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Dip into Something Creamy and Delicious

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Dips are not the most visually attractive foods on the planet. Yet few dishes are as easy to make and versatile at parties. So, whenever we can, we haul out the sour cream, the mayonnaise, the cream cheese, the mustard and whatever seasonings  we choose to create something you can sink a carrot or a tortilla chip into, stuff into a rib of celery, or just eat by itself (please, no fingers).

The possibilities are endless. You can even create themed dips to reflect the occasion. Think of a red and blue berry mixture with white yogurt for the Fourth of July, as an example, or pairing red and green salsas for Christmas.

Today, we offer three dip recipes for Super Bowl Sunday. All can be made in advance, all taste much better after the flavors are allowed to meld together. The Bacon and Cheddar Dip is for Colts fans, a reminder of the city where bacon, cheddar and hot sauce are all part of chili. So why not feature them in a dip of their own?

The Saints’ home turf is a known a bit more for its culinary treasures. In its honor, try New Orleans-style Muffuletta Dip or Cajun Shrimp and Artichoke Dip.

But what should you serve to dip with?

For vegetables, think of spears of raw asparagus, pepper slices, radishes celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower as well as strips of jícama, snow pea pods, fennel matchsticks and slightly shocked green beans (blanch with boiling water and set immediately on ice).

For crunchier bases, you can use pita chips, toasted baguette slices or crostini, hearty tortilla chips, hearty potato chips, pumpernickel and rye cocktail squares, bagel chips, crackers, black bread, and melba toast.

Recipe: Cajun Shrimp and Artichoke Dip.

Recipe: Muffuletta Dip

Recipe: Bacon and Cheddar Dip

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