for Muffuletta Dip a couple of years ago in Southern Living and flagged it to make at some point; as it sounded like something that I knew my husband would love.  With this year's Super Bowl being in New Orleans, I thought it was the perfect time to try this dip out, and now I'm kicking myself that I waited so long. It is seriously good, and if you love good Italian subs, you will love this dip.

A muffuletta is a round submarine-type sandwich that originated in Louisiana and is made of layers olive salad, capicola, mortadela, salami, pepperoni  ham, Swiss and provolone cheeses.  So basically take that goodness and mixture of flavors, and then imagine it in a dip, and you have this recipe. It's salty from the salami and olives, and tangy from the pepperoncini. The provolone is sharp, but balances the tangy peppers, and there is a nice crunch from the celery and red bell pepper.  My husband, who loves any kind of Italian sub, hero, hoagie, muffuletta, etc., raved over this dip, and thinks it's the perfect Super Bowl food.  So there you go...

This dip is really good served with French bread crostini-- I just sliced French bread and placed on a baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees until crisp, and then let people spoon the dip onto the bread when serving.  Also, this dip tastes better as the flavors blend together so make sure you prepare this at least an hour before serving.

Muffuletta Dip

1 cup Italian olive salad, drained
1 cup diced salami (about 4 oz.)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini salad peppers
1 (2 1/4-oz.) can sliced black olives,drained
4 oz. provolone cheese, diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Stir together first 9 ingredients.  Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours before serving.  Stir in parsley just before serving.. Serve with French bread crostini.  Store leftovers in refrigerator up to 5 days. This dip can also be served with crackers over a block of softened cream cheese.

Recipe makes about 4 cups.

Recipe from Southern Living

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Easy Artichoke and Chilies Dip

I'm someone who really enjoys January.  I know a lot of people find this to be a blah month, but after all of the craziness of the holidays, it's nice to have the calm that January brings.  Plus, it seems like people reemerge for the first time in what seems like months-- all of those work and family holiday parties and commitments are past, and we can just have some low-key get togethers.  Game nights, lots of football watching, and of course the Super Bowl (although I guess that's really in February-- but same thing) provide lots of excuses to get together with friends.

And, what would a game night or a Super Bowl party be without good snacks? Even better if they're easy to make so you can actually be out there enjoying things instead of stuck in the kitchen! That's where this dip comes in.  I made this Artichoke and Chilies Dip a couple of times during the holidays and it was so, SO easy, and SO good.  It has 4 ingredients (well, 5 if you count the dash of hot sauce, but I don't know if you can really count that since you just slosh some in at the end.)  You can mix this up and have it ready in about 25 minutes, so really can you beat that?  I was drawn to this because I love anything with chilies and thought it sounded like a good combo with the Parmesan and artichoke hearts. It's creamy and salty with a tangy spicy kick- just yummy!

One last thing-- while the recipe calls for regular mayo, this is one time I actually think this works better with light mayo.  It makes the dip less greasy and seems to come together better. You won't notice a difference in flavor.

Artichoke and Chilies Dip

1 (14-oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (4-oz) can green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup regular or light mayonnaise (I prefer light for this recipe)
dash hot sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot)
optional: paprika to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 8-inch square baking dish or a small decorative baking dish. Sprinkle top with paprika if using.  Bake 20 minutes or until edges are golden and bubbly.  Serve with pita chips or your favorite crackers.

Adapted from Delightfully Southern Holidays (The link is to her first cookbook, Delightfully Southern, not the Holiday version I used which I couldn't find a link to on the internet.  But, I have both of Middleton Clark's cookbooks and they are wonderful.)

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